Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Roosters and Chickens

Here are the first of several paintings about Roosters and Chickens that I will produce till Friday. I do not own any and it would change if I did, because I know I would see more of their nuance. I spent a half a day at my friends farm with her chickens. I produced five right away and I like these three. They are drawn from a life, sort of, I did get a hold of a stuffed Rooster, tried to give'em some life! I also like that they remind me of Richard Scarry drawings from his childrens books that I read to my kids.
So I see that they have an animated and illustrative quality that I often see in my work and is strongest when I am first beginning.
Today my neighbor came over with the gravel for my driveway...and now it is noon.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pastel Drawings

I have not been drawing portraits for awhile, but I thought I would post some of the most recent and favorites

A Little More about Melancholy

I did not  sign or date this drawing, but I know that it is at least 15 years old. It is pastel on paper.
I have drawn several hundred of these and I have managed to keep many and I have a box full of them. This drawing was supposed to be a gift for a friend, of his wife. Upon completing the drawing I saw such sadness in it, this melancholy, that I have been talking about.
I did not SEE it, it came out of my hand.  I was not able to give the drawing to him. I am aware of this effect in my drawing, I just did not expect it from this sitter. I was surprised, (or maybe not surprised) when I heard that she was recently separated and is seeking a divorce. The story seemed to have been there, years before.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Melancholy


 Good Morning! It is a beautiful morning, sunny and bright and I feel great. I have allot to do and I am happy about it. 
So why in the middle of my morning chores, am I compelled to stop what I am doing (did not even make coffee yet) and sit here and write about melancholy?
It is about NOT knowing the answer to this, that I am writing!
Melancholy might be called "functional depression" It is a sadness that you can hide, you can walk around with it, somethings for years. In truth, you cannot hide it and you cannot function well. The Greeks built Saturnine Gardens, to acknowledge it and let the soul rest from it. I heard a definition of depression was "being stopped", but you do not stop with melancholy, you just carry it around with you.
I have always been tuned in to OTHER people's emotional states. I had a mother that could do this and trained me, UGH! It is a good skill for an artist, but rough on the "day to day". Sometimes I do not need or want to know what people are feeling, in a restaurant or grocery.
I have had to re-train myself, to be able to press the mute button. When I was younger, I did it with drink. That works, but the cost is high and the effect is short. I have found my solution through mediation that is built into martial arts training. I have learned to use that mental mute button, but that does NOT stop all that emotional info from pouring in anyway.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed. The studio is where it all comes out, I often see the studio as a battlefield, a place where it all gets processed. It can make my studio a highly charged and scary place. I do not think it matters if I am painting in an expressive way or a still life with a Lemon. I acknowledge this and would not have it any other way!