Second Trimester

Hello all! So I am so far posting art trimester by trimester... This will get more creative soon. Lots has been going on lately; I've had no time to post. I began taking a three weekend long plein air workshop through my school which I began this past weekend which was so lovely (but utterly exhausting). Now I need a weekend from my weekend. Needless to say, here is some work from my second trimester (Jan-March 2012).

Third pencil bargue completed. It is a death mask of a young girl who supposedly killed herself in the Seine.


Claudia, Charcoal on Paper, 2012

Sophie, Charcoal on Paper, 2012.

My third and fourth long poses above.

Now, you will note the giant jump in quality of my third and fourth long poses. And that is what I want to talk about. When people look at my fourth long pose they generally note how much better it is than my third. Yet it is interesting to me how much I absolutely learned from my third long pose, perhaps even more than I learned from my fourth. Granted, I had different challenges and learned different lessons from each. The model for the latter one, Sophie, was so utterly still and such an amazing model to draw. The challenge of the model moving and capturing different poses meshed into one drawing was nearly eliminated. I was able to focus on bringing it to a greater finish while with the third pose I struggled with it a great deal and it never seemed to quite get there. But I also wonder if that is absolutely where we learn the most. For the long poses, we spend a week doing pencil sketches of the pose before we move to charcoal. I posted one of my pencil sketches for each long pose just above them. You will note the unfinished quality of them compared to all of the other pencil drawings I have. This is because my purpose for these is solely on understanding the proportions, movement, and placement of the figure and nothing else. I do this so I can get the long poses accurate and I know I will do my expressing there, to some extent. While with the other pencil sketches, they are usually just a one night (2 hour) pose so I just have a bit more fun with them. I am sure sacrificing much of the proportions I feel I'll go crazy if I don't let go a bit.

And isn't there a value in this? In sort of just remembering to love what we're doing? Or just to remember that we do love it in the first place? To be honest, I think we absolutely need a balance of the two or we might just go a bit mad. If I never finished any drawings and always did them as only a basic study of proportions and tried to get them perfect, I feel I might lose my mind and wouldn't be able to just let go and explore what I have learned... If I stay only in the more free creative realm, I won't push myself nearly as far as I can go. With the fourth long pose, Sophie was so beautiful that I just wanted to capture her and that seemed more of my purpose than anything... I really loved what I was doing. With the third pose I struggled with it repeatedly and wasn't too excited about the model; I wanted only to understand proportions and learn as much as possible. I think I maintain what I thought in the beginning, we need an absolute balance of both; and for different people - different things at different times to different degrees. Who knows. I'll probably just go on doing what I'm doing. Hopefully it will all work out.