Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Moments of well-being

Its February 27th with the model Andrew at Extreme Poses in Stroud.
Just been thro' a period of self-introspection.
Have written lots of thoughts in my note-book.
Touched on levels of super-consciousness.
Connected, again, with Picabia.
Feeling I'm knowing what reaching 'peak experience' means.

This is what came out from my morning of five 30 minute poses.
At the moment, a true feeling of well -being...……………..

Saturday, 15 February 2020

'Our Heads are Round so our Thoughts Can Change Direction'

This is from the exhibition of the art of Francis Picabia held during 2016/17 at MoMA in New York. It is titled after one of the artist's catchiest aphorisms, and I believe it particularly refers to the changes in the explorations and work of Picabia as he moved from his early Impressionist phase into Cubism then into Dadaism then his mechanistic phase and then, in what has became particularly relevant to helping me understand my own drawings, a period of transparency characterised by a spatiality achieved through complex superimpositioning of images usually drawn at different scales.

I have in a number of postings brought Picabia's approach and philosophy into helping me in my own analysis of my life-drawing with the result that terms such as 'superimposition', 'overlap', 'multi-viewpoints', 'cubist', 'different scales', 'transparency', etc., have become my language in describing what I do.

In reading one or two reviews of the exhibition I came across various phrases which attracted me by further helping to describe and therefor understand what I do. However I have played with some of the wordings and added a concept or two of my own in order to present a more complete picture of my art at this stage in my journey, and are particularly appropriate to my latest drawings posted here;
  • ambiguous pictorial space
  • sensuous compositions
  • erosion of formal representations of the nude
  • multivalent interpretations of the spatial fourth dimension
  • strangely juxtaposed anatomical parts
  • multiple layers of transparent images
  • transparency enhances simultaneity
  • fractured forms cavort in a pictorial space
The drawings below of the model Shelly from Thursday morning February 13th seem to me to take quite a leap forward. That all the drawings from the five 30 minute poses possess a consistency of approach and execution is very pleasing (often the first two or three may have a shared or developmental relationship followed by the others which depart into another world and can become unworthy of the paper they are on). I believe they possess an intensity and a complexity but at the same time, to me, also a degree of simplicity and clarity. Colleagues commented that the drawings hold the attention of the beholder because time is needed to work out what is taking place. They cannot be understood with a casual glance. New bits are discovered as the drawing is explored.

So how has this pleasing consistency and quality come about? What is the context?
Could it be that my reading of the exhibition reviews and my writings in my notebook of the above 'terminology' got absorbed into my subconscious ( I certainly was not consciously thinking of them during the morning) and so influenced my perceptions, my way of seeing, my selection of what to draw, etc. Or, was it because this life-drawing session came after me experiencing a most traumatic week, and I grasped the opportunity to throw myself into my art, into a therapeutic act, putting behind me all my troubles and allowing myself mental freedom and complete relaxation and thereby delving into my innermost SELF and bringing forth my life-drawing highlights.

A brief note to explain my traumatic week ……….. gale force winds brought down some huge trees on the ramparts of the hillfort; trees were felled blocking access to the house and bringing down telephone cables; continuous torrential rain made it impossible to work outside in the fields; however I did build a stone wall but strained myself and needed to go to the doctor; my feet shot from under me on slippery muddy ground, I fell and cracked my head, blood and swelling; our big dog had two more fits following a clear period since Christmas Day. 
So, you see, I was ready for a meditation, and an engagement with my Self.

 "Within you there is a Stillness and a Sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself"                               

Hermann Hess, 1877-1962, poet, novelist and painter who explored an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality.

I believe my head to be round also. I have changed, developed, evolved, throughout my life. So here is my evidence for claiming 'The Round Head of my Evolutionary Exploration and Development of my Art'.

1. Phases in my life-drawing from the beginnings thro' to the present day:
  • full pose realistic representation
  • figurative expressionism
  • abstract expressionism
  • the deconstructed nude
  • morphism
  • cubism
  • spatial complexity

2. Mark-making materials in my life-drawing (generally in this chronological order but I do occasionally return to an earlier material):
  • wood pencil
  • charcoal
  • pastel
  • conte
  • tinted charcoal
  • graphite pencil
  • fine-liner pen
Under this heading I might also include an early engagement with collage, and drawing on gesso treated papers.

3. My movement from singlehanded drawing to drawing with both hands simultaneously
(known as '2pencilbob').

4. In the past I engaged with 'tone and tonal variation'. More recently I have become a 'linierist' with my graphite pencils and particularly my fine-liner pens. Yet I have often posted about how I believe I present, indicate, emphasise, explore the qualities of tonal variation with thickness and weight of 'line'.

To the above evidence I want to add my life-time's exploratory and experimental changes in direction within my evolving architectural philosophy. This list is significantly chronological:
  • arts and crafts tradition
  • modern movement
  • indigenous and vernacular architecture
  • alternative technology
  • ecological
  • social process (user/community participation)
  • sustainable design (this for me was a synthesis of ecological and social).

More of Clare