Saturday, January 31, 2009

2 Minute Figures

This morning I went to the figure drawing session at Cottonwood Artist's School. This is an open session, no instruction, from 10 - 1:00. I paint landscapes and still lifes, I haven't done a lot of figure drawing; I took a 2 week workshop 35 years ago from Nelson Shanks (in charcoal), and a 3 day workshop 7 years ago from Kim English. I spent decades demo-ing to my classes, but they were often continuous contour line drawings, usually on the white board. But, what did I have to lose? Isn't painting looking for shapes and values?
The first 45 minutes were 2 minute sketches. I figured I would start these like I do daily painting still lifes: mark all the tops, sides, corners to get the proportion, connect it all with quick lines, change those quick lines from geometric to more organic. Well, by the time I got to the "change the line" part, the 2 minutes were over. I wiped out all (maybe 10 more) but these.
I've been reading "Art & Fear" by David Bayles & Ted Orland. They say " The point is that you learn how to make your work by making your work, and a great many of the pieces you make along the way will never stand out as finished art. The best you can do is make art you care about--and lots of it!" I made lots of it this morning. We went from 2 minute, to 5 minute, to 10 mintue to 20 minute sketches. Maybe I'll post some more tomorrow. It was a really fun session.

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