Folder 5 of 32. Here is a model convinced me to emphasize sophistication, and fashion. After finishing art school I went for a year to study fashion and retail (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise) in downtown L.A. I had a room at the YWCA within walking distance of there, and got a whole new set of friends.
Women renting at the YWCA shared their passions. I was introduced to "Nicheren Shoshu": a buddhist sect from Japan that followed women members married to American solders during the occupaton. Friends took me to meetings of another organization recruiting in the downtown: "est" led by a man called "Werner Erhard". I still participate in both with the Nicheran Shoshu and Erhard's creation, which is now called "Landmark Education".
In those days I might chant "nam you ring ge kyo" at some public place with buddhist friends, then at another social occasion, talk to everyone about Erhard's seminar. I sold paintings to people I met at seminars, and even befriended a Koren traveler at the airport and sold him a painting from the back of my pickup truck. I took it off the stretcher, rolled it up, and he took it with him. It was a wild time.
This is a watercolor painted at Lake Perris, I think. We went there and set up in some trees overlooking the lake. Everybody else painted the jumbles of rocks on the far shore, and the small island in the lake. It was a wam and lazy day. Everyone was at peace. I did not feel intimidated by this wilderness. I painted the geese.
Again, there is something facinating about something you see in your perephral vision. Some paintings in perephral vision just sit there, while others affect you inordinately. I think this is the latter. The yellow blur of geese, the startling white of the tree and the overall gaity of the lake shore.
Here's a paint specked drawing done with a big pointed brush, probably a sumi brush. Has an effect similar to charcoal: the harder you press in, the broader the line, but much harder to control in fast paced short poses. As you can see, there is spatter everywhere. But the figure is beautiful. I don't think there's anything like it in any of my other drawings.
An unfinished piece done from two perpectives that ends up as one figure merging into its ghosted reflection. She was a young, athletic short haired model. There was a lot of playing around with curves in her musculature. Am sorry the color scheme really didn't get a chance to jell.
A second example of a plein air watercolor without the usual dark cast. I guess this one near the peak high above Moreno Valley at a small park surruonded by rocks, on the other side was a side canyon pointed toward Riverside and the Santa Ana riverbed. As usual the rest painted the rock formations, while I found solace in a couple nearby trees and the blurred civilization beyond.
This is the first sketch for a comission: a complicated flower painting about 6 eet long almost completely covering the wall over their couch. The final painting is wildly colorful and junglely. I don't have an image of the finished piece, but these are good friends and we'll get one soon. The we'll insert it underneath this one.
This is a male model for a change. Exudes maleness, in fact. Something dynamic and tense. Waiting for action in this pose. Our friend David Green was a male model. He married a female model and they had a child. He taught art history and criticism at local colleges as a career. Very liberal, thoughtful, and highly literate family. Their son graduated from Harvard in classical literature.
and then ... made his career choice: becaming a Navy Seal!
David retired and he and his wife inherited a family house in upper Michigan, where he started painting furiously We don't see him anymore but my husband collected a group artists' dialogue by email, mostly between David, Andrew Kovner, and himself, which lasted a couple years. The 3 were always at each other's neck.
The thing finally disintigrated in acramony, but not before my husband put serveral hundred illustrated pages of the "back and forth" in two book length manuscripts, which he is now loath to publish.
This is my "lonely girl" piece. She is so sleepy, and weary, and bluish. A lovely girl and a complex piece with contracting arcs of color in strata, like the layers in a roadcut in the mountains.
This is the end of folder 5 out of 32.
This is another tiny headed girl painting. Normally I'll abstract the model to the shoulders in cases like this, but there seemed an urgancy to include the head here. Its not a very pretty one, but it makes the rest of the model look massive and somewhat monumental. And the head is cogitating, and yet looks like someone has just blown a hole in the back, behind absurdly bulbous forehead.
It is what it is: an eternal thoughly retarded monument, or mythic female sitting zombie. Straight from the id. No relationship to the person who posed.
Start of folder 6 out of 32.
From the ridiculous to a little more sublime. Here the model's personality dominates the piece. She seems practical and yet also skeptical of the viewer. "Life is what it is, and this is what I must do", she seems to say. She rides on billows of color: blues of various shades which she leans back on to her left, purple mixed with crimson as the atmosphere around her to her right and surrounding here head. The lower part of her body is elongated, foreshortened, and protrudes into the viewers space as it heads for the bottom of the canvas. Her hand refects the elongation, but strays in another direction from the feet, as if she were longing to be somewhere else, perhaps behind the busy artists their benches and easels, or out the door.
This is a charcoal model drawing on watercolor paper, with color. I have made about a dozen of these and I think they do something to catch both the fleeting nature of a fast pose, but also the solidity of paint and color to help define the form. As you can see, the watercolor is applied as fast and freely as the charcoal. In this case it defines the solidity of the body and also strays away from the body at the top, and helps spotlight the profile of the face.
This is a very beautifu effect done at the spur of the moment during a one minute pose. I probably worked so fast that I had time left over, and decided to duplicate the curve of the back and butt. I could have been drawing her shadow there. The result was a kind of mirrored image, that give you a sense of multiple figures receding away to the right. This is was a very satisfying drawing: not a single bad line, nothing out of place, not a single element superflous or jarring.
This is a another beautiful effect. Most of the color was applied with a drier brush that usual, and lilttle bits of paint were scattered into a grainy texture, which transmits a certain distance, a screen over the model and the elements of her pose. Of course color is transmitted differently here also. Its almost like the use of differnent diameter dots in comic art to turn the brilliant but limited colors of the ink into more subtile effects of foreground and background. The effect is especially evident when it crosses over the charcoal outline, making those lines tentative and distant.
So, despite or because of the distance, the model is sitting there. Solidly, casually. Her weight distributed properly. She was probably comfortable in that chair, sitting on her garments, and not subject to pain that usually accompanies freezing for 20 minute poses.
This is another model with attitude, and like the one above, the attitude is a result of a painting technique. There is a kind of frenzy of charcoal and paint moving in parallel lines from top right to lower left, and that is how she is defined: jittery, interrupted, violatie, proud. The color around her head hints at a kind of like a gathering storm of anger or disdain.
I don't know. This could have been due to my own state of mind. I get angry at people or situations regularly, and tend to act that out in my artworks. Anyway its a great piece. I reflects the transient moods of all people violatile and stubborn, like myself.
This is Simore Gad once again. She seems at rest with her body weight here. Her choice in life. Of course she is a busy practicing artist herself, and constantly living with her projects and articulating her sense of self. I think I caught perfectly in this piece, the burnished glow of fat, rounded bodies like hers. In many ways it can be visually more soothing and natural for an artist than trying to capture more jagged muscular bodies.