Here's our livingroom studio dressed for thanksgiving. Note the drawings on the wall. Years ago we had a whole bunch of them framed as a show. The least expensive way: acetate to look at it through. Cardboard backing. rigid plastic frame. Simple acid free matting. We have dozens of these lying around the garage, most with drawing already mounted inside. If someone took a liking to one of the drawings in this blog, including the watercolored drawings, they would be come mounted in one of these frames.
While we're on the subject. These acrylic canvases hanging all over the studio beg frames, but we are not framers. The more "offhand" a piece appears at first glance, the more value it will attain by having a proper frame. First of all, an art piece framed carefully will have enough space around it . No matter how many family pictures or "brick a brack" cluster around it, it will have space to state its message, and will prevail.
Also, fames for paintings and other flat art need to be 3 inches wide at least, to allow the work to nest deep enough. The viewer really needs to percieve the painting sits "inside" something with a depth of field. To make such a frame needs a degree of craftsmanship, detail, and ornateness. They signal to others that your art purchase is as valuable as you percieved it to be. And because art pieces stay in families for generations, they are much more liable to be treated as treasures by distracted heirs, valildating your judgement and the expense of the piece. Proper framing is a notice your family, to guests and other viewers, and a flag to auctioneers and potential buyers when that time comes.
Outside signifying the artwork's value, we still need to remind ourselves why frames were devised in the first place. A substantial frame isolates the piece from distracting forms and colors and objects in the vacinity, It allows a close by viewer to set their eyes "inside the box": a visually isolated mode that allows them to experience what the piece has for them.
This piece, for example, begs to be inside the box: matted and properly frame. It is a slight drawing, and people need such a signal to see its imporatnce to the buyer. It begs isolation from other objects and a proper story (like ones you see in this blog), to accompany it.
This piece, for example also, begs to be inside the box: matted and framed as above. Etcetera. Etcetera.
A nice part of this piece is that it succeeds in conveying the model's thought processes. Its a more compicated set than usual. Her eyes are deliberately enlarged, level, and looking straight at something off-frame. She is cleariy thinking. Her face is not tense, so she's is not angry, in turmoil, or extremely sad. She's just thoughtful. The left side of her face's outline almost dissolves in the light from the right, the direction of her stare.
You look down her body. She's carefully drawn, and in proportion. The artist (me) did not make her into a demonstration of form or mimic whatever I was thinking.
The extended arm is hard to do in a pose, because it can sag or change angle as the model tires. You sense she's strong and disciplined. You sense she's a serious person, and probably not liable to make rash actions.
This triplit is probably from around the time of the dancers project. It is dashed off quickly and has high energy. It is not carefully studied and appears to be less about the model's features and more about movement. Flashes of red in the hair, body fluses elsewhere signal a person using her body, occupied with something, and so, not thoughtful or self aware at all. This is not a great piece, but the quickly drawn line has energy.
When you sweep a room full of art or just clutter, and see it from the corner of your eye, it broadcasts energy, health, occupation, and "busy ness".
Here's another "corner of your eye" paintings. The figure on the right actully has a a visual approximation of a being that is "mercurial", or "wind blown". She's odd, and compelling. The other side has an extreme exaggerated case of "looking up at the sky", a symbol of human hope or awaiting something.
This piece again has echoes of the 1920's burst of arts and crafts energy: called "art deco". These kinds of figures were prominant in murals.
Well here they are again. Probably wholy unconcious at the time, coming from me.
This is a gorgeous painting. Flat out gorgeous. Not a bad line. Nothing extraneous in it. Nothing that doesn't work.
It's about sleep, and good dreams. Look closely at her face. There's a slight smile. A slight flush on her cheek.
Now look at the base coat. She floats above a storm, in the clouds. Not wet, not blown around, but above it. They swirl around under her. Looks like they might even by starting to form a cyclone. But she doesn't care, she's above it.
Here's a picture of Cameron at one of the shows. He's now a gangly college sophmore, but in those days he was more interested in sliding around the gallery floor on the soles of his shoes. This gives you an idea how the frames work on the watercolor and uncolored fast charcoal drawings. Each here is matted and framed in a kind of metallic looking material (probably plastic), because that's what we could afford when those shows came around. I can only assume that these drawings are up in the rafters in these orginal frames.
At other shows, we used black plastic frames with the same dimensions.
Here's a watercolor like those on the wall above, but of course a different figure and coloring. This one is especially neat because of the restfulness of the colors, and the pose. But if you look closer, you see that the charcoal I used was extremely soft and grainy, which gives it extra dynamism cose up.
Here's another colorfield with sumptuously colored pillows or a banded blanket as the model's perching area. Fantastic study in layers and layers of blues, greens, purples, lavenders, turquoises, oranges, browns, flesh tones... all running together, with just a hint of the original drawing's outlines peeking through.
This is a particularly accomplished piece, kind of a blur of color and remote vision of the model's person, pose, and beauty.
This piece is of another mood entirely. Its a very crisply rendered dreamscape, with one vision and pose of the model drifting in above two others.
Note that the two lower poses are back to back, one upside down. I obviously turned the canvas 180 degrees to create that effect. Then the model reposed, and I got that pose to float over the other two, givng the viewer a kind of vertigo, like dreams sometimes produce.
The whole process is immaculately colored and carried out. At first glance it is so disorienting, that we disregarded it as an important work. Now, it appears in a different light to us. It really cuts a new trail for paintings based on life drawing.
Here's a vivid flower painting. An orchid with a dence colorfield underneath a dry brushed white.
The dry brushing gives it the effect of a brilliant beam of sunlight striking a heavily shadowed plant in a dark room. I think it's a breathtaking painting.
While we're on the subject of really successful pieces. Here's another one.
She's sitting, no floating: in an atmosphere of light-dark. the sharp reds behind her turning to blues and dark greys above and in front.
She's highly alert, but not tense or afraid. Chalky blues shade her underside close to the red background and appear also on here face, highlighting a sense of altertness, and perhaps wariness. However her lengthened hand stretching into the darkness is fluidly drawn and relaxed, which counter balances the wariness suggested in her face.
One last effect: the same chalk blue which provides the shade at lower left almost impreceptibly turns to the bright highlights within the darkness on the right.
One last acrylic: a model, self contained and muscular, in pinks and lavenders. Almost the same colors inside and outside, but their juxtapostion and contrast in various areas creates no confusion about which is the model's skin, and which the background.
Notice the subtile glows that indicate the front of both thighs, and the hints of turquoise that accentuate bone structure about her neck. This piece, at first looks unfinished, but really is. It is an experience unto itself.
And one last charcoal model from this folder (23 of 32).
And one last picture of friends at the 57 underground gallery opening some years back. That's me on the right, of course.
And finally, a pencil drawing done for a friend, from old photographs of her mother. I think I captured the glamour and brightness in her mother's face.
End of folder 23 out of 32. End of Page 9. Now onwards to pagte 10 !!!