Friday, November 25, 2016

The Model Room

Students spend 3 hours in the model room every day of class. The model room is a large space with concrete floors, neutral colored walls, and natural light from north-facing windows. We work in silence with breaks every 20 minutes for the model. 
Each of the images below represent the work of one day. These drawings were preparatory drawings for a long (5 week) drawing in charcoal. 
Day 1: Day 2: Day 3:

These drawings show the development of visual understanding of the pose. The first drawing is stiffer and more general in comparison with the third which is more expressive and specific. Each day of drawing is a kind of visual exploration. 
I enjoy this kind of work because it helps me to see more, and that process of seeing more is by nature contemplative. By contemplative, I mean receptive of what is present. Period. In one sense, art is about making things - transforming existing materials into new things. It is an active activity. In another sense, art is about receiving what is present without trying to change it. It is about going deeper, going beneath the surface of things, or going beyond the first impression. 
Most people have two arms and two legs, a head, and a torso. These are ordinary, horribly ordinary things. But, I once heard a teacher refer to the "drama" of a particular intersection in the body, and when she said it, I could see it. Light and dark and tension and resolution and harmony and unity - all the things that make up drama. And this, all this, is usually hidden under our clothes. Seriously, what a metaphor! If we could see for real all the time, it would blow our minds. 

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