Still Life

Monday, November 25, 2013

New sanguine drawing

Not having been able to work on what I want lately, I am always grateful for little opportunities that allow me to keep my hand (and eye) from going rusty. This is one of those opportunities. Little Eva is Mike McCarty´s (author of "The Adventures of Alex, the Vegetarian Coyote") two year old granddaughter. I worked from a photo, sometimes inevitable, and I was grateful for the excellent photograph that Mike, an excellent photographer, had taken of his little Eva.

Sanguine and white chalk on toned paper. The tones were several washes in watercolor on originally white Canson Ingres paper.

Personally, I prefer working on paper I´ve toned myself rather than buying colored, toned papers such as the ones that are sold in pads or blocks and come in a variety of colors. I think the original whiteness of the paper offers a luminosity that shows through the layers of washes, something that the store-bought papers don´t have. In any case, toned at home or ready-toned-store bought, the white chalk does what it´s supposed to do better on these surfaces. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Still life

My website has been down for a while now and until I can get a new and/or updated one up and running again, this blog will serve as my temporary showcase.

The still life is a special genre in painting that has its appeal to just about any painter as it lends itself perfectly well to the study of light, color and texture with the added bonus of being easily on hand and inexpensive to create. From the old Dutch masters, to Zurbaran and Melendez; from Fantin-Latour to our contemporary, living artists; the still life has delighted the art lover for centuries and artists will forever resort to this subject every time they don´t have a sitter available or the weather is too inclement.
Below are some samples from those mentioned as well as some of my own from the recent past.

Pieter Claesz (Dutch)

Francisco Zurbarán (Spanish)

Luis Meléndez (Spanish)

Henri Fantin-Latour (French)

MIchael Klein (American)

Jacob Collins (American)

Ilaria Rosselli del Turco (Italian)

Jeremy Lipking (American)

….and here are some from yours truly from recent years:

Esqueje (2005)

Bodegón con clementinas (2005)

Ocho cebollas (2008)

Grapes (2009)

Alive again

About time something is done to resuscitate this blog.
A lesson in drawing, I think, would be quite apt.

Michelangelo´s preparatory studies, sometimes holding more appeal than the corresponding finished works, many would agree.The study for the Sistine Chapel´s Libyan Sibyl, in particular, has always been a favorite and I remember looking at this image in books as a child for long periods at a time and admiring the twist of the torso and the tension of the muscles and the flawlessness of the handling of the red chalk.

I´ve copied  bits and details of this drawing since as far as I can remember. Always a good lesson. In this, my latest attempt, I´ve attempted a closer likeness by toning my paper before hand with a wash of diluted black coffee (my son´s idea, I had never heard of this before, believe it or not) and I´ve found that it gives the perfect tonal match for red chalk drawings. I would imagine for sepia as well…
My attempt is, of course, a product of mine, hence the imperfections. I did, however, enjoy the exercise immensely.