A new sketch from the Moleskine ~ pencil and india ink on paper, approximately 7 x 5 inches:
My husband's comment when he saw the above drawing was "you look like you are coming off of a 3-day meth binge in that sketch", so this little drawing has been unofficially retitled "the meth portrait". He has quite a few amusing alternate titles for my work, my favorite being "one day I am gonna kill that man..."
The studio clean out is starting to wear me down, but it has been a long time coming and I am happy for the space (and, by golly, I found one of my missing circle templates, as well as a treasure trove of oddities...but more details on all of that when I am totally finished cleaning/organizing and get around to doing the blog post documenting The Great Studio Clean Out).
I have a lot of in-progress drawings in spite of the clean out going on in the studio, but nothing is finalized. I am still working on the Conversations with Goya self-portrait series, but I had this irresistible impulse to do a new piece for the Exhibitor's Co-op's Cube and I show slated for March/April at the Gaelen Gallery East at the JCC in West Orange, NJ.
This new cube drawing started simply as a Moleskine sketch, but then I realized that I wanted to do a fully rendered drawing, so out came a fresh sheet of Arches paper. This is a smaller drawing - 14 x 25 inches - so it should be done in a couple of weeks. A little detail snapshot, grey and fuzzy, as usual:
As far as the first Goya self-portrait, the values have been totally reworked (thank you Barbara!!!), the drawing sprayed, and I am starting a subtle black-on-black lace mantilla background for the negative space. I was wavering on the background for a week or so - I was originally going to do the lace in yellow gold or white gold leaf, or possibly a red glaze, but was not fully at ease with any of these ideas, and as serendipity would have it, while at the National Portrait Gallery a few weeks ago, I saw a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I in which the anonymous artist had rendered a totally gorgeous pattern on her dress using black-on-black: this pattern was not at all visible from a distance or in the reproduction of the painting below. Only by the light in the room and directly in front or to the side of the painting is it really evident that the dress has a floral/print patterned black-on-black:
FYI: This Elizabeth painting is one of a few done around the same time that are referred to as the Clopton portriats, all with generally the same pose (details if you click that link - the Queen was apparently aware of the importance of getting her image "out there" by the way, totally on a side note, I recommend a dual biography about her and Mary Queen of Scots called "Elizabeth and Mary" - a bit of an English slant on the relationship between the two, but enjoyable and, as usual, I digress, but I don't pass up the opportunity to mention a good book here or there).
So, black-on-black it is, and I have a few ways to pull this off, but some Goya contemplation comes first - contemplation on lace, the presence and visual weight of darkness, the magnificent Maja, and then the technical ways and means.
Truth be told, in the end this series of drawings will have everything and then absolutely nothing to do with Goya...
The second Goya self-portrait is started, too - and, thanks to The Great Studio Clean Out, I have all of the above drawings spread out in my newly spacious studio, I can get to all of my art books, and I can easily access that precious circle template...
Currently Reading: Ken Follet: Pillars of the Earth