A newly completed drawing:
This is the second drawing in the group that I have now titled the War Paint series. Originally, I was going to call this series Conversations with Goya, but it seemed best to change the name because it is not easy to explain a visceral inspiration and people will inevitably ask "what does the title mean?". I generally have no problem when it comes to talking about my drawings, but I have found it best to avoid too many explanations when I am dealing with fragile and nascent ideas, particularly while still right in the middle of working on a series of drawings. My hope is to go with the flow of inspiration and not question the meaning too much or it may become stifled. I will formulate the words to explain it all later...in the meantime, I make the pictures.
This drawing is also 18 x 17 inches, graphite on Arches hot press watercolor paper. I may embellish all of these when the third drawing is finished - I really won't know until I have them all completed, lined up against the wall in the studio, and I can stare at them for a few days. For now, it is finished.
Some detail photos:
I am rather happy with the hand in this portrait. I draw a lot of hands, and it can be frustrating to get the anatomy correct, but this one came out effortlessly and with near structural perfection which makes me a rather blitheful artist (as opposed to banging my head on the drawing board and cursing because of irritation with working and reworking anatomy - which happens more often than I care to admit). I strive for the clarity of Zurbarán or Pontormo - or any other Mannerist that relishes in the histrionics of hand expressions. So, it is nice when the drawing effortless pops out every now and then.
A moment to contemplate Jacopo Pontormo, master of hands:
I have taken a pause from the War Paint series, and I have another unrelated drawing nearly complete: this one involves a three-dimensional space cut out within the center of the drawing - a bit like a tunnel book*** - and it requires careful planning and accurate construction so that all of the layers (which are separated by 1/8 inch acid free foam core) line up properly. I have not tried this before, and am winging it a little plus making sure that everything is well attached, etc. I have no idea how the whole thing will look until it is together (but it works quite nicely in my head!). Hopefully I can have it assembled and photographed next week.
***I would not know a tunnel book from a diorama if it were not for the fact that there is a magnificent local book arts group that has an annual exhibition at the Pierro gallery - so, once a year I go to their show and I am totally inspired - because I share their passsion for paper and what it can do - and for a few days I think that I want to make books, but this passes & I get back into my drawings.