In September, I began to work regularly with a group of local artists, meeting on Thursday nights to sketch the figure and Saturday mornings to paint a portrait. Dell Weller, a great artist, close friend and teacher at the New Orleans Academy of Art, founded the group many years ago. In fact, Dell was one of the two founding members of the New Orleans Academy itself, 30 years ago. But I digress....
Working from the model regularly has been exhilarating. On Thursday afternoons and early Saturday mornings, I get to ask myself "What do I most want to do with the figure? Draw in charcoal, paint an oil, try a pastel or perhaps a bas-relief?" I then use the sketches later to generate new ideas. Certainly, not every drawing is successful. Some are pretty terrible, some are OK and once in a great while, magic happens. Drawing is the most satisfying endeavor. It can be frustrating, like last night, when every piece of charcoal that I picked up was too soft for my purposes or my hand was too heavy for the line I was trying to create. But even when feeling frustrated, there's still an inner sense that the direction is the right one.
This drawing was made about 3 weeks ago, on Canson Mi-tientes Light Blue paper.
While I obviously wasn't totally pleased with the central figure, which was the first one drawn, going on to try again and again finally gave some relief.
If anyone in the metro New Orleans area is interested in modeling, clothed or nude. please contact me. I'd like to have a model in my studio 3 days a week, for 2-3 hours at a time.
That would be divine!