Oh, the Humanity!

I recently watched a documentary which has stayed with me and for the reasons I talk about below, I hope will stay with me for a very long time.

Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable evoked (or perhaps “invoked” is a better word, in this case) very strong emotions as I watched piece upon piece of stunningly beautiful artistry rise from the sea. Up until the very end of the story, I was sucked entirely in to the romantic notion that humanity was capable of such incredible beauty and emotion – captured in such stunning pieces of art and the passion it would take to create and transport such a collection.

And then the end of the documentary arrived and I was stunned that I could have been so naive.

And yet what stays with me and makes me sad, are the expressions of emotion on the faces  and in the gestures of some of those sculptures. That’s what I respond to and was so awed by on the screen – it’s what I strive for in my own work. And now that I’ve seen that movie, I know that I have been too timid; too afraid to put real emotion in my work; afraid that people will not be pleased by my work (will not want to BUY it!) when what I really want is for people to respond the way I responded to the Damien Hurst artwork and story – with awe and strong emotion. If it doesn’t suit their life or interior decoration – be damned.

I need to make the work I want to make, especially given that I have chosen NOT to live my life as a full-time artist because I’m not cut out for that type of struggle, I damn well better make the art I’ve sacrificed that dream for!

What am I doing creating work which doesn’t strive to effect the human experience?! It is time for me to get to real work.

See, she’s too timid:

Portrait of a Young Woman
Portrait of a Young Woman, charcoal on Stonehenge paper, 11″ x 14″

Aspiration for 2018

While the holidays were pretty full of family travel and social highlights, I did manage to get a couple days in the studio to continue my drawing work. I had some fun with a portrait of my husband (below) and a couple attempts at life drawing from photographs which were not at all successful – but good practice! Always!

Portrait of the Artist’s Husband, charcoal on Stonehenge paper, 18”x24”
Portrait of the Artist’s Husband, charcoal on Stonehenge paper, 18”x24”

I’m not one for making resolutions for a new year. I prefer to think about what I’d like the year to contain so I can focus on that over other things, rather than make hard deadlines. Deadlines are for work. With that in mind, I want to attend more life drawing sessions at UVic, since I’m in such close walking distance and because I want to be better at creating consistently successful life drawings. Currently it’s hit and miss. Much like the way I’ve focused on my studio drawing and am having more and more success at completing pieces I am happy with. I feel that I have a deeper understanding of the materials and am able to use them to the effect I want. And now I’d like to have that with life drawing.

An inspiration for that is a beautiful life drawing which Andrew bought me for my birthday. It’s by artist Sergio Lopez . Isn’t she beautiful?!

Classical Pose, charcoal on paper, 18" x 24"
Classical Pose, Sergio Lopez. Charcoal on paper, 18″ x 24″