Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In a Circle Drawing Naked People

Painting the figure tonight in Everett. All of us in a circle staring intently.

I've abandoned trying to make something work with acrylic paint, and returned to oils, where I am much happier. It suits the way I see things, and want to interact with the drawing, it is all so much more flexible, and melds together softly. And there isn't that annoying plastic shine.

It is such an odd thing, the figure drawing sessions, with everyone gathered around the model, trying to draw, trying to capture something which no one can describe and is different for everyone. I've done it for so long now that I can't recall what it is was like to start, now it seems like such an essential thing to do. And so obviously superfluous to the world's greater problems. But there is a kernel here of something so essentially human, maybe not universal, but at least a small segment of humans feel this need to draw, and I feel it bodily when i draw, or paint, everything disappears, and your mind becomes focused and excited by the challenge of imitating a small patch of tone, or a color, and always there is the wall of not quite getting it right, but we press on. And there is the looking at the drawing as it unfolds, and wondering if it will survive the next few strokes, or start to crumble and die. And then another drawing, and another, none finished, none a total statement, as if there is not enough time to finish anything.

Image making, looking at images, its all a part of the species, like making love, or war, or building, or having children, or anything. Its not about words, and can't really be expressed in words, its about its own special experience. Words seem like the thing to use to understand it, as we always do with things when we want to understand them, but in the end, there is no understanding this way, only more words. The understanding comes from doing the work, not talking about it. And that's really hard to do.

No comments: