Archive for May 24th, 2011

Here we see a deliberate formal choice in the different treatment of pots and drapery.  The pots have no contour lines while the drapery is presented in lines that define the crest of the fabric. The pots shimmer with texture, which carries emotion and immediacy;  the drapery lacks all physicality, presenting itself as an idea.  Even though the drawing is a cerebral play on formal elements (line, texture, contour, shading) the drawing still manages to be clearly representational of physical objects.

This drawing does not seem to be incomplete.  The lyrical drapery lines suggest that they are complete, not preliminary. When I said that the formal choices in this drawing were deliberate, I did not mean to suggest that the artist/student worked out the composition and textural dichotomies with categorical calculations.  That comes later, mostly from my theoretical mind.  What happens in class is that in the course of a three-hour drawing session, the artist’s mind works on a hyper-aware, intuitive level that encompasses both the rational and irrational.  This complexity makes the work interesting.

A note on how the still life was set up.  In an academic or classical still life, the pottery would be standing up as its function dictates;  there might be a flower in one of the pots and at the base of the pots would be an apple or lemon. In setting up this still life I deliberately avoided such conventions in the hope that a topsy-turvy still life would stimulate an unbiased, unstilted view.  It worked.  Every one of the drawings is different.  This is the third of seven drawings.  Students produced work of conceptual depth and  technical daring.

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