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Posts Tagged ‘expression’

13AleLilaDrawing

It must be a resort.  The chairs are standing randomly on sand.  She’s elegantly but casually dressed and she’s enjoying 13AleLilaPhotothe sunshine.

The drawing derived from this old family photo could have been more representational.  The artist/student, Alejandra Podesta, certainly has the skill to work out the anatomy and the perspective problems.  But she chooses not to go that academic route and, as a result, produces a fine, expressive drawing. The drawing seems to breathe and reflects the grace and ease of the woman in the photo: notice how “open” it is (pink circles) and how the arched chair forms repeat and create a graceful 13AleLilaDrawingMarkedrhythm (green lines).  The discontinuity of the lines  or “openness” creates just enough ambiguity to invite us into the composition to complete the thought of each (circled) passage. We don’t need any more information.  More specificity would rob the drawing of its expressiveness, which I, for one, feel conveyed in the discontinuity of the lines and the rhythm of the arches.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com 

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

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I’ll be teaching a 5-week course on The Art of Caricature this summer at the Evanston Art Center.  The class will be held on Thursday evenings from 7 – 9 p.m.,  starting June 14.  Due to an email glitch, the class is not listed in the printed summer catalog, but it will be listed online at www.evanstonartcenter.org

Here’s the blurb:  “For intermediate & advanced portrait artists.  Seeing through the “caricature lens” enables you to heighten your subject’s expression and will develop your personal style. A good caricature is a stronger likeness than a “realistic” portrait or even a photo. As you develop your ability to see in this new light, you can decide to what degree you want to “tweak” the features and still maintain the likeness. The notebooks of some of our great artists (Leonardo, Picasso) reveal that they were, at heart, caricaturists. This course broadens the view of a much-misunderstood art. The class is set-up so that students can see the instructor’s drawing as it emerges, step by step. “

That last part is important.  I tack a long sheet of brown paper on the wall and draw with black markers so that everybody can see.  Every student will have an 8½ x 11 printout of the face we’re working on and I will have the same face taped to my brown drawing paper on the wall.  We go at it.  How do you look at this?  What feature will you push and pull?  How do you enhance the expression? All this, while keeping the likeness.  In fact, the likeness will be enhanced by our pushing and pulling. A good caricature looks more like the person than a photograph.   It’s fascinating.  I will also sit next to individual students and draw along with them.  I provide the copies of the faces but students can also bring in their own choices.  Hmmm, friends and family. Of course, the  class is fun, but it’s also serious work and very challenging.

The number at the Evanston Art Center is 847-475-5300

(To see my caricatures of political and cultural luminaries: http://facefame.wordpress.  You’ll find the above caricatures of John Updike and Joyce Carol Oates  in that blog.

The photos from an actual Art of Caricature class were taken at the Indianapolis Art Center, summer 2010, where I gave a weekend intensive to some very enthusiastic students/artists.)

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

https://artamaze.wordpress.com

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The filmmaker Raúl Ruiz says that in telling a story, the story doesn’t come first.  Nor the concept.  What comes first is an image and then another image and another and out of these images a narrative emerges.  He adds that this is not a principle for everyone but this is his working theory.  (If you haven’t seen any of Ruiz’s films, you may want to start with Klimt, 2006.)

The English philosopher Roger Scruton, whose conservatism is as unappealing to me as his name, has a worthwhile insight into the process of art making:  “Expression is not so much a matter of finding the symbol for a subjective feeling, as of coming to know, through the act of expression, just what the feeling is.  Expression is part of the realization of the inner life, the making intelligible what is otherwise ineffable and confused.  An artist who could already identify the feeling which he sought to express might indeed approach his work in the spirit of a craftsman, applying some body of techniques which tell him what he must do to express that particular feeling.  But then he would not need those techniques, for if he can identify the feeling it is because he has already expressed it. Expression is not, therefore, an activity whose goal can be defined prior to its achievement. “  (The Aesthetics of Architecture, p.7)

Above, a large painting in progress in my Impressions of Landscape class, by Peter H.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

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