Monday, October 4, 2010

"The nude portrait is only incidentally about the naked person in the middle of the room." - Paula Brook

I love the quote that I have used to open this post, and these examples from the past two weeks are great illustrations of it.

In my first class this semester, we were discussing making art with found objects, and the upcoming work we would be doing with it. Not having any objects with us, with which to start though, we were told we could go to the studio next door, and paint from the life model who was there.

So, off I went to sketch from the life model, who was a slim man with well defined muscles, though not overly built. I figured I would do a fast sketch, then bring the canvas back to the other room, so as not to be overly influenced, and stray too close to realism. I wanted the finished product to definitely look like a portrait, but an abstracted one. Once I abstracted from the sketch though, in place of his pectoral muscle, was a glaring boob! I thought I was done with the boob paintings, that I had expressed whatever I needed to about my current circumstances, but clearly, my unconscious mind has decided I am not.

I really like this painting though. There is something in the colours and freedom of the painting, and it just feels right to me.

Abstracted Figure
18 x 24 Acrylic on canvas

Next came the Found Objects project. This was fun, as you don't really know what you'll be creating until you find something. First I found a cabinet with glass doors, so I took the doors off to use them for my frame. Next, I found a leftover container from a Kinder Surprise toy. Naturally, given my circumstances, that reminded me of boobs - again! So, I went with the flow, and allowed the idea that started to form take life. A couple of shoelaces, some string, a little wire and a light switch later, I had what I needed for this one. 

I had thought I would look for some material to use as curtains behind the glass, but my teacher said we should look at it against a white background. When we did, the lighting revealed some really interesting shadows and effects, so I decided to leave it as is. By the way, yes, the light switch does go up and down.  

Here is a second picture with the table in the background, so that you can see the lines a little bit better.

Opening Doors
Approximately 36 x 24, glass, wood and more.

After all this, I thought, really thought, that I would be finally done with the boob paintings. But, wait 'till you see what I came up with next....

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