Sunday, February 5, 2012

Figuring it out...

What is more natural after spending a month drawing faces than to graduate to drawing whole bodies? So that's my challenge for this month. And it does seem a bit of a challenge, I must say. I really enjoyed the rather limited nature of a face drawing. I mean basically a few features, some hair (or not) on top and voila. You have yourself an image. Whole bodies, of course, present not only the greater challenge of getting all the disparate parts into a proper scale, dealing with fussy bits like hands (not so hard) and feet (harder for me) but then there is the whole issue of clothing, folds, wrinkles and all the complicated shadows they create. I mostly did simple line drawings in pen and ink this week. I worked much more slowly and more fiddlely than on the faces. It was difficult for me to allow myself to be abstract or loose. I'm beginning to believe that it's just not really me, as much as I like the liberty some of my favorite illustrator's take in proportion and placement. I myself find so much pleasure in trying to get the shapes and relationships true to the original. Which for me, by the way, are photographs taken from newspapers or magazines. I have an ever-growing collection. (Rick has to hide newspapers from me when he hasn't finished reading them as I tear out images I like without mercy.) I also like drawing from historical oil paintings. My art teachers always maintained that one should copy the masters throughout one's career as a very good exercise in discovering ways of visually interpreting form. I still find drawing to be a kind of meditation.

Following are samples of images from each day. The entire collection can be viewed here, although I really tossed away as many drawings as I saved.


I have been spending a little less time etching these days, but that is mostly because our friend Georges is using the studio quite often to prepare for his show in Paris in April. I have had the opportunity to develop a couple of images for larger plates. The first is this one called Under the Big Top.

The second is called Lunch in a Paris CafĂ©. I haven't had the opportunity to experiment too much with colors, chine collĂ© or other ways of printing these up, but I hope to have the time and space for that in the next couple of weeks.


My printmaking friend Mariann Ellis (who by the way has just put up another wonderful video printmaking tutorial--she is very generous with her free instructions!) sent me this cute little book in the mail entitled From Colorado to the World and Back Again. It was initiated by Jill Bergman. She has sent out several little books like this (they are about 2 X 4") and asks that printmakers from around the world contribute a little print to put inside and then send it on to someone else. I have added my image of Girl with Cat and would now like to send it to another printmaker who would like to put any kind of print or stamp inside. If you are interested, please let me know, send me your address and I will mail it off to you right away, wherever you are in this wide world.


It's been terribly cold in our corner of the world. Extreme weather seems to be the new normal.

We started the week out with a dusting of snow which quickly melted once the sun came up.

But we've ended the week with a real blizzard. In the space of just a few hours we are virtually snowbound.

To keep our weekend client warm and toasty, we set up her breakfas by our big fireplace downstairs.

Even with the cold, days have often been bright and crispy blue. Here the sun shines through the studio curtains.


  1. Hey! That's my koala in Jill's book!
    I didn't realise you know Mariann. I'll be in London in May and am hoping to meet Mariann when I go to Malaga to visit long-time friends there.
    And daily figure drawings? Yes, but I have so much on my plate the trees which my neighbour today complained are BLOCKING HIS VIEW OF THE SEA! sigh...

  2. I'm crazy about the drawings. But you would have known that. Love, Sidney