Letters, words and paper 

I spent a fascinating day at the Ardington School of Craft experimenting with textual art, tutored by  Simon Sonsino. Splashing inks about and then trying to incorporate lettering /words into the result. As one whose writing is illegible even to me, this was going to be a challenge, but great fun. At one stage it involved frisbeeing inked papers around the garden to get spin patterns.

Life class with new model 

A younger male model today, who had the same name as me, which seemed strangely strange. First, a series of quick poses, where he turned through a few degrees between poses, but otherwise held shape. This is a very rewarding way to draw. It can seem almost like animation. 

We tried another series of poses where he stepped around a stool, but that didn’t really work for me. Then a couple of straight charcoal drawings of an interesting seated pose. 

I do like charcoal. I’m beginning to like pencil more than I used to. 

New portrait challenge

In my bid to learn to draw better portraits, I’m working through a while range of colours of exemplars. I was given the wonderful David Hokney book, the History of Pictures for my birthday. It is full of wonderful things. I have just started a copy of a sleeping soldier by Piero de la Francesco. Long way to go yet. 

She is done

I think she is wonderful. It is the contrast of her completely modern body against that fabulous backdrop of egyptian hieroglyphics that always catches my eye. This is what ancient Egyptians must have actually looked like. How Klimt got away with her flaunting herself like this on the main staircase into the new Royal gallery I don’t know. The Viennese were so messed up about propriety and sexuality. I can see why Freud had so much fun getting old Wienerins to talk smut to him. It’s an endlessly fascinating city. 

My first view of Klimt

I moved to Vienna when I was eight. We were taken to the Kunsthistorische museum on a number of visits. All I can remember was the egyptian carvings. I think I liked them, even then. I must have seen Klimt’s naked egyptian, up over the staircase. She made no impression then, but I was only eight! I look at her every time we go back now. She is glorious. High time I tried to draw her.