Not a great deal of art recently, due to travel and general indolence. I managed to leave it too late to register for my usual Tuesday afternoon life class in Cirencester. I had delayed because I was getting fed up with their very limited choice of models. The same one kept coming again and again. Now I will have to use the Stroud Life drawing groups evening sessions . They seem to have no problems with getting almost unlimited models . The woman who modeled last Tuesday had come from Cardiff .
The two sketchbook poses are the first and last ones. The other two were done on better quality pastel paper . I am disappointed with the paper in the sketch book , which is to shiny to take more than one layer of chalk. The chalk “pencils” I have tried are also a bit disappointing , especially the white, which seems to have gritty inclusions. I need to invest in some new pastels and paper .
Klimt’s third posthumous portrait of Ria Munk was the one her mother liked and kept, even though Klimt himself died before he finished it. The first was of Ria on her death bed, which was a bit grim. The second was of Ria dancing semi naked amongst flowers. Her mother wasn’t too keen on that, although I can see what Klimt was getting at. The final on was accepted even though unfinished but it had an even sadder life. Stolen by the Nazis whilst Ria’s mother was murdered by them. I like the second version best, which I have seen in New York. I may try a version of it one day.
Ria looks a bit lanterned jawed in this sketch, but she does also in the original. It was unfinished…
I am planning to work on portraits more, a subject I am not good at. Starting with just some facial bits. These are from a stunning portrait of a young rabi by Isodor Kaufman.
I saw a stunning statue of Eve by Thomas Brock, in the Tate Britain gallery last week. One of those beautiful Victorian nudes that were deemed “acceptable ” because they were supposedly biblical or mythical.
Edouard Manet slapped that hypocrisy in the face with Olympia, who was just a naked woman. But Eve is beautiful. I have tried two pastel studies of her, neither of which I am satisfied with, but they are getting there. In theory she is pure white. In reality, nothing is pure white.
I drew an apple this morning. It seemed a good idea so a practice work using hard contè coloured pastels. Dawn on Clairefontaine Pastelmat, which has a very strong tooth, but quite smooth to touch. I like the result, but I don’t like drawing on it. Too harsh and scratchy.
Went back to this group for the first time in a couple of years. It is nice to just sit and draw. One pose all evening. Nearly 30 people there of all abilities.
I did just this one drawing, working on the linear feathering technique again. I am going to vary it next time, to follow the body more closely. I like the general composition, but her head and neck are out of proportion with the rest of her. This is on cheap wrapping paper, which can’t hold much pastel. I’ll use better next time.