Monday, January 30, 2012

Rodin's Drawings: His use of Line

The quality of the line is what makes drawings by French artist Auguste Rodin so interesting. Rodin is famous for his expressionistic sculptures, but Rodin also created many drawings.  Later in his life, drawing was his choice of media. A current exhibition of 300 of Rodin's drawings are on display at the Rodin Museum in Paris.  The exhibition started in November, and runs through April 1, 2012.

The subjects of his drawings, with the exception of his early work, are women. Most of the drawings are small, less than 15 inches.  Many drawings include watercolor, and some are cut out.  Particularly interesting is Rodin's use of line within mass.
"I try to see the figure as a mass, as a volume.  It is voluminous that I try to understand.  This is why I sometimes wash a tint over my drawings.   This completes the impression of massiveness, and helps me to ascertain how far I've succeeded in the grasping the movement as a object is to test to what extent my hands already feel what my eyes see."  
Rodin uses the wash after he uses line.  The wash not only fills in and around the drawing, it represents a fresh evaluation of the form as it does always match the drawing.

Some of the color Rodin added to the drawings were somber, but later drawings show beautiful and vivid colors. Many of the drawings are erotic. Some drawings are preparatory sketches for sculptures, but most were created as works of art.  Although the drawings are not dated, so we have no idea of chronology, amazingly, Rodin made over 9,000 drawings in his lifetime.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January Final Friday Pics

Last night was another fun Final Friday in Lawrence.  Our favorite places were The Lost Art Space, where various artists collaborated, and Wonder Fair, for the opening of Togethers.   Wonder Fair had strawberry beer and Abraham Lincolns.

Here are some pics from last nights Final Fridays.

                                                Abraham Lincoln collection by Nicholas Ward.

                                                       Tony, from the Classics Department

                                               Claire and Lacey said they love drinking PBR

artist Nicholas Ward

                                                                 artist Jeremy Rockwell


Three Dads playing music at Wonder Fair


                                             David and fellow PBR book clubber Courtney

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Final Friday Art Picks

Although it is January, not usually a great time for wandering around looking for art openings, there are some good openings for Lawrence's January Final Friday. Here are some of my picks:

The Arts Center's "Articulate Body" exhibition: opening reception 5-9 p.m at 940 New Hampshire.  Here is a blurb from the Arts Center's website:

The artwork in this exhibition addresses the ways we communicate with each other visually, through body language. Hand crafted of aluminum or sterling silver, these interactive objects become instruments for gestural behavior.

At Wonderfair; "Togethers" is 6-10 p.m, 803 1/2 (upstairs).  I really like Misha Kligman's work, who is included in this show with his wife, Amy, and two additional artists Amber Hansen and Nicholas Ward. Here is a blurb about this show:

Togethers explores the intrinsic influence and inspiration between two artists who chose to share time, space and life experiences. Husband and wife, Misha & Amy Kligman, both create paintings exploring personal histories, relics, and pangs of nostalgia. Nick Ward & Amber Hansen, a long-time collaborative team, create paintings and video that deal in whimsy and the wonder of childhood and magic. Independently each artist creates unique and deeply personal work; when viewed as the efforts of two collaborative teams, however, a narrative unfolds of artists who create work very much Togethers.
The above is a Hansen and Ward collaboration.

The Bourgeois Pig:  Works on Paper by Bernadette Zacharias  Here is the blurb about with this show:
Please come and join Bernadette Zacharias for a Valentine's themed show at the Bourgeois Pig. Her work is three years of glitter gel pen art in the making and features: goddesses, love letters, beautiful germs, bathing beauties, genies, flowers, tassels, trophies with boobs, and all sorts of awesome valentines lovelyness!

Additional picks include stops at the Copt/Fieden Gallery, Love Garden to hear music, and Inkello Letterpress ( 801 Massachusetts, upstairs).

More Anatomy Books

In yesterday's post, I wrote about my study with the figure in preparation for a group show about the body. I often use anatomy books when problem solving longer drawings, and wrote about George Bridgman's books.  This post describes three additional anatomy books by: Eliot Goldfinger, Robert Beverly Hale, and Andrew Loomis.

Many artists have read Eliot Goldfinger's Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form. I first saw this book when browsing at the KU Murphy Library. This reference anatomy book shows structure and form. Although the terminology is advanced, the book makes it clear how muscles connect to one another, showing a picture on one side, and an explanation of its use and insertion on the other side.

The second book is Robert Beverly Hale's Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters. An influential teacher of anatomy for art students, Hale was the successor to George Bridgman at the Art Students League in New York. In Hale's Anatomy Lessons from the Great Master's, Hale analyzes drawings by master artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, and Rubens. Many drawings show the muscles in useful action poses. The book is organized by categories, showing where artists have successfully incorporated anatomical knowledge within their work.

The above is a still from a video of Hale teaching at the Arts Students League

Andrew Loomis is beloved by many animation and graphic artists.  Drawing the Head and Hands, originally published in 1942, is full of useful knowledge about constructing, measuring, and proportions of the head and hands.  The illustrations are black and white, but includes men, women, children, and older people.  

I hope this short list is useful. 

Random Artist of the Day: Amy Cutler

For today's post, I thought I would show these interesting prints from Amy Cutler.  They are lithographs, showing industriously toiling women. I was browsing the net for artists who use line in their work with a student, and we saw Cutler's work.  We were very intrigued!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Anatomy Books: Bridgman

I will spend the upcoming months working on a group art show.  The theme of the show is drawing the human body from life.   Paintings and drawings will be included.

I'm editing and finishing work for the show. When I work on longer drawings and paintings,  I sometimes use anatomy books as a reference. Although I have many anatomy books, one of my favorite authors is George Bridgman. Bridgman taught anatomy for artists at the Art Student League of New York for 45 years. Bridgman's approach is unique;  he doesn't just show the bones and muscles of the body, he analyzes the mechanics and their movement. Bridgman's expanation of a shoulder shows a diagram of a machine-like system with a wheel and pully. Another example is a diagram that shows the abduction and adduction of the foot.  Some titles of his books are The Human Machine ( 1939), and Constructive Anatomy (1920). In Drawing from Life, which is a compostite of former books and first published in 1952,  Bridgman shows balance and rhythm within the figure. In one chapter, he compares the figure to architectural mouldings.

Of course, the most important part of a good drawing is the original design and gesture.  However, for longer drawings or for study, reference books help the understanding of the mechanics of the body.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Taproom Poetry Series

The Taproom Poetry Series continues with another session today at 5:00 at the Taproom.  Here is a link to the Poetry Series website where there is more information about today’s visiting poets.

The Poetry Series reading is the second poetry reading at the Taproom this weekend. On Friday, Jason Ryberg, Charley Fasono, and Mark Hennesy recited new poetry works.  Poems we liked included Jason’s pessimistic poem about “what has the word done for me?”and  a “true” story about visiting a friend and encountering an actual red phone linked to the white house.  Mark performed a surreal poem about a lover who started the morning drinking vodka. 

We are anxious to read Jason’s new poetry book. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Open Model and Last Night's Art Opening

The first KU open model session of the semester is today.  The session is free.  The time is 11:00-2:00 in room 405 of Art and Design.

We are drawing today, but also recovering from last night's opening reception at Landmark where new landscape works were shown.  The Landmark people threw a great opening reception. Here are a few pics from the show.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. Sketchy Last Night

We had a great drawing session at Dr. Sketchy last night.  We missed Sonny, the regular MC, but many scensters made an appearance.  One was little JuJu, who posed for us.  Emily Frost was our model, and wore slips.  Here are some pics from last night.

                                                                  Little JuJu



                                                        Jessica, a former student of mine

                                                                      TJ Tangpuz