The Figure

This spring I signed up for a short figure drawing class at the Lexington Art League to help me as I develop a lookbook for Shelter. The human figure is a complex subject and something I’ve been reluctant to try to capture as a whole on one page. In my past work, it’s been easier for me to cut up the body, and deal with parts of it at a time, like portraits. Here’s an example from an exhibit a while back:

But this class gave me the right amount of courage to begin developing my weaknesses and explore the complex problems the human form offers. It was short, just four weeks, meeting for three hours at a time – but with that small dose my enthusiasm and endurance for drawing grew.

Here are some results from those guided sessions:

After that, I started attending open model sessions at my local university on Saturday mornings. Here there was less guidance, each artist exploring their own goals in the medium of their choosing. The results have been hit and miss so far but I’m enjoying the process. Some of my favorites so far:

I’m enjoying this process, working with no goal in mind, not thinking about an ‘audience’ or even expressing myself. Just observing what’s in front of me and trying to represent it with the simplest of tools. There’s something meditative in just ‘looking’ at someone, the features that make them unique, the bend of a wrist, the curve along the back of an arm …

It’s also been a great reminder of the need to devise one’s own curriculum that addresses personal weaknesses. And to invest our time and resources in our passions and interests regardless of what they may be.

I’ll continue to post my artmaking on my tumblr blog as well as photographs if you’re interested in following along.