Saturday, November 21, 2009

today's drawing: Katrina

Spent the day with sculpture but took a bit of time for some sketching of Katrina, daughter of some friends.

While I sketched she watched 'UP' with our cat in her lap. I have to admit, even though I was thoroughly enjoying the sketching, it was hard not to watch too. UP is such an amazing piece.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cat & fate?

I have a cat named MOUSE who is very elegant with a haughty look of disdain on all that is around him. Sort of regal and aloof. Next door my son has a cat named MEETCH who is the polar opposite. Meetch is twice Mouse's size, soft as a pillow and with the biggest eyes that one could assemble on a cat. His look is that of perpetual awe. I sketched this for my niece Natalie simply because I hit the tab on Sketchbook Pro and figured why waste the screen and it was time I sent her something.

This sketch is however one arising from the guilt of not getting out and walking as I should. I once passed a group of mall-walkers awaiting the opening of the mall. With something akin to a cold chill I thought "would that someday be me?" Luckily that will never never never happen but I still remember those faces and last evening, once again with the accidental screen of sketchbook in front of me (its on my menu bar) I started to doodle these guys. Aliens I say!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fragonard at the Louvre and other small treasures

My day at the Louvre started with the thrill of finally being there, only to find that nowhere were there drawings to be found. All had been removed for a show of drawings that was to begin the day we were departing. For the rest of the day I wandered the myriad of galleries spending time with not only many of the greats of the art world but small treasures tucked into sometimes larger boring paintings. But favorites were pieces like this small Fragonard, a painter in court of Louis XV. There is a wonderful exuberance in his brush stroke and a sense of pure pleasure in painting in his work.

I enjoyed this piece, a study of hands, and had a chuckle because it reminded me of a beautiful study by Gordon Janikowski, a student at Seneca, and a piece that still hangs in the hallway there.

This hand in the lower reaches of a portrait captivated me for its subtle beauty of form and modelling.

On the lower edge of a very large and pompous and quite boring painting by I believe Boucher I was enchanted but this parrot. I'm sure art historians would find significance elsewhere in the painting, but I found a refreshing life in this detail.

I couldn't wait for the lady to move ( I guess she was as fascinated by this work as I ) before taking the picture. The legs in particular in this work were amazing, and somewhat reminded me of Dali's treatment of the legs in his stunning painting 'St John of the Cross'. If you have seen that work, of St. John suspended before a cross of cubes with Dali's wife gazing up from below, you would agree.

Even the greats do their studies: these by Ingres of hands. Beautiful in real life. Sorry for the shake.

Today after my class I hung around to hear Rick Pottruff lecture about the feet and legs, and about the poetry and grace of lines that follow the form of the anatomy. These are the legs of one of Michelangelo's Dying Slaves sculptures. I didn't realize they were in the Louvre, and werer another lovely surprise as I wandered. I could have spent a lot of time just absorbing the beauty of his work but it was closing time and they were beginning to usher us out.

A lush Boucher. They had fun with their and luxurious.

And finally my own little study of the Fragonard, since it was such a lovely surprise to meet it unexpectedly and the only way to really absorb is to draw.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Studies from the Musee Rodin, Paris

A piece I had only seen in pictures, I am Beautiful captivated me even more in real life (as of course could be expected but when confronted in real life, the impact seems even greater than I would have thought). Situated in a corner by a busy door, it did not allow for much uninterrupted contemplation or study from as many angles as I would have wished, but I was able to do some quick pen studies from a spot mostly out of the way of the circulating crowds.

The museum of his work is a beautiful building with grounds that again were unexpected despite what I had read in advance. But most astounding to me was the work inside. I can't pretend to have ever been a great admirer of Rodin. It is only lately that I have been drawn more and more to the outer power and inner grace of his work. Had I had more time I would have visited the joint Rodin Matisse exhibition where I would have no doubt seen many drawings by both, but I couldn't pull myself away from the sculptures. I'm sure I missed out on an impressive show of both masters together, but one can only do so much if one really wishes to absorb and not just see.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Body Worlds

Went with a few of my Seneca Digital Animation students to Body Worlds at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto today. This is my first visit to this show and probably won't be my last given there is so much to learn despite the spectacle feel of the place and my disgust at the way they will not allow you to re-enter the exhibit unless of course you are in dire need of the washrooms. It's utterly rediculous if this is an educational venue that one is not allowed to take a break and return. Last time we visited we had to get PRESS passes to be able to draw....another absurdity. This time they did come around and ask if we had permission. I assumed we did. Again, if this educational then one should be allowed notes and sketches. But at least it is here and we can get some insight into the muscles as they lie over and intersect throughout the body. Enought are my sketches.

Tomorrow it is off to the Royal Winter Fair.

It's been a while since I posted...a whole summer. It wasn't without drawing or painting although not as much as I wish, but only myself to blame for that.

My garden in Lion's Head provided me with endless facination of the colours and particularly the green of the plants and the trees. Here's one of the summer sketches: