I had lunch with a friend last week who asked me what's with the charcoal drawings, you paint? The question surprised me. It never occurred to me that people might think if an artist paints, they use no other mediums but paint. The fact is we use them all--at least I do--for different occasions. Charcoal is the best medium for knocking off a drawing while drinking one's morning coffee. And that's what I did.
I like charcoal. It's a good medium to use to warm up your engine. It's the best medium to observe proportions, catch errors and correct them. There's no fuss or muss. Just a piece of vine, a decent size pad of paper--charcoal, pastel and even newprint--add a knead eraser and you're ready. The equipment whips out fast. No painting medium is needed, no vessels, no palettes. It's great to take outdoors when you're feeling lazy and have a couple of folding lawn chairs out there----one to sit on and one to use as an easel--like when all the upright easels were taken in life drawing class and you hated those benches because your legs fell asleep straddling the thing. Charcoal is a laid back medium you can mosey around with.
This "Good Morning," knock off charcoal is a self portrait study drawn from a photograph I took of myself when we were with the family in Vegas last June. I was kind to myself--it could use a few more years. But I love the hat. I love the look in my eye. My eyes tell me the whole Vegas story. I was not loving the Vegas heat or that we had paid through the nose for the cabana I was sitting in; they have quite a little racket going on there at the pool. I had to record my chagrin. It isn't easy holding your camera out the full length of your arm and catching this kind of disgusted look directed straight at the lens. I was surprised the photo came out so well--if you don't look too closely at my chicken neck, puckered upper lip from years of smoking and sagging jowls. Damn gravity.
Well the last drop of cold coffee is gone. I'm off for a refill, laundry and painting. The laundry always gets the short end of the stick when painting is on the agenda.