Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just Refining and Experimenting

Gilbert Stuart's John Adams revisited, # 6 graphite pencil and alcohol.
Today's additions solidified the form, but tightened it up a bit over the top.
John Adams, first pass, HB and #6 graphite pencil.
Loose is good.  When to stop is always a mystery.

I spent some more time with  Gilbert Stuart's John Adams today, observing his jowls and hair and experimenting the effects of alcohol on graphite. The solvent had an effect, but it still wasn't the same effect that I had with Peter Frampton, years ago.  Maybe I used turpentine back then mixed with powdered graphite--the stuff in my lead sharpener? I think I want some liquid action when drawing with pencil--and I know I do not want to get liquid graphite pencils when I know I can make my own, if I only can remember the solvent I used? Both renditions of this copy are okay as long as the eyes have it.  The sketch was done for fun and more so to exercise eye/hand coordination and observational skills.  The shape of his face was off yesterday. It's better today.

Frampton, Graphite finished papercast relief sculpture, 1978, #1 of 2.
Flat out on the floor, Pete doesn't look as good as he looks hanging on the wall.



12 comments:

  1. I just read yesterday's post. It is amazing how mood translates into the picture isn't it? It is almost always the case with me. Pictures are a bit of a miracle.

    I'd be curious to see the Frampton so I can see the effect you are talking about. I know a conte' pencil I used to draw with some time ago allowed a smooth transition in values and it is not wet. With the right kind of paper I was able to do some pretty neat stuff with it.

    Loose is good, I agree. I never stop soon enough.

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    1. Stuart's painting wasn't loose though, so a copy wouldn't be loose either.

      Frampton was quite the project. See my description of it in my reply to Michael Perchard below.

      All of my art is moody. The expression of my mood begins with my choice of subject, then how I treat it. How moody is your art. As for overdoing, that's a sign of insecurity. We don't feel we finished it just right. Another person should tell us when to put down the brush. There's nobody like that living at my house. And even if there was, would I trust their opinion? Probably not. I'm hard headed.

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  2. Amazing. Some people have it, and some don't. You definitely do.

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    1. Some days are better than others. Have you noticed? Today my observations were better than yesterday's. Thanks JJ.

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  3. I wonder if you used Acetone on the Frampton. You know, something like Bestine? It is fun to see your two versions of Adams. Now I am singing "Show me the Way"......thanks alot! haha

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    1. It was probably turpentine, something simple. I'll have to consult my papercasting and sculpture books. It was a cool substance.

      Today was doc appt. day plus PT. stitches came out, I'm fixed. I had to ice though and what's better than drawing while icing ?

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  4. Linda,
    You are such an inspiration! Your work ethic is admirable. I love all your latest portraits. I especially like the Frampton piece!
    One of your best!
    I am glad you are feeling a bit better.
    Keep on making great art Linda!
    Michael

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    1. Knee is old news. Back to painting over the weekend. Thanks. Frampton was quite the project. First a plastiline sculpture, then a plaster mould, then the paper cast with ground pulp made in my blender, then graphite finish and finally the box construction, which needed painting matched to the graphite color. I used gauze on the back panel of the box to add grain. I wanted the wall piece to be light weight. I made one for me and one for my mom--who then sold it along with all her furnishings when she sold her condo in the warm. The woman who saved a lock of my baby hair and all of my report cards, which were nothing to brag about, didn't save my artwork. Well I got that off my chest. I can cancel my shrink appointment. :-))

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  5. You're likely right about the turpentine....I use spit! Anything else and I use too much and spoil. Frampton is cool and I like what you did with John Adams. Given him a real presence and I think not overworked. I really admire that you see what's amiss and fix it! I always give up which is why I have 200+ unfinished paintings!

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    1. photographing artwork and reproducing it in the computer gives me a different perspective. Somehow the translation points out the shortcomings I missed when working on it. The computer translation is a lot like looking at your work in a mirror, or standing it upside down, but better. After I've published a piece here, I often go back into the piece and fix the flaws I noticed.

      Your work doesn't have any flaws that I can see! I read in Schmid that he's grateful his wife is around. She often tells him it's finished, don't touch--or it's not finished, touch. We need a discerning, interested pair of eyes. Ellis doesn't have them.

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  6. These portraits are right up my street! I love the boldness of your work, Linda, it's so inspirational, I can feel a tugging deep within me to have a go at it myself. The problem is that I want to have a go at so many things that I'm in danger of never finishing anything!! I wonder what it's like to be bored!

    Hope you are fully restored to good health, m'dear,

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    1. I am tip-top Sir, thank you. --And thank you for your complement. A pat on the back is always welcome.

      Are you are the med from your bout with the nasty cold of this winter season? I hope so.

      I love to try things too just to experience the process. That's been my problem all these years. I've done everything from masonry (I built a garden wall), to sandcasting a stepping stone path with relief sculptures in them into the garden, papermaking in a suction vat I built complete with drain, to costume design, drapery making, and of course rug making and needlepoint and bargello, ladies crafts. The knitty things didn't last; yarn feels uncomfortable in my hands. The construction interest did. There is no bigger thrill than designing and building a house and then seeing it come together, to life. Restricting myself to painting is tame, but put portraiture into it and at least I am back to constructing three dimensional forms in a two dimensional space.

      The best is to follow where the head (and heart) leads.

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