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Monday, 25 July 2011


Oak K Howell 2011 Pastel on Paper 14 cm x 21 cm
    What with summer weather, Lucien Freud's death and cleaning out my studio space, people in a state of undress seem to be a recurring theme.
     Life drawing is a great experience. I rediscovered a stack of student work that reminded me of how much I enjoyed it. It takes a courageous person to strip off and let a bunch of artists explore and interpret their body. Looking at the drawings, I was amazed at the immediate recall of the particular session dynamic.
    'Learning' a person without much dialogue or touch is an unusual practice. Like consensual stalking. The individual model is so much a part of the work, what they bring to a session is terribly informative. I remember one male model who insisted on always working with a broom handle. So they could 'dialogue' together. He made quite an impression.
     I noticed in my stack of drawings that the stronger pieces were loaded with subtext. Irritation, admiration, familiarity: it all comes through. Indifference produces rubbish.
     Easy to see how this love of life drawing has carried over to landscape. And trees are so patient...


  1. LOL, I totally agree, it takes a tremendous amount of courage for a person to bare themselves in public at the expense of others. But when I think about it, the purpose of the human body is so interesting to me. Far more beautiful than just the sexual portrayal that we sometimes reduce them to.

  2. Some models get a real buzz from the concentration of attention. Which is understandable. And still brave. It's the intimacy that is interesting, really...