Saturday, December 27, 2008

Life begins at...

Take heart. Everyone in this picture, except one, is well over 50. And we are as silly as ever.

A few faithful friends trooped down to Toulouse to see Handspring's riveting production of the Monteverdi opera, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse. After the show, we crossed town to down oysters at Antoine's restaurant. Oysters had all been consumed, but nevertheless Antoine uncorked a few bottles of wine and threw together a veritable feast. He also bolted the doors and refused to release us until 3:30 am.

Here is the review of the Venice production of the opera from the International Herald Tribune.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

La Mer et les Rochers

Late on Monday afternoon, I found an alarming message from my model Clare on my answer phone. She was snowed in and couldn't free up her car to come and model for the group.

Aargh! This meant that I would have to stand in the for the model as it was too late to cancel the evening. Then I thought of a neighbouring pal and called him up. Could he/would he fill in for Clare? Caught off guard and lacking an excuse, he agreed.

"It's very different drawing a man," I told the group. "Drawing a woman is like capturing a poem on paper. With men, one has to study the anatomy, the skeletal structure, the muscle groups, the angular shapes. The male body is more about power..."

Jean-Louis sighed. "It's the difference between drawing the sea and the rocks."

I struggled with these sketches and threw them all in the bin. That extra fatty layer on women really helps fudge anatomical mistakes. But today I looked at them again and think they're not too bad. Struggling can make a drawing more interesting.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Original spirit

Some of my favourite drawings of models are done in the blink of an eye. But now I am wanting to work some of these sketches up into oil paintings. My first effort was a mess, but here is my second effort. Better.

In tomorrow's drawing session, I am going to sketch directly onto canvas. It's difficult to repeat the initial energy of a study.

Dragon redux

Yesterday I got a fan email from Tamara, a grown up kid who loved my book Emma's Dragon Hunt, published about twenty-five years ago.

Well thank you Tamara.

Here is my favourite review of this book sent to me soon after publication by Happy Moselle:

Did your grandpa rily do that trik? Do you rily live in Japan? I rily like your story. Please make anothr stor abot a dragen.