Sunday, December 21, 2008

Two Artful (I hope) Nudes

Okay, the honest answer, is that I've been working on my linocuts & my etsy store and have nothing new to post. I'm in the middle of a few projects but a gigantic snowfall set me back some. I have my priorities, and one of them included the sheer novelty of skiing down the road (yes, I do mean that literally) to deliver mail to the box and 'walk' my dog. This was quite fun as road conditions where absolutely perfect for x-country skiing, albeit not so good for driving. I'm not sure if the sight of me gliding joyously along brought smiles or grimaces to peoples faces. I was having so much fun but it certainly put a punctuation mark on the poor driving conditions. I had my come-uppance on the return trip when I ended up skiing behind a snowplow/sander (they're equipped to do both at once). The snow was thick enough that I could continue skiing but I had to slow up and watch out for bare spots. Then, as I rounded the west side of Musselman's Lake I came to understand the true meaning of 'wind-chill factor'. I dress lightly for outdoor exercise as I figure I do more than enough sweating throughout the summer time, so I avoid the condition as much as possible in the winter. I hadn't bothered with a hat or scarf and on my way out this was only a minor inconvenience. But the wind was whipping in from a north-east and it's bite was bitter and full of icy teeth. After 2 minutes of skiing left cheek to the wind I became seriously worried about frost-bite. The pain ramped up to a level ten complete with vocalizations and facial distortions (nursing students will know what I mean). I finally put both ski poles in my right hand and held my left hand up against my cheek to complete the trip without mishap.
By the time I got back, of course I had a driveway full of snow. The ski tracks from the porch, through the gate and out to the road looked mighty cute but they had to go to make room for a homecoming husband (they let him leave work early too!). Snow shovelling took me an hour, and then there were desperate birds to feed, and then of course more skiing to do (how could I resist all that snow!). Artistically, Friday was not my most productive day.

I'm saving up the Christmas Tree pics & stories for December 24th, of course. So, here are two practices with oil pastel. In February I'll be joining a Life Drawing Club at the Latcham Gallery in Stouffville. This means I'll get to sketch/draw/paint a real nude person (1 per week) without any snotty art teacher breathing down my neck saying 'make it bigger' (in college 18"x24" was the minimum working size). These nudes are on small scraps (approx. 6"x8")of questionable coloured paper (left over from my college days, brand unknown) and the models are from an artists photo reference book. I used a black conte pencil, some yellow coloured pencil (the woman) and oil pastels. I'm considering using the oil pastel for the life drawing club as coloured pencil is too time-consuming for live work. If you want to discuss opinions on nudity, do check out Jennifer's longish post in the comments on Poseidon's Daughter. Some interesting things said there. I'm pretty well spent on the topic as I brought it up in an Etsy forum and the discussion was something like 10 pages long. People have a lot to say regarding such little bits. That said, would love to here more opinions, I'm just talked out.


Chrissy said...

I haven't been skiing for about 10 years and I would love I am quite jealous. I really do love your life studies, they are beautifully done. I thought nothing of your mermaid (apart from the fact that I loved it)and to be frank I until you said I didn't really consider the nudity in these. They are very wonderful human form and rather tasteful. I think I would have to spend a lot of time evaluating my responses before I come up with some meaningful comments on the subject...but I think I am ok until it is in your face and borders on exploitation of either sex, if that makes sense...
Anyway Merry Christmas, Solstice, Yuletide .........or anything else you may celebrate :D

Michelle (artscapes) said...

The nude thing never crossed my mind either... If it does because something is less than artful, it usually requires an "Eeeeewwwwww". LOL!

These are excellent sketches - especially the male. Amazing!

I have snowshoes... avoid skis unless they are downhill... :-)

Jennifer Rose said...

Is it odd that I focused right in on the guys foot. Its wonderfully done :)

I've found on Etsy that theres nothing like a talk about nudity or religion to get people talking (and go complain to the people that help on the boards). It is interesting reading other people's thoughts on the subjects but sometimes people just get way out of control and are way too sensitive about things.

kaslkaos said...

Hey, Merry Christmas Everybody.
Chrissy, yes, I'm feeling like a prude for thinking at all about the mermaid!
Thanks for liking the guy, Michelle, I wasn't sure about him. I find guys more difficult to draw.
Jennifer, it was such fun asking about the nude thing on etsy, but yeah, that gets old fast.
Have some great holidays.


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