Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nuts, Bolts and Solidarity Forever

Yes, I’m still doing the life drawing. How not to be fascinated by the human body, the vessel with which we experience the universe.

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I’m booked to start up again next week, but here’s some pics from the last session I attended. On break, the model came around to pass on a compliment. I was thrilled; what’s not to love about flattery? He said it reminded him of the Russian Industrialist Movement, a movement that was manufactured in Communist Russia to celebrate the working man (and woman) featuring heroic and physically robust imagery of farm and factory workers. In my school days it garnered much criticism both for being communist propaganda and illustrative, but I’ve always admired it. In America, the style was adopted by the Unions you may recognize it from Union posters and paraphernalia.

I grew up in a union household; my father was, and my brother is a member of the Toronto Electrical Union. For a brief summer, long ago, fresh out of art college and having no clue of where to go next, I worked for the Electrical Union too. It was summer help, but the real thing, pulling wires, bending pipe, and enduring a bit of apprenticeship ribbing. One of my first tasks requested by my journeyman was to fetch a 1/2” nipple from the stores. I was pretty darned sure he was putting me on, but realized it was also a test. I’ll never be sure if he actually needed a 1/2” nipple on that day long ago, but I’m proud to say that, 22 years old, insecure and shy, and the only woman on the job, I did manage to walk into the storage room and ask for one (if I blushed, the lighting was thankfully poor) and I learned that building supplies indeed are a hotbed of suggestive terminology. Like screw, nut, bolt, male and female ends, pulling wire, and pipe bending (which I happened to be good at), not to mention nipples in all their metric and imperial sizes.

It was a good summer where I learned to conduct myself in a mans world, where being a lady (and I mean that in the old-fashioned demure sense of the word) was respected as long as it went along with a good measure hard of work and honest sweat.

I wish I had managed to make it longer, but circumstance did not allow. I’m fairly certain I would have been ahead in confidence and finances both and probably art too. But they are fine memories that stay with me forever. I worked on the Skydome where some of my wiring and pipebending still remains though the name has changed.0907043malenude

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So back to the here and now, and art. These are coloured pencil on Canson paper.

You’ll find the un-cropped sketches on my ‘gallery’ blog, new and under construction—still a very messy workspace. Eventually, the gallery blog will be replacing my ‘art for sale’ static page on this blog.

PS. I’ve had trouble loading the gallery blog on some browsers, so please tell me if you get errors. I’m using blogger and not playing with html (yet) so am not sure what is going on. Looks fine in firefox.

4 comments:

Jennifer Rose said...

it reminds me of those type of drawings as well :D nice strong lines

i was going to ask what a nipple is but realized how odd that might seem :p (hubby told me in the end)

kaslkaos said...

Thanks. Go to the hardware store and find one--they've earned their name. I dare you to ask!

Jennifer Rose said...

lol can't resist a dare :D

Michelle (artscapes) said...

I actually already knew what a nipple was. I grew up around construction and hardware boys!

I admire your life drawing. I was never very good at it. To this day my head hurts when I have to draw people...

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