Wednesday, September 30, 2009

she's so thirsty, she'd even drink my tears.

what can i say? life is pretty f'in sweet right now. modeling makes me feel strong, and feminine in a way few other things i've felt can. bossa nova jazz speaks to a sexy place in my soul, and now that i have my mac back with its new hard drive, i can play the radio stations of my choice through the miracle that is itunes.

i can feel my rapport with the artistic community growing, my life is now filled with a myriad of momentary critiques and random conversations with illustration giant, sterling hundley. it was interesting modeling for his class yesterday, but i am hesitant to say i agree with his approach. like my feelings on the illustration academy, i feel like his approach is one that works for some... but i wonder if his methodology doesnt put the cart before the horse, so to speak. the class was focusing on silhouetting the human figure, to really be sensitive to the nuances of the form one is looking at, you have to be able to SEE them. when looking at the figure, in traditional figure drawing classes, you begin by drawing the large shadow shapes, and learning what muscles lie under the skin to create the peaks and valleys, the bony landmarks and such. the longer you look, suddenly the more you see, the BETTER you see what is really there, that the human figure is rife with so many subtle variations of planes that give birth to thousands of subtle shadows. but how do you know what to look at when you haven't been asked to look for those things? the illustration academy is a stronghold of already accomplished artists with a firm grasp on what they are asked to look at, so i could well understand how people like hundley's approach could be an ultimate experience of freeing the learned from the constraints of their schooling, but like any language, one must learn the structure and rules before they can make poetry.

i have found a lot of the students on this campus really focusing on the contour, the outside line, as i have commented before... i suspect that more than one teacher is communicating the importance of the shape of the outside.

in other news, i might be teaching some workshops at the virginia museum of fine arts in the spring. we'll see what kind of curriculum i can pull together and submit. it's interesting that i've managed to avoid the economic implosion by latching onto the one part of america that will always exist: the school system. there will always be parents who will pay whatever it takes to get their kids a degree, as one final lesson before kicking them out of the nest. so i can always bank on a modeling job for that reason alone. it is big business. i walked away from school with a tremendous amount of skills under my belt, but not a lifetime of life experience or a shiny new job handed to me. i have to fight and dance for it, get lost and rediscover myself, but thanks to the security of the american university and their often useless art degrees, i will be secure in their need for figure models.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ever since i met you on a cloudy monday, i can't believe how much i miss the rain.

finally, stilted and cringing, i drew yesterday. stiff fingers, and bizarre painful yearning, i wanted to. i wanted to record the poorly put artwork on the wall of the coffee shop, and the cheesy guy that wishes he could be a mac ad. it was too beautiful not to.

its been hard watching these students draw, and know what training and skill is inside of me, but i wonder now if a sketchbook was always an entire novel of images that could become the worst weight i've ever experienced: failure. i never drew for me, i drew for other people, i drew to remember things, i drew cause i had to achieve a grade, or study a form for later painstaking illustration, but never for me. just because i saw something witty, and wonderfully human, something that struck me with its wry sense of tragic comedy, to capture a moment, a whisper of mortality.

these art students have it wrong. the ones i'm modeling for are so concerned with the contour, the outermost edge, the vague outline of what makes a pose what it is, not the form, the sense of weight, not the power of a thoughtful, contemplated gesture.

its about looking for that particle, that line, the subtle crease that makes the whole drawing, the scene, the charcoal or pen on paper... finding the moment in a gesture, the shape of being human.

so its coming back. the discourse finding its way to my fingers, the truths i know about illustrating life awakening in my hands that have been numb for some time now. since i have no one to seek favor from, no grades to fight for, i can let go of my intense fear of failure, of not having the best, most skillful drawing to show, and think and observe through my hands, rather than my terrified heart.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a throne fit for a tyrant, a lost soul, a woman-child.

i feel a little like alice almost everywhere i go, but at this stage of the game i feel like i'm looking into a slightly warped mirror, where all the aspects of my schooling that were so rigorous and seriously approached, are still earnestly being sought, but by people with a slightly skewed aesthetic. i can't tell if it's comical or scary, but along with the shock of my personal life enfolding viciously on itself, i find this skewed viewpoint wherever i turn, whatever mirror i happen to glance in, warped in so subtle a way it feels like i have no control of any of the elements around me. falling, as it were, tumbling head over heels into my own rabbit hole, my personal version of hell, where i have been given responsibility like a poorly beaded necklace, and have merely tangled and broken the string that held the pieces of myself, and the aspects of my world around me in some vaguely organized capacity.

this is my life now.

on the floor of my soul, scrambling around trying to scrape all these lost aspects of myself into some cohesive place of organization and prioritizing.

somewhere there's my fancy new degree, trying so hard to feed my body and mind, to be a light in this stupid, blinding darkness. but that is not all of me. that is not even half of me. my creative expression isn't simply bound by the context of my fancy art education, and my skills are much broader than that curriculum implies. i open the windows and sing like a fucking disney princess as a way of calming my soul, i model cause my body has a rough strong grace and fluidity that always craved the freedom and control of dance. i write with a fierce coyness, and make sharp stinging points, but where do i go to entertain those atrophied parts of myself?

after four years of college, i have to find them all, express them all. and like any body part that falls asleep and is slapped back to life, it hurts. i am more than just my degree. i am me with or without it. i am more than my looks, i am more than my fears. i am not just part of a human being. somewhere, at sometime, i was a whole one.

Monday, September 14, 2009

plasma gasification facility

was asked by a not for profit group to do an architectural concept sketch of this particular kind of waste processt, in accordance with the sudan project, or some such group. was also asked to develop a concept for a school to be built in sudan, as well as some of the logos involved in branding aspects of the project. this was done wih the paint bucket tool in photoshop.

food for thought.

there are whispers of one in the works...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

hello jack skellington, do you mind if i am nude?

apparently not.

an awkward life drawing class, to say the least, i found myself posing next to a worn down, sunken in and popping out skeleton like those from an anatomy class in the 70's. snickers from the students (exacerbated by my facial expressions i'm sure) were completely unnoticed by the professor as she struggled to twist the ancient skeleton into a vaguely human stance... the feet really wanted to point to the ceiling no matter what she did... and then she had them draw me, then superimpose the bones of the skeleton on their drawing of me. and she told them to start at the shoulders. THE SHOULDERS. not with large body masses, aka the rib cage and pelvis to establish proportion and correct body gesture, not to pick out the bony landmarks on my body that show you what bone structures lie underneath...


later, she brings out a blocky planar sculpture of a very masculine head/bust and has them draw it. are you ready for this? she then had them draw my sharp, feminine features on top of their drawing of the uber masculine facial structure... let me share with you one of the better renderings in the class of this exercise:

i grinned and took it all in stride, as the maniacal comedy that is my life, and waved nonchalantly to the people in the parking garage that is level with the huge open window i was facing on the third story of the fine arts building.

especially when i apologized for all the charcoal from the floor that had covered my feet and smeared itself all over my legs, because for some reason the professor was inspired by my annoying black soles, and asked me to scrunch up so the students could draw my black feet, face and hands in the same drawing/pose. i'm not gonna talk too much about the footprints i left on the wall, or the continued pinkness on my buttcheeks. at least you could tell i was wearing bottoms when i got sunburned.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

cup of coffee and a calendar.

these are photos via the phone of the entrance, side, and inside of the sculpture class i've been posing in. thursday was an interesting amalgamation of experiences. from the starbucks people who didn't know what a latte was and ran around like chickens with their heads cut off while i described it, to the vegetarian burrito one of the kids sculpting my nude figure handed me, to finding myself at the PRIVATE opening of sterling hundley's first show where i conversed with inlaws and listened to crying babies, to ending the evening out with the gallery owner and a small group of close individuals...

i had an awesome discussion with sterling's grandmother, a tiny, proper speaking woman in pearls,clinging to a fancy teal walker. we discussed geneology and sterling's paintings, looked for faces in the random spatters and considered the beauty of grafitti as it continues to evolve. sterling's work was an interesting exploration of principles i've aways been fond of looking for and talking about, and our pointed communication followed those veins of perception and discovery, the abstracted study of design seems to be an interesting turning point, and i can't wait to see how it affects his commercial illustration.

too bad i came the night before a ringling reunion took place. sterling assured me he'd tell them how sad i was to miss them.

so i'm in north carolina for the holiday weekend, and promptly layed out on the beach and burnt my buttcheeks. it hurts to sit, but i'm hoping i'll have tan cheeks by tuesday for my next modelling session.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

a pink hotel, a boutique and a swingin hot spot.

I was called in on the fly, cause a model bailed at the community college. cool. on it. until i shaved my legs with the crappiest razor on the face on the planet and my legs swelled into painful ridiculous things pretending to resemble limbs.

by the time i got there it was ok.

my first gesture class were i wasn't the one drawing, it was actually a lot of fun. the professor reminded me uncannily of my favorite teacher in college, but about 20 yrs his junior, you know, not quite to the tearing work off the wall and crumbling it up stage.

so this evening, after my sculpture modelling session, i was contemplating attending sterling hundley's gallery opening, and i've heard some whispers that a ringling compadre, animator turned inspired illustrator francis vallejo might also be attending.

sounds interesting.

we'll see how today turns out. i've been told that the sculpture class gets pungent, particularly since they use the same clay the entire semester and wrap their projects in wet t shirts that they take off for their once a week class... throwing up wouldn't be an attractive move on my part, so i'm going to try to refrain.

ta kids.