Tag Archives: Drawing

Celebrating the human form


There is nothing I love better than being in an artists studio with an easel in front of me, charcoal or paintbrush in my hand and a model in the centre of the room, ready to pose. For me, life doesn’t get better than this.

Here are some of the results of some of these moments featuring my friend and model Sean, a very competent artist in his own right.

Sean standing

Seated Sean

Arms folded strong contrast

Green meditation

In the artists studio

Study in charcoal

Life study in charcoal

 

 

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Granny gets cross


Watch out, she's fierce!

 

Not feeling that sweet at the minute. I think it’s time for a rant, but on a Crafty theme though of course.

Here’s my issue. It may take a while to build, but bear with me.

Here I was getting all excited about the new wave of crafting. For years, knitting, sewing

A special dress made for a special granddaughter

and all things needlework and domestic crafts was considered stuff that old ladies did. It wasn’t fashionable at all. Just like drawing.

Granny square cushion

The skill of drawing too suffered similarly.  In the age of Conceptualism, where the idea was king, there was no room for representation or being able to draw what was in front of you.

Sleeping Imogen

I’ve been through the Art School system years ago, drawing served me well but I was left well aware that if I didn’t have an idea or concept behind the drawing that I wouldn’t be taken seriously as an artist, especially a woman artist.

Imogen sleeping

I would never get that chance anyhow because I became a mum.

Cutting the Cord. Welcome to the world Allegra

I’m a feminist, I know women are capable of doing all things equally given enough opportunity. But I’m also a human being and I know that juggling is best left to those people with real balls. To try and juggle an art career with motherhood would just end in tears: mine. I would be left  a half hearted artist and a lacklustre mother. So  I dedicated my time to bringing up my daughters and turned to craft.

I made bodies and people and heads. They were sewn by hand with fabric and it filled my creative urges.

Adolesence

Then I turned to entertaining children. My soft sculptures turned to puppets and Diane’s Puppets was born. My creative energies were poured into creating a business that would support my children in the years to come.

Mirror Mirror on the wall

London Children's Entertainer and Puppeteer Diane

Well fast forward a few years and I’ve now taken up crochet. I’m making kids stuff that is bright and funky.

Baby slippers

Bright beanies

Rainbow ball necklace

I thought because craft was now trendy again I would be able to hold my head up as a crafts person. But no. It seems like I’ve missed the boat again. Unless you are making something ironic ( crochet apple cosy anyone?)  or surreal ( crocheted mustache? ) it’s not what they want.

I should’ve known. Stitch and Bitch anyone? This common term for groups of women coming together to craft and chat is really offensive to me.

As a feminist, I’m anti bitch. Women should be coming together and working together as a force to be reckoned with. Bitching is not productive, it’s mean and nasty, and yes, like many other bad things, hellishly entertaining.

So in order for craft to be cool for the modern woman, in order not to feel like a 50’s housewife we have to combine craft with an edge?

My conceptual feminist collection of breast paintings at Shh!

How very disappointing. I’d find it much edgier to say yeah it’s needlework/crochet/ knitting and WHAT? I like doing it as a woman.

I’ve taught many a man to knit and crochet. They do it with style. Why can’t us women be comfortable enough to do the same?

I suppose now I’m a granny I just have to get on with my granny squares, sit in a corner and shut up. Oh wait, I like granny squares.

Granny square blanket in my bedroom ( with graffiti)

And I love being a granny.

Funny grandma!

 

I could start embroidering expletives on cushions. I know that would go down a treat.

Seriously, is that what it’s come to?

Okay.

Time for a cuppa.

 

Rant over.

 

 

Entering the Zone: Art as Nirvana


Drawing is where I find Nirvana, particularly when drawing the human form.  When in the ‘zone’, when that creative thing is happening, time stands still and it just happens. It’s like my intellect switches off and I’m present in another dimension. When truly connecting with the subject of the drawing ( in my case, people) I have to switch off that inner critical voice that nags, or the pompous over-inflated ego that tells me ” That’s a good line, ooh that looks good, do that again …” Those insistent voices that are contained in my subconscious have to be silenced to create a drawing that communicates. It doesn’t happen often, trust me. But when it happens, it is truly a special feeling. I’ve heard the wonderful Jill Scott speak about this at a concert saying that it is a connection with God, that it comes through us , not from us. I’m not a religious person, but I do understand the feeling behind this perspective.

For other creative people, whatever their form of creativity may be, be they sports people, musicians, athletes, writers, poets, rappers, artists, I connect with them when they speak about the zone. This is my drug of choice. There is no feeling on earth like it when I reach the zone. It’s like going into a trance and waking up to find something that just sings to me. I’m never aware of creating my best work, that process is the mystical one.

This is my magical mystery tour. Just don’t ask me how to get on the bus.

Holding on to the pole

1 minute drawing , no time to think

Repeated pose, capturing movement

Geometry in human form


It is fun to set limits. Unexpected things can happen, sometimes limits bring out something you never knew was there.

This is true in life as well as art. I’ve written a post about boundaries in my sister blog here. Boundaries in life make us feel safe to explore, boundaries in art make us focus and go places we didn’t think to go.

These pictures are an example of a time when I resisted the boundary at first, nay, I actively complained about it, but I’m really glad the boundary was set otherwise I would never have discovered the geometry inside the human form.

I find them strangely pleasing.

Love the bum!

Beautiful robot hands

Numb bum

More limits to follow.

 

Drama of Black and White


As much as I love colour, I’m just as partial to monochrome. I love  the drama that comes from stark contrasts . As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really one for subtlety. I’m a woman who relishes being able to hit people in the stomach with a gut reaction.

I’d love to hear your reaction.

Woman

Seated nude

Thickness

Drawing negative spaces

 

The Ever Ready Model: Self-Portrait


I’m a lady with fingers that just can’t keep still. I draw and paint as well as make.

Over the years I’ve had the urge to draw. My chosen favourite subject is people. Finding someone who is willing to sit and be drawn is difficult when the urge strikes, unless of course you have a mirror.

Hence all my self portraits.

It’s hard to comprehend that these pictures are actually all me ( or supposed to be at any rate.) I find self portraits extremely interesting as they are the only portraits that are drawn in mirror image and represent the only vision that the artist has of themselves with all filters of self-criticism and insecurity colouring the finished work. A self-portrait often doesn’t appear to others to be a likeness because of this, but to the artist themselves, this is probably the most honest struggle in drawing that you can get. I recognise myself in every picture.

Do you?

Just me, no make up , no fancy lighting, just me.