after cecille / prismacolor / 5″ x 6″
© 2007 gordon fraser. all rights reserved. www.gordonfraserfinearts.com
I posted the above drawing to a drawing forum on artreview.com and received a number of replies from the impassioned defense, to the legitimate questioning, to the ridiculous dismissal/panning by the court jester who’s now out rummaging through his kids nursery school art projects in the hopes of getting rich. I then posted the following reply. [see the whole conversation here...]
Byron, Alaleh and Jonathan all raise some interesting questions, establishment vs. anti-establishment, abstraction vs. realism, illustration, decoration, basically the stuff we as artists (an the non-artists critics) have been tangling with for the last 150 years! I started to jot down some notes and realized I have a lot to say about all of them. At this point I will have to sidebar those discussions to a different forum so as not to take away from the art being shown here. That being said, given that this is “Show and Tell” I will offer a few comments. For the purpose of the discussion I will try to separate formal questions from questions of content, but in reality in the process of drawing, the concerns interpenetrate and cannot be separated. First, in terms of content, this painting is about desire, pretty straight forward establishment content going back hundreds/thousands of years, so to byron’s point I do not view this piece as anti-establishment. It is a question/conversation/meditation I have been engaged with for about six months and it offers one viewpoint among many. The brief history is that this project began as 5 minute poses in the studio with a clothed model, who happens to be a dancer, over a two week period back in october. The initial studio sketches were executed in watercolour and I have carried on this work in oil, watercolour, collage, and prismacolor pencils, using both the sketches and memory of some poses as inspiration. This is one example.
Now to the more formal issues:
1) Mark making – I have used gestural marks and scribbles to convey the energy and excitement of desire, which often can feel uncontrollable and overwhelming when it is being experience.
2) colour – the dominant colour of the piece is red, chosen first off because the model has red hair and there was red fabric hanging on the wall behind where the model was posing. I then pushed and changed the hue, layering different reds (which unfortunately can’t be seen so well on the computer screen) in order to develop a sense of the warmth, heat, and excitement of desire. The red moves very quickly toward the viewer and allows me to pull the background right to the surface, compressing the space of whole composition. Secondarily, the two blue planes sandwich and squeeze the red plane, creating a dynamic tension and opening up the space of the composition.
3) composition – the compositional structure is very simple, built on a tilted plane, stolen from the italian masters such as Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, etc., to provide a dynamic structure to both house and convey energy and excitement. It helps create the movement and space in the drawing.Tags: watercolor, Paint, color, color theory, drawing, meditation
March 28, 2008 No Comments