KAREL DUJARDIN: FORDING A STREAM.
posted: December 9, 2010
The top two drawings are by Karel Dujardin, 1622-1678. I discovered them recently in a new book. Both drawings are of the same model. In the first drawing we find a shepherd who "raises his shirt to keep it dry while fording a stream." Never heard it put that way, but for sure I will be using that line. I just love this drawing so much i had to share. The technique is sublime but I also love the gentle humor in this depiction. While thinking about these two drawings Isabel Bishop popped into my mind. Here drawings, also wonderful, are the last two here. How similar in so many ways.




The top two drawings are by Karel Dujardin, 1622-1678. I discovered them recently in a new book. Both drawings are of the same model. In the first drawing we find a shepherd who "raises his shirt to keep it dry while fording a stream." Never heard it put that way, but for sure I will be using that line. I just love this drawing so much i had to share. The technique is sublime but I also love the gentle humor in this depiction. While thinking about these two drawings Isabel Bishop popped into my mind. Here drawings, also wonderful, are the last two here. How similar in so many ways.
SELF. MICHIGAN
posted: November 24, 2010

Each year, sometime around my birthday, I do a self portrait. This is for 2010. Today is my birthday. The shirt that I’m wearing carries a great deal of significance. I grew up in NY, but many of the new comers to NYC are from the Midwest. Amazingly, it seems like most are from Michigan!? To what used to be hardened neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, these “newcomers” bring a revived spirit of kindness, curiosity, business, and incognizance of what was, in many cases, a violent past. They bring with them a fresh start. I realize that I’m always shedding, healing and beginning again. I so embrace these new values. Wearing this shirt reminds me that I’m not my past, my story is always changing, and I’m getting closer to finding my way home.
SOME THINGS CHANGE AND SOMETHINGS DON'T
posted: October 26, 2010
It may not be too apparent but it’s something that I surely feel. My drawing style is changing. At one time I drew in a very academic style. There was a process to my approach, to the way I observed. Habitually, I began in the same way even though the subjects where different. What an odd concept. Now I understand that every drawing, every painting, every new subjects requires a new unique approach. Each vision I’m investigating has its own place to begin. Its own purpose. Its own method. Similarly, recently I’ve been toying with the idea that process is something that we use to guide our vision, and understanding while we learn how to draw, paint. But once you know, strictly adhering to a process might actually get in the way of a deeper, intuitive approach. I see it in Velazquez’s work. Early in his life of painting it’s easy to see that he’s painting along with a process in mind. Then, what seems to be all of the sudden, he lets go of his process and paints from a different place within. Surely confidence is a part of it. But I think there’s more to it. What can we see, what do we feel, what do we know, when we put down the preconceived notions that process applies? What opens up? What I notice for myself, I will keep to myself. But I would like to say that when I shut my brain off, when I just respond, no accuracy is lost, and I’m much quicker. I wonder what the Sundance Kid would say to all of this? Funny .  . . talk about styles changing. This 40′s looking guy was texting away at my York Street F station. Some things never change.   A few days later. i just thought I'd add some other examples to clarify. By the way, It was just a few years back that if I drew someone with their head down they were reading. I'm noting now as I looked back though tree recent books that everyone is texting, or nosing around in there phone. Again, what's the difference. In the ol' days it was the daily news, everyone. Nowadays very few papers, lots of digitime.




A FEW FROM MEXICO
posted: August 24, 2010
A few observations from a recent trip to Mexico. http://petercusack.com/watercolor/
From the beach the cabanas loomed behind palms and grass
At sunset the tops of our cabanas blend into the foliage.

Swaying palms.

DAMAGE IS A PART OF LIFE
posted: August 9, 2010

Two of these drawings sustained a bit of damage while sitting innocently in the corner of my apartment. A leak from the apartment above spattered water on the first drawing. The water bounced off the top of a box that stored sketchbooks, landing on this drawing that was propped up on the wall beside it. Fifteen years of sketchbooks were damaged as well; very painful. The second drawing was torn when the corner of a frame, stored next to it, slid across the drawing’s surface. I guess I’m learning that I need to take better care of my artwork. Maybe use more durable and archival media. I also learned that I liked these drawings more then I let myself know.  I did them/do them while teaching my classes. It’s a way to keep me busy while giving students time to work out issues on their own. I end up trying new stuff, too. So I thought I would post the most recent drawing (the third) along with the other two that were very recently damaged as a way to respect them, and preserve them. I already uploaded a phone pic of the third drawing to Facebook; apologies for the redundancy. By the way, Thomas Anshutz, while teaching a cast drawing class at the Pennsylvania Academy, drew along with the students. I did a search online to share a few with you, but couldn’t find the knockout drawings that I have in a book about him.


THE FOURTH WITH THE FAM.
posted: July 7, 2010
Spent the fourth in Connecticut with my family. Recorded some of the goings on or not goings on in my book; my brother floating around in the pool, my car parked outside, a left foot and a right flip flop, my mother during a early morning coffee clutch, one of the many flower pots, ect. These paintings were done "on the spot". Some were done in just a moment, others were built more methodically. Both approaches, gestures of light color and feeling.







RECENT WORK
posted: May 5, 2010
Two recent portraits. Jerimaiah above has been floating around my various classes as a model. I've been able to paint and draw him a few times. Haveing time with a model, extended time, is so valuable. Getting to know them, bonding a bit. It makes a study like this more meaningful, the whole practice, deeper.
NO TITLE
posted: March 12, 2010
I'm not sure if it makes sense to post daily sketches and notes anymore . . . but here's goes.   this was done on a phone pad with a brushpen Donny Kills left behind after staying with me about three years ago.   its not the only thing he leaves behind . . . always more questions and more matter to think and talk about.   Great seeing you Don.  
UNION SQUARE TROUBADOUR
posted: February 26, 2010
While painting this Union Square troubadour, I couldn't help but think about Frans Hals's characters  . . . sweaty and a bit drunk  . . . hamming it up . . . their crooked teath and radiant smiles. The relaxed, comfortable joy in his work. is a reminder for me to unload, ease up, enjoy the moment and the people around me. What I'm drawn to here is the solitary and intrepid effort of making art, of learning a craft, of making that craft your own.  At some level, we are all self taught. I love to think about the millions of kids sitting on the edge of there beds, inspired by the music they listen too, teaching themselves to master the guitar.  I always give my undergrads this advice . . . learn to do something well. It's going to help you when you get older. Soap box: "How will this help me get a job when I graduate"? As teachers in universities, we focus to much on preparing students for getting a job when they graduate. They're all going to do that, whether we interfere or not. The theme is overkilled and ends up frightening them to death.  I try to help prepare my students for the long haul of life. Yes through drawing and painting, through music and art history. Many of the grad students I teach are adults now and have been working for any number of years. They are coming back to school asking the opposite question. NOW WHAT, I have a job . . . I don't like it. The other painting that kept coming up during this session was Paolo Varonese's Marriage at Cana. In the center of his (I believe, life size) composition is a group of musician's. I read somewhere that the musicians represent the fathers of Venetian painting, Bassano, Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese. The instruments that they are playing help describe the character of their painting style, voice. Check it out. It's mind blowing skill.
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