Trips to the Museum for Drawing

I like to draw in the museums.  All the great old dead white male artists used to do it.  Quite a few of the dead white female artists got into the habit, as well.  Today African-American artists or Asian-American artists or other ethnic/American groups of artists, roam the museums drawing.  And when they die, successive generations will have any number of dead anybodies’ footsteps to follow in.  That’s my paeon to multiculturalism: to give it time.  No one should feel gawky by making drawings in museums.  Picasso was the greatest thief of all. 

Pst … just between us … all the ArtNews artists who spurn drawing, can’t draw.  There’s a reason for everything.  But … shh … don’t tell anybody.  Okay?

I drew this figure in front of the National Gallery’s The Young Governess by Jean Simeon Chardin. (A click takes you to a detail, click from there on “detail images” to see the whole painting.)  I guess I’ve made hundreds of drawings like this by now.  Well, I really love to draw.  And you learn a lot by copying the old guys (and gals).

[Top of the post:  Drawing after Chardin’s “The Young Governess,” by Aletha Kuschan]

Even though I have a cold, I don’t look like this

I’ve been pouring through notebooks looking for drawings to post.  This is a self-portrait from a few years ago.  However, I don’t look like this.  I don’t think I looked like this then either.  Perhaps on a really bad day, I bear some resemblance to this if I am having a serious state of the blahs.  Even now, in the grip of my cold, I look much better.  It matters not.

Indeed, I post this as an example of the virtues of self-portraiture, benefits that transcend likeness.  You can use yourself to try out ideas, to make emotional statements —  or just to model funny hats — it worked for Rembrandt  (though I prefer to use squirrels for that).  The drawing doesn’t have to look like you to be a provocative drawing.  It just has to be what it is.  And it communicates what it will.

What I like about this drawing, though (and what I hope it reveals about me) is its economy of line.  That constitutes (I hope) my “portrait” in it.  Like the line that describes the top of my head — that’s got some punch.  It’s bold drawing.  (One wants to be bold.)

[Top of the post:  Self-portrait in the pose of Melancholia, by Aletha Kuschan]

Strange Happenings

The squirrels are into the tequila again.  Actually this is a drawing for a painting.  I draw things that I’m going to paint.  It helps me think the image through.  It’s also very enjoyable to rehearse the idea.  And naturally having rehearsed the idea, it develops more readily in its painted form.

But the differences in drawing and painting are quite plain.  All the small lines and textures that you can capture in a drawing have to be sacrificed in a painting.  Well, each has its own charm.

[Top of the post:  Squirrel as Carmen Miranda, by Aletha Kuschan]

Alice Wins A Gold Medal!

Congratulations Alice!  This pretty much raps it up for my coverage of the Cat Olympics.  There are still one or two more events, but none that include our Alice.  And, naturally, the whole Cat Olympics is now being eclipsed by the human version.  But I’ll keep you posted about Alice’s other adventures.  She always has some.  She’s quite a cat.

[Top of the post:  Alice with her medal, as drawn by the young artist.]

I hope everyone’s having a nice summer

I’ve had a cold!  I’ve been much too busy searching for the Kleenex box to write blogs. And we’ve been making preparations for a little trip.  And I’ve been rather busy just being mom.  Can’t complain, though.  Well, I could complain a little about my cold.  But regarding the last item in that list, I’m grateful for the opportunity.  Being mom is great, of course! My kid keeps me well entertained.  But being mom always been an great kick-in-the-pants artistically too.

I’ll get around to posting more frequently when the young one is back in school.  And of course, I have my koi painting on the back burner.  It’s been going really well.  I’m anxious to unveil it here.

Funny, we haven’t heard from Alice though ….