As advised by her union, Doll has taken another day off. In her absence I turned my attention to my creamy colored creamer.
The great artist Edgar Degas once said, “il faut refaire la même chose dix fois cent fois” (you must redo the same thing ten times, a hundred times), but hopefully Doll won’t be gone that long.
I don’t know whether or not another French expression applies here.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. (The more things change, the more they stay the same.)
Or whether my creamer metamorphoses or stays the same.
I gave it the most loving attention that could be fixed upon a little creamer.
I even drew what it feels like, drawing without looking at it, drawing with the sense of touch.
I drew it many times, and still it has secrets to share.
Let’s have a nice round of applause for the star of the show, the Creamer!
All my life I’ve liked the good things. I don’t like ordinary things. I’ve always valued élégance and beauty. I’ll leave it to others to describe that word élégance. It is not for me to say if I’m élégant or not. — Stephane Grappelli [quoted in Matt Glaser’s Jazz Violin, 1981, Oak Publications, p. 31]
I drew the doll all day yesterday and was so pleased with the results. I fully expected to continue the theme, but the doll would have none of it. So I drew this potted plant instead. At least Doll left me this clementine.
Did a little warm up before I took on the whole plant.
A somewhat lesser know fact about how artists made pictures in the old days is that a lot of the old guys (more reverently known as the Old Masters) did, from time to time, come across works by other artists that they altered in some fashion to suit their fancy. For example Rembrandt made radical subtractions and additions to an etching plate by Hercules Seghers to transform a Tobias and the Angel into a Flight into Egypt. He wasn’t alone, and you shouldn’t blame Rembrandt. Anyway, he did a nice job in making the transformation. But back in those days, if you didn’t want anybody messing with your picture, you sure were well advised to hide it in a vault.
Today in our era of reproductions galore, you can alter works by past masters without feeling the slightest bit guilty, and some artists have made whole careers out of the fabric of another man’s cloth. Me, I’m just using one of my favorite draughtsmen to have some fun. I bought two copies of the ridiculously cheap edition of Degas’s Halevy notebook by Dover Books and used the extra copy as my coloring book. It makes me feel like a kid again! (And that’s worth something all by itself!) And it’s a great additional way to study the old guy.
The top image is dressed up using gouache, the lower two using colored pencils.
“The Sun will not rise, or set, without my notice, and thanks,” Winslow Homer in a letter to his brother Charles.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Well, what can I say? We were listening to Stuff Smith. The doll really let her hair down, the big hair.
And she’s got some really big hair.
Hey! This isn’t the same doll! How’d she sneak in here!?
Here’s the doll with big hair.
The doll I drew yesterday was such a good model, I decided to invite her back. And she decided to accept. And, boy, can she pose!
These were some of her first poses. That’s before we revved up the fan and started playing rock music after the manner of Seinfeld’s Kramer.
I devoted myself to the study of the painters who allowed me to hope I might challenge them one day. — Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806), c. 1758 quoted by Lenoir in 1816.