Friday, January 29, 2016

Study of female model

Study of female model, backlit -- colored Conte on gray Ingres/cardboard, 18" x 24"

Today's live morning work at the Art Establishment.  We decided for a longer pose, with the model clothed because it was so dang cold.  Even clothed, it is cold.  Even with the portable heaters, it was cold.  January is just plain cold.

I chose an area to draw from where she was backlit, but even then, I tried to just focus on that unique lighting.  She had her arm extended to the side in an odd way, and this was a hard pose for her to keep, and for me to foreshorten also, with her body rotated and legs completely obscured beneath a long black skirt, but again, I tried to focus on the interesting backlighting.

I was in dire need of more coffee, and it's been so long that I've done a figure with clothing on, and in Conte dry pastel, it was a very foreign experience.  I'm glad I tried to mix it up though.  Stretching yourself and challenging yourself is what it's about at these sessions.  I almost cheated went for my paints, but I forced myself to just work in dry medium, and suck it up lolololol.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Winter observations

"Abandoned suitcase in the reeds" by Hilary J. England
oil on canvas, 7" x 14, 2016

Here is a plein air painting I did the day before yesterday.  It was so blistering cold, my fingers kept getting numb, and my Liquin got all goopy, and my canvas blew into the dirt a few times too.  This weather sometimes makes me very depressed, so I try to work through it.  I don't know if it's the weather as much as it is the time of year...after the holidays, and everyone seems to be dropping dead.  It gets dark by mid-afternoon, and my eyeballs dry out at night from the heat being on. Enough to make you want to hibernate until Spring.

This painting reflects the forlorn mood I was in.  A sad, broken suitcase, just mouldering on the edge of the frigid river, nestled sadly amongst the dead reeds and cold rocks.  I thought of the trips it made or didn't make, and now, it's final resting place.  Winter sometimes does that to me -- makes me too introspective.

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting composition, and I have decided on my walks in the very mean weather of January and February to record the feelings and sights of winter.  So here is the first.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Female Nude Study

Study of female nude reclining, Conte on Gray Ingres paper, 12" x 16, 2016
The new year has started off quite robustly, as if shot out of a cannon!  The weather has been nice and mild (I don't want to jinx things here) so going to Bethlehem has not been odious, as the Blue Mountain is always that large, looming obstacle in the weather, and thankfully, we have seen no harsh conditions yet.  Yet.  Or maybe not this year.  It does happen once every few years: a mild, gentle winter.  We are definitely overdue!

I hadn't been to figure drawing in a while, just because I was busy, and time seems to slip away when you aren't paying that close of attention to it.  I had missed these drawing sessions, and hadn't realized how much, until I got there.  Now, the night before, I had precious little sleep (I have been wrestling with insomnia yet again), but I forced myself into that car with two large super-strong coffees and I was very happy that I did.  I like seeing familiar friendly faces and the camaraderie of the figure drawing makes me feel very comfortable, like I am at home.  We all are so passionate about the same thing: the beauty of beauty.  Exploring the complexities of  anatomy and translating it into the second dimension. The rhythm and harmony of the human proportions. So that's a large part of things also.

I have a lot of different opportunities that have recently come at me, and it is a little overwhelming, since I was kind of on "coasting" mode.  I am trying to sort through them, in a studied, logical way, but I feel a slight feeling of uneasiness, and I get this sinking feeling sometimes that no matter how much thought you try to put into a decision, it's kind of going to go on it's own merry route, regardless of your attempt at planning.  Kind of like children!  So, I'm trying not to "overthink" things either.  Yes, as Anthony was saying to me, he has a feeling that 2016 is going to be a really good year filled with amazing opportunities and growth!  I agree. :-)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Impending storm

"Impending storm (over the harvested field)" oil on canvas, 8" x 11" by Hilary J. England

I motivated myself to photo up some of the work I did in autumn 2015 that I kind of just had piled up. I want to start 2016 right!  Everyone asks about New Year's resolutions, and I always say the same thing: I don't make them.  But, I do make a list of things I would like to improve or work on for the year, along with some concrete goals, and getting a bit more organized with my time is always my struggle, as is staying on top of tasks I loathe, such as photographing my work (as I have said over and over again).  I am looking to take the "bull by the horns" this year!

I will post them up as I get them recorded, and try to stay a bit more timely with it.  That is my ultimate goal for 2016.  That, and cutting back on sugar :-D


Carry on- Beginning Life in Lockdown

“Study of dramatic back lighting” oil on wooden panel, 16” x 16” Strange Times Beginning Life in Pandemic Lockdown Life in ...