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Ink Well

October 22, 2010

I can stare for hours. The more you look the more you see. After a while I can close my eyes and trace in my mind where the skin gets taut, slackens, swells, and gathers up.  This sensitivity is like feeling the weight of a pebble falling through water.

One thing I’d like to be able to do one day soon is look at a model for as long as I need to,   collect  what I need, then go to another room and draw her from memory/impressions. I think Robert Henri mentioned a practice like that. But it forces you to really “look”. One gets lazy when the model is always available to reference. Eventually you don’t “see”. But when there’s the  threat of  “disappearance”, there’s an element of urgency and necessity to the act of looking. Your eyes become in a sense “lidless” in the rawness of seeing. Also it opens up other avenues, other ways of absorbing the model or image. I find myself mentally pouring into  the model and her pose,  feeling out with my own muscles and bones  the dispositions of her angles and the distribution of her weight.

Anyway, I had a wonderful model today. It’s been a while since I drew from a model. I’ve been so busy painting objects.

One of these days I want to combine the two.

I think my ideal model is someone fearless. Someone who uses her body as a unit, not merely striking poses but literally bursting  into the  space, each movement a kind of birth. Posing shouldn’t be like being on a stage, with the artist as audience. It should be like an animal’s action, self-contained, monadic,  hermetic. The artist’s presence should be incidental, like the presence of air.

Some quick line drawings from my last model and other models and sessions:

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