Monday, February 13, 2012

Yes, But Is It Art?

Monday drawing "Wood Plane"
16" x 20" Pastel
In Process

The still life

Those of you who have followed this blog for quite some time know that I go to a drawing class every Monday morning. Robert Semans is a much honored artist, having won the People's Choice Award from the Portrait Society of America and painted the official governor's portrait for the state of California. I keep pinching myself that I can actually learn to draw from such a fine artist. Bob believes in drawing from life, so we work from still life setups. Those of us who have attended multiple years use pastels with our drawings. 

This week Bob, an enthusiastic woodworker,  set up a still life with blocks of wood, a plane, a box, and some gloves. Because we have less than 3 hours to work on the piece, I chose to eliminate the box and gloves, probably the most interesting parts of the still life. However, I had all I could do to accurately render the wood and plane. You can see I am about half done with the pastel phase. Note that parts of the plane remain drawn in vine charcoal. We all found the perspective issues for the various shapes very demanding. We called for critique about 20 minutes before the end of class.

At least six of us had worked on this still life. Bob actually expressed amazement at how well we had all done. That's not to say he didn't point out some things we could improve, but he told us our work was far better than some  he had seen in a recent competition. I firmly believe that good drawing skills are the foundation of art, so I spend time working on developing them. 


hw (hallie) farber said...

I could be happy playing with planes and rasps all day. I love tools of all kinds and your plane has great handles--I can almost feel the curve and roundness. Your drawing is wonderful.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, I agree with Hallie. This is a wonderful piece and it looks like it was great fun to do...and challenging! I agree with your conclusion about the importance of drawing. As always, I like seeing your work.

CrimsonLeaves said...

You've done a fabulous job indeed, Mary. One of these days I'm going to break open the box of pastels that I have. They are chalk though and that texture on my hands just drives me bonkers! For the same reason I rarely (if ever) use charcoal.

Barbra Joan said...

Mary, I always tell you I'm a big fan of your pastels, and this is one example why.
And drawing something out of your comfort zone is oh so good for us. BJ

Jerry said...

Lovely study of planes - not in the least bit surprised Bob was so impressed.