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Old 01-29-2009, 02:42 PM   #1
James Garrison James Garrison is offline
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Old drawing of my mother




This is a large pencil drawing (42" x 24") of my mother I had done a few years ago. It had been put away so long I had forgotten about it, until recently, when I moved to KY.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:18 PM   #2
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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James,
It is a fine drawing, very subtle values, drawing and composition.

I would so like to see close up details, to see the marks from the pencil / charcoal. How did you make it, from life or photo?
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:33 PM   #3
James Garrison James Garrison is offline
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Thank you Allan

Thank you Allan. I admire your paintings very much. Oil painting is new to me, and frustrating, because I do not yet have sufficient technical control over the medium. I envy those, like yourself, who do.
If I remember correctly, I started the picture from life, using a string grid. The snow was melting pretty quickly, so I took some photos of the background and the subject and finished it in the studio.
I really don't have a problem with working from photos because I have done lots of drawing from life. But I find it very important to make careful value studies from life, especially taking note of the differences in value between the lightest light and the darkest dark of each part of the subject. In this way, I can change to a higher tonal key and still retain the value relationships. The avoidance of photographic distortion, and the careful modulation of edges is also important.
As you can see in the details, I am not overly concerned with being technically clean. I believe the overall effect is what is important.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:59 PM   #4
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Thanks for the details. The values are so delicate and it is almost as if one can see the colors.
The light is reflecting from the snow and it feels like it is coming from all directions, this is a really tough job.
You are very good, I'll look forward to your next posts.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:51 PM   #5
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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Wow, very very nice, James. Great composition, love the varying planes given by the wall, adding interest and wrapping around the subject. It feels like it could already be a painting: I like that there is just enough detail without overwhelming, and great values/edges. Those leaves behind her really add to the picture.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:46 PM   #6
Claudemir Bonfim Claudemir Bonfim is offline
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Really nice work.

There are so many beautiful details.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:34 PM   #7
Enzie Shahmiri Enzie Shahmiri is offline
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James I really like this portrait of your mom. Very nicely handled.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:02 AM   #8
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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Wow, I like this a lot, James! There's so much subtlety in this, in the way you have handled the textures and values and the whole composition. I can't guess whether the whole scene just presented itself before you exactly that way, or whether you simplified it or changed anything, but there is nothing overdone, and everything seems to have a reason for being there.

I also like the subtleties of what you are saying about your mother. She is in a big bulky coat and gloves, but holding a tiny sprig of leaves. Her face shows such a mixture of feelings, from toughness to tenderness and hesitancy. She looks like she remembers the feeling of childlike wonder but doesn't get as much chance to relive it as she would like. (But that's just how I read it! Someone else might have a different impression. That's the beauty of an exceptional piece of art.)

A fascinating and wonderful portrait of your mother. Have you ever entered it in a competition?
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:19 PM   #9
James Garrison James Garrison is offline
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Thanks to everyone for the nice comments.
Alexandra, this was one of many pieces which I have never shown to anyone prior to this forum. I had been exhibiting work in a gallery in Knoxville, TN for a few years, when I went through a painful divorce and gave up drawing and painting for over ten years. The works , including this picture of my mom, I had left in my studio were put into storage. This past October, I remarried, and have become inspired to go back into art full-time. Again, I appreciate the encouraging words,
James
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:58 PM   #10
Garth Herrick Garth Herrick is offline
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I like this so much, James! I am glad you are again inspired to exhibit and paint!

(Sorry for this belated post)

Best,

Garth
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