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Old 08-09-2006, 04:47 PM   #1
Mary Jane Ansell Mary Jane Ansell is offline
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Felicity - new life model




Thought I'd take the plunge and post up one of my recent open studio efforts ...this is a new model to me - I think she's just gorgeous and I'm hoping to do a lot more with her, hopefully some longer, more complex pieces, but here I was just enjoying figuring out her features and - unusually for me, playing with some bright colour to set things off...

This one is approx 15" x 15" and completed in 2 x 2 1/2 hour sessions, plus about 30 mins fiddling on the background (slap my hand from keeping on fiddling - oooh the temptation never ends;-)
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:25 AM   #2
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Beautiful painting Mary Jane.

I love the gorgeous texture and color of the turquoise next to her lovely skin.

It is hard to believe that this was done in an open studio.

A good and inspiring model is hard to find, believe me I know.
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Old 08-18-2006, 03:42 AM   #3
Mary Jane Ansell Mary Jane Ansell is offline
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Thank you very much Sharon, very nice to read your comments.

My local drop in life drawing sessions can be pretty dishevelled affairs, ie: letting the pose change too much between each sessions (or even short break) as everyone throws in their tuppence about how the hand was just so and so on.

This gets incredibly frustrating, so I've been working really fast to compensate, good discipline, I guess but it would be nice to see a pose held for much longer. Do other people find the same pose "slipping" to be a problem or have you found ways of getting (politely;-) round it!

Actually I'm off for a summer life painting course at London's Slade Art School in a couple of weeks, it will be fascintating to see how they retain the week long pose as they are so well known for their particular and exact measuring system.
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:37 AM   #4
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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What a spectacular piece. I'm surprised there isn't a big long string of posts congratulating you on this. You might want to post it in unveilings. I'm sure more people would see it there. Just beautiful!
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:48 AM   #5
Mischa Milosevic Mischa Milosevic is offline
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Mary Jane, cane I come and work beside you? Not sure if I understood, do you go to a studio or have your own? If you have your own, I presume you do, do you teach there? I am in the process of developing something of that nature reason for the Q.
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:10 PM   #6
Jean Kelly Jean Kelly is offline
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Absolutely beautiful! Please post more work, I think I need to see more.

Jean
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:37 PM   #7
Mari DeRuntz Mari DeRuntz is offline
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Quote:
This gets incredibly frustrating, so I've been working really fast to compensate, good discipline, I guess but it would be nice to see a pose held for much longer. Do other people find the same pose "slipping" to be a problem or have you found ways of getting (politely;-) round it!
While it seems so contrary to our artistic natures, the group has to have an alpha. One voice poses the model. Two on opposite sides of the pose helps but this has to be a very trusted, solid relationship. The random chaos of multiple voices is as irritating to the model as it is to us, and since they're giving so much by sitting for us, we certainly don't want to irritate them!
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:25 PM   #8
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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I am so energized and delighted to see this work!
Brava
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:39 AM   #9
Steven Sweeney Steven Sweeney is offline
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Wonderfully extraordinary work.

The movements of the live model present challenges and opportunities. Your group likely takes various measures to return the model to the pose after a break, but I'll just mention our practice of using electrician's tape (not masking tape, which is dreadful to remove after a time) to mark the positions of the model's feet, the chair legs, the point on the chair back where the arm lies across it, the place on the rope or staff where the model's hand grasps it -- anywhere that can be established as a "fixed" point. The taped markings remove the debate as to whether the foot was this way or that. There are still going to be fluxuations in the pose -- the whole point of the live model being the organic, living nature of the subject -- but having those few anchors goes a long way toward keeping the variations within an acceptable range.

As Mari suggested, calls for the model to make adjustments in the pose have to come from 1) a limited number of 2) experienced artists. It is too often the beginner who is first to insist that the model's pose has changed, which can be the result of his (it's usually a brash young male) having made firm drawing commitments before the model has settled into the pose, which in turn rarely happens until 10 or 15 minutes have passed. (For that reason, the tape references should not be placed until just prior to the first break, to allow for whatever adjustments and movement may occur as the model relaxes into the pose.)

Sometimes the model can be helped by having her indicate the point on the far wall or the floor where her gaze is focused, with that point then also being marked with a piece of tape so that after a break the model can orient the turn of her head or the spiral of the torso. This is helpful even within the pose period, as a model's mind wanders and the pose changes and needs to be reestablished.

I suppose it's like being responsible for continuity between takes on a movie set, making sure that the eyeglasses are in the same position on the end table and the flowers in the vase are still daisies and not dahlias. Even with experienced artists present, surprising oversights occur. I recall one session in which everyone had some objection to the pose, but no one could figure out what was "wrong." Everything was exactly on the tapes, including the wooden wedge beneath one of the model's feet. I finally saw the problem, asked the model to lift his foot, and turned the wedge so that the toe, rather than the heel, was lifted. The change had a marked effect throughout the anatomy. (We had wedges of different heights in the studio as well, and picking up the wrong one was an occasional problem.) Another time the same model was using his hand on a chair back to support some of his weight. The chair legs were within the tape references, the feet were where they belonged, but everyone was having trouble with their drawings. I don't remember what led me to see this, but I realized that the chair was turned a full 90 degrees from its position at an earlier session, which was causing the model to rest his hand and arm in a quite different manner and was throwing off the whole posture.

I've only encountered one model who did not move -- one of Daniel Greene's models, referred to by some as "The Rock," so solid and unwavering was he, seeming not even to breathe. Rather than asking for frequent adjustments, it's often possible to just work on a different area of the drawing or painting for a while, perhaps closer to one of the "anchor" points, until the pose naturally returns again to "where it belongs," and then go back to work on the affected areas.
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Old 09-13-2006, 05:45 AM   #10
Mary Jane Ansell Mary Jane Ansell is offline
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Thank you very much for your comments Michele, Mischa, Chris and Jean its lovely to get such positive feedback from you.

I'd love it if you came and joined our sessions Mischa!! but it may be quite a trek for you over here to the UK?;-) I don't take the class myself - my local open studio really only has untutored sessions generally. But I have thought about arranging an additional session there with more controlled lighting conditions and set up that I think other artists might enjoy as an alternative... so I'd be very interested to hear how you get on Mischa - hope you will keep us posted.

Mari and Steven thank you very much for your suggestions. Steven - your tips on tape for the sight spot and waiting till the end of the session to make the other marks allowing for the pose to settle made me nod like a loon in agreement here!! Excellent tips all. Thanks again.
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