A curious thing happened in the cartoon business, midway thru my career in animation. It used to be all about how well you can draw. Then there was a strike, & 90% of the people in the industry lost their jobs. When the strike was over, I was pretty much the only one in my age group left, alongside the old guys who had been working in the biz for years, who slowly dropped away. Since animation is basically life drawing, it set me up well for a fine art career in the years ahead & I’m grateful for the years in which I developed the skill. Now that animation is pretty much all computer skills, life drawing is not a criteria.
These life drawings were created from 2008 thru 2013, attending drawing classes around Eureka Springs, using local models. I put on a few of the classes myself for a couple of years, then Robert Beauford took over from me & carried the classes forward. There was a core group of about 5-6 people. In any given week, any one of us could be “on” that week, really able to generate good work & inspire the class. Everyone in the group notices when that person is “on”; they can feel & see the energy & huddle around to watch.
Life drawing is an exercise in keeping the communication lines open between your hand & what you see. If you don’t practice as often as possible, it becomes rusty, so I feel that for me, it’s really mandatory to keeping the skills up. My eyes and my psyche are attached to my drawing hand.
I think people respond to the compassion of character which comes thru in a different way in life drawing than it does in my more esoteric pieces. The empathy that I feel for the individual comes thru clearly, not just as an exercise of my facility.
The life drawings in this particular show are favorites of Paul Daniel, the gallery owner curating the show, chosen out of a large selection of possibilities. I look forward to seeing how he presents them.
The opening reception is from 6-9 pm, Saturday June 13th, at Paul Daniel Gallery, 125 Spring Street, Eureka Springs, AR. It will run thru July 11th, 2015.