Saturday, February 25, 2017

Three Faces

Sometimes when I am feeling a lack of inspiration, I find I have to drag myself down to the studio and get out my toolbox, hammer out a few portrait sketches to keep working on the basic skills.  Resemblance is coming easier, even if the paintings themselves feel a little rough around the edges, and I keep moving forward, hoping one day a style will emerge from the motions of the brush while my mind is focused on the drawing or on the color.  Despite imperfections in placement of the eyes or relative size or fineness of line, when I see the personality emerge, the mood of the subject, I call it a success and move on.  These three sketches are my way of moving forward, like going to the gym even when the joints are aching for a break.

Working on old 1/4" plywood scraps left over from woodworking projects (notice the line of the dent in the wood across the nose).  I kind of liked the haunted quality of this guy, hooked on his bad habit, troubled by a lot more in his life.

And this, also looking a little gaunt and troubled, is from an old photo of Herman Hesse.  I recall reading all his work when I was young, eating it up as fast as I could find the next book, and maybe I should go back and try one of his classics to see how I feel about them at this late stage in my life.  

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.

Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.

Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.

The above quotes from Hesse seem the slightest bit provocative, but maybe not as deep as they might seem to a 20-year-old.  I recall that age of discovery, where everything was new and exciting and it was all brought in and accepted at face value.  Age has a way of tempering that excitement, which can be good or bad, I guess (who wants to be so jaded that nothing is interesting anymore?)

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