Sep 14, 2007

Simple Gestures


I like this 60-second gesture I did a few years ago. Stumbled upon it again tonight. I like what it conveys to me and what the model may or may not have meant to convey.

The intent is what may be hard to discover after the fact, so all that remains is what is. What the model intended, what the artist intended, what the viewer receives are secondary to the moment. The separation is the mystery and the wonder of art, for me, at least.

Except for the most pedantic and straightforward renderings, it really doesn't matter what the artist intended. What is received in the sensitive soul is more than likely what went into the art. That may have started with the observed object or person and moved faithfully through to the end-viewer, or it may have been filtered through the artist's feelings, known or unknown, at the moment of capture.

Only by doing--drawing and drawing and returning back to the canvas over and over does the miracle of the moment occur. Discipline brings such freedom of movement, such joy of creation, and distillation of movement and form. Then the expression is more freely conveyed.

The art of gesture says so much in what it leaves silent.

13 comments:

Jean said...

anonymous, comfortable, peaceful.

Being mostly art-ignorant... what is meant by 'gesture'?

Joan of Argghh! said...

In art I suppose it is the same as life. When someone gestures with their hands, it can convey much meaning in a simple movement.

A simple line or two on a page can convey an entire person, even though there are no "real" feet or hands, just a curve of motion to suggest what your mind will fill in on its own.

Artistic flight, if you will. It is done quickly, before the brain gets in the way. It's good exercise for perfectionistic types because it's incomplete and imperfect... and yet expressively engaged.

Kim said...

This is fabulous. It reminds me of when I actually attended an afternoon nude drawing seminar. Do it quick and forget about overthinking.
Damn. You're really really really good.

Simplicity trumps all. Occam's razor and that.

Do you do watercolors?

Kim said...

Plus, the drawing and drawing and returning.

Too true.

Crap. Now I want to drag out my stuff and paint.

Jean said...

This is beautiful. I hope you post more of your work.

pamibe said...

Wonderful. I see great peace and stillness on one side and movement on the other... I have no idea how you can do that... but I too hope you post more of your work!

Joan of Argghh! said...

Thanks, all, but if you encourage me, I'll have to drag out all my art stuff... and it's mostly nudes... and then there goes the neighborhood.

'mouse said...

I only read here for the articles. There are nudes?

['mouse hits "refresh" 400 times hoping ...]

[just joking... it was only 390 times.]

Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh 'mouse! You've seen all the best ones. I did find a few more studies, however, while going thru my photo files.

Maybe, if you're nice...

julie said...

I'd love to see more, too. For some reason, when I was in art school, none of my figure classes spent much time with the quick gestural drawings. I think the shortest we did was five minutes, but there's something so delightful about the one-minute sketches. I'll have to try it on my own sometime, I suppose.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Julie, we had to do 15-second ones, as well. Looking on this one again, and re-working it in my head, it's likely a 15-second gesture.

I took this class two or three times because the prof was a master at the gesture. My perfectionistic eye needed to be "shut". I was so happy when I let one of my drawings go to show, and it wasn't "perfect".

Egg Shen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Egg Shen said...

Well done indeed.

But there's something wrong with this...

Except for the most pedantic and straightforward renderings, it really doesn't matter what the artist intended. What is received in the sensitive soul is more than likely what went into the art.

...I can't quite put my finger on.

I'm thinkin' about it. It'll be a day or two.