Just painted a nude i am pleased about. Why? Because the musculature is caught by a kind of calligraphic brushstroke. Best example is Sargents Thomas which i consider a masterpiece. Its obvious the muscle must be painted using brushstrokes. This is more. The stroke follows the fibre of the muscle,so it is as if by alchemy that the muscle is created by the paint.but this goes deeper than colour,texture and tone. Thats the surface reality,rendering an illusion of light. That varies, the muscle form does not. It changes shape as it moves but constrained by attachment and insertion its forms remain constant.
It is though the muscle is replaced by paint,flexing and flowing.Mine is a very bad painting,and a bloody good idea.
Looking at Ryans Daffurns painting of her knees was to follow stroke by drag,push by pull,layer by scrape,and to witness the how rather than the what.
And now 06/05/15 i rediscover Wendy Artin’s watercolour nudes i saw them in Boston in 2009?. She has really done nothing more than eliminate preliminary linework. In doing so, light areas on the body are undifferentiated from the paper background. The light glows off the body. She paints in earths (umber) which can be very dark, or ranging to very subtle, but the middle tones seem to be treated first.
Of all subjects, the nude responds to the most abstract treatment. For tone shapes are her building blocks. These reveal a deep understanding of anatomy, heightened by “lost and found.” Edges.abrupt transitions indicating sudden plane shifts, more gradual modulations revealing soft changes in the angle of incidence of the light.
Make no mistake, light,anatomy,perspective and watercolour technique are all profoundly present. Academic training is at the centre, but Artins simple refusal to go the easy way and outline first results in fresh,spontaneous,daring work.
To her advances? I can see a way for me to build figure compositions from memory and imagination,taking the odd one into oil paint, yet maintaining the brushwork at the heart of it.