I am giving myself a break from the thesis work to do these silly little people and work with Flora inspired/more graphic heads/style. It is quite liberating to have these new finishing skills (which I hope with some work with Nancy Stahl and Jean Tuttle) will extend to my ability to bring an inked drawing to finish quickly. I have not worked in this strongly simplified style (yesterday) because frankly, its been an easy style...a whisker from the stuff I knock out for my client. However, the easy part is the style. The hard part is making it artful. The guys from the other day are from a type of little guy I did early...and never knew to redraw, refine and really finish. These are miles ahead (before leaning into them) than before. I am thinking of doing work with either or both on the next body of work (6-8 pieces) on growth. I would also like to do some holiday (christmas) pictures with both too. Then, there is the body of work whose working name is "The Obtuse Saints"-- which are the figures we associate with holidays that have nothing to do with the christian beliefs. Such saints might include Saint Frosty, Saint Rudolph, The Easter Bunny....and they might be little illustrations of the shrine image of these respective icons.
The bedside book today is about Picasso, who, you probably don't know, I am a new BIG fan of. I never thought I would be, but like blue cheese and oysters--you can hate them and grow to like them; hate them and hate them forever; or like them immediately.
Picasso, for me is a former..hate and grow to love. Why? Well, first off, Picasso is a drawer and a do-er. This guy kept sketchbooks and worked solidly his whole life. None of this "when the spirit moves me" stuff. He worked. Solidly. I dont remember which book it was, maybe it was at the library when I was doing my "shop around" approach to the visit. But, this book was chronological, showing on this day, this year-- Picasso produced these sketches which evolved into those pieces. A steady thread of 3-5 images daily. Indeed, an impetus for all of us to just plug away...3-5 sketches a day. His thinking and evolving as an artist through these distinct bodies of work that kept wrapping the same imagery into new styles, new approaches, new "flat" thoughts (I think he is a decorative guy too, eh? Murray?). The harlequin of the blue period pops up as a cubist piece. His portrayal of his current squeeze in sometimes lovely modes, sometimes less lovely but thought provoking. Animals, particularly goats and bulls...it goes on. So, even Picasso had his "mis en place" of content...and let the style and approach go where it will...one flowing into the next. I think this is what happens, at least for me. One body flowing into the next. One style flowing into the next. Content evolving with sparkles from the past studding the future.
I am looking at the Vuillard body of work that Picasso did. Extrodinary stuff. This is the moment that Picasso stripped everything aside and with lovely sweeping lines drew these simple women, men moving to detail heads, another figure, a minotaur, a lovely woman. The purity of these graphic pieces (and the writer refers to this as graphic art...not the nasty graphic design graphic art(s)--but art). Picasso moves from the sensitive portraits and images (ie the Blue Period) to the imagery of Guernica (a sort of warm up for Guernica) in this elegant approach. The image above is one of the less graceful ones of the series...but beautiful none the less...masterful in his massive, confident figures, his design sensibility and his understanding of line and form.
Must go. Am being nudged to go outside. More later.