Friday, November 30, 2012

A Deep Study of Anatomy

   Over the past month and a half I have had the great opportunity to attend an in depth drawing anatomy course. I have been painting and drawing the human figure for more than 15 years. Sure, I know about the general concepts of anatomy, more than most, and enough to teach figurative drawing and painting classes. I have a bit of a library when it comes to Anatomy for the Artist books. I did not know all the names of the actual structure, beyond the major bones and muscles that makes up the human form (well, not committed to memory), and I didn't really know why this bulges when that's bent, or how the muscles in our body operate (especially the feet and hands). Sitting in a class, focused on something that I am extremely interested in and hearing and following a lecture and watching someone else tackle and point out details is more informative than trying to figure it out on one's own. What do all those lines that are depicted on the muscles really indicate in my anatomy books? Well, now I know. During my university years and after I have been focused on color theory and studying tonality. I have studied them so much that all that information is lodged into my subconscious and I can mix any color quite precisely without thinking about it. I would like to be the same way with anatomy and my understanding of the human form so it comes automatically. There are so many images that I wish to paint and so to speed up my process I am educating myself where I sometimes get hung up. The human form is difficult and I don't think it will ever be easy to portray, but I can educate myself to get a better understanding of it. The reason I enjoy painting the human form is because I find it so intriguing. Everyone is so different and we are more than just our bodies, we are alive full of spirit, personality, and life experiences. I will never know everything about painting people. People are amazing creatures.
   The course was interesting in so many ways. It was taught by Justin Ogilvie who is a vast pool of knowledge concerning portraying the human figure. I found his lectures invaluable. I could have listened to him all evening. For those who already have quite a bit of figurative experience I highly recommend his courses. He is very informal in contrast to his structured complex curriculum. I soaked it all in. I made sure I went to the washroom and had everything I needed before the class started because I didn't want to miss a single word. It was fast paced and intense. Time whipped by.
   The body of students in the class I attended was interesting as well. I haven't been in an art course with so many men since my university days. There were about 6 tattoo artists and a bunch of graphic artists as well. It was interesting to see different art forms come together. We all work with the figure in our artistic careers but in different ways. I love learning from others and to go around the room at the end of class to see how others interpreted the same figure while given the same instruction but with different life experiences and artistic careers was inspiring. Also being around men covered in tattoos made me want to paint their portraits. I wish that I wasn't constantly pressed for time, I would have loved to hang around after the classes to chat with them. (If you are reading this and are from that class and would be interested in modeling for a portrait, please send me an email.)

The following are some of the drawing that I did during the course. Note that they are just exercises and not, what I would consider completed work, and done in the span of 5min to 45min each.



Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Artist's Studio

Since the Studio Show and Sale in October I have been finding time to paint almost everyday. Honestly, even I am amazed. I don't foresee myself slowing down either. I feel like I have been given a really fast car that runs on air and I want to stick my head out of the window and scream WooooHoooo! I am thoroughly enjoying myself. I am extremely grateful that my significant other has supported me, encouraged me, and has sternly told me that I must pursue my career as an artist/painter. Without him I wouldn't be able to focus or be on the successful path that I am on now with my work. He has given me the push and shove that I needed. I get a rush and a grin that must make people think I'm crazy when they ask me what my profession is and I get to say "I am a professional artist". When I was a child and I didn't really know you could draw or paint pictures for a living (and most adults currently don't think it's possible either), I would say that I wanted to be a professional chocolate taster by day and an aerobics instructor by night. My life has turned out close to that. I do have a bite of dark chocolate with my tea when I am on a break from painting and I think I get the same high from the act of painting as I would off of eating chocolate for a living. Then I get to chase and play with my children, which in my opinion, is similar, if not equivalent to aerobics.

I finished a self portrait last month and I am currently working on two large paintings both of a reclining female figure, with two more paintings lined up and I am eager to start their under paintings.

I have included the photo of my studio as a bit of a gift. I have recently watched two wonderful films about practicing artists. Beauty is Embarrassing, about Wayne White. The other, Gerhard Richter Painting. Both were very different and fantastic. If you get a chance to rent either, please do. If anything you get a really good look into their studios and how they work. There were things in both films that seemed to tell me that I am on the right path, which is always encouraging. Not often do we get to see a painters studio, or a painter working in one. There are not many professional painters in the world. Also, a painters studio is often their most private space where they create a den or cave that they work the best in. It reflects a lot about an artists inner most being. I've seen studios that are  spotless and meticulously organized with labels on everything. Then there are studios (such as the late Lucien Freud's) that are beyond a health and safety concern. So here is mine, read into it what you will.

Daphne Cote's Studio
A view from standing in front of my desk.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Successful Show and Sale

Thank you to everyone who made it to my studio for the Show and Sale on the 19th and 20th. I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderfully it went. I feel so encouraged by how successful the weekend was and the amazing outcomes that came from the event.
Since the show and sale I have been working hard, painting every free minute I have. Letting the creativity flow. Emboldened with courage to pursue my passion.
I would like to turn the studio show and sale into an annual event.

I know that several people wanted to attend but were unable, you can always make a private appointment to come to my studio and check out either past or current work, or to discuss commissions (by the way I am still accepting commissions to be done before Christmas).
You can contact me by email at: [email protected]

Here I am taking a photo of the two portraits I did in December 2011.