Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Toughest Thing to Draw

Last night's faces were the easiest things for me to draw-- the stillest of still life.  The French term for still life is nature morte--- dead nature.  Absent of all motion, carved wooden figures have already been abstracted, and all I have to do is copy the frozen, still forms.  I abstract them a degree further, from abstract wooden forms to abstract lines.  The real work has already been done by the sculptor.

Tonight's faces were the hardest for me to draw-- living, moving, constantly changing figures.  I was at Jacob's high school band concert.  By necessity none of the band members was ever still.  Even when a person was blowing into a trumpet for a couple of minutes his or her face constantly changed.  I was trying to abstract the fewest lines that would communicate something about the attitude, affect, and positions of the students.

Most fun was drawing the co-band directors as they conducted.  They are a married couple and do a great job of co-directing the bands and ensembles and quintets and orchestras.  I wanted to show the solidly-planted feet (and nature) of the man director as well as the more sparkly and bouncy affect of the woman director.  Their little four or five year old child plays on stage and backstage during the concerts.  The directors and the students seem perfectly happy to have their little mascot in on the performance, popping in and out of the curtain but not at all intrusive.  I wanted to draw the child, but she (or he, not sure which) was far too quick and elusive.

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