Saturday, 1 August 2009

about beginning again

In response to your beginning again with Rousseau, I was away looking at pictures for a week (teaching) and got such a strong urge to go back to looking by copying as a result, so it was great to see your posting. Haunting the National Gallery in London just served to inflame my interest in 17th century works full of gloomy passion by artists such as Poussin, Caravaggio, or Gentileschi, as here in Judith and Holfernes c.1625 which is in Detroit Institute of Arts I was drawing from today:

Quite apart from the questions about use of light, pose, gesture, etc that copying answers more clearly than anything else, I also began to get a real sense of how fully realised this event has been through drawing -in the book or the gallery you just go 'oh yeah that's Judith, etc.' but folllowing through the decisions about profile, costume, etc on the page with my own marks made that dreadful but ludicrous strategy -how do you go about chopping off an enemy general's head in a seductive guise begin to resonate.

The tiger in the rainstorm drawing and mine of Judith also starting me thinking about the different qualities of fright and violence in each image through drawing. In the tiger image with the coloured pencils there is that sense of lashing and striping that seems to fit so well. I'm trying to put into words the feel of the Judith image -guilty silence, the pause between violent actions. Are the marks I've used correct for this feeling?