Showcasing Figure Drawings by Steve Wagner

October 27, 2011 in Figurative by joanvienot

Drawn by Steve Wagner
Drawn by Steve Wagner
Drawn by Steve Wagner
Drawn by Steve Wagner
Drawn by Steve Wagner
Steve Wagner is a fellow figure drawing artist at the regular weekly figure drawing sessions at Studio b. We had an assignment this week.  The owner, Colleen Duffley, said that a woman had come in to view the “Figure It Out” show of figurative works, and then said she would be interested in a series of poses, all reclining, using a male model.  The preferred style was gestural.  Steve and I were the only artists attending this week, so we accepted the challenge.
We warmed up with the usual 1-minute and 5-minutes poses before moving on to some 20- and 30-minute poses.  The model had an easy night.
Steve’s drawings are in the column at left, with two gestures on top, followed by 3 longer poses.
Steve presents his figure drawings as final products, but he also uses his figures as preparatory work for paintings.  Some of his framed works can be seen in the South gallery at Studio b.  He also shows at World Six Gallery.
Below are a the drawings I did, from the same last three poses.  The first pose is cropped.  Click here for the full pose.

The Scoop on Studio b.

October 24, 2011 in Figurative, Photography by joanvienot


Above is a podcast of 30A Radio’s “Colleen Duffley – Our Coastal Art Scene with Claire Bannerman”, spotlighting Studio b, where I practice figure drawing every Wednesday.  30A is the coastal highway along eastern Walton County in the panhandle of Florida.  30A Radio is a low-power FM community radio station, a broadcast service of Seaside Neighborhood School in Seaside, Florida.

Claire’s interview of Colleen Duffley focuses on the next event, which will be the Court Yard Hounds, who are coming to Studio b. this-coming Thursday, 10/27/11.  Tickets can be purchased online at

Below is a photograph of some of the musical instrumentals and equipment that have arrived ahead of the Court Yard Hounds in preparation for their show on Thursday.  In the background is the Light Impressions iPhoneography exhibit on 40 iPads, and on the wall behind are some of the 150+ figure drawings posted for the Figure It Out show presently exhibiting.

Photo used with permission, from Studio b's facebook page

Left Brain – Right Brain – in Figure Drawing

October 22, 2011 in Figurative by joanvienot

The left side of the brain is the analytical side, the side that deals with facts, logic, and communication.  The right side is the playful, emotional, and intuitive side, the home of creativity.  When I take the “Left Brain Right Brain” quiz, my score is 70% right-brain, which is to say that the right hemisphere of my brain dominates the way I process information. I suspect many artists are 100% right-brain.  Certainly a disproportionate number are left-handed, more than the 10% found in a standard population group.  I am right-handed, but can do many things left-handed, especially if I practice.

Some people can carry on a complete rational conversation while drawing or painting.  Being right-brain dominant, I can’t.  Sometimes I can’t get a single word to come out of my mouth.  Once in a while the studio owner will come around to the artists and ask if they would like something to drink, and many times I have not been able to answer even though I wanted to, until I stopped drawing for the moment.

So I found myself extremely challenged this week when one of the artists and the model talked all the way through one of the poses at our Wednesday evening figure drawing session.  Ordinarily, the subject would have fascinated me, but it interfered with my efforts to draw.  At first I tried to ignore their conversation and put it out of my mind, and then when I found that impossible, I found myself getting angry because I couldn’t draw very well while listening to the conversation — I kept making mistakes.  So then I tried to not be angry, to be mature, to be non-emotional and unattached, but I just found myself getting madder and madder!  Finally, I gave up and just quit drawing that pose, and waited for the pose to change before mentioning my difficulty to the artist and the model.  I had always thought that artists stayed quiet for the most part during figure drawing sessions so that they could concentrate.  It never occurred to me that it would actually be impossible for me to draw while a conversation was going on.  Thanks to my recent practice of a meditation and learning a little yoga, I think I got further along than I would have a few years ago, but apparently I don’t have enough control over my mind to be able to ignore a complete logical conversation.  When I mentioned it to the talkative artist afterwards, I said that I was going to have to come to terms with it, but the artist graciously offered simply not to talk during the poses and I have to say, I was greatly relieved.  I think the only way I could have handled it was to wad up some paper and stick it in my ears!

So for those of you who live with an artist, cut them a break — if you say something to them while they are painting, it probably really does go in one ear and out the other!  Even if they say “Yes, Dear”!

Interestingly, I very much enjoy the single comments the artists make during the figure drawing sessions, comments which require no response, like telling the model they sure do have a lot of toes, or, halfway through a pose, asking where that other leg suddenly came from.  Once in a while there is a comment on the music, or a parody of the singer, always humorous and playful, and these sorts of comments are a delight.

The model this week was partially dressed, which creates a completely different effect than fully nude.  I have often thought that if a little is left to the imagination, whether in literature, or visual art, or theater, it can make it more interesting.  The viewer or the reader has to participate more than if everything is fully stated.

Most of my images are available for purchase.  Contact me if you are interested. — Joan Vienot

Figure Drawing on the Run

October 13, 2011 in Figurative by joanvienot

What have I been doing for a month?  Well…. first there was a Saturday figure drawing workshop by Heather Clements at Studio b., followed by the regular Wednesday night figure drawing session, a trip to Chattanooga with two friends to do a 6-mile stand-up paddle race, and then the opening of Studio b.’s “Figure It Out” figurative art show, and this week, helping receive the art for the upcoming figurative show presented by the A+Art Committee of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County at the South Walton campus of Northwest Florida State College, then another regular Wednesday night figure drawing session, and today, the orientation meeting for my upcoming service on the CAA board, meanwhile trying to maintain my life routines and keep up with my “day job” (my businesses)…  it’s been a little hectic lately.  I’ve tried not to sacrifice anything, until this week when I absolutely had to give up my morning workouts to gain another couple of hours every day.  I managed to get in a little creekside hike with a couple of friends last Saturday, a yoga session at Balance Health Studio and a glass of juice at Raw and Juicy with another friend on Sunday.  I missed my Monday night meditation group meeting because I’m sitting the gallery at Studio b. every evening this week.  So, you see, it’s been crazy-busy lately.  I don’t like to be this busy.  Even during quiet moments at the gallery, I’m catching up on some business work, except tonight when I’m evaluating my life while I blog about it.  But I guess you can tell, figure drawing would be the last thing I would give up.  I think that’s how it is for figurative artists.  As I look at all the drawings and paintings here at Studio b. for this show, I am realizing that all of the artists represented are compelled to draw.  We draw for the sheer pleasure of it.  We pay a small fee to be here, and we pay the model with tips, and we collect our own art — mine is stacked high on a shelf in my house, with only a few pieces framed and hanging.  It actually was a pleasant surprise to me when pieces started selling out of the show.  Below are the drawings that sold on opening night.

18 x 24 14 x 24 14 x 20 18 x 24

Here are a couple of photos from opening night.  The atmosphere was casual and friendly.  In one gallery Colleen Duffley, owner of Studio b., had hired a model and set up easels and supplies for the guests to try their hand at figure drawing, and several did try!

You might notice that I draw in many different styles.  Supposedly an accomplished artist becomes recognizable by their style.  If that is the case, my work might never be recognizably mine, because I like to approach the figure differently almost every time I draw.  Of  course, the usual challenges remain, due to the time constraints of any given pose, so there may be proportional problems, like the drawing at left that I made a couple of weeks ago, where I think I made the head a good bit larger than it really was, in proportion to the rest of the figure.  This week I focused on what may become my style, because I like the quality of the expression — it feels comfortable, it feels like “me”.  The drawings below are from last night’s session, and my favorite is the last drawing.  Click on any of the drawings for a larger view.

Most of my images are available for purchase.  Contact me if you are interested. — Joan Vienot