Joan Vienot, Melody Bogle, Carol Ann Cain, Donnelle Clark, Kathy Schumacher, Krista Schumacher, Margaret Biggs, Mary Redmann, Melissa Brown, Polli Youngbeck, Robin Wiesneth, Sarah Stewart, Susan Lucas, Victoria Guennewig, and Roslyn O’Grady are the 15 artists juried into The Foster Gallery’s Winter Rotation. Depending on the sizes of their works, each artist is showing from 5 to 15 pieces. “The Foster Gallery is an artist co-operative led by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County that features at least a dozen artists on a seasonally rotating basis, along with special exhibits. Named for the late Susan Foster, founder of the Cultural Arts Alliance and one of the area’s first professional artists and gallery owners, The Foster Gallery also symbolizes the support the CAA strives to provide for artists in our community. Conveniently located in the Market Shops at Sandestin, The Foster Gallery is available as a venue for meetings, parties, social gatherings and other small events.” (https://www.culturalartsalliance.com/local-arts/foster-gallery/) The Foster Gallery is located beside Ben & Jerry’s in the Market Shops, at 9375 Emerald Coast Parkway, Miramar Beach, FL 32550.
Way before I ever imagined it happening, some of my figure drawings are hanging in a gallery. Colleen Duffley has covered one of the walls in Studio b with drawings by the participants in the weekly figure drawing sessions. The fact that our drawings are being shown at all is pretty exciting, not to mention the good fortune to be shown at Studio b, the premier fine art gallery and venue for creativity. Italian artist Sergio Poddighe will be showing his work in the main gallery starting with his opening reception on Saturday, 3/27/2010, from 6 to 8 PM. Our figure work will be in the back gallery. Our prices will be nominal, because our drawings are not matted or framed.
This week instructor Heather Clements had us draw the folds and gathers of fabric partially covering the model. A plain light-colored sheet gave us plenty to work with. The drawing sessions have been well-attended the last few weeks, with 10 or 12 artists there. As always, the energy was very high this week.
Each session becomes an experience: the scratching sound of chalk and charcoal on paper, the instructor’s soft encouragement and tutoring of the individual artists; one of the artists singing a parody of a mournful selection in the background music, with everyone laughing afterwards. And spoken aloud, the questions all artists struggle with (but usually don’t verbalize)… “How do you make a foot look like a foot? Why does mine look like a flipper?” And the groans of protest when the timer goes off, ending a particularly good pose. And then the hurried removal of drawings from drawing boards and the setting up for a new drawing, quick, hurry, we’re starting another 8-minute pose…
None of my drawings were “keepers”, but I’m posting a few anyway. I experimented, even using some color. I rarely use color for color’s sake, preferring instead to draw monotone value studies using only one color or a neutral. I may not turn out any masterpieces when I experiment, but I learn a lot, so I never count the effort a waste.
OK, now you get to see how I can mess up my web-guy’s fine work. I moved a bunch of sketches from my Figure Drawing Gallery to Sketches and Gestures, and although both slide shows progress correctly, the thumbnails shift on every other slide. This kind of thing just stops my right-brain dead in its tracks! “Oh W-a-r-r-r-r-r-r-e-n!”
So why have two categories? The Figure Drawing Gallery contains pieces I would show. The “Sketches and Gestures” section contains pieces I probably would never show, but that I haven’t thrown away yet. Sketches and gestures sometimes have more of a sense of immediacy and intimacy, even though they are probably done hurriedly and might contain serious inaccuracies.
How do I decide what to keep and what to throw out? The initial decision is easy, because most of what I do are warm-up drawings, and practice pieces, or compositional planning. Many are not even recognizable, and since I prefer representational art, recognition is important to me. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but for me, it is all about whether the piece keeps my attention, in that I want to look at it for longer, and look at it more often, as opposed to looking at it and saying ‘Yeah, OK, that’s pretty,” and just moving on without a second glance.