Response

Now that I am home, I feel as though I can get back to some much needed studio work.  While I was living in Istanbul, I found it hard to set up a work space and concentrate on prolonged drawings or paintings.  When I did finally have a studio, and everything I needed to work for hours on a tightly rendered painting, I would feel anxious to  get back outside and draw from life.  There is such an incredible energy in Istanbul and I felt addicted to drawing right in the midst of its chaos.  Istanbul is also a city that is ever-changing and constantly moving.  As though it it is a living organism, and all of its inhabitants are pushed and pulled by each of its massive breaths.  My life in turn felt subject to manipulation.  When I would leave my house in the morning, I never knew what kind of experiences lay ahead of me, as though each day was a unique adventure.  My artwork soon became quick, gestural and energetic.  The drawings and paintings I made were not only a response to what I was seeing, but also what I was feeling.  Working in my studio felt like it didn’t correspond with such a life and such surroundings.  So, nearly everyday I found myself working outdoors on short sketches and loose watercolors. When I think about it, I cannot believe the contrast I had from my working life in Wyoming, where I would spend 8 months on a single painting, concentrating for hours on tedious detail.  Istanbul, and the experience I had there, brought a valuable new energy to my life and work.  Now that I am back in a more static environment, I can reflect on the life I had, draw new inspiration from it and work once again on longer projects.  Although I am certain they will carry a new energy about them.  I will be updating about new studio work, post-Istanbul, and in turn discovering, how this experience has changed so many aspects of myself.

Self Portrait, Mixed Media on Paper

Like Squashing a Bug

When I was in Rome, I was lucky enough to see many masterpieces.  However, one painting in particular stands above the rest.  Caravaggio was one of my first loves and has always had a great influence on my work.  As I walked through the Palazzo Barberini, this shocking image came into my sight.  Judith Beheading Holofernes, by Caravaggio.  I sat in front of it for an immeasurable amount of time, and would have been fully satisfied if I didn’t see anything for the rest of the day, or week.

“I love the expression on her face.”

“Yes, me too.”

“Its as if she is doing something that is just slightly unpleasant.”

“Yes. like squashing a bug.”

Below is the sketch I did of the old woman, waiting to catch the head of Holofernes.

Departure

A thousand half-loves

must be forsaken to take

one whole heart home.

Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy,

absentminded.  Someone sober

will worry about things going badly.

Let the lover be.

Lovers don’t finally

meet somewhere.

They’re in each other all along.

-Rumi

Though I am home now, my body still resonates with Istanbul.  In a way, I feel as though my heart will always be there.  In another way, the warmth and comfort of home is intoxicating.  I know I will return, someday, to the chaos and stimulation of that city.  There is something magic that lives there, something that cannot be found anywhere else.  Farewell Istanbul, until we meet again…for now I will leave you with, some sketches.

Rome Sketches

My dad…my first drawing teacher, my fellow traveller and my sketching partner.  For me, drawing from life is always more exciting when I have someone to share it with.  Though we are both looking at the same objects, buildings or people, our individual thoughts and visions about the world come out onto paper.  We share ideas, materials and unique experiences together.  I have had many fellow sketchers with me on this journey, and I couldn’t be happier than closing this chapter with the one who first taught me how to hold a pencil.

The Process…

The results…mine first…And now dad’s…

Prospectivo

Some excellent examples of one-point perspective, both real and implied.  I feel myself recalling drawing one lectures…Raphael’s Fresco in the Vatican Museum.  Borromini’s “prospectivo” in the Spada Gallery.   This may look like an actual hallway, but in reality it is only 10 yards long, with everything diminishing in size as it goes back to create an optical illusion.  I wanted to take a picture of myself in the structure to illustrate the effect but I wasn’t allowed to even get a photo of the thing.  So, I took a picture from outside of the gallery.The San Carlino Church by Borromini.  Here he designed the coffers to diminish in size to create the same illusion.