Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Figure drawing - personal history

Drawing the human figure is an interesting and challenging task.
Dancers - Henry More!

My first introduction to such a task was in the 60s.  I had a wonderful friend Erika who ran a creative dance school. The dancers moved to classical music and made use of colourful scarves. This coincided with my interest in Henry Moore and his drawing of people.

Drawing from the 60s

 At another friends advice I went
de Kooning
along to figure drawing classes - and few years later to life classes run by well known New Zealand artist Tom Krysler. Tom was an interesting tutor who encouraged class members to develop their own style. Unfortunately the drawings completed in these classes have been long lost. If I remember they were done on large pieces of paper using  charcoal or large crayon.

In the last few years I have returned to figure drawing and I am planning to develop some paintings along the theme. Two artists have caught my attention for inspiration de Kooning and Richard Diekenkorn. Painting in figurative style in the 80s, after a period of abstract expressionism and hard
Diekenkorn drawing
edged abstract painting, their work appeals to me. As for de Kooning I particularly  like his female figures before the disintegrated into more expressionistic work.

Two other influences that seem hard to ignore in this area of figure drawing are Picasso and Matisse - I  particularly like Matisse. Both seem to appear in my drawings - guess I will have to live with their influence until I work through them.
Pat Hanly

One New Zealand artist I admire is Pat Hanly - the figures on the beach series. They seem to me to relate to Matisse's later cut out pieces.

Everything goes into the mix - who knows what might emerge? That's the ultimate challenge of art.

Small painting 90s
Recent drawing

Painting in progress

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