Study of a Nude Portrait – Blue

  Life has always good reasons to keep me away from the Studio… but in the end, the artist craves to go back where he belongs : in his own creative world. 

Summer has been busy, yes. I have been traveling around, I have been working, I spent quality time with my family – I can’t say I had a bad time – on the contrary! Yet, over the last week-ends, I was delighted to spend some time in my den, finally.

I am back to work, playing with pastels and charcoals. 

I oscillate between figurative works and abstraction, sometimes mixing both, also trying to put a bit more of myself in the piece I am working on. 

The aim is not to tell a story as such with a painting, but rather describe a mood, an atmosphere. Trying to do so means I am much more difficult with my work, especially when I can’t relate to it. 

I have ‘re-started’ several times my last painting… I started with what as a basic nude, almost sticking line for line to the picture I was working from… But I was unimpressed, the colors were nice, but the pose was somehow flat… I washed out the pastel and reworked the composition, ending with what I believe is a stronger nude portrait study. The model was showing strength and a lot of assurance, I also found the light very theatrical – playing with abstractions in the background helped me to emphasize the drama and get away from the model : I stopped the painting today –  I was fearing to overwork it, and it was starting to tell a story of its own… 

Here it is :

Study of a Nude Portrait – Blue
Pastel on Paper – 65 X 55cm

I attended a couple of Art shows that really stroke me, recently. At first, Paula Rego’s Obedience and Defiance at the MK Gallery, in Milton Keynes, and earlier this month, the Cindy Sherman retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery. 

I loved Paula Rego’s pastels, and of course, the stories she tells us! The scenes are – sometimes crudely – unravelling before the eyes… I have to say that pastel is the perfect medium for these stories… with the contradictions of this medium – enabling the strength and power of the lines and the softness of the finger touch. After that show, I felt that I may try some larger formats, at some points… We shall see where my work leads me. 

The Cindy Sherman show was another sort of revelation… What a fantastic array of Self Portraits! The subject is nothing else but a pretext to play and depict ironic dramas or scenes of incredible intensity. As many of the works are printed on large scale, one can almost enter the picture, being fully absorbed by the scene – the works of the early 80’s made me think to some of Lucian Freud’s self-portraits : A simple subject or pose, yet a lasting impression and atmosphere… I should – will – see more Photography… 

(Ah – speaking of Lucian Freud… Another show is coming in the next couple of months… Looking forward to that one! After all, ‘Human Form’ is also a bit my ‘subject’).

Back to work… 

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