Lisa stood back from the drawing and said “Well, you have a leg there.” It felt pretty good. We decided that it is time to move on to my next Bargue! I don’t think a student ever finishes a Bargue completely because the nature of the exercise is to see more and more to adjust. If you stopped seeing more to adjust it wouldn’t be perfection, it would be the stopping of progress. I really love how I can measure how well each Bargue notches up my ability to see and my hand eye coordination, etc. The progress is visceral. I am very excited to call this Bargue a done leg!
For a while I am going to just focus on the Bargues and Casts and go back into the figure drawing room in a couple of months. For personal reasons I needed a reduction of my time at the school but not in my commitment to this path. I will be working from home on my Bargue on Tuesdays and then on Thursdays going into the studio to draw and for critique. I am also working on my grisaille oil painting and my other artwork not a part of my atielier training program. I do drawings and pastels, some painting (and I write poetry). I have noticed a huge, huge difference in the quality of my work since beginning this study. I post all of that work on my blog grok-art and on my personal website Sandra-walton.com
My next Bargue is going to be a huge, huge challenge for me. When Lisa first suggested it I didn’t choose it. Then I thought about it. It intrigues me on so many levels. I love the form and expression of line and it exposes me to drawing the figure even though I am not in the live figure drawing room. And it is a completely new medium for me. I have never used charcoal. Well, I have and I never picked it up again. Dislike. They use charcoal very differently at the school than the way I was introduced to it at the University years ago. They use Nitram and they use it very, very sharp and lightly. The fluidity and expressive quality of the line in the Bargue drawing will be a real challenge I think, the greatest challenge of the work. I am used to working very methodically and very tightly on my Bargues. Just the nature of reproducing the motion of this drawing will require that I loosen up a little while staying in control of my eye and the medium. I think it was a very good choice on Lisa’s part – and I am not convinced at all that I can do it. But I will learn a lot trying, that is assured.
Finally, I have been working on my grisaille some more struggling with the lemon and trying to keep values consistent while working on completely different areas of the painting at a time. I do not think I like this method of painting that is so precise. I want more brush stroke and I want to work on the whole painting at a time, have a conversation going with all the parts at the same time… as it is I work on one section and move on to the next. It is a conversation but a very, very slow one. It is good for me to learn this indirect method first though before getting into alla prima and direct painting. I think it is teaching me a lot about how to handle careful application of paint and value. This work I am doing now will pay dividends when I open it up a little and especially when I move into color.