Drawings, 1981

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“Self Portrait”
Charcoal on paper
24” x 18”
1981

This is one of many self portraits I did at this time. I was 20 when I made this and very much fascinated with myself as I was coming of age. It was also convenient to use myself as a model for all the stylistic explorations I was pushing through at this time. Here I am clearly experimenting with my own brand of expressionism. There are elements of everything from Gustav Klimt to William De Kooning. And as often the case, a touch of Picasso.

If you look around in the website you can see other drawings and paintings using similar approaches with strong diagonal lines, elongating and blurring of the figure and dramatic viewpoints. These elements would remain aspects of my work even to this day over 40 years later.

“Hand Studies”
Graphite on paper
18” x 24”
1981

These are studies of my own hands. Foreshortening is when you show something that is long and thin from an angle that collapses the depth onto the flat page in such a way that the object appears to recede into space. This is considered difficult for many artists. But it is simply a matter of drawing what you actually see rather than the idea of the thing in front of you. I don’t find foreshortening to be particularly difficult especially when working from a live model.

“Boy”
Charcoal/paper
24” x 18”
1981

I was 20 years old when I did this drawing. I was still exploring who I was as a person. But I was already certain I was an artist. And this drawing makes it pretty clear I was an artist very interested in expressing whatever it was I had to say through the figure in somewhat conventional and emotionally charged ways.

My piece here is essentially realistic. And it is clearly emotionally charged. I remember seeing the work of an artist named Kathe Kollwitz and was inspired by her lithography. Here are 2 small examples of her work.

Boy
Boy

“Boy”
Charcoal/paper
24” x 18”
1981

“Ecce Homo”.
Charcoal on paper
24” x 18”
1981

These are drawings inspired by paintings of Christ being beaten by people. I don’t remember which artists but probably Titian or El Greco.
It’s strange that at 18 years old I would have been so fascinated by this particular image. At some point I did a painting inspired by a painting by Zurburan of Christ resting after having been beaten.
Unfortunately that painting did not survive since I used materials I made myself in an effort to rediscover how oils paint seemed so much more lustrous in old paintings.

Pencil/Paper
8.5″ x 11″
1981

Pencil/Paper
8.5″ x 11″
1981

Pencil/Paper
8.5″ x 11″
1981

Pencil/Paper
8.5″ x 11″
1981

Pencil/Paper
8.5″ x 11″
1981

Pencil/Paper
8.5″ x 11″
1981

Pencil/Paper
8.5″ x 11″
1981

Pencil/Paper
8.5″ x 11″
1981

Pencil/Paper
8.5″ x 11″
1981