Tuesday, October 6, 2009

AIDS Fundraiser Teaching Art

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Classically trained painter Graydon Parrish recently contacted me. We “met” on Facebook. Graydon moved to Austin, Texas, about a year ago and has already gotten quite active in the community here. He asked if I would assist him (and others) in helping to raise money for AIDS Services of Austin, via an event hosted by The Octopus Club. This organization knows how to throw a party: I worked with them some years ago in the annual ArtErotica event.

The Octo Tea Dance XIV happens on October 11th from 3 – 9 p.m. From Graydon: At the event, we are offering several experiences, which include, so far, music and cooking lessons. The theme this year is the five senses.

Graydon Parrish has volunteered painting lessons, for the sense of vision. I am donating four hours of sculpting lessons, for touch. (The winning bidder will learn how to sculpt hands using plaster life castings as models. We will work in the sculpture studio of Beth Schoen in Austin at a time good for all of us.)

The auction will happen at the event, and perhaps even beforehand. At this writing, I am not sure of the details, but Graydon said that our auction offerings will be online on Wednesday.

I urge you to attend the event, bid on items that appeal to you, and enjoy helping a great cause. As I wrote years ago when I donated to two AIDS fundraising events,

“Why AIDS? AIDS disturbs me because of the way it is transmitted. As social creatures, we need to touch each other. Ostracism is a powerful punishment. AIDS is transmitted via the most personal ways we touch one another, whether it be sexually or through the acts of giving birth and sharing blood. To stop it, we need to deny ourselves in some ways. The very actions that link us to each other are what this disease thrives on.”

Octo Tea Dance XIV
October 11, 2009
3:00 pm to 9:00 pm
The Long Center for the Performing Arts, Austin, Texas
DJ Roland Belmares and DJ Seth Cooper
Tickets $45 presale, $60 door (purchase now)

A Great Party – A GREATER CAUSE!

Graydon Parrish wrote this up for my auction donation:

Experience the Five Senses: Touch

The sculptor’s prerogatives are to look, to think and to remake the world, sensitively rejoining, by hand and fingers, clay, plaster and marble. For many, sculpture has been the standard to which other arts should aspire. It is, after all, a metaphor for Creation itself, and as such it reveals the fullness and breadth of nature, magically changing its appearance from day to night, dawn to dusk. And touch is at the center of this creative process.

So it is with great pleasure that the Octopus Club of Austin is able to offer an experience of touch, an odyssey into the world of the sculptor, with Kelly Borsheim. From Texas to Florence, [Italy] Kelly has explored the streets, the studios and the museums to refine her art and outlook. Her inspiration is the human body, which to her reveals the essential tenets of life, from its struggles to desires. Her art is one of beauty, introspection and contemplation.

This experience will consist of four hours of private lessons, covering some of the basics of sculpture. It is also one not to be missed, and the Octopus club is grateful to Kelly Borsheim to offer such world-class instruction to help save lives.

Kelly Borsheim’s art is collected widely, throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, and New Zealand. She splits her time between Florence, Italy, and her studio in central Texas.

Value $ 400.00

Please note that the Octopus Club will assist with the coordination of lessons between the high bidder and the artist.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Full Monty Life Drawing

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Since I have been back in central Texas, I have been trying to attend at least one of the many life drawing sessions in Austin. The Austin Full Monty session is held each Sunday evening, hosted by artist Leslie Pierce and sponsored by AVAA (Austin Visual Arts Association). As you can probably guess, Leslie hires only male models.

Earlier in the day, there is a session that previously offered life drawing with alternating male and female models, but for the last several years, those hosts have drifted towards only the female model. So, as it turns out, if I can tear myself away from my studio on Sundays, I can be sure to draw a model from each sex.

The Austin Full Monty starts off with about ten 1-minute gesture poses. These brief, usually more dynamic poses help the artist to loosen up and shift the mind to the spatially thinking right side of the brain. They also give us artists the opportunity to try to record action. Instead of focusing on detail, we try to capture the essence of a gesture.

The following are not the best images I have ever taken of my art and I tried to increase the contrast to help you see the pencil or charcoal marks on the paper.

Sometimes I see a gesture that I would like to turn into a more formal work of art. One of my better known works is “Ten”. This bronze bas-relief sculpture was inspired by a one-minute gesture sketch that I had done eight years before and just could not forget. Click on the sculpture’s name if you would like to see this sketch.

After the quick gestures, we move into several 15-minute poses and then try for two 30-minute poses.

Sometimes I try to create a perfect gesture with flow lines and an energy that moves me. Other times I simply focus on one body part, such as the foot. In the last image of the torso with the stretched out arms, I was most attracted to the triangles and the light and dark shapes within.

Even if I never use these images to create a painting or sculpture, I still could not imagine NOT drawing from life.

Check out the Austin Full Monty Life Drawing Sessions.