Saturday, January 21, 2012

Abstraction of the Real Figure

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),
It is sometimes a strange thing to understand -- this getting to realism in art through abstraction. The idea basically is that the artist is not just copying from a model. She is creating a design based on what she sees in the model. I want to capture a gesture, for gesture is a physical expression of a thought or idea.

The following oil painting “Neela” is one of my favorites of my early paintings from life. I cannot believe it is still in my collection, but then I usually keep it in my home for my own enjoyment. This is an older work and therefore quite affordable.

Neela, the model, was sitting and leaning forward a bit as she read a book during her pose time. I often enjoy working on the extreme edges of the model room, as well as working in the shadows with backlighting. And I love backs. You may see here that even if you can recognize this image as a woman’s back, it is really made up of abstract shapes of light and dark. The triangles of the shoulder blades give you an idea of symmetry in the anatomy, yet are not exact repeats of form. You may enjoy the circular shapes, the pointier ones, and hopefully the long swirling dark shape that widens as it gets closer to its bottom and denotes most of the woman’s spine.

The cool thing about this process is that one can achieve a believable human figure that does not look like a photograph. I hope that you enjoy “Neela.”

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