Friday, October 20, 2006

The B minus drawings

Sketch by Dada, circa mid-seventies. On the bottom I noticed the instructor had scrawled "B-", probably because of the misshapened, missized, misdrawn, prematurely rheumatoid arthritic hand of the model.

Our last night in Taos, at the invitation of an artist friend, we attended the opening of a show in one of the many art galleries in town. During such receptions, it is customary to serve wine and sometimes light snacks to the attending public.

While Taos is a small community, there is more art, art galleries, exhibits and receptions for artists per capita than communists in Cuba. And I suspect as this nation slides deeper and deeper into economic chaos and despair as the central banks in China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong dump U.S. dollars that have enabled American global hubris, in Taos more and more dispossessed people will become connoisseurs, if not of art, of the wine and snacks of sustenance offered at these art exhibition's openings. This particular night there were several such receptions in town.

But judging from this well attended event Saturday evening, I'd say those present for the art outnumbered those there to silence the grumblings of their empty bellies. And I didn't notice any communists there either--I think, although I did meet one Cuban from Miami.

The theme of this particular exhibit was the nude. It was highlighted by a series of photos of a local woman in the buff at various locations around a deserted Taos plaza at 2:30 in the morning. Around this core group of photos were drawings, paintings, even a sculpture or two by other artists.

Dada "Nude, number 737," mid-1970's. I had to lighten this photo with graphics software, so badly darkened is the newsprint it's drawn on.

Well, I came away from Taos more inspired than usual. As a result, I went in search of some of my old sketches when we returned home. Few remain. That's remarkable, because I took nine semesters of life drawing classes. But most of my work was done on newsprint and newsprint doesn't age well. It tends to yellow over time and, like us all, eventually turns to dust. As a result, I've culled most of those old sketches over the years and discarded them.

These then are but a couple of the few remaining. Perhaps I should frame 'em and one day have an exhibit. Maybe I'll call it, "The B Minus Drawings."


azgoddess said...

smile - i knew we were kindred souls

in my past life - bf (before kids) i received my BFA and took numerous life drawing classes -- but unlike you, all of my drawings were sold to the nerdy engineers

so the only ones i have left are in my

your work is great...thanks for sharing

D.K. Raed said...

Well being non-artistic, I can only say the world would be a much better place if the human artist ratio were vastly increased. Luckily places like taos exist to feed artistic yearnings.

Realizing that one measly semester of Intro Art History removes my credibility, I do feel your top drawing strongly captures a very tired dancer (that is a dark leotard she's wearing, right?). The bottom one is harder to figure out, possibly an equestrian? no, no! don't tell me Katherine Harris was an art class model then!

Thanks for sharing these. Oh, you MUST preserve the remainder of your work before it crumbles to dust, dada! I even like the title (B-): intriguing, self-effacing with a little snark thrown in.

BTW, I took the Intro AH class believing the course description about reviewing the art of various cultures beginning with cave art. Was very disappointed when only a couple days were devoted to Lascaux (which IMHO has never been topped). I did find the pre-columbian NA & dark age european art quite revealing. After that, it was all studying for the exam, sad to say, bored student that I was. ~~ D.K.

dada said...

az: I had it in my mind you were an artist. I think it may have been something I read long, long ago. So long ago, I began doubting that memory as a valid one. Thanks for reaffirming.

Yes, my BFA was in painting with an art history minor. I wasn't any good at the three dimensional arts of metals, ceramics or sculpture. Perhaps that hints at why I'm so maladjusted here in a four (or more) dimensional Universe?

But maybe the art explains why I love to spend time in Taos a couple times each year.

And lucky you, selling so much of your work. Do you ever wish you had documented it better, so you woulnd't have to rely on fading memories? (j/k!)

Thanks for the kind words.

dada said...

dk: The bottom drawing is one of "Joyce," a fellow art student doing work/study as a life drawing model and I don't think she would be pleased by your comparison of her to KH. (grin)

She was leaning on a stool (which is not proportioned as well as the model, yet leaving me to wonder if I might not have been better at drawing aurochs).

Of course, as we all know in retrospection, after Lascaux, art fell into decay until reaching its second zenith during the early Twentieth Century in--of all things--Dada!

meldonna said...

Thanks for sharing the art -- your eye for composition doesn't fail you with a camera, either. Good luck with saving the rest of your drawings; that's obviously time well spent!