Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lisa, Writer, Reader

Yesterday I worked with a "new-to-me" model, Lisa. It was one of those all to rare days here in Nova Scotia - warm, sunny, and just enough breeze to keep the bugs off. So we worked outside.

Most of the time Lisa worked on a short story while I drew. I find this sort of work fascinating; creation often requires isolation, otherwise focus gets lost. Which means that most people never get to quietly observe another person engaged in creative work. I just hope I don't ruin her writing (I can be a chatterer).

Writers have long been the subject of art work - examples include Holbein's great portaits of Erasmus (that's a link to one, there are several), Courbet's portrait of Baudelaire, Manet's portrait Emile Zola, and perhaps even Mary Cassatt's delightful print The Letter.

The big problem of course is that the act of writing is actually pretty dynamic. A subject's thoughts change, the body moves. Someone engaged in thought holds themselves quite differently from someone pouring words out on to a page. It's not an activity in which you can tell the subject to hold still until the buzzer goes! So you collect sketches, good, bad, indifferent and in the end try to to synthesize something. rather like the Hanna at the piano etching (which I am still working on).

So here's a few from the day:

(Note to self - get rid of the Adirondack chairs, they hide half the subject! And buy sunscreen.Around here it's a cheap investment as a bottle lasts for years.)

And of course, after all that work, one needs to relax a bit. Perhaps by reading a book?

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