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Poets at Poetry Readings Series: A Poet



...another of my Poets at Poetry Readings Series. Successful "as portrait," no. I don't take reference photos, I didn't have my proper glasses and she was blurry, and there's not very much time to make a 'likeness.' But in other ways, perhaps. I'm ok with what's emerged here.

'A Poet,' 2013, 9" x 12", 22.9cm x 30.5cm, charcoal, conte, pastel on Strathmore archival drawing paper.

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 brendaclews.com
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Art Bar last night



Photo taken at the Art Bar last night by Norman.

...I like to give credit for photos if I can... barely know Norman - he's a fellow poet and artist, and a naturopath. Seems a very nice man, a good friend of a friend. We exchanged phone numbers and he apparently always takes an identifying photo. We both did open mic - his was a sound poem; I like his work very much. I've been trying to go to the Art Bar - weekly poetry readings with an open mic - for 6 months, and made it in -20C weather last night. I love poetry! I love Q Space! :))

Below two quick charcoal sketches I did, absolutely untouched, and of course thinking prolly both women would hate them, so no names for the Internet browsers to catch. :)


Poets reading at the Art Bar at Q Space, 2013, Brenda Clews, 9" 12", 22.9cm x 30.5cm, charcoal sketches, finished drawing is mixed media, on 80lb archival Strathmore drawing paper.

And below is a little pic from the Portobello poetry reading on January 5th, the day I started coming down with the nasty influenza bug I am still recovering from. My young poet and artist friend, Jacques, was there. Bänoo Zan was one of the features, an Iranian poet, and she's terrific. And Robert Priest sang, and read one poem. It was a lovely afternoon of poetry and music.

I'm going to be a feature there in July, which will be lovely - such a nice crowd, and the host, Linda Stitt, is a really special woman.



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 brendaclews.com
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#4 drawing from the final Keyhole Life-Drawing Session finished






This is the drawing I did last night, and that I'm not too happy with. I used conte crayons and some pastel pencils on what is really a watercolour paper, so the texture of the paper peeps through. I finished a sketch (which I included here) from the very last Keyhole Life-Drawing session whose theme was 'Fight Club.'

4-final, Keyhole Sessions, 12013, Brenda Clews, 15" x 11", charcoal, conte crayon, pastel pencils, 130lb archival paper.

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 brendaclews.com
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A Woman in a Sketchbook


I guess it was 3am when I finished this little 'test sketch.' I mostly used conte crayon, which is awkward to make fine lines with, and am now wondering if conte comes in pencil form. Anyone know?

A Woman in a Sketchbook, 2013, 6" x 6.5", charcoal, conte crayon in Moleskine A3 sketchbook.

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 brendaclews.com
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An untitled woman



So I tested the Clear Gesso, and it's not bad as far as clarity goes, though Acrylic Matte Medium seemed a bit better even with its slight gloss. The Clear Gesso has a slightly gritty surface when dry, though, making it easy to continue to work with charcoal, pencil, conte crayon. This test image is 4.5"x6", drawn inside the back cover of my Moleskine sketchbook.

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 brendaclews.com
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'Fight Club' at the Keyhole Sessions

Because I like to keep a record, and also to show you, I've uploaded my untouched drawings from The Keyhole Session last night, the last life-drawing session of its kind ever.

They're all charcoal drawings, some with watercolour crayons, some with Cretacolor Aquarelle oil pastels. The first eight are approximately 15" x 11" and on 130lb archival art paper; the last is 16" x 12" and on triple-primed cotton canvas sheet.

The theme was The Fight Club and there were about 20 models arrayed around the room. The Madame's sense of performance, dramatic poses and grand spectacle shone spectacularly in the spacious Mod Club in Toronto.

Below, there was still time after drawing the first image, so I began on the 2nd, for which I had only a minute or two left - it's much more gestural. Except for that one, they are 15 minute sketches, with the final group one being 45 minutes.

All in all, I'm fairly happy with my work last night. My artist friends, Jen Hosein and Jacques Albert, also came and the camaraderie was nice.












Sonia Barnett, the mastermind and Madame behind these sessions, took the photo below and posted it on Facebook while the session was in-progress. You can see me bottom centre, and the model directly in front of me is who the first drawing posted above is of. It was quite an event, as you can see from this terrific photograph.



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 brendaclews.com
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Paper Lanterns and the Women Who Are One Woman

Last Keyhole life-drawing session tonight - though I do hope she continues the Nuit Blanche extravaganzas. This charcoal and coloured conte crayon sketch from the last session, Nov 13th, three 1 minute poses on the same page. 17" x 14", archival paper. I do have to run over to the art store to get a pad of primed cotton canvas sheets. Twenty models tonight, it's going to be a blow-out.



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 brendaclews.com
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Poetry Reading and Music at The Record Vault

Went to Poetry Reading and Open Mic this afternoon at The Record Vault, featuring Gadist poets, Nik Beat, Brandon Pitts and Stedmond Pardy, Vanessa McGowan and Laura DeLeon... with Laura L'Rock and Crushed Ice… great readings, music, and it was crowded. I did my recent 'Palmistry, a Psalm' on Open Mic, and will be a featured poet next month. So that'll be nice. Looks like I might be on Nik's radio show 'Howl' on CIUT in December too. A great group of poets and musicians who I really enjoy hanging out with.

My little 10 min sketch of Stedmond Pardy performing poetry at The Record Vault last Sunday. (I misspelled his name! O, sorry! Will have to correct that.) Along with a Record Vault photo of the three featured poets that afternoon.

9" x 7", charcoal on archival paper (drawn there), then set with GAK100 (at home).



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 brendaclews.com
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The Emotions Running Through It (Surreal Sketch)

One of my composite drawings from Nuit Blanche at 'LES CHEVAUX, a late night drawing extravaganza,' hosted by Keyhole Sessions. There were 5 or 6 concurrent poses, which changed perhaps every 15 minutes. In this drawing I did quick sketches of 3, and almost 4, of the models, and kept turning the paper.

I enjoy working in Photoshop occasionally and have finished this drawing digitally. I include the original sketch as well.



The Emotions Running Through It (Surreal Sketch), digitally finished, 2012, 20" x 13.5", charcoal, coloured pencil, water-soluble oil pastels on 90lb archival paper.



Original sketch.
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 brendaclews.com
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The Charcoal Paintings, in-process



When you don't know where to begin, begin where you are.

The Charcoal Paintings, in-process, 5' x 5', willow charcoal on double primed canvas. (Photo taken at night with two daylight bulbs in clamp lamps.)


Some lines from Paul Celan's, 'In Prague':

The half death,
suckled plump on our life,
lay ash-image-true all around us -

we too
went on drinking, soul-crossed, two daggers,
sewn onto heavenstones, wornblood-born


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 brendaclews.com
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