Image

Two Recent Sketches

Two recent drawings.


This one was done at a life drawing session. Graphite, watercolour paper. A pose of maybe an hour and a half or a so. Getting proportions takes the longest and I think one arm is not quite. Otherwise, ok. I had thought to darken the highlights and shadows from memory, but, as it's on watercolour paper, to leave it lightly done in case I get inspired to paint it. 


This one is in my 'new' Daily Sketchbook, which is not really about drawing so much as doing something every day, or most days. I worked long enough on it for a quick sketch from a YouTube site but in the photo can see that one arm, oh ballpoint, you are so unforgiving and so un-erasable, and one hand especially could have been drawn with more care. 

Is it only the artist who sees these things, or does everybody?


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The Beautiful and the Damned - Who is Who?

I've begun a new journal and have been using graphite and charcoal powder. I particularly like this drawing. There is a synergy between the figures, who are together but not gazing at each other, that captivates me. And if you look closely, you, too, will see that it is simply not possible to decide Who is the Beautiful and Who is the Damned. Either could be either.

I loved the remnants of the powder I had smeared on to begin molding the faces in the paper, and so have included those earlier photos. The first one is of the finished drawing. There is a silvery-pewter quality to the drawing, the way the light catches that, that is hard to photograph, but I've done my best.

 Final.

 Final, detail.

 In-process.

In-process, detail.

Beautiful and Damned - Who Is Who? Brenda Clews, 2013, 16" x 10", graphite and ink, 
in a Premium C.D. Japanese Notebook (the paper is like silk).

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 brendaclews.com
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Retreat to Beautiful Objects


direct link: Retreat to Beautiful Objects

When I retreated to my world of beautiful objects.

She was a dream, not the mask but how I composed her in Tangled Garden.

A vegetative force, Nature, birth, life, death, decay, mulch, compost. Beautiful and frightening. Strange dreams, the unknowable body itself. Life consuming life to live, plant or animal. Cells fuse to make new life, new connections, new hybrids. Wood/trees; metal/circuitry; bone/grafts; skin/love. Teeming presence.

I come from a jungle, the nature I write of is not pastoral, pretty. A fibrous network of vast connections. Natural processes. We are Nature looking at herself through her own eyes. This slip of consciousness viewing the universe for a knowing moment, soon to be lost. How can we forget the hungry ghosts, the floral opera singing in us?

An ecology of consciousness. An understanding of the parasitical and angelic. Leave the savageries. Our worlds of beautiful objects call us to retreat.

_________________________________________________________




What I wrote at YouTube:

...to celebrate the unexpected popularity of my long videopoem, Tangled Garden, http://youtu.be/OG37qWh4rTM, a slow art film of a triptych of earth poems, Surreal, mythopoetic, a rhizoma of images, metaphors, explorations, philosophies (with English subtitles). I had originally thought to paint a Tangled Garden painting to give away when the video reached 1500 views (my daughter's claimed the painting, so some other celebratory gift), and began making a video of the process of the painting.

There's lots of aspects here - from the drawing and painting itself to photos of the making of the papier-mache mask, to a dance in the woods which inspired the figures in the painting. The fishnet gloves - don't you adore them! - will now be featured in any future art videos. I just love them!

The writing came out of a dream I was having during a nap when I was considering what to say in the video. It's more of a piece about the poetic process in the poems in Tangled Garden, what sort of consciousness is holding sway. I woke up laughing. I felt a bit strange laughing all by myself in a dark room late at night for the recording for sure!

Prefer the video without the subtitles, but they're there for the hearing impaired, those who like to read along, and for YouTube automatic translation into one of 25 languages if the viewer is not fully conversant in English.

Music is Pierre-Marie Cœdès' 'Whirling Thoughts,' from his album, "Insomnia": http://www.jamendo.com/en/list/a94667/insomnia (with his permission). It is a great album, do go and listen.





brendaclews.com
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Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon, 2012, 17" x 14", mixed media on 90lb archival paper.

I drew two poses of the same model on the same page, and she is holding a mirror in which she is reflected. Gazing upon the self. Selves who witness each other. The multiplicity of the self. I've called it Harvest Moon to celebrate the model's pregnancy of 6 months.

Last night I went to a Keyhole Session, great models, wonderful crowd of artists, and I'd had a difficult day, emotionally, and somehow every drawing just wasn't right. Not sure if in future that particular kind of stress means stay home, rest, recuperate. My daughter, bless her, likes this one.


brendaclews.com
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Seated Woman, TSA 23 March 2012

Last night I went to TSA (Toronto School of Art) drop-in painting session (it only took a year to get there). Many fine artists. Perhaps these capture an essence. I'm considering going at the painting with oil sticks, and the pencil drawing on the canvas is going to get an ink treatment.


Woman of the Sea Far Inland, 2012, 18" x 24", 35.7cm x 61cm, acrylic on triple-primed canvas sheet.



Woman Seated, Waiting, 2012, 16" x 20", 40.6cm x 50.8cm, graphite on stretched canvas.


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Drawing of a Young Man


I drew this on Saturday, from life, while wearing two pairs of glasses! An old pair of prescription readers enabled me to see detail at a distance, and a small drugstore pair perched on the end of my nose allowed me to see my drawing on the paper. Hopefully I can get progressive bifocal or perhaps trifocal lenses soon - it was a crazy way to draw! ::laughing:: Though I did achieve a likeness, something that's been inexplicably eluding me in my return to drawing. 

Figure, 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", 2012, Moleskine folio Sketchbook, graphite.



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Daphne Becoming-Tree


20.5cm x 20.5cm, 8" x 8", sepia ink, Moleskine Folio Sketchbook A4.

A whimsical drawing of Daphne becoming-tree drawn in the park in late spring.

(Click on image for a larger size.)


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The Dancer's Backskin


direct link: The Dancer's Backskin

An accidental drawing - in a new Moleskine notebook, I brushed water over watercolour pencil. The paper shredded badly and cracked like an eggshell when dry. Intrigued with the effect, and having seen Natalie Portman's incredible performance in Aronofsky's 'Black Swan,' the desire for pure art, its passion and self-effacement, and the self-mutilation, hallucinations, madnesses, I thought of the underside of the dancer's life. Or her backskin.

I am working with the album that the music comes from (see also dance/ ...indigo folio leaves), with the musician's knowledge and tacit permission. No More Faith is an album of such variety I felt it could work for a longer project - literally, from neo-classical to this strange fingernail-on-the-blackboard minute and a half of scratchings. The strangeness that I might have felt on first listen has worn off and the sound seems less grating and more intriguing- perhaps, and who's to know for sure, that's the musician making anti-music for his possessive slave-driving muse who doesn't seem to realize he has a day job as a teacher. The tension is in this piece. His work has such energy. It was the perfect choice for my video.

Jose wrote back to me today:

Hello Brenda!

I've had opportunity to watch your video just right now. Your wrote:

"that's the musician making anti-music for his possessive slave-driving muse who doesn't seem to realize he has a day job as a teacher."

Hahaha! Very poetic, but of course everything is o.k. with me. There is no problem with everything you wrote. Just the contrary, thanks for writing so well about my music and album.

What about Shinigami's Dream, No. 1, it was just -as you wrote- an experiment creating something like "anti-music". With the Shinigami's Dream pieces I wanted always to create oniric impressions, unpleasant and disturbing feelings, always exploring the extreme points in the music and noises. #1 was the most extreme work and I was near not to add it to the album, but finally I decided to have it as last piece, just after the softness of A Tale for our Wasted Years, as an exercise of thesis (the search for the perfection and the balance in music) and anti-thesis. I like the effect in the album, it's so disturbing... :-)

Thanks for everything and, by the way, nice videopoem, as it's usual in you.

Best wishes,

Jose
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Brenda Clews, art, poetry, voice, video; music, José Travieso's track, 'Shinigami's Dream, No. 1,' on his album, "No More Faith."



The Dancer's Backskin (album of photos)

_
I posted the painting, The Dancer's Backskin in February.
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The Dancer's Backskin [video poem]


direct link: The Dancer's Backskin

Brenda Clews, art, poetry, voice, video; music, José Travieso's track, 'Shinigami's Dream, No. 1,' on his album, "No More Faith."

An accidental drawing - in a new Moleskine notebook, I brushed water over watercolour pencil. The paper shredded badly and cracked like an eggshell when dry. Intrigued with the effect, and having seen Natalie Portman's incredible performance in Aronofsky's 'Black Swan,' the desire for pure art, its passion and self-effacement, and the self-mutilation, hallucinations, madnesses, I thought of the underside of the dancer's life. Or her backskin.




_
I posted the painting, The Dancer's Backskin in February.


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Paper Dancer


Dancer, 25.5cm x 11.5cm, 10" x 4.5", pen on Moleskin


May be a poem by tomorrow, or in the next few days.

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