'Every Angel is terror' (Rilke): painting in-progress

I was photographing this in a patch of sunlight, my backside in the alley, and a man drove by in a large red SUV, and the man with the puppy that is part husky called Maggie was trying to get her on leash so she wouldn't run on my still-wet painting, and then the man in the large red SUV started backing up, and Maggie's owner and I, well, what's going on? He stuck his head out the window. 'Do you paint?' 'Yeah.' 'Is that yours?' 'Yeah.' 'Do you sell your work?' 'Yeah.' 'Do you have a studio?' 'No, just my apartment.' 'Can I come by to see your work? I like paintings.' 'Sure.' 'Is that one for sale? I like it.' 'Yes.' So I gave him my phone number. He's the general contrator for a store going in around the corner.

A cute story, that I share. My apartment is getting so filled with paintings and drawings from all these lifedrawing sessions I've been going to I am considering selling with a PWYCA - 'pay what you think it is worth, and what you can afford.' Although a painting this size might go for around a grand, I'm not affiliated with any galleries and don't even have a 'store' at my art website. Rather than have all these paintings collecting dust in folios, I might shift my sensibility to another way of offering my work to those who really love it.

"Every Angel is terror. And yet,
ah, knowing you, I invoke you, almost deadly
birds of the soul" from Rilke, 2nd Duino Elegy, 2012, 18" x 24", in-progress, charcoal, acrylic, triple-primed cotton canvas sheet.

'Every Angel is terror' (Rilke) painting-in-process

"Every Angel is terror. And yet,
ah, knowing you, I invoke you, almost deadly
birds of the soul" from Rilke, 2nd Duino Elegy, 2012, 18" x 24", painting-in-progress, charcoal, acrylic, canvas sheet.

TSA tonight. I'll work on it over the next few days. A rough draft, you could say.

"Praise the world to the Angel, not the unsayable"

"Praise the world to the Angel, not the unsayable," sketch in-process, 2012, 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", graphite, Moleskine folio Sketchbook A4. Title is a quote from Rilke's 9th Duino Elegy.

It gave me peculiar pleasure tonight to work on some anatomical shadowing, not entirely successful, but getting there.

The chest to my eye isn't quite right, and I need to imagine myself into that rib cage (or another, I won't tinker with this drawing now) for a better anatomical shadowing rendition. I went to this site, gratis of a beautiful artist where, when doesn't have live models, one can practice.
It'd be easier if I printed an image out, but I don't. I sit 3 or 4 feet back, with my mid-distance and close-up bifocals on, and draw straight from the screen, imagining my way into the body I am drawing. :smiles:

I feel this man, his strength, the strength of his anguish, the poetry in him, his agility to throw the masses of fabric high like wings. He becomes a Rilkean man under my pencil.

(My mother fading; bad news from the MRI on my wrist; and other difficulties in my personal life. I find I can't write or make videopoems but that drawing and painting help to still my mind and thus allow some relief from the stress.)

The Cafe Writer

Just a doodle. Began in charcoal and from there, watercolours, acyrlics, and finally an ordinary ballpoint pen. The Cafe Writer, 6" x 8", mixed media on archival paper.

My mother, her waxen, yellowed, translucent skin;

her mute —


(I wonder if I'll get an opportunity/the courage
to draw her,
or if that'll be too painful)

Figment, or what is departing?

Figment, or what is departing?, 2012, 20.5" x 16", mixed media on 90lb archival paper.

For me, I see strange and unintentional resonance of the woman with one of the earliest cave paintings, the Shaman of Trois Frères (scroll down a bit). She is half elk, a shaman, and he is a primal man who may transform on the full moon, an adept of the great goddess. Does the strength of moonlight compose him? There's something Fellini-like about them. As if from a dream. Or a poetic metaphor. The animal soul and its poetry of desire.

Her dress is made of red ink.

[One figure is from the OCAD figure drawing sessions; the other is a rendition from the Keyhole session. Together they make another story.]


The Room, where the Buddha waits

The Room, where the Buddha waits, 2012, 18" x 19.5", mixed media on 90lb archival paper.

This series, for me, has resonances with Tarkovsky's 'the Room' that is within in the dangerous region of approach, 'the Zone,' in his movie, The Stalker. The Room doesn't appear to be anything more than the strange approach to it. While there is a physical journey, it is circuitous and covers a surprisingly short distance, and so the dangerous region of approach seems more of a psychic quest in the deserted region of 'the Zone.' The stalker who is like a strange priest or monk or shaman or artist guides those brave enough to risk this journey to their own mysteries, their own inner truths. The 'Room' grants wishes, or this is its reputation, in strange and unexpected ways. The process perhaps represents what we see and perceive about who we are, and it changes us, that process of realizing more of who we are.

This is the way I am thinking about this series. An incipient spirituality, with self-reflection, manliness, a pride in the body, and a sense of sensitive and lithe thought processes.

The whole album, with original sketches, may be viewed here:
Figure Drawing at OCAD

The Playing Field

The Playing Field, 2012, 20" x 17.5", mixed media on 90lb archival paper.

Pierre-Marie Cœdès commented at Facebook: 'It is funny you name it The Playing Field, since I see them hesitating and very much interrogative ...'

Ah, I answered, that's what the playing field is like, then, Pierre-Marie. I would like the title on this one to be interpreted however the viewer reads it and sees the painting. This series seems, for me, to have resonances with Tarkovsky's "Zone" in his movie, The Stalker. It isn't really anything, but it represents what you see and perceive about who you are, and it changes you, that process of realizing more of who we are. Now, yes, you are helping me to say what these paintings of the men mean in the way I think about them. I like the way you think about them and I especially like that you share your thoughts, for I always learn from your kindly perceptions, Pierre-Marie.

The whole album, with original sketches, may be viewed here:
Figure Drawing at OCAD

The Men Who

The Men Who, 2012, 23" x 18", 58.5cm x 45.6cm, mixed media on 90lb archival paper.

If I can, I like to finish my life drawing sketches. These were one minute poses - which I tend to place all on the same page (being into doubles, doppelgängers, clones). I have to consider placement on page, how the gesture of that pose fits into the overall rhythm of the figures, and the particular anatomy of that pose in a nanosecond and hit the track running, like, Draw! :laughing:

The whole album, with original sketches, may be viewed here:
Figure Drawing at OCAD

Figure Drawing at OCAD

After a poetry meetup group friday night, with an open mic, and a post-poetry pub visit, I dragged myself off to OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design) the next morning for a drop-in figure drawing session. I carried a large board with a canvas sheet taped to it, my large drawing pad, 2 sets of paints, watercolour and acrylic, brushes, water jars, palette, etc. since I had been unable to determine in Internet searches if OCAD offered a long pose or not.

Unfortunately, it was a typical life drawing session, beginning with half a dozen 1 minute poses, then onto 3 - 5 minute ones, a few 10 minute, and ending with two 20 minute poses. A format I do not enjoy, and I would not have gone if I had known. So many poses of such short duration do not work for me, and I now look for sessions with longer poses.

Because I had a few things to do downtown (like visit my favourite art store, Above Ground Art Supplies), I ended up walking home, trudging 4km loaded like an elephant. All in all, very exhausting.

Still, in the posts to follow, you will see that I am working very hard to turn these pages into viable paintings.

These were all done in charcoal on 18" x 24" 90lb archival paper.

(ps. The paper is bright white - I took the photos late and it was cloudy, not enough light for my iPhone camera.)
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