EDiM #102

May 2, 2011

4″x6″. Como paper. Derwent graphite pencils (B, 3B, 6B). Every Day Matters, Every Day in May 2011: Draw a power plug.

This second page of the spread continues both the graphite pencil medium with references to Renaissance cross-hatching technique.  A move forward to the era of Michelangelo’s grand-nephew (?) who commissioned a painting from Artemisia Gentileschi. The female nude is still extant on the ceiling of the Buonarotti Museum. I’m also wrestling with the life and work of Artemisia in relation to my Italian studies at university and final touches this week to an essay on Anna Banti’s novel. Alexandra Lapierre’s “Artemisia: a novel” calls itself a novel, but is much less flamboyantly literary and is based on additional research not available to Banti and her art historian husband. I’ve not seen the film, Artemisia, and am happy to have the various literary works juggling around in my mind instead. The closest I’ve allowed myself to come to a filmic visual of the period is Caravaggio; Caravaggio was an acquaintance of Artemisia’s father and Artemisia herself worked in both Rome and Naples. Ah, the complexity of it all! Personally I identify with the artist-father issues and the artist’s struggle, competing as an individual against other competing individuals in the world was her life, and is mine. There is no such thing in her life as collaboration or teamwork.

It’s already 3 May and I’m 24 hours “behind”! I move on from graphite pencil to another medium tomorrow. Twelve months ago, my EDiM would have been entirely in pencil and in black-and-white. Moving so quickly in new directions is revolutionary. I’m not even sure I’ll be back in EDiM 2011 with graphite pencil as such at all!

I accidentally put the novel and power cords under a very strong light which happily pushed up the level of tonal contrast for me. Local plein air artist and printmaker/teacher, Cilla Campbell, recommends on her website using a range of five tones, which has got me thinking.  The bland coolness of plastic seemed at first daunting but under strong light there’s a mass of greys to play with. The largeness of the male pin and the limpness of the female is both accidental and telling; clearly, an “objective” fit judging from the drawing’s perspective means the two cannot work in tandem! I’m confident I’ll return to this composition for a linocut.

The variety of techniques, media, approaches of other entries in EDiM is very inspiring and motivating. I am reminding myself it is all about the need to Express, rather than any need to Impress, which is the driver of my participation. That duality comes from Meglin’s book on creative sketching. One of the reasons I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working alongside colleagues in the Sydney Sketch Club and the Great Garden Sketchabout recently was this permission and space to Express, rather than any need to Impress. In this regard, I need to monitor closely my own comments on others’ work – Meglin has things to say about how to ‘criticize’ others’ work.

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