Sunday, June 10, 2012

Drawing Nudes - Getting lost in the line

I loved being an art student. I loved drawing nudes. I can get lost in the line

There was a drawing teacher at Maryland Institute, Raoul Middleman, who was a vociferous fan of the line - the emotionally revealing line - the line that told the story. I became a connoisseur of the great line.

In our figure drawing class, we drew plenty of nudes - beautiful men and glorious, rolls-of-fat, women. Working for that easy, confident, emotion laden line.
A Matisse nude

My husband likes to say, "I married the art student".

Us art students have seen lots of naked people. We're not looking at naked people to cure them of disease, we are looking at nudes with a pencil in hand. We take great joy - even glee - in the line. The nude is all of humankind in our great, rambunctious, imperfections.

I get a lot of, "You're so creative. Why I can't even draw a straight line".

I try not to roll my eyes. 

Artists are interested in the human line. The line that is squiggly and emotional. It may be an angry line. It may be a tender line. It may be a line so tenuous it can bring tears. It may be a line that fritters into the unknown universe of the paper.