Wednesday, February 6, 2008


First I am posting the figure drawings that I have done in the last three days. They are done with either black or sanguine conte and the last two are oil, done in the reductive manner that I do my underpaintings. Those were a lot fun, but I am very aware that all of them have "issues", especially the male (head, hands, and maybe even the penis) but it does capture the models pose quite well.

I had a great night's sleep finally, only woke up once in the night! Today I planned to do some more drawings and then maybe start doing some small underpaintings of the figures. However, I woke up thinking that I should just go ahead and do them on the larger birch panels. So this morning after breakfast I went right to the studio. When I got there, though, I decided to rearrange things a bit so I spent some time doing that. I don't really care for the easel (it's wobbly) or the stool (it's wobbly too). I considered hanging the panels on the wall and working that way, but I decided to make do with the easel, although I lowered it and used the plastic lawn chair that comes with each studio. Anyway, I set up my little painting area and it feels pretty comfortable, finally. I did four underpaintings, which are all shown below. Be gentle with me, I don't usually like to post works in progress, especially when I am feeling my way through them, but I fiigure what the heck. It's not like this stuff is really that important in the scheme of things and I promise admit it if they fail during the next stage.

I finished them up and found that it's true-if you don't get to lunch on time, some of the food is gone. So I had a nice salad and a few slices of cheese and went back to the studio. I looked at the underpaintings and realized that they were too dark, so I lightened them up. I went to figure drawing about an hour late and did one decent drawing, of the male, above. There are a few problems with it (face and hands, legs, and maybe even the penis) but it does capture the pose he had.

I took a good walk outside right before dinner, which felt really good and then, OMG dinner! It was some sort of hybrid middle eastern food, one dish had eggplant, chickpeas, and potatoes there was a cauliflower dish, and the best asparagus ever (yes I know, totally not seasonal), hummus, pita chips, crusty bread. And dessert was lemon poppy seed cake. We all rolled out of the dining room after.

I am totally getting into the social thing now. I feel comfortable enough to introduce myself to someone I don't know and then go on to ask the four most common questions here: Where are you from? Painter, writer, sculptor? Which house are you in? Which building is your studio in?

And this evening we were supposed to see slides of some of the artists here, but guess what, no one submitted any. Seems no one has slides anymore. We will be having a jpeg night next week instead. I have spent this evening sitting in the lounge chatting (with a few other women and now a sculptor, Greg, from Brooklyn), listening to the news and trying to get my ancient laptop up and running.

PS. Sorry for the crappy photos. I didn't bring my really good camera, and the oil figure sketches put up quite a glare, so I shot them at an angle.


Katherine said...

Tracy - glad to see you've found an incentive for arriving at meals at the right time! ;)

I ADORE your photo paintings. They are just so 'you' even though they are not barns (and don't look in the least like barns!) The 'no faces' thing is just like the way you do your barns with a bare minimum of doors and your trees and bushes with no leaves. They all look like they could hang next to your barn paintings in a gallery and fit right in. You'd have to start doing a farmhouses theme after that for them all to live in!

What I'm very curious about is the way you are choosing to draw your figures - much more detail than I was expecting.

I guess I expected a Seurat type of approach - values/forms/planes and no detail.........

n warner said...

I like your new work, full (as in complete in form) figures that stand equal to the landscapes behind. And by keeping them sort of faceless, put us all in there. Or so I see it that way, again very bold.

You're off to your new adventure - it's a full re-immersion creative mission. I always laugh at your descriptions of possibly missing and getting to food, sounds delicious, being the new kid on the scene and having real deja vu, AND
working with lawn chairs and bifocals.

Thanks for keeping your 'doings' updated online. What a great opportunity and chance to re-up
your artistic chops, and gain more perspective from fellow artists and see their work progress.

You're the coolest.


Douglas said...

I like the photo paintings! Looking forward to seeing the color.

Melody said...

Tracy...I too adore these new works. I absolutely love figurative work and I can see your style shining through. Wonderful..I am so excited for you.

Stacey Peterson said...

I love where you're going with the new works Tracy! Even though they're figurative, I could still pick them out as yours if I walked into a gallery and saw them. I'm especially excited to see how the top and bottom one (of the 4 underpaintings) turn out - I love the mood of them.

Natalya said...

these are great! looking forward to seeing the colors...

Agnes said...

The figure drawings are so substantial and expressive that it's hard to believe you haven't worked from a live model in a long time. The ones from photos are looking good, too. They have that mesmerizing effect of old snapshots, drawing you right in to that vanished world. (That's what old photos do for me anyway.) You're living my fantasies here. I'm pulling up a chair to get all the details, including meals. So far they haven't served anything I don't like!;0

Casey Klahn said...

Perhaps you're saving the hands and heads for another focus time. I feel you're succeeding very well with figures. The figures on the landscape are awesome.
Congratulations on your life drawings. What an adventure!

Steven LaRose said...

Of course, the people don't look like barns, but, you have to admit, the people are staged exactly like your barns. The barns and the people are occupying the same landscape. I guess I was wondering if the figures might become the landscape. Have you done any detail studies of the models hands, faces, or peni (penisis?)

As a techi question for students, what sort of medium and what ratios do you mix for your under-painting and how long does it take to dry?

Tracy said...

Hi Folks, I am pressed for time, well actually I am very tired so I just wanted to thank you all for being so enthusiastic about my underpaintings-I really appreciate it! I am going to put up a post and answer a few of your questions there.

Jeanette said...

These new paintings are definitely a hit! They reflect your style, yet have a little something different too.

I like the blank faces, but I feel as though the people are so real too.

Life in the retreat is being good to you and for you I think.

Cindy said...

Love these Tracy! Just found your blog through Katherine T's Making a Mark blog.

I look forward to seeing more of your work.