"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

And Then There was a Parrot!

“She was not quite what you would call refined.
She was not quite what you would call unrefined.
She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.” 
― Mark Twain

I was so excited to attend life drawing this morning! I got up with thoughts of truth and sincerity abounding in my mind and rushed off to the studio with lofty goals of rising above the mediocre, of guiding my pencil to hint at the complexities of emotion and substance of my model. How funny that I should be so taken aback by the presence of a parrot! She was a glorious green with a yellow head and one or two red wing feathers and was a paragon of mystery - warbling softly to herself, laughing heartily at her own jokes, crunching mightily on toasted oats, occasionally bobbing her head in wonder at the action around her. Oh, to draw the truth of a parrot! And so, confronted with the enigma that is her mind, I decided to focus on her owner instead!

Milo and Linda / pencil on cream laid paper / 24 x 18

Linda / pencil on cream laid paper / 24 x 18

30 comments:

  1. I would love to be taking these classes with you ... drawing, thinking, watching the others at work. The parrot would have thrown me a bit, too. But as ever, you have rendered your models superbly! I love the profile pose!!!
    Kathryn

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    1. It would be great fun to have you with us, Kathryn! If you are ever in Reno.........!

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  2. Sighing with pleasure.. your skill level is so high it is awesome

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    1. Many thanks, Julie - I feel I am developing some confidence with these sketches. It's such a joy to draw from life!

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  3. Oh my, they are beautyful! How long do you work on one sketch?

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    1. The top sketch was completed (parrot and all) in about an hour - three 20 minute sessions. The profile was done in 40 minutes. I find if I spend longer than an hour on one sketch, I tend to belabor and over work it. It's better for me to stop too early rather than too late!

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  4. I first thought you were painting parrots now in stead of horses! The truth of a parrot... :) Really great sketches, Susan!

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    1. Yes, its enough of a challenge to try and draw the truth of a human! Thank you, Judy! :)

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  5. You may have focused on her owner, but the parrot had you in focus!

    Lovely work, now this is the sort of drawing that really excites me, in that you capture the person and not just the image; and is why one day I know I must just do portraits. I watch every posting on http://underpaintings.blogspot.co.uk/ which is largely portraiture. I'm still building up the courage!

    Looking forward to the ballerina, on a horse and sporting a parrot!

    Great post, Susan. Thank you.

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    1. You are right about the parrot, John. In between all of her parrot shenanigans, she watched me like a hawk!
      I look forward to seeing your portrait work. I am sure you will find that portraiture is unlike any other subject!

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  6. Well what a prop! Sounds like a fun life drawing class - good job the parrot still had it's feathers on!
    Your drawings are always amazing Susan. love this one! :0)

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    1. These life sessions are wonderful - and the models have been so varied and interesting. Thank you, Sandra!

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  7. As usual Susan, brilliant pencil portraits. The parrot is also briliant. All the best Susan.
    Vic.

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    1. So glad you like them, Vic. I truly enjoy doing them!

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  8. I am so glad to see this technically and emotionally strong piece. Hardly parrot was sitting still, another challenge here..

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    1. LOL - The parrot was not still for one nanosecond. I think capturing his likeness was harder than capturing the models'!

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  9. More wonderful drawings--the parrot is great! The profile of Linda is really nice.

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  10. What wonderful prose leading to out loud laughter. Your sense of humor is as keen as your drawing. I would have chosen Linda over the parrot too, but you weren't too shabby with him either.

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    1. Thanks, Linda - from dreadlocks to parrots these life sessions have been one surprise after another. It's good to go into them with a flexible mind!

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  11. Excellent sketches, Susan. I love Linda and the parrot in the first sketch and the subtle color is perfect. I can see how much you love your life drawing classes...!! You do so well with it.

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    1. It was years before I could find regualr life sessions so I am thrilled at each one I have the opportunity to attend. I do love them!

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    1. Thank you kindly, Chana. Your recent photographs are just amazing!

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  13. Susan!
    From an old hippy and paraphrasing from an even older hippy type prose! "You are a child of the universe!" Your wonderful art and your more than wonderful observations of your environment are exhilarating and proof positive of the power of the human spirit! You exemplify everything I hold sacred about art! Bravo and thank you!
    Your dear art buddy!
    Michael

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  14. I just love when you visit my blog and leave your unique comments, Michael - they fuel the fire in my soul!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Ashok.

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  16. Love that parrot! And your great sketches of the woman. Nicely done!!!

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    1. Many thanks, Heather - I appreciate your comment so much.

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Your comments are welcome and brighten my day!