Figure Abstractions & Nudist Video: Spring 2007

I. Marathon: At the start of each semester at the New York Studio School, enrolled students must take a marathon. A marathon is a two-week drawing intensive course taught by a faculty or visiting faculty member. My first year (2006) I took Carole Robb's marathon. We sketched small, on-site oil pastel pieces at Chelsea Market and later returned to the studio to make large oil-stick pieces using the day's material and figure models. Graham's marathon is based in the classroom with models. You are literally there at 9am or before, draw until 1pm, take a quick lunch, and are back by 12 to draw until 6pm. A quick dinner break and critiques until 9, 10 or 11pm! It is exhausting and exhilarating. 

Unfortunately, I only have these two images on my computer...the rest are probably on a disk somewhere. The dimensions that I don't know off-hand, I give a reasonable estimate.  

This first image of Graham's marathon, we had to cut in half and rearrange with one side upside down and continue painting (hence the seam). The second image explores the use of warm (reddish) and cool (bluish) tones to create the illusion of space in a drawing.

Elad and Chair
6' x 6' pencil, charcoal and acrylic on paper

Elad Playing Mandolin
5' x 8' charcoal and acrylic on paper

II. Drawing: In the spring I continued to study with Carole Robb while attending drawing classes. I studied with Bruce Gagnier, Ophrah Shemesh, Stanley Lewis, Nick Lamia and Ron Milewicz. Each teacher emphasizes something different. With Stanley, for example, we drew from the figure and slides of masterpieces. Together we admired the bizarre possibilities in each set-up, each still-life, each work of art. He encouraged us to push these possibilities to the point of abstraction, or non-recognizability. What a fun teacher. What a fun class.

 Crouching Model
12" x 9" pencil on paper

Stretching Model
9" x 12" pencil on paper

 Model Walking
12" x 9" pencil on paper

 Drawing (with Stanley Lewis)
12" x 9" charcoal pencil on paper

 After Leger's Les Acrobates (with Stanley Lewis)
9" x 12" charcoal pencil on paper

 Seascape (with Stanley Lewis)
9" x 12" acrylic and mixed media on paper

 Figure II
9" x 12" acrylic on canvas

 Figure II
9" x 12" acrylic on canvas

 Figure III
9" x 12" acrylic on canvas

 Figure IV
9" x 12" acrylic on canvas

 Figure V
11" x 14" acrylic on envelope

 Figure VI
9" x 12" acrylic on canvas

 Figure VII
9" x 12" acrylic on canvas

 II. Paintings Some paintings from Carole Robb's Atelier, exploring concepts from courses with Graham Nickson, Stanley Lewis and Bruce Gagnier in particular. I also delved into collage, mixed media and mult-cultural art forms.

 Aborigine Spirit
12" x 9" oil on canvas

11" x 14" oil on canvas board with mounted canvas

11" x 14" oil on canvas board

 Self Portrait I
oil on canvas board 16" x 12"

Self Portrait II
apx. 12" x 5" oil and acrylic on found object

 Self Portrait III
16" x 14" oil on canvas

 Self Portrait V
16" x 14" oil on canvas

 Self Portrait V
16" x 14" oil on canvas

Shari Falling I
11" x 14" oil on canvas 

Shari Falling II
9" x 12" oil on canvas

III. Collage/Mixed-Media: In Carole Robb's atelier, we experimented. I played with the photocopier, secured the image with matte-medium, and painted and glued objects on-top. I flirted with word-art, shock-art and graffiti. It was wonderful and we enjoyed one another's presence and creativity. 

5" x 7" collaged images on canvas

10" x 10" collaged images and beads on canvas

10" x 8" collaged images and beads on canvas

Mom and Memamma
5" x 7" collaged images and beads on canvas

 Giant Collage
72" x 60" (estimate)
found objects, acrylic paint, mixed media on un-stretched canvas

IV Finding the Nudist: At the Patio Lounge show, I met a man named Joe Taverney who was making a documentary about a nudist named Tommy D. Joe interviewed me at the Patio Lounge about being an artist. You can see the video by clicking here or watching below. We agreed that I would sketch Tommy D both for Joe's documentary and for Tommy D's upcoming nudist poetry reading. Email me if you would like a complete description of the experience. For the protection of the children out there, I will suffice to say it was traumatizing: a nude model and a nudist are two completely different creatures. One is making a living, the other is deriving pleasure from your eye's chance encounter with their genitalia. Never again, Joe. Never again. You can see a short film of these drawings on youTube by clicking here or scrolling to the bottom of the page. Lesson: If someone offers a nudist/performance artist to draw, think it over carefully before conceding. How many emotional scars do you want in this lifetime?

Video I: Ariel Explains her Artwork at the Patio Lounge, Meets the Nudist

Some drawings of the Nudist:

Video II: Drawings of Said Nudist Done on the Sly at school


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