My father is my greatest inspiration. My father is also my best friend. That makes for a hard one to kill.
I have always balanced between my admiration for him, my desire to emulate his work, and my refusal to follow a well trodden path, my denial of my roots. But when one grows older, reaches independence and distances himself from the affection that blurs the mind, one can see links instead of chains. My father wasn't always an artist, but I'll always remember him as such. That's when he was twenty-nine years old that he decided to quit his job at the bank and became an illustrator. Over the years he also kept writing constantly. He wrote children books, plays and novels. He directed shows for theatre and circus. And he always painted with oil on large canvases. He is now focused on large scale paper acrylic works like this:
My dad changed name. Everyone calls him Clair. Clair Arthur. It is his artist name. He also had to break away from the enclosure he was born into. He never studies art. He learnt it all by himself, on the way. Never waited to be ready before giving it a go. Intention and dedication are what fueled his practice. But he would say that all was done only to escape boredom... and give a little hope to those around him.
Although I pay respect to his influence and the qualities it brought to my artistic palette, I always was torn by the better, which we say is the enemy of good. While taking my lessons from the folk art genre of my dad and want now to integrate it into something personal mixed with the influences of my own generation.
All that to say: I always wanted to take the flat figures represented by my father and make them look more 3D, give them more volume in a more atmospheric sense of space and distance. That is why I took upon myself to practice the sketching of a dummy. A little mannequin that I could put in various postures so to look at it from various angles and develop my understanding of the human form in space.
So is what I wanted to show you guys today. A little display of the studies I did of this little mannequin, shown more or less in a chronological order. But before that let me introduce you to the man himself, the one, the not so great, the plastic, the fantastic dummy.
Now I hope you can see a progression in my understanding of the form at my humble level. You will see that I got to use different approaches from direct drawing of what I thought I was seeing, a more constructive approach using blocking of shape as a first step, and also a simple gesture drawing of the lines of action. Enjoy the ride...
The next two are showing a little more creative use of the "man".
To finish I wanted to show you the sketch of a hermes I did last summer in the museum of the Louvre in Paris. It's funny how it reminds me of my dummy.
Sorry I cannot come up with the reference to this sculpture. For all I can remember it is French, and from the seventeenth century.
Now my friends, that is all for today. I hope you have enjoy this little trip in the land of dummies. Next week Trail of colour could certainly be about grief and offering as much as the contemporary trends of nowadays illustration... We shall see!
Since then, Peace and Regeneration to you all.