I am emboldened by a very kind commenter (who is also a friend) saying that she has enjoyed pictures from my art classes! The one I am taking now is “Inventory Drawing” with the wonderful Peter Hristoff of SVA; in the class, we make many many very quick drawings, sometimes based on an image, often based upon a word.

And so above and below are some drawings from last week’s class. 

These are, admittedly, a bit strange. This is partly because I was super rushed getting ready for the class, and also low on paper. A “trick” that Peter has suggested for saving paper is to gesso over old drawings, or gesso newspaper, and use that as a drawing surface. (Gesso is a white primer for paper or canvas. I believe that many years ago it was made from rabbit skin, but now is made of acrylic.) If you believe in serendipity, as I do, this underlayer of the newspaper can not only add texture to a drawing, but unconscious meaning as well.

Serendipity played a big role in the drawings below, as in depriving me of paper, gesso, and time, it forced me to rub out a lot of my old figure drawings so that I could use their surfaces to draw on!  (These were mostly charcoal drawings done on gessoed newspaper.) 

The old drawings did not rub off all that well, and since I was out of gesso, I splashed on a little white gouache (like water color), some of which was mixed with old yellow-green acrylic. (The greenish color resulted from the fact that it was the only tube I had that was squeezable–the others dried up!)

In any case, this slapdash process gave me a host of surfaces, as well as a host of ghost images. Because the ghost images were so strong, I did the class with ink and brush instead of pencil or charcoal, since I knew the ink would give a stronger, if sloppier, line.

So, it was an interesting process! Here are a few. Note that the prompts primarily had to do with Provence, both with words from Provencal poets, and also images from photographs Peter provided from Provence.

I understand that they are not everyone’s cup of tea. I am very flexible in my appreciation! But again, what was interesting for me, is how serendipity, strange combination, can work. It shows I guess that nothing is truly lost—even what you rub away!

Anyway, have a good day!

(I am reposting one of the pics from yesterday’s post, just because I like it, and will likely post more tomorrow.)

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6 Comments on “Layers”

  1. M Says:

    These layered drawings evoke mystery and also emotion. It’s as though you are showing time itself passing.

  2. Helen Dehner Says:

    Using a layer of gesso to ‘begin again.’ WOW. A Friend and neighbor is an artist who has shown round the world.. I sometime walk three doors down to her garage studio, observe her process. Prepping her canvas with gesso is fun to watch …the final work of art, magnificent.

  3. Peter Hristoff Says:

    Dear Karin:

    This is a great post; I’m going to forward it to my colleagues in Provence. The newspaper works beautifully. The Cezanne! The Pont du Gard! I’m reading “Momoir, Maybe”. I absolutely love it. You are a wonderful writer.


  4. I enjoyed reading this. The serendipity of discovered meaning. The art of re-use with gesso really spoke to me. I’m relatively new to the ‘paint’ arts and love this tip because my conscience deplores any wastage of paper.
    Thank you

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