Contour Drawing - Perceptual As Opposed To Conceptual
Contour drawing is comparable to driving a Ferrari on the narrow twisting roads that traverse the Alps at high speed. It consists of drawing without looking at what you're drawing. As your eye slowly follows the outline of the subject, your hand draws or paints what you see. It's a Zen-like meditation. You have to become mindless and mindful simultaneously. It takes practice, hour after hour of practice. What happens is something magical to the quality of your line. It becomes alive and sensitive. The viewer becomes engaged with this single line that a work filled with scratches and extraneous information cannot do. Contour lines are the opposite of conceptual lines. Someone says, for instance, "I know how to draw the human body. The arms go this way, the legs this way. Here is the formula for the size of the head in relation to the body, etc." A contour artist will say, "I know how to go about drawing the human figure, but I don't know how to draw this particular one until I do it." And each time that artist draws the same figure in the same pose, it will be different, because the artist will see something new, something different, and in another moment of time.
I had a particular challenge in that I'm dyslexic. In other words, my eye jumps ahead of itself, then jumps back
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"Woman on the Grass" 2003 - original - 22"x30" acrylics on paper: $3200 USD
2001 Acrylics & Pens on Paper
"What Really Inspires the Pianist" - original -
acrylics, epoxy and knife on mat - $900
"Country Girl" - original - acrylics, epoxy and
knife on mat, 15"x18" $900 framed
"Stretching" - original - acrylics, pens and
epoxy on mat, 7"x10" , unframed $300
This body of work started as a way to paint on 100% rag mats left over from framing and matting. I applied water and paint on the mat. Then I used an X-Acto knife to draw contour lines. The wet paint seeped into the cuts, accentuating the color, like applying stain to wood with scratches. The scratches stand out. Then, like wood, I saturated the mat with penetrating epoxy which hardened and weatherproofed the paper based mat. With a few coats of exterior varnish, the little paintings can be left outside without any protection, without any glass or framing. There are about 25 left out of an original body of work of about 70 pieces.
Gestures, from 4-1/2"x5-1/2 to 22"x30" –
originals, all available as prints
Contour, from small to large –
some originals, all available as prints