More drawings and musings on taste

The drawings from the studio last night:

Reclining nude

Reclining nude

Two views of one lady

Two views of one lady

As you can see, the model flashed me in the last drawing, and since it was only a 15-minute pose and drawing in ink takes a bit longer, I didn’t want to waste time on drawing her privates when I had cross-hatching to do. Unfortunately I made it worse by shading the entire area very heavily. Sigh.

I forgot to mention last night that we also got to walk through the RAC’s galleries during one of the breaks. You know, I just don’t understand certain kinds of modern art. I feel no shame in admitting it; in fact, I’m not sure I ever want to embrace art that would be inaccessible to my family and most of my friends and comes with a $50K price tag. It’s not that I think the art is intrinsically valueless, or that it’s so much uglier than older traditions. It’s just that I have no clue whatsoever what qualifies some of this stuff for art: what’s the difference between Important Art and just stuff someone made? Erik suggested that there’s a disdain for accessibility in modern art as well as modern music; we’ve had this discussion many times before, sometimes with Ying chiming in on modern dance. But I don’t think it’s merely a question of accessibility; after all, what’s accessible to one person may not make sense to another. Erik also suggested I’m not involved enough in the art world to understand its reasoning. I think he’s probably right, and I have to say I’m glad.

I also realize that I have an extremely specific aesthetic. I do often like work that falls outside of this aesthetic, but there seem to be fundamental qualities towards which I gravitate, and also those to which I take an instinctive dislike. I like Picasso, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Bernard Buffet, 20th-century Japanese woodblock prints, much Art Nouveau, some Art Deco, much Arts & Crafts, my collection of children’s picture books (so many, including Barbara Cooney, my childhood favorite Aliki, Errol Le Cain, Hilary Knight’s The Owl and the Pussycat), Blankets, Valerie’s scratchboard holiday cards, Chiura Obata, some David Hockney and Edward Hopper, some 18th-century figurative paintings, ancient Greek statuary, some Asian art (yes, I realize I’m lumping it all together, but I’m afraid I don’t know enough about it to be more precise), and the Lewis Chessmen. I don’t like but can appreciate Monet and Degas, and a great deal of other “old” art that gets trotted out as the greatest masterworks of all time. I am drawn to intricacy based on natural forms, color used in some ways and not others, flowing lines, distinct shapes, and of course anything shiny (sad, but true). But aside from that, I can’t explain my tastes any more than anyone can explain theirs.

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