Life Studies

Finished (involuntarily, the pose ended) these pieces last week. We had some excellent models. I wish we could have the models for much longer, but they are living and breathing creatures.

Here’s Cynthia.

Cynthia. 11×14 in. Oil on canvas.

I love painting from life and trying to figure out composition and problem solving color and perspective, but I’m starting to feel like i’m losing creativity when it comes to these paintings from life. Anyway, I have to figure out what to do with that. Here’s Sering.

Sering. 8×11 in. Graphite on Bristol.

Sering was awesome and so interesting to work with. The last day of the pose he told me about a documentary he watched about a filipino jeepney driver. He said he felt really bad for the driver because he works so hard and is so poor. He was talking about how it’s so unfair that we are where we are, while there are other people living like that. Sometimes I don’t know what to say to things like that because I ask the same questions. My dad said that it’s just destiny. I agree. But it is quite unfair. Anyway, I just didn’t want to forget that conversation.

We have a new model in class. She’s a young ballerina. I get no sharpened graphite nor erasers this week. A self imposed rule. My sketch book is a mess.

Other news, Rainer Maria Rilke’s letters have been keeping me up at night. You can actually read all the letters online here. They’re letters he wrote to a young poet that reached out to him asking him for advice about his own work. Ha, i’m totally that kid. I’ve written those emails and had those conversations with other artists and my professors, begging for the answer to my million dollar question, “what do I do with my life?!” Hahaha. I think i’m getting better about not knowing. Ha says the kid. Anyway, no matter what kind of art you make, these letters are worth reading.

“You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” 

Have a lovely rest of the week.

Onwards now.

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