Monday, October 4, 2010

MFA drawings 10/3/10


I was sketching things at the Museum of Fine Arts yesterday and thought it might be a nice idea to post my sketches up here on my neglected blog. I'd really like to go back and sketch these same sculptures sometime soon, so perhaps there will be a visible progression as I come to know them more and more. If you're interested, I'd appreciate it if you would click the above image to enlarge it—the compressed preview makes the pencil strokes look inaccurately coarse and gritty.

The first one is "Bust of Jules Dalou" by the incomparable Rodin. In my first attempt (left) I tried to move quickly in order to capture the correct sense of the face but it turned out looking too angry. The second (right) was overall much more accurate. I erred the opposite direction of the first and lost all of the frustration in his face. My main weakness with both of these, I think (but especially the second,) is his brow. The eyes aren't quite right, either.

The second is "Le Printemps" by Jules Desbois. This small head is possibly one of the most superb works of art that I have ever seen: the expression on this girl's face was nearly indescribable, portraying childhood more accurately and more beautifully than anything I can remember. I dare not try and describe it myself, its essence would slip away from my words almost immediately. (I was actually frightened to begin drawing it, since I knew that I could only fall massively short.) That said, I was actually somewhat pleased with the result. The proportions aren't quite right (her features ought to be larger on her face,) and her eyes were not captured well at all (though I will give myself grace in this regard, because the eyes are the most important, most affecting, most true part of this sculpture.)

Thanks for reading (this post is mostly for the Tullises, since we discussed posting pictures on my blog about 6 months ago. Hi Tullises.)


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Musing on Nostalgia, Shortly Drifting Toward Thought About Absolution.

"Not so in the old days—
Things were pure, those golden days.
Tomorrow is worst of all: the end is bubbling up
through the cracks in the surface, is it not?
We are hurtling toward self-inflicted doom."


Maybe we are just frightened to imagine that perhaps things are just as bad as they've always been and always will be—and this is what we ought to fear: not society's downfall, but its continuation. Not apocalypse, but the endless ebb and flow of a fatally flawed immortal heart.


For we expect redemption in the end, do we not? Is it true that humans feel the weight of our folly, and long to have it lifted? All fire is cleansing: If we are to burn, then we shall feel justice—as if this is the punishment for our wrongdoings, and once we have weathered it all will be right as it should be. And, perhaps more selfishly, this fantasy includes the satisfaction of seeing your scorners receive their long-deserved comeuppance.


Do we await hellfire and brimstone, ours or other, on this earth in order that we can look away from the fire consuming ourselves?


For my part, I dare not wait for destruction on any scale—mine or ours. Neither fire nor water by my own hand will suffice. We cannot save our own souls, that much is certain.