Monday, March 19, 2007

Award Winning

This is a page right out of Art in America magazine in January of 1990. (to see it more clearly, you can click on the image) I was chosen to represent UWF in this art competition. I sort of remember one of the profs telling me they were going to nominate me for the award but I didn't think too much of it. It floored me when I won. It's too bad they didn't award cash but I did get $500 worth of art supplies. That's a cool thing for an art student. I still have some of the brushes that I use even now. They held up pretty good.
And, just in case you were wondering, I was in another magazine. Actually, I was on the cover. It was in October of 1995 and the magazine was Facts and Trends. It's a magazine of "News and Information from the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention."
Yeah, I know. Nobody's ever heard of it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Nekkid Women

Yep. That's right. I had to draw nudes when I was in college. All you Southern Baptists...look away!
I can recall the first day I had to draw a nude. Not only was she naked but there was a lot of her. (C' know what that means) For the first few seconds I paused, not sure what I should do. I finally began to draw. I can't tell you when the transformation from uncomfortable to comfortable took place but I can tell you that after a while, you just sort of view them as you would a still life. It's just something to draw. Heck, during breaks, we'd all just hang out and chat with the models. We got to know the ones that did it alot. It was no big deal.
For some odd reason, I only had to draw a male once and he wasn't nude. 99% of the time we had females. The first girl I drew was the big girl I was talking about earlier. She modelled for us so much, we got used to her and we could draw her blindfolded. Our instructor figured that out and threw us a major curve. She brought in this very athletic gal and it totally threw us all for awhile.
I do recall that I did get uncomfortable one other time. We were drawing the girl that is pictured to your left above. Well it was all going fine when out instructor brought out a ladder. The model put one foot on the floor and the other she planted way on the 4th rung. Well, as you can imagine, it afforded some of us quite a unique view. I had to move my easel to the other side of the room.
The only other time I got uncomfortable was during my first nude photo shoot. The instructors brought in a model for the class and for a while she posed in various costumes with props. After a while, she asked what we wanted next and someone suggested nude. (I'm sure it was one of the guys) She stripped and we all began to take pictures but after a few minutes I sensed that the atmosphere we a little too sexual. The guys in the room (except for me and the male instructor) were giving the model instructions as if it were a Playboy shoot. I started packing up my stuff. The female instructor asked if I was leaving. I answered in the affirmative and explained that I thought things had gotten out of hand. The next day I found out that she stopped the session right after I left.
I really miss figure drawing. It's great exercise. It keeps you limber and your chops fresh. If I had the time I would find a class in town and try to go once a week. Perhaps when I move beyond the collage stage that I'm in now, I will pursue a class. It would certainly be a good way for me to get back into top drawing form.

Monday, March 05, 2007


I did this painting in college. I believe it's called Neo-Plastodon. It was named by a fellow student because it looked to her like a dinosaur rising up out of rocks or something. To me, it's one of my most successful paintings. There's alot going on that you can't see here. The entire canvas is covered with gauze and then painted with bright colors. Then I painted over all that with the white and black. Up close, you can see all kinds of subtle color peeking through. The geometric patterns were governed by what the gauze did naturally on the canvas. Someone actually donated a large amount of gauze to the school and no one else wanted it so I decided to experiment with it. I ended up doing several gauze paintings. I sold one to a girl in Pensacola. I hope she still has it. I believe a couple of others are with another old friend in Pensacola. I asked her to store my paintings for me because she had the space and I guess I never asked for them back. Last I heard, she told a mutual friend that she still had them.
This picture of it is pretty terrible but it's the only record I have of the painting. When I lived in Birmingham, I met a fellow artist named Antjuan and we traded paintings. He got this one. The last time I saw him he told me that someone had stolen it but that he knew who did it and he was going to get it back. That cracks me up because the painting is about 6' X 5' and pretty heavy. It's not like you can tuck it into your coat and make off with it.
I really long to paint like this again. Not so much the imagery but just the freedom that a large canvas allows. It's like having a big field to run around in. It's so much fun. Unfortunately, apartment life doesn't allow for these types of expressions so I'll just have to wait until we can get a little more elbow room.