Sunday, November 09, 2014

Observing by Drawing at the MFA

I have found that sometimes I prefer museum-going by myself.  Because I concentrate on what is interesting to me and don't "worry" about being nice to whoever took the trouble to go with me.
That was the case today when I went to the exhibit of Jamie Wyeth paintings at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
 This crow/raven for instance.  It is a large piece, probably nearly 5 feet square, oil on canvas.  To get an image that looks like a close up, one would have to also stand far away while you were painting.  I sat, mesmerized, on the convenient bench in front of it, and looked for major shapes, highlights, contrasts and brushwork.  For me, it ALL worked.  The detail on the claws alone was breathtaking.  (Wyeth apparently spent several years doing anatomical studies in a New York morgue... and while I doubt there were crows there, the learning transferred.

 This was also my first use of some Faber Castel Pitt pens.  I only have a set of 6 (they come in 58 (!) colors. I love their vibrancy... even if they do seem to be about $2.50 each.  Some of the other colors you see are Faber Castell colored pencils and water soluble crayons.

From the same seat I did these little compositional studies.  The model on the left is supposed to be representing the American Whaling industry/experience.  To me it looked more like someone stuck in Hell, rather than a seaman surrounded by harpoons, tridents and oars.             The other image is of a church.  Wyeth's composition lops of the steeple, in spite of the fact that he apparently really liked painting JUST steeples.  This one was watercolor and had exquisite detailing of the clapboard siding and window reflections.

I took a LOT of photographs.  So watch this space!
I considered having a cup of coffee while I digested my viewing experience, but decided, instead, just to sketch this couple.  They certainly were paying close attention to each other.  When they each took out tablets and paper and pencil, I surmised they were on some sort of "first date," and had decided to at least exchange email addresses or phone numbers.

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