My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Where the pleasant fountains lie

Kenneth Clark's definitive book, The Nude, originated as a series of lectures that he gave at Washington’s National Gallery of Art in 1953. It is a classic of its kind. I have read the book from cover to cover on at least three occasions over the last forty years and most recently, over the last two weeks.

Those forty years span my development as a painter and sculptor of the nude. As with poetry, I have interpreted the book’s contents differently from one period to the next. It is only on my most recent reading that I discovered a curious omission: breasts and buttocks are analyzed at length, but nowhere is there mention of pudendum, male or female.

The Guardian columnist, Syreeta McFadden came up against a similar problem when perusing the Greek and Roman galleries of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.


 Alas, the origin of the word pudendum – a shameful thing - still holds true.

Fotunately, Gustave Courbet, Egon Schiele and Auguste Rodin had no qualms depicting it, and neither have I.


Today’s picture is a detail from my painting of the reclining torso.

Graze on my lips, and if those hills be dry,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie
.

William Shakespeare “Venus and Adonis” 

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