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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The limited repertoire of the female nude

In terms of the female nude, there’s nothing new under the sun. Kenneth Clark’s definitive book on the subject* reveals that the same postures have been used time and time again.

…it is remarkable that in the female nude there is hardly a single formal idea of lasting value that was not originally discovered in the fourth century.

There are however many variations on the theme. Today’s painting is one of those variations from my own repertoire. Once again my model is reclining and, yet again, her arm reaches over her shoulder. Nevertheless, it is subtly different to the scores of my paintings that have gone before.

The one similarity is the speed of execution. Today’s modelling session was meant to be devoted to making a start on my sculpture of Annabelle’s reclining torso. And so it was. But as I washed the clay off my hands at the end of the session, my model rolled over in sweet relief. From previous diary pages, you can guess the rest. I grabbed my paints and in fifteen minutes this 20" x 16" painting materialized.

 The picture below shows the progress I made in building up the clay. Just to the right of my turntable, is the turntable for the model. They are continually turned in unison from one angle to the next.

*Kenneth Clark, The Nude, A Study in Ideal Form

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