Monday, January 15, 2007

Uglycute Satsumahead Gift Explosion!

This is a post for numerous fragmentary drawings which are probably leading up to something. I think I need to lose my ambivalence and my doubts about frequently drawing wrestlers and commit to making something beautiful and complete out of it. And transcend petty issues like the mere choice of subject-matter!

But in the meantime, I have been attempting to fathom out various aspects of design and likeness and colour and generally trying to focus my intent by just drawing and seeing what grows.

(words about that last image:)

It's easy to concentrate a lot of energy into a page of tiny thumbnail sketches like this, when all is excitement and potential. It's harder to transfer that kind of energy into something more complete, complex and decisive.

We're going back and forth in time a bit now. When I started looking at the Orton/Edge pairing, I did this study in coloured pencils.

Then added a bit of gouache when I got frustrated.

And I remembered that coloured pencils tend to be better when I already have something resembling a design and then I can play with it, using the pencil marks in combination with the white of the paper. In this finding-my-feet drawing, just doing swathes of colour with no gaps, they were annoying. They aren't a good replacement for paints on jobs like this. They felt kind of girly and weak. They're more like a kind of delicate hybrid between a drawing and a painting implement, and I think this might be a good way of thinking about them in future. But still, it's just a sketch. I think I'm writing all this about coloured pencils because actually I like them and I want to get more out of them. Also I have a really nice set of 120 Faber-Castell ones.

I commited my self to drawing this man who calls himself Edge. Because he's a wrestler and therefore somewhat culturally... self-contained, he doesn't have to worry about getting mixed up with the guitarist out of U2.

The chin is key, obviously. He's not a person I was immediately excited about drawing, but that's the challenge, to try and make something fun out of it anyway. He did actually once have the Loveliest Hair in wrestling, all golden and wavy and soft and well conditioned and flowing. Now it's a bit stringy.

Edge WWE

Edge WWE toy

Now we're moving backwards in time to when the Christmas colours one wasn't finished. In fact, I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with the way I did end up colouring it in. I'm still settling into a new approach.

I think I gave Randy child-bearing lady-hips a little bit in an effort to squeeze in his enormous thighs, which are so important to his general silhouette and which I have too often heinously neglected.

Actually, one of the challenges with drawing wrestlers generally, and especially when I'm tending increasingly toward the cute or the cartoony, is fitting the enormous bodies in whilst not reducing the heads to the size of satsumas. I think with skinny people or girls it's easier and natural to distort the heads and make them proportionally big, but if you did that with wrestlers you might sort of miss the whole point. There's that, and also the fact that even if I'm 'tending towards the cute' a little more these days, I still want there to be something real-feeling or even classical about these bodies.

satsuma tangerine

(A satsuma there, of the kind to which I was referring.)

Here's one of those sketchbook pages with old words and newer pictures.

I think it's got some quotes from Delacroix's journals.

Also me reminding myself to 'learn clouds'. Whatever that might mean.

For Christmas I got some new colours. I was staying in a small house with my family. I squoze out this masterpiece:

Well, it's nice to get in touch with one's new colours anyway.

I've been thinking about watercolours but I haven't got beyond some very rough primitive sketches because I just haven't put together all my intentions yet. But sometimes it's OK to make a bit of a mess if it helps me visually and tacitly to sharpen my awareness of how I should organize things.

Here's a little bumpy paper oddity:

Poor Randy, I'm sure I do still think he's beautiful, but frequently these days he becomes a demon turnip. I've been trying to strike a balance between ugly and cute or even ugly and beautiful, and these might be straying further into the ugly dimension than I want to be. But again, it all helps me to clarify what I do want to achieve.

And the other thing is, ugly-looking faces and ugly design do not necessarily go together. I could make a beautiful design out of an ugly face. Or even a beautiful design out of a beautiful face uglified!

I'm reading a book called The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World and even though its concerns are a little bit abstract and ethical to apply to the common sense/clarifying aspirations of this blog entry, it's made me remember in quite an immediate way that often the best way to make a painting good is to imagine giving it, or to actually intend giving it, as a gift to someone you care about or respect. It gives a kind of focus, removes the vulgar capitalism for a moment, and lets me just focus on the idea of making the gift-picture as good and honest and concentratedly beautiful as I possibly can.

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Scott said...

You own uglycute.

Chloe Cumming said...

Thanks Scott.

Perhaps I ought to try and make that be true!

Chloe Cumming said...

Oh no! I've made my blog inaccessible by writing too much words.

Chloe Cumming said...

I was going to say (at the risk of posting three comments by myself in a row on my own blog)

I think the next post have less words again, because the pictures ought to be a little bit more like statements by then. This one has lots of words because the pictures are just fragments of thoughts.

miles said...

i think it's possible that the physical stregnth of the wrestlers represents the determination you are exhibiting when creating an image. this subject speaks of the power of the beauty you are capable of bestowing onto paper - dude - you are a machine and a beautiful one at that. gather no moss!

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