Thursday, September 9, 2010


I found a drawing book - or rather just another old notepad - dating from the early 1980s, which offers a few interesting insights into where my mind was at the time.

This was on the cover page (again there were no actual covers) and was probably inspired by a recent visit to Florence during my honeymoon (of which a bit more later, when I find the drawings!) in 1983. The David, by Michaelangelo, is an incredible marble carving, and I think here I have tried, purely from my imagination, to create something of the aura surrounding the male form that he achieved. To me, though, this is not Italian, but ancient Greek.

In similar mode, I recall studying Michaelangelo's drawings, including those of male backs. This is probably an attempt, again not from the model but the imagination, to explore that avenue.

But in case you were wondering where my proclivities lie, the following five or six drawings I think will leave little doubt. A mentioned many postings back that while studying at the East London Tech art school under Jack Lugg, I did a carving of a nude woman leaning back, with her arms behind her head, like the drawing. Done from silver oak, it was stolen one day, and I have mourned its departure probably like some might mourn the loss of a close friend. Earlier, in a posting on my time in the army, I showed a couple of drawings I did trying to bring it back to life, as it were. Here I again try to recapture the essence of this most feminine of forms.

The front view of my carving, the whereabouts of which I'd dearly love to know. In fact, if anyone has seen a carving, about 40cm high, that looks like this, please let me know.

I enjoyed working with pencil crayons, which provide the instant colour of watercolours without the attendant buckling of the paper, while also enabling one to use line freely. I must return to this medium in the future.

Prepare to see that carving become more and more distorted!

This could only lead to back problems in the long term.

Can she possibly bend any further back?

There you have your answer. In fact, I recall way back in primary school at Beaconhurst Primary how some of the girls were able to do these back bends with consummate ease.

Still on a gymnastic theme, here I have done, again from the imagination, a drawing of someone tucking their hands under their feet.

But lurking in the back of my brain is always something quite bizarre.

This drawing dates the notepad to about 1984, when I regularly accompanied my then wife Anne to her parents' home in Graaff-Reinet. This is a drawing of her dad, Philip.

Another study of Philip, with those pencil crayons proving a boon on the soft, receptive paper.

As noted on an earlier posting, they had an aviary on their property in Graaff-Reinet, which was where I did these quickies.

A couple more studies of birds. Sometimes a drawing needs only a few well-seen lines to work.

Who was this guy? I have no idea, but clearly I drew him.

What is it about cats? Look at the arrogant, don't mess with me, attitude of this fellow.

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