Why draw?

Brazee Street Studio gallery is where one can peruse the efforts of 10 dedicated participants in the Manifest Open Studio live model sessions. This small showing, presented casually with small bull clips pinned to the wall, exhibits a mixture of media and approaches from warmup exercises to statements considered in extended timeframes.

The exercise most often used at the beginning of a session with the live model is the timed gesture series of poses. Emil Robinson shows two sheets of gesture drawings, one with three figures in vine charcoal and one with brush and wash. Fluid lines with multiple revisions reveal the modification process as the artist revisits his initial impressions in these brief posing opportunities. Robinson also shows an oil on paper that experiments with the flesh tone palette on an intimately cropped female figure, executed in a longer timeframe.

Marilyn Wilson Untitled

Marilyn Wilson’s larger work is an excellent exercise in reductive tone drawing. This process begins with the surface being toned with charcoal in a medium value. The drawing is executed by adding charcoal shapes in darker values as well as reducing the charcoal surface with eraser, hence the ‘reductive’ description. The dark valued figure is the focal point of a softly emerging arcing array of geometrical seating. Close value panels define the far vertical confines of the space.

Scott Ramming Nude study

Scott Ramming exhibits two studies combining pieces of tone with a supple, often revised line that betrays an honest investigative quality.  He renders a no nonsense seated form, designed to the sheet with a good sense of big shape. Linear descriptions are spare and articulate, adding interest in contrast to the straight forward structures of chair and stool.

Rob Anderson Brian 1

Small oils on paper by Nathan Perry emphasize a subtle spacial geometry and introduces an androgynous figure as only another element of design, easily upstaged by the shape on the floor in the foreground. On a similar note, Rob Anderson exhibits full and partial standing figures painted in reduced spacial descriptions in a small 10×14 format. His color palette closely fuses the forms to the background.

Two works in charcoal emphasize portrait likeness as the goal of practice.

Larry Griggs’ rendering on grey paper with charcoal and white pastel pencil shows his refinement of this technique. Chris Fee attempts the feat with a different model on white paper with somewhat less aesthetic result.

Nathan Perry Figure w/Still life

The basic takeaway for the viewer could be that each of these pieces is evidence of time spent looking, documenting the artist as investigator in the personal act of seeing. In my personal experience, it is a necessary exercise and time well spent.

Brazee Street Studio Gallery   Cincinnati  Ohio

Exhibiting through February 27th.

–Marlene Steele





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