Ballpoint Life

I’m a late-bloomer. All my drawing, painting, sketching is typically done without preamble or external references of any kind. No models, photos, props etc. I’ve met people who find this hard to believe. …I do study intensively but this is usually just staring hard at things (and losing track of what I was suppose to be doing). The few things I’ve actually done from reference either were forced on me by some external circumstance or as in the case of my painting “Sharp Tuxedo” I was simply beguiled by the thing. All in all, I’d say that less that 1% of 1% of my work derives from looking at anything other than the surface I’m using. So, when Damon Lehrer, founder of Boston Figurative Arts Center, asked me to join the group I said yes because I like the guy, like his work and I like his message. Damon feels that the concept of figure work for artistic expression is being treated as somehow passé in many academic art institutions and in art critique. Irksome to him and also to me. What I didn’t know was that heart and soul to the BFAC’s effort was regular life drawing and painting. I told him that I really didn’t do much of that (never really) and wasn’t sure I’d find it particularly worth the effort. Still, as I said, I like the guy so I showed up at a “long pose” session at Vernon St. Studios. It must have been like having a buzzing bee flying around your head for the other artist there, with me flitting from position to position trying to fill my time. Everyone was doing one image from one angle and they would be doing this for the next however so many weeks. I however have the attention span of a gnat. I suggested to Damon using my studio for some short pose work. No one could have been more surprised than myself to hear me say this. Damon said, “Great.” The following drawings are all done with a Bic ballpoint. The very same tool I used to doodle my way to high school drop-out. We’ll see where this goes but it seems blooming late to take up life drawing now.