Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gotta Get to It

I'm thinking about my next paintings and realizing how much the human figure is getting into my artistic future. More and more I'm moved as never before by the human face and the human body in paintings and sculptures. I was looking at the blog of Annie Bissett, a print maker and deeply thoughtful artist, and her latest post made me realize how much I want to dream this same way, over allegories and the human condition, and use the figure in the resulting artwork. The Pagan Sphinx's series called The Friday Evening Nudes (more examples here, here, and here) has something to do with it, too. And so do my self portraits, where I get lost for a while in the complexity of a human face.

And then I went back to our photos of a weekend trip to VA Beach (two weekends ago - it seems like months ago...) and I was knocked out all over again by two artworks we saw on that trip. One is this Tiffany stained glass window in Saint Paul's church in Norfolk (the only structure in the city that survived the Revolutionary War - the British destroyed every other building). The church community's symbol is the phoenix - up from the ashes - and this window is of the three women at the tomb - the ultimate phoenix story. The way the light is handled in this, and the women's faces, poses, the relative ages of them, all so poignant and beautifully rendered and in glass. I think it's hard to do this in paint! Click on the image to see it closer.

And up top is the huge and powerful bronze of Neptune on the VA Beach boardwalk. We stayed three hotels down from this, and it drew me like a magnet when we got down on the boardwalk. In late afternoon light it's magnificent. This is a recent work, 2005, by a VA Beach based artist, Paul DiPasquale. I'm so glad I got to see it. And there is plenty of humor and fun in the animals all around it. Octopi, in particular, feature prominently, and they are rendered with more care, to my eye, than anything else on the sculpture.

So I've got to quit my on-line stuff now and jump into my next paintings. One from that list on the back of my figure card, and one with something figurative.

7 comments:

Genie Sea said...

I can't wait to see what figures are born from the artistic mind of Steve Emery! :)

Lisa said...

I'm looking forward to new work!

Mathman6293 said...

I liked you sketches from a few days ago and I am not surprised that you want to move to the human form.

susan said...

Tiffany was an extraordinary artist, wasn't he? I'm so glad you posted the photograph of that window because if I've seen it before it was in passing somewhere. Too bad I can't afford my own library of art books but if I did I might not have the heart to paint my own pictures. That nearly happened to me years ago after I spent 10 hours a day in the Louvre for three weeks. I knew I might never be back and certainly if I was I wouldn't be the same person. I overdid the museums of Europe in compensation.

I'll look forward to your next painting whenever it shows up. Some things we just can't rush - as I may have said before :-)

linda said...

steve, no rush , it comes when it comes but you know that... since not all your time is your own, i would imagine you spend an inordinate amount of it wishing your were painting so have lots of things to turn your attention to...i look forward to it...

love neptune and the turtle...how cool is that?! especially love his hand, very wonderful...

Steve Emery said...

Genie Sea, Lisa, Susan, and Linda - Thanks - I started today, and posted some "in progress" photos. I actually ended up combining an idea from the list with figures. Not my original intention...

MathMan - Thanks for the comment, and for looking at my figure sketches. I hope to do more - it's becoming a craving, to try to capture the grace and line of the human form.

Pagan Sphinx said...

I'm looking forward to more human figures in your work, Steve. You have so much interest and enthusiasm for figures and so much talent to lend to them.

I'm glad my FEN series is a bit of an inspiration. My very humble offering.