Why Life Drawing:
Drawing from life keeps my mad skills sharp. Beside that very good reason, I draw so many nudes because:
1) Once you get over any psychological hurdles, it's easier than drawing people with their clothes on (so much for keeping my skills sharp!). But seriously, folks . . .
2) Possibly because I grew up in Utah. I have nothing whatsoever against Mormons, but do have a few bones to pick with Mormonism. Some part of me rebels against strictures, other than those I set for myself, and dogma generally.
3) In response to the curious combination of vulnerability and toughness that nakedness intensifies.
4) Naked or draped, my fellow human 'beans are endlessly fascinating.
Images from the above gallery are for an edition of 12 artist's books in progress entitled To Hell in a Handbag. Instead of a traditional portfolio box, each of these accordion books will be housed in a fashionable handbag as a commentary on the damage done to women (and men) in the name of saving face and keeping up appearances.
This issue will be depicted through a visual story line that incorporates both my original etchings of an emaciated female figure and reproductions of selected Doré illustrations of Dante's Inferno. From the start, the figure is seen with a large stone on a chain around her neck. The stone represents the persistent negative self-image that she carries with her. She walks in a hunched manner, her shoulders gradually lowering until finally she collapses. The figure becomes perceptibly thinner as the book progresses; by the end she is just a skin covered skeleton.
(for full images and more information, click thumbnails above)
Here's me discussing art with two very intelligent guys down on their luck and possibly homeless:
I easily spend ten to eighty hours on a painting or drawing; so when a pose demands it, I work from photographs, even though it is much more difficult for me to work from a photo than it is to work from life. This may be counterintuitive, but it really is simpler to draw someone if I can physically walk around him or her. When I use photos as source material, I almost always take the picture myself. Rarely, I'll actually get a shot that stands as a work of art in its own right, as in these self portraits, below:
2012 E.D. Taylor. All rights reserved.