Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sidewalk Resolutions, The Sequel

I can't believe I forgot a New Year's resolution topic!

It took a note from my friend Wendy, all the way over on the West coast, to remind me that I forgot to include intentions regarding my artwork.  Must have been the Dewars!


Resolution #11  Paint and draw more.

Resolution #12  Take art classes at Woodstock School of Art.  Here's there link if you want to join me or look at what they offer:

Resolution #13  Get together with former art mates, for some plein air painting somewhere in New England.

Resolution #14  Sell all new art works for a fortune and retire to a cottage on the beaches of Majorca!  (Or, should I say,  a cottage on Majorca that has a sidewalk that leads to a beach!).

No sooner than I read the note from the left coast (it's okay, I'm left handed), guess what's on TV?  A whole afternoon devoted to art.  The first four half hour programs were about nudes through history, starting with the Egyptians.

I want to tell you right here and now that I didn't watch the shows for the pictures!  I didn't look at any of them.  I was interested in the content and discussions about the subject, as related to how the pictorial and sculptural art, and how people's reaction to it, have changed over the years.

As I consider this a "family" blog that anyone can read, I won't post any photos of nudes that I've drawn.  I did take a figure drawing class a few years ago, at the Woodstock School of Art, and produced several nice pieces.  Once again, I didn't look while I was drawing.  I just sketched away while averting my eyes from the subjects.  Somehow, it worked.

I framed two drawings, one of a male and another of a female.  They are quite "safe" to look at, most of the important parts were hidden from view by their poses, and I thought my family would enjoy seeing my productions.

I hung the drawing of the male across from the front door.  The drawing of the female I hung on the wall opposite.  The male would be seen right away as you entered the house.  As my youngest son came into the room and spied the male figure drawing he said, "That's not right!"  He spun around quickly, to avoid looking at it any further, and saw the female.  "Ooo, that's nice," was his next comment. 

The narrator of the shows on television this afternoon talked about people's reactions to nudes in art.  Back in the days noted as BC, nudes in art were representing daily life.  People saw naked people working, fighting, and bathing in many places.  These days, we see nude art in a different light.  Some people think that nude art is produced to express the erotic.

Meanwhile, we are still carrying around some of our Victorian ancestor's taboo ideas about nudity...the only good nude is one that is dressed!

As a result, nude art can be very perplexing.  The same son who reacted to my recent drawings, at age four asked a fellow artist of mine who specialized in nudes, "Are you ever going to paint anyone with their clothes on?"

He knew you had to get dressed!  It didn't make sense to him then.  He gets it now!

Anyway, so you don't think I haven't done anything with my artwork recently, I include here a photo of my sculptural holiday tribute to acorns, using real acorns.  I think it expresses the potential each nut holds for the holiday and every day thereafter.

I call it, "Holiday Acorn Tree." It can be used all year long.

My wife calls it, "Strangely bothersome.  Not sure why, but I get the feeling that it's just not right!"

Oh well, Happy New Year...I hope all of your projects for the coming year have productively fertile results!


  1. Paul! You should have done standup! I've been thinking forever about doing standup again so maybe we could team up?! Hope you all had a great holiday. Spent a nice weekend at Dad's... Mary Kathleen was there and Jan and I and the kids rounded out the group. Happy New Year to you and your gang!

    Your western n.y. cousin, Mike

  2. You got it wrong, it's the Woodstock School O' Fart.

    I'll sign this, you'd guess anyway.

  3. Phil, didn't realize you were taking classes there!

  4. I love nudes! But then you probably knew that about me : ) My favorite is when I go somewhere public with the kids an they mention,"look mom, the nudes you love!" loudly and for emphasis! LOL

  5. Of course, we all love the nudes as it's about the art...the only form that expresses all dimensions in action all at once, right? Your comment reminded me of the time my wife was in the grocery store, at checkout, with my eldest son who was about four at the time. He spied an Enquirer magazine cover and shouted to her, "Oh my goodness, look, you can have an alien baby!" Remember that when you set off to embarrass your kids as they get older...they did it to you!