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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hand Knit Torso

Hand Knit Torso   watercolor/mixed on paper   21 x 12
This past winter I spent several weeks studying the work of American artist Edwin Dickinson, who taught, among other places, at The Art Students League.  One of the lessons offered to his students involved the painting of their own torsos as a prelude to portrait and figurative work.  The goal is to understand the landscape-like undulations of the human body.  So I offered this challenge up to the artists in my class.  We had some very remarkable results!  My own choice was my own torso covered in my late-winter hand knit coat, full of knit patterning and loopy fringe.  Although I love to knit, this beauty was purchased and hand knit in Peru.  I added a colorful scarf to break up what I thought might result in a more static pattern-rendering.  My goal was to achieve all of this texture with as little detail as possible.  I worked until I was satisfied...first with watercolor, next with graphite pencil, and lastly with a white China marker.  I am satisfied, and actually pleased with this work that does not include hands, head and legs....more than I thought I  might be.

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