Sunday, August 10, 2008
Lydia, a woodblock diversion
While in medical school 20 years ago, to take a break from the work and single-mindedness of purpose and my peers I ran an informal life drawing group. We had 5-10 people and found a model and divided the cost among the participants.
There was one model who was particulary wonderful. Very skinny, long hair, an ex-student of dance and very, very comfortable with herself and her physical presence. The whole group couldn't do a bad drawing of her.
But after a session of careful, one-hour poses. I got a bit fed up and grabbed a fine line marker and dashed off this gesture drawing in about a minute. Then took a fat-tipped marker and scratched in her long hair and the axillary and pubic hair.
That drawing has lived in a sketchbook for the last 20 years, but I always thought it had a "Japanese" look to it and thought it would eventually make a nice print.
This was carved on two blocks of cherry. One for the thin lines of the body and another for the thicker areas of dark.
It was printed in 4 passes for an "edition" of 20 copies on Japanese handmade paper.
P.S. In Florida in the 80's, despite the hedonistic environment, the drugs, the tiny bathing suits, the students who would drop classes to spend more time in the gym, it was almost impossible to find nude models, male or female. Lydia was unusual in that she was already experienced as an art model and for Florida in the 80's, unusual in that she didn't shave.