Monday, May 4, 2009
Where do balloons come from?
It's funny that since I started doing woodblock prints, many of the images I've done were mined from old sketchbooks. Lots of drawings, still lives, doodles and life drawings that I kept or always liked have been reemerging as subjects for my prints.
When I was in Italy, I opened an old moving box that was full of art supplies and had three or four old sketchbooks. In one of them as I sat leafing through the pages I found a page cut out from an older sketchbook that I must have pulled out when I packed.
While they say the olfactory sense is our most primitive link to memory I find these scribbles and sketches to be amazing memory triggers that can pull me back from over 30 years in this instance to a dusty studio in Gainesville, Florida and a life drawing class that I frequented in what seems must have been a previous life.
I still remember the model. She showed up late to the class and was dressed in a leopard skin leotard that was several sizes too small. She had boots and a feather boa/scarf and a big leather belt. This is the drawing I did of her. I remember as she walked around during a break that she hated it. I had added probably 20 lbs. to her frame and she didn't appreciate it and wanted to know why I had made her look so fat. I don't remember what I said but I do remember thinking that as badly dressed as she was when she came in I thought she was beautiful naked. I know I didn't say that though; I was as shy then as I was circumspect.
But that image of her walking in persists and in the cut out drawing I preserved there's a funny shape to the upper right. But when I started pulling it out and making copies and putting a border around the drawing it became a balloon. In case there was any doubt I also wrote in cursive, "Balloon".
In my next post I'll show how "balloon" becomes a print.