I was awakened with a phone call at about 5 AM this morning, an elderly faint woman’s voice said my name and said “I’m sorry”…I asked, “who is this…who is this?” and the voice was silent, whomever it was had gone. I was startled and didn’t know who called; it was very real. I saw I had no phone in my hand and was shaken awake by the mysterious caller. Did I get a telepathic message from someone? Who? I reached for my cell phone to check the time, (as my clock had been relocated to the bathroom) and the date, July 6. It is the same as my mother (Betty B. Kirshner’s) date of death two years ago.Struck by the painful memory of her departure… that is how my day started.
I headed to my drawing session at the Art Guild of Port Washington, immediately after breakfast. Groggy and shaken by the dream, I arrived late.
At the Art Guild, Megan, a slim, long-haired blonde angelic beauty, looking like she walked out of a Vermeer portrait. She was striking numerous complex poses for us to master our skills. Fingers were intertwined, legs bent and interlocked, and back turned and arms disappeared, several bracelets on each wrist, feet angled and toes bent up and down and the contortions continued for the entire session of 2 minute, 5 minute, 10 and 20 minute poses, from 12 noon to 3 PM.
Jill, sweet older red-head whose mastered her craft moved onto a large iPad and was drawing with a white pencil stylus the entire session. Her drawings were remarkably accurate and colorful, as she sought the perfect skin tone. I asked if she ever draws on paper now, and she said, she hadn’t done so recently. She seems hooked on the iPad and spoke well of the Apple store in Manhasset, where she has received guidance in using the software and the iPad, and she said they are seeking artists to work with them in developing their software and capabilities for them. Photographers are involved in their project too. She was asked to be involved. The Apple store in Roosevelt Field is closer for me, and she said there they have many artists involved and they can be very helpful, so maybe that’ll be my next big purchase a “giant” iPad. I have the regular size and the stylus, but I fear I will stop painting on canvas and wind up in the cyber realm vs. canvas and paint. It happens to the best of creatives. Kate Kelly, a popular artist/poet who had a show with Bert Winesberg at the BJ Spoke Gallery in March, came to mind. She creates a lot of digital, layered artwork and sells them at reasonably low prices that everyone can afford, came to mind. I own one of those pieces.
Would the value of the work printed from such a venture be the same? Joyce, the artist monitor asked. Not likely is the answer. The real thing still ranks more valuable in resale.
Old-fashioned HB and 6B graphite user today, I thought my drawings were distorted. I left out most of Megan’s neck in one long pose, and I gave her a manly face in a second long pose. In the one without much of a neck, she looked like a odd fish woman — a hybrid mermaid without a tail and feet instead.
Glancing around, I noticed the extraordinary figure drawings done fast in charcoal by a young and newest member of the artful tribe. His name is Brian King. I don’t know what he did or does for a living, but he is truly talented as an artist and has skill that doesn’t happen by chance. I asked if I could photograph him and his drawing(s) for my blog and he consented, and I’m including a sample herein.
Next to me and him was Renee Joseph, a long-time artist and a quasi-sister to my late-mother. She is Judge Burton Joseph’s widow (he died last year) and Burt attended Brooklyn Law School with my father, hence that is how Renee and Mom met, socially. Renee taught art in a Wantagh school and Mom used to substitute for her, when she needed help.
Mom was an artist all her life and went back to school to finish her degree in Art Education when we were old enough to cope. She became an art teacher and did the substituting and taught as art director at the Lutheran Gift Day Camp for years. Renee was delighted when I told her about the Art Guild’s live model sessions and hasn’t stopped thanking me. Her drawings are picture perfect. That’s what I’d expect of a retired art teacher. Sometimes I ask her what she thinks of a drawing I’ve done. Today I did not. I wanted to hide my drawings, but when the model asked I smiled and showed them to her. We both had a chuckle.
Back to Brian, he said he went to Cooper Union, just one of the best art programs! He said he returned to drawing/art because he wanted to draw feet and it got him started. I told him I stopped doing art for around 25 years and just returned to it in 2013 (only four years ago). We had the hiatuses in common. Handsome, lovely young man, he always has music playing in his ears and I hadn’t noticed his talent until today. WOW. Michael and Baruch both comment about his speed, and even Renee did today. That takes real skill and lots of practice. Kudos to my new artful friend, Brian King.