1.What is you personal/aesthetic relationship to the artistic line in drawing and painting? That is, how do you understand it, use it, etc.
Manet famously said that ‘there are no lines in nature, only areas of color, one against the other.’ As a young artist I loved the ideas of Kandinsky, setting his lines free from his shapes, letting his color roam. The surrealist vision that I am pursuing now requires some of the methods of realism, however.
When I paint in gouache the media lends itself to linear qualities. The old tempera painters like Botticelli are known for their beautiful line. Less than a generation later Leonardo’s oil paint evaporated line like smoke, sfmato, in his words, “without lines or borders…” It looked real.
I draw with line, of course, but its at the service of the image I’m envisioning. Sometimes I transfer a drawing onto a panel, sometimes I rough in the design with paint, no line, massing darks and lights, refining it as I go along. I like dissolving flat, wet oil lines out into form, watching another dimension (or the illusion of another dimension) come into being. It gets me every time.
Do you find a relationship between painting and art and the human body? Or between your art and your body?
I am a body who paints the illusion of the body, if mainly the portrait. Studying the human form is a life long pursuit. There is so much to learn. We are endlessly expressive. I love good figurative art, there are many, many fine contemporary artists depicting the human form. I’m awed and humbled at their mastery. I even like mediocre figurative art. I adored the ‘bad’ painting of the 80’s, as long as there were figures involved. Wherever there is a human form there is a story, a narrative implied. I love a story.
Nature repeats all good functional forms, cross species, cross plant and animal kingdoms. I used to riff on the fractal similarities between human vascular forms and trees, roots and branches – consider the pulmonary system, two great trees within the lungs, respirating. (In one painting I used that theme as a big skirt) As within so with out, one could say.
A few days ago another artist told me that there seems to be evidence that the universe is furrowed, like a brain. (Do you remember “A Wrinkle in Time”?) The forms and functions that comprise the body may well be everywhere.
Since I only get to paint as long as I have a body I have a lot of incentive to care for it. Standing and moving is good while painting, later in the afternoon I’ll sit and work on some detailed section. I don’t need to pull back to see the whole effect then. While standing (or sitting) I try to employ the principles I’ve learned from yoga and tai chi, tuck the tail bone, pull up and in on the two lower energy centers, breathe, balance, unfurl the spine. If things are going poorly I check these principles, sure enough, I’m slumping, clutching, holding my breath, locking my joints. Returning to my body returns me to the moment.
Is there anything you dislike about being an artist
I can get a bit isolated, quite inward, a studio cave woman. I almost never feel lonely, tho. It is necessary to leave words behind while drawing or painting and exist in the visual moment. I have an extrovert within that is very verbal, however. It has recently occurred to me that I need to allow the verbal extrovert more time and attention. Writing is very satisfying, and again, a solitary pursuit, so I am thinking of ways to be creatively social and interactive. Except I typically won’t take time of from painting to do so….
Come Hither Queen Bee
copyright 2011 Lea Bradovich
Homage To The Common Bird
copyright 2011 Lea Bradovich