View Full Version : the ghoul sitting down

05-23-2001, 07:08 AM
here we have another nude figure. this time i put some francis bacon into his face and made the surrounding room stranger than it really was. i am very curious what anyone thinks of this? most of the effects in this drawing were acheived by smearing a kneaded eraser against charcoal pencil lines. <IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2001/weirdo.jpg" border=0>

the greatest power of art
is to reflect our
imaginations not our

[This message has been edited by Cabal (edited May 23, 2001).]

05-23-2001, 08:29 AM
this one holds together very well,
angles light and dark

05-23-2001, 09:43 AM
Cabal - I enjoy figure painting very much. I'm a BIG fan of Francis Bacon's work.

I find this painting..well...unusual.
In reading your comments, I find that they make me want to ask a question or two. Why are you putting "Francis Bacon" into his face? Are you not putting yourself (your own self-expression) into the face? Instead of putting "some" FB into the face..why not put a LOT!!!!!!! of Cabal into the face..and figure.

We, as viewers of you work..can all respond one way or another. I am responding with questions. Here is a simple one for you Cabal....why did you paint this painting?
You can give me a number of simple (and honest) answers I'm sure.

What does this figure..in this chair, in this room MEAN to you? If part of your answer..has to do with "this is how I see the human form"...I will have to ask you WHY do you see the human form in this way?.

This is a mono-chromatic painting for the most part. Why are you choosing not to use color? What is it about FB's work..that causes you to want to incorporate his...expression in your work??

As you can see Cabal, I'm throwing questions back at you. I like your painting for a very simple reason. I like the geometry that seated figures present. The location of the seated figure in your painting..seems arbitrary to me. Is there a connection to the space of the "room"..and the figure in the chair. Are you painting the figure, chair, room (environment) in this painting because this is the way you FEEL about the figure...that the supporting elements (chair-room-floor) add to the "statement" you are making about the human figure?

Do I like your painting? (Not sure),meaning...it is a bit disturbing. (But Bacon's work can be disturbing also). I KNOW I like Bacon's work. Your other painting..with the strange creatures appearing in the room...well...just not my taste. I'm thinking about why I clearly like Bacon's work...and I have reservations about the painting above. For one..I LOVE color.

Whenever we figure painters want to "say" something about the figure-( or life as we see/experience it )...we really have to reach inside ourselves and determine WHY do we use the figure to express our feelings and emotions. What is it about the figure that we feel we can USE it to make our own personal statements. Is our manner of self-expression (with regards to figurative self-expression) contrived???. Honest??

We (as artists) may just enjoy the simple pleasures of putting paint to canvas...or we may just really enjoy entertaining ourselves..with little or no regard to the viewpoints or opinions of our viewers.

How our paintings fit in..within the historical context of painting..may mean very little to some of us.

Cabal, I'm throwing all of this dialog out there..because it DOES have something to do with WHY we bother with our forms of self-expression.

Cabal, I hope you won't mind that I didn't give you a brief..simple answer to your "curiosity". Viewing your painting caused me to type this rather lengthy reply.
How is that for an answer?

[This message has been edited by MichaelRH (edited May 23, 2001).]

05-23-2001, 10:07 AM
I love the room, understand the figure, and go back to the room ASAP! There is a touch of "Ooops... I stumbled into a private area" at work in my perception... If this was your goal, you did it!!!
The right arm seems a tad flat hanging over chair... some light on left hand or glass might emphasize foreshortening.
The face is one that defies reading, and generates Michael's questions for me as well.

Jeanine Jackson
Stamford, CT

05-23-2001, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by JeanineJ:
The right arm seems a tad flat hanging over chair... some light on left hand or glass might emphasize foreshortening.

I guess I was concentrating on the torso and legs. I suppose I wasn't looking close enough Cabal..I did not notice the arms and hands (and glass). And..now that I think about it..the room (even if it was arbitrary..??)...looks like one of those bungalows...in the tropics. Voodoo...?

Cabal..after all of my questions in my previous post...if you only answer with "I just felt like painting this painting"...hey...that works. Reason enough.

05-23-2001, 11:49 AM
The truth is that this isn't really a painting. it is a charcoal/pencil drawing. i guess the word "painting" might be applicable though? i guess that depends on your mindset of the medium. anyway i made this image during several sessions in my drawing class. we had a man come to class and sit nude with a cup in his hand and a sheet over his shoulder. there is a reasonable amount of floor at the bottom to lead the viewer into the environment. i'm very fond of distortion in the manner of bacon. he said when he paints he wants to make it look like a snail had been there and pulled its slimy path thru the work (or something close to that) i think that when something is slightly blurred or obscured in any fashion it builds a mystery around it. you have to wonder why its not all out in the open. i liked the word voodoo in reference to this. the figure is intended to take on a piece of supernaturality. there is a mystery here and i'm not giving any clear cut answers to what is going on. if you've ever seen the film Lost Highway by David Lynch there is a similarity. the film has a plot but the reasons for one thing and the way it affects another part of the film isn't given. the viewer audience is forced to use their imagination to figure things out on their own. i will say this. the blurred face is a reference to a mask. the mask gives the figure sitting at their throne power. perhaps a king or prince in some strange underworld.

the greatest power of art
is to reflect our
imaginations not our

05-23-2001, 01:20 PM
The figure is rendered perfectly from the rib cage to just above the knees. The shoulder and the top of the knees down, are off a bit. The hand is difficult to see and i suspect your having trouble with it/them as well. They are a bitch to draw! as are toes and knees (imo). The concept is cool. Human anatomy is the single most important thing for you to study if you want to draw paint like this...if you can skillfully render the figure, you can render anything. Your figure doesnt look stiff, which is a major prob for many people. Good work. Hope I wasnt too harsh. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


05-24-2001, 03:07 AM
Cabal..I'm finding your comments interesting..because some of them reflect my own..interests (and reasons) for using the figure for my self-expression.

The quote you alluded to is:
"I would like my pictures to look as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail, leaving a trail of the human presence and memory of the past events as the snail leaves its slime".

Cabal, here are some other quotes by Francis Bacon...that I think are important:

"What I do believe is that chance and accident are the most fertile things at any artist's disposal at the present time".

For me this means that to PLAN and calculate every brush stroke, or even to have some preconceived notion of how a painting will go...takes away a GREAT!!!!! deal of the spontaneity of one's self-expression. I feel that in order to express my emotional feelings not only about the figure..but about life...paintings (or drawings) must be done as QUICKLY as possible. Too much thought (during ANY of the steps)...takes me further away from the emotions and feelings that caused me to want to express myself in the first place.

I believe one can think TOO much...about how to paint a picture.or how to "properly" make a statement. Just some more thoughts to consider Cabal.

Bacon commented on painting a portrait:
"I don't know how much it's a question of sensation about the other person. It's the sensations within yourself".

When I paint the figure, (I'll have to agree with Bacon here), it is much more about me (my response to the subject (figure) than it is about the figure. Hope this makes some sense. I think that is why it is so difficult for me to paint a "conventional" portrait. Difficult meaning..a lack of real desire to do so.

I hear all this talk about how much more a painter can capture (with regards to the personality of the sitter)..than a photographer can, of the same sitter.

I (honestly) think there is actually very little information conveyed in either a photographic portrait or a painted one. It is fun to imagine there is. Plus, it makes for some good "artsy" conversation.

But...there is a GREAT deal more information conveyed if the artist gives us his or her impressions...about the subject (or sitter). I can't pretend to know what is going on within the sitter's mind..but I can...as honestly as possible--TRY to convey what is going on in my OWN mind when I respond to a sitter (or the human figure).
For me...the use of figurative distortion...is a way to re-invent the figure, to present it in such a way as to remove it from its typical ("normal") everyday context. We see so many "real" figures..we wind up NOT seeing the figure.

Thank you Cabal for correcting my misconception about your medium. It really does look like a painting.

[This message has been edited by MichaelRH (edited May 24, 2001).]