Tuesday, February 6, 2007
I drew in Muttonham last night for the first time in a few months. I was delighted that another one of my favorite models was there.
The model was so beautiful that he was difficult to draw. Artists often prefer drawing ugly things because then no one is going go judge us for failing at some standard of beauty. We love the fat, the rolls, the dimples, the hair and the scars. No inner voices are going to accuse us of misrepresenting that mound of flesh. But when we have something beautiful, all of a sudden, it is Eric Satie falling at the Altar of Beauty. Auguste is staring over our shoulders snorting derisively. Not only am I uncomfortable joining the worshipers, but I have enough doubts about my own skills. The horror of coming up short is something that can't even be looked at in the face. Just think of all the terrible, hack portraits of beautiful women floating around, at the garage sales, behind people's couches, on the walls of adolescent boy's rooms-- its a ring of Art Hell that should remain unspoken.
When I drew him in April of '05, I didn't even try to transcend. There was no way to get around it, so I embraced being an awkward 12 year old girl, overtaken by swoony, day-glo, heart-dotted waves. I couldn't take the situation seriously. Not only did he look like he was chiseled out of caramel, but he was bald! All he needed was some rose petals and the rapturous vision would have been complete.
Nearly two years have passed since the last time, and last night I was able to avoid putting hearts all over the paper. I have graduated to some hack homoerotic level. The reasons to never do erotic art just keep piling up. A few years ago, I was vaguely tempted by the whole genre, but my native inertia and the fear of dying too early to destroy all the evidence in case it fell into the wrong hands prevented anything coming to fruition.
Notice I am not blaming the model for being beautiful? The ridiculous situations I am relating here took place entirely in my head.