a personal calligraphy
This is the painting that you may recognize from a prior blog entry. I am glad to say that I enjoyed this painting from the beginning to the end. I did not have that long, drawn out series of frustrations and epiphanies. I was confident in what I wanted to paint, and I was beginning to understand what it was that I was trying to achieve. I understood, first off, that I wanted to place a higher emphasis on line than I had in the past. I wanted to find a beautiful contour, and let it run from the top of the canvas to the bottom. Although I was very concerned with the issue of light, I was equally concerned with the issue of line, and so I turned to Raphael. Raphael was able to see and create beautiful lines in all of his figures.
The following drawing may initially seem irrelevant, but if you follow the beautiful sense of line that Raphael has incised onto the contour of this figure, you can understand how there are beautiful lines to be found everywhere in nature. The lyrical flow of line that runs along the side of a woman’s figure has its parallel in a line of trees silhouetted against the sky, even in a violin resting on its side. This drawing by Raphael is actually a copy of Michelangelo’s David, and he is said to have done this sketch in front of the David, in Piazza della Signoria in Florence. Raphael infused his own personal sense of calligraphy into his observation of the David, and many art critics believe that Raphael’s sense of linear rhythm actually trumped Michelangelo’s.
Follow Raphael’s sense of line on the left side, from the top of the head to the heel of the foot. On my own time, I copied many drawings such as this. And I believe that these copies enabled me to develop my own, personal sense of calligraphy, which I was then able to imbue the figure of Anna with. I have found, in the end, painting is more concerned with composing than with merely observing.