DRAWING LIFE by fred hatt

2014/07/06

End-On: Extreme Foreshortening – Part 2

Filed under: Drawing,New work,Older work — Tags: , , , , , , — Fred Hatt @ 00:25
Rotation, 2006, by Fred Hatt

Rotation, 2006, by Fred Hatt

One of my all-time most popular Drawing Life posts is “End-On: Extreme Foreshortening“, from 2010, which featured my sketches of models in mostly reclining poses, seen at angles from near head or foot, a view which radically alters the perceived contours and juxtapositions of parts of the body. Many life drawing practitioners find extreme foreshortening very challenging, but if you can learn to analyze what’s in your visual field for this kind of drawing, everything else will be relatively easy. The original post has lots of observations that you may find helpful if you’re trying to learn how to see the figure in perspective. Here is a new set of drawings, all done directly from life without the use of photographs or any optical aids (with the exception of “Linear Man” later in this post, which was drawn while experimenting with a camera lucida).

Laced Fingers, 2014, by Fred Hatt

Laced Fingers, 2014, by Fred Hatt

The body in perspective can be looked at like a landscape, with rises and hollows receding from immediately in front of you to a distant horizon. To render this landscape, let your drawing hand roam over it, feeling the heart quicken as you scale each mound, trying not to lose your footing as you skitter downhill. At the same time, keep the eyes fixed like a surveyor’s transit, noting how each prominence aligns with each other prominence in the conical geometry of the seen scene.

Boulder, 2004, by Fred Hatt

Boulder, 2004, by Fred Hatt

The head-end view of the body is close to what we see if we look down at ourselves, and can express a kind of subjective sense of the body as the physical situation of the mind.

Absence, 2011, by Fred Hatt

Absence, 2011, by Fred Hatt

Organic forms are composed of three-dimensional curves, swellings and veerings in space. End-on views of parts of the body give a powerful experience of the swooping flow of such forms. I think of these forms as motions that happen in time. Organic shapes are not defined and constructed, they grow. To grow is to unfold. Unfolding is a motion in time, and every unfolding has its particular arc or waveform.

If we look at the leg, for instance, in a standard standing anatomical position, we see this time-based phenomenon translated into space, like a “timeline of history” chart. This growth that has taken place over time is manifest in the present moment as a particular shape in space. To experience it energetically, we need to translate space back into time. When we see the leg end-on, we can observe this spatial form in cascading cross-sections, experiencing the development of the form as it evolves from moment to moment, in flowing motion.

Hypotenuse, 2009, by Fred Hatt

Hypotenuse, 2009, by Fred Hatt

Hillocks and hollows, nipples and dimples, curves and straightaways, compose the Corpus Humanum.

Headward, 2014, by Fred Hatt

Headward, 2014, by Fred Hatt

Dive, and surface. Scale the Alps/Rockies/Andes/Himalayas. Plumb the Marianas Trench.

Resting Power 2, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Resting Power 2, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Resting Power 1, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Resting Power 1, 2013, by Fred Hatt

In the foreshortened world, the knee is a projection of the face, the thighs radiate from the shoulder, and the breast echoes the foot, as shapes related in space, and as parts of the body that contain pulsing hearts.

Angularities, 2014, by Fred Hatt

Angularities, 2014, by Fred Hatt

Slap the feet, gather the pelvis, stoke the gut, radiate the heart, open the throat, illuminate the dome.

Youth, 2006, by Fred Hatt

Youth, 2006, by Fred Hatt

Moving up the body from the feet is moving through a springy helix that curls around the ball and arch of the foot and swells out and eddies inward, the lines crossing and crossing again, a mighty and euphonious chord made of living matter.

Foot Root, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Foot Root, 2013, by Fred Hatt

The vessels of blood and the nerves of impulse are the highways and subways of the body. In observing the body, I try to simplify all that traffic, to intuit from it the arteries of spirit and the veins of mortality.

Meridians, 2008, by Fred Hatt

Meridians, 2008, by Fred Hatt

The centerline of the body is the trunk line. The limbs are byways, regional roads to the dirt farms and bordellos of the outer empire. Peripheral, yet vital. The way the limbs move in relation to the trunk defines the character of the living body.

Naga Sadhu, 2011, by Fred Hatt

Naga Sadhu, 2011, by Fred Hatt

Oxygen . Carbon . Hydrogen . Nitrogen . Calcium . Phosphorus . Potassium . Sulfur . Sodium . Chlorine . Magnesium .

Linear Man, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Linear Man, 2013, by Fred Hatt

The spark of life vivifies the carcass. The animal enjoys and suffers the experience of the world. By this experience it is honed and culled, and its wisdom is reproduced.

Check Mark, 2014, by Fred Hatt

Check Mark, 2014, by Fred Hatt

The form of the body is sacred geometry, but unlike abstract geometry, it is not best rendered with straightedge and compass. It is better apprehended through intuitive senses: rhythm and flow.

Rectangles, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Rectangles, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Moving down through the body from the head end, one passes through the dome of the cranium, the barrel of the chest, and the vectors of the jointed limbs.

Points of Contact, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Points of Contact, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Here’s a foreshortened pose that is not a reclining pose. This is a view of the standing figure from beneath, as observed, upside-down, in a mirror placed on the floor.

Cat's Eye View, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Cat’s Eye View, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Below, a magnetic vortex of foreshortened figures. The void attracts you. Go deep. There are three spatial dimensions, plus time, which is light.

Vanishing Point, 2014, by Fred Hatt

Vanishing Point, 2014, by Fred Hatt

Besides “End-On Part 1“, other posts that include my drawings of the foreshortened body include “A Torso Even More So“, “Reclinging, Not Boring“, and “The Body Contemplated“.

Most of the drawings pictured here are drawn with aquarelle crayons on paper, in the size range of 18″ x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). “Vanishing Point” and “Check Mark” are 38″ x 50″ (97 x 127 cm).  “Rotation” is 36″ x 36″ (91 x 91 cm), and “Linear Man” is 9″ x 12″ (23 x 30 cm). All are drawn directly from life without the use of photographs.

 

2014/06/16

Maidman’s Celebration

Filed under: New work,Others' work,Press and Media,Reviews — Tags: , , , , — Fred Hatt @ 20:26

Cover of Poets/Artists, issue # 56, June 2014, curated by Daniel Maidman. Watercolor by Melissa Carroll

Poets/Artists is a limited edition and print-on-demand magazine published since 2008. On their Facebook page they describe themselves thus: “We publish figurative artists and jazzy poets….” That’s all – the ellipses don’t indicate any omission in their mission statement. Many of their issues are curated by invited artists.

The most recent issue, “Celebration“, was put together by painter and writer Daniel Maidman, whose own blog and whose writings mostly about other artists in the Arts section of the Huffington Post, are essential reading for anyone interested in art from a mostly figurative perspective. I am extremely happy to have my work included within Maidman’s expansive vision of the contemporary figurative art scene. Daniel Maidman looks at art with the same passion he brings to making it, and he will surely introduce you to brilliant artists you’ve never encountered.

Maidman gives each artist two facing pages and arranges them in alphabetical order so each one gets a sort of private space free of the biases of sequencing and juxtaposition. In most cases, he knew the artists’ work well enough that he requested particular works he found striking. It’s a great way to assert the curator’s taste while respecting the individual artists’ personal visions.

You can view the entire issue here – click the “view fullscreen” icon on the lower right and then the arrows to page through. Better yet, rescue these images from the endless image ocean of the web: Click “buy” and get a print copy you can own forever.

2014/06/06

The Winter Past

Filed under: New work,Photography — Tags: , , , , , , — Fred Hatt @ 18:25
Red and White, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Red and White, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

We live in a world of instantaneous sharing, a constant present where photos go up on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram the minute they’re taken, where events are live streamed and live tweeted, where instant pundits make comments on what’s happening right now, with tongue in cheek, or, all too often, foot in mouth. In the analog era, photographs and commentary were never about the right now. There was always enough delay built into the process that at best they were about the freshly recalled past.

I really like having a delay. Art needs time to ripen inside the artist before it is shared. I am always drawing upon my archive, finishing work years after it was begun, finding fresh gems that have lain buried for a while.

For those of us in the Northeastern U. S., the winter of 2013-14 was more than usually harsh. Heavy snowfall was followed by frigid temperatures that turned the accumulation into rock-hard ice, which was layered over by more snow, and so on, for three solid months. Heavy weather conditions often inspire me photographically, and this past winter was no different. But had I shared these shots of my arctic muse at the time, they would simply have reinforced the viewers’ ongoing misery. Now that we are safely into the season of sunshine and green growth we can look back at images of winter with an appreciation born of detachment.

This kind of detachment, this waiting to ripen, this separation between impulse and response, is vital to art. Let us not lose it in the roaring noise of the current.

Blowing Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Blowing Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Driving Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Driving Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Headlamps, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Headlamps, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Throughout the months of January and February, the crosswalk near my home was blocked by a huge pile of plowed-up snow, melted a bit, refrozen and enlarged by cumulative precipitation. I passed it every day. Like Monet’s haystacks, it was a shapeless pile of matter that revealed the mercurial qualities of light.

Snow Pile Variations, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Snow Pile Variations, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Salt Stains, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Salt Stains, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Twilight Tree, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Twilight Tree, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Snow is a great special effect for nocturnal photography, as it reflects and magnifies every kind of light. Dark pavement swallows a lot of the color, but white snow makes all the varied hues of night sing harmony.

Night Plow, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Night Plow, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Glisten, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Glisten, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Today's Specials, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Today’s Specials, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Being covered or partially buried makes sculptural abstractions of everyday objects.

Buried Bike Variations, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Buried Bike Variations, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

KGJW, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

KGJW, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Vacant Lot, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Vacant Lot, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Snow adds nature’s chaos to the designed and built environment, mountain ranges among the towers and boxes of glass.

Lincoln Center Mounds, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Lincoln Center Mounds, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Snow Mound, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Snow Mound, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

White snow makes an ideal screen for dramatic shadows to be projected.

Pole and Shaft of Light, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Pole and Shaft of Light, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Stripes, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Stripes, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Ice Road, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Ice Road, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

At night and twilight, the colors can be downright psychedelic. These are straight photos – no color manipulation or hypersaturation, very close to the effects I saw with my own eyes.

Mountains, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Mountains, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Path of Gold, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Path of Gold, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Spacer, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Spacer, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

By the beginning of March, nothing was left but filthy remnants, tattered scraps, the diminishing cores of what had recently seemed mighty glaciers.

The End of Winter, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

The End of Winter, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Spring arrived as crisp clear sunlight, last year’s foliage stripped and bleached, the ground saturated by snowmelt, ready for new life to burst forth.

Prospect Park, Early Spring, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Prospect Park, Early Spring, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

2014/04/29

In Memoriam

Prophet, 2002, by Fred Hatt

Prophet, 2002, by Fred Hatt

Yizroel Meyer (1944-2013)  was an intense and deeply eccentric man and an artist’s model who inspired me with his spiritual presence. As he posed, he prayed or chanted silently, his eyes fixed and his mouth moving ever so slightly. He embodied the human – mortal, frail, vulnerable – reaching out towards divinity. The quality of yearning was so powerful it could not help but manifest in drawings of the man.

Prophet study, 2002, by Fred Hatt

Prophet study, 2002, by Fred Hatt

I didn’t know him well. He was selective about who he would open up to. With me, he always spoke about great literature, refined music, serious cinema. In his last years he was involved in a deep reading of Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu, comparing English and German translations with the French original. Earlier obsessions included William Faulkner and Gertrude Stein.

Spring Studio, Minerva Durham’s beehive of seven-days-a-week open life drawing sessions in New York, where Yizroel modeled frequently over a period of twelve years, is hosting a memorial exhibition, with thirty-three artists’ depictions of this unique soul. The remainder of this post is Minerva Durham’s remembrance of Yizroel. Details on how to visit the exhibition are included at the end.

Yizroel quick pose, 2009, by Fred Hatt

Yizroel quick pose, 2009, by Fred Hatt

Minerva Durham writes:

“A secret compulsion to touch strangers, sometimes realized silently, sometimes caught out, came perhaps from his having been born in December, 1944, in Heidelberg as the Allies advanced into Germany. He soon became an orphan. He could not have easily thrived, as is the duty of every infant, without parents and with little food.

Yizroel quick pose, 2009, by Fred Hatt

Yizroel quick pose, 2009, by Fred Hatt

Young Hans Meyer, original photographer unknown, photo of old photo by Kyunghee Kim

Young Hans Meyer, original photographer unknown, photo of old photo by Kyunghee Kim

“He was perhaps brought up by a perhaps Christian grandfather who had perhaps killed a relative with an axe years earlier. He was certainly bullied by more robust boys during his youth. A photo of him as a child shows his delicacy and intelligence and sensitivity.
Yisroel quick poses, 2010, by Fred Hatt

Yizroel quick poses, 2010, by Fred Hatt

“As a young man he came to the United States  to work in a publishing house. Years of heavy drinking and smoking ended suddenly when a friend took him to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. He converted to Orthodox Judaism and lived in an Orthodox community in Brooklyn, wearing the curls, hats and costumes of the community that he had adopted. But he was homosexual and he couldn’t really be himself there, and the clothes alone could not make him fit in. He slowly distanced himself from that community, but he still prayed as a Jew until he died.

Nigun, 2003, by Fred Hatt

Nigun, 2003, by Fred Hatt

“When he found nakedness working as a figure model he was at last content. How poignant that this man, born Hans Meyer in war-torn Germany, having been born again as an Orthodox Jew, could only become whole by stripping down and peeling away to the state of his original existence, unclothed and vulnerable. And no wonder that artist Jean Marcellino always felt happy when she saw that the model for the long pose was Yizroel.
Standing torso, 2004, by Fred Hatt

Standing torso, 2004, by Fred Hatt

“His last illness was brief. A year of liver cancer ending in pancreatic cancer and three strokes, each increasing in strength. His friend of many years, George Bixby, saw that Yizroel was taken care of in and out of hospital. Yizroel Meyer was given a proper Jewish burial by the Brooklyn Orthodox community shortly after his death on December 17 last year.
Bicameral, 2006, by Fred Hatt

Bicameral, 2006, by Fred Hatt

“Yizroel’s poses, as drawn by thirty-three artists, can be seen at Spring Studio at 64 Spring Street through May 11, 2014. The fifty drawings now on display show the intensity of his spirituality. Artist Pat Tobin called him, “my Saint Francis.” You may see the drawings on display Monday through Friday from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm or by appointment with Minerva Durham, Director of Spring Studio, 917-375-6086.
Temps Perdu, 2010, by Fred Hatt

Temps Perdu, 2010, by Fred Hatt

“Artists included in the exhibition are: Akiva AKA Ken Sandberg, Anonymous, Robert Bassal, Lynn Cooper, Robert Dunn, Minerva Durham, Janet Fish, Robert Forte, Audrey Cohn-Ganz, Lyle Gertz, Dan Gheno, Dinah Glasier, George Grammar, Kevin Hall, Susan Haskins, Fred Hatt, Jerilyn Jurinek, Karen Kaapcke, Robin Kappy, Gary Katz, Kimchee Kim, Kyunghee Kim, Mark LaMantia, Berryl Mallory, Jean Marcellino, Rebecca Odin, Denise Ozker, Eleni Papageorge, Alan Schlussel, Pearl Shifer, Jonathan Soard, Diane Van Court, and Bruce Williams.”

2014/04/18

Falling Water

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

There is a kind of holy awe in feeling dwarfed by nature, going where our habitual self-importance dissolves in the face of grandeur. We feel ourselves as mere specks in a vastness, and yet to know our minuteness is in itself a kind of expanded consciousness. In our limited everyday sense of ourselves we are great and important, but also limited and mortal. When we are even a little bit aware of the immensity of the universe, we know that we are nothing, but also that in some way we are that vastness, for it has manifested in us in the form of awareness.

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Last year, as the warm weather was just starting to give way to the first chills of autumn, I took a drive up to New York’s Ulster County with my friend the dancer and teacher Mariko Endo. Mariko has a background in butoh, the postwar Japanese performance movement. She wanted to dance under a waterfall. My great friend Alex Kahan, who lives in the area, took us to Awosting Falls in Minnewaska State Park, where we shot this video.

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Awosting Falls is no mighty Niagara or Iguazu or Victoria falls. It’s just one of hundreds of cascades in the ancient, eroded mountains of the Eastern United States. It draws much of its majesty from its natural amphitheater, a nearly perfectly vertical semi-cylindrical backdrop around its rusty-colored plungepool that seems to contain and magnify the roaring cataract. It is a perfect proscenium to make a solo dancer look and feel small.

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Mariko entered upon this stage to feel the frightful power of the water crashing around her, and to channel that power through her body in dance. Both Mariko’s movement and my shooting were improvised. We hadn’t known enough in advance about what the falls would be like to really plan or choreograph something. I had to shoot from a distance and we couldn’t talk to each other over the thunderous waters, so each of us entered into our own experience of responding to the energy of water and stone.

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Mariko and I worked together to edit the video, returning to it several times over several months to try to find some structure. Mariko approaches editing as a kind of choreography, selecting bits of movement and sequencing and manipulating them to create a progression of feelings and transformations.

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

When I asked Mariko what the piece was about for her, she gave me this quote from Tatsumi Hijikata (1928-1986), the originator of the butoh movement in dance: “We should be afraid! The reason that we suffer from anxiety is that we are unable to live with our fear. Anxiety is something created by adults. The dancer, through the butoh spirit, confronts the origins of his fears: a dance which crawls towards the bowel of the earth.” Mariko added, “The wind and the sound of massive amount of water falling which occupies my whole body. Speed and movement is the energy itself. When you are there, Nature foces you to face yourself and where you really are. I wanted to make a film which the audience can feel the texture of the rocks and the speed of the water fall through me.

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

I hope a little bit of that feeling of being surrounded by overpowering natural forces, and of surrendering to let those forces flow through oneself, is communicated in this brief video piece. We borrowed a piece of music by the great English composer Jocelyn Pook – I also hope this video will turn some people on to her wonderful music.

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

Still from “Awosting”, 2014, video by Mariko Endo and Fred Hatt

If you receive this blog by email, or if you want to watch in HD (strongly recommended), you’ll need to click this link to see the “Awosting” on Vimeo.

Awosting from Fred Hatt on Vimeo.

 

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