DRAWING LIFE by fred hatt


The Artist’s Beard

Filed under: Art History,Collections of Images — Tags: , — fred @ 00:19

Fred Hatt, b. 1958, artist and blogger, self-portrait photo 2011 by Fred Hatt

This is a first for Drawing Life – a men’s style post.  Artists, writers, and musicians create not only a body of work but also a persona.  The possibilities are broad, but the options are naturally constrained by the face and body Nature has given.  As I have found myself becoming a bearish middle-aged man, my own style has gravitated towards a classic type.  The trimmed beard I had ten years ago has expanded to what is now known on the interwebs as an “epic beard”.  It covers my double chin and also serves as a tribute to my many artistic forebears, artists whose fulfillment manifested in silverback gravitas rather than studly cutness or prettyboy romance.  So here is a fairly arbitrary selection of bearded males (and one female) of the creative bent, presented in completely random order.  What a great opportunity to put myself in the context of the greats!

Hermeto Pascoal, b. 1936, composer and musician, photographer unknown

Daniel Day-Lewis, b. 1957, actor, photo by John Spellman/Retna Ltd.

Ernest Hemingway, 1899-1961, writer, photo by Yousuf Karsh

Luciano Pavarotti, 1935-2007, singer, photographer unknown

Jim Henson, 1936-1990, puppeteer, photographer unknown

Thelonious Monk, 1917-1982, composer and musician, photographer unknown

George Carlin, 1937-2008, comedian and writer, photographer unknown

George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, playwright, photographer unknown

Albrecht Dürer, 1471-1528, painter and artist, self-portrait

Auguste Rodin, 1840-1917, sculptor and artist, photo by Nadar

George Clinton, b. 1941, musician and bandleader, photo by Marcy Guiragossian/Marcy G. Photography

Constantin Brancusi, 1876-1957, sculptor, photo by Edward Steichen

Toshiro Mifune, 1920-1997, actor, still from Red Beard, directed by Akira Kurosawa

Erik Satie, 1866-1925, composer and musician,photographer unknown

Charles Dickens, 1812-1870, writer, photo by Jeremiah Gurney

Allen Ginsberg, 1926-1997, poet, photographer unknown

Devendra Banhart, b. 1981, singer-songwriter, photographer unknown

Ai Weiwei, b. 1957, artist and activist, photographer unknown

Sergei Parajanov, 1924-1990, film director and artist, photographer unknown

Walt Whitman, 1819-1892, poet, photo by Matthew Brady

Isaac Hayes, 1942-2008, songwriter and musician, photographer unknown

Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890, painter, self-portrait

Alan Moore, b. 1953, writer, photographer unknown

Hans Holbein the Younger, 1497-1543, painter, self-portrait

Oliver Sacks, b. 1933, neurologist and writer, photographer unknown

John Lennon, 1940-1980, songwriter and musician, photographer unknown

Jennifer Miller, b. 1961, performer and writer, photographer unknown

Claude Monet, 1840-1926, painter, photo by Nadar

Terry Riley, b. 1935, composer, photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Salman Rushdie, b. 1947, writer, 1992 photo by Andy Ross

Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895, writer and statesman, photographer unknown

Johannes Brahms, 1833-1897, composer, photograph by C. Brasch

Jerzy Grotowski, 1933-1999, theater director, photographer unknown

Stanley Kubrick, 1928-1999, film director, photographer unknown

Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910, writer, photographer unknown

Gustav Klimt, 1862-1918, painter, photographer unknown

The beard is naturally an expression of masculinity and maturity.  It also seems to denote sensitivity in a man of rough or plain features.  Imagine many of the men in these photos clean shaven, and see how their power, like that of the shorn Samson, is diminished.

All photos, besides the one of me, were found on the web.  Clicking on the photo links to its source.

Of course this collection is arbitrary and incomplete.  Feel free to use comments to nominate worthy bearded artists I’ve omitted.



Utility Belts

Filed under: Artists' Tools and Resources — Tags: , , — fred @ 19:00

Batman's Utility Belt, detail from Batman #203

As a kid, I was a big fan of Batman, both in the comics and the campy TV show starring Adam West.  One of Batman’s many cool tools was the bright yellow utility belt, keeping crime-fighting implements close at hand.  Batman’s utility belt was a fantasy version of the duty belt that police officers all over the world use to keep hands free and tools within reach while walking a beat or chasing down suspects.

Police Duty Belt, from Merriam Webster Visual Dictionary Online

The tool belts used by construction carpenters and electricians are among the most elaborate types of utility belts.  There are so many tools one might need at any moment, and you can’t just set your hammer down if you’re standing on a peaked roof.

Carpenter's Tool Belt

Pro photographers on location always have a plethora of gadgets and accessories.  Not only are they easier to find quickly in a photographer’s vest than in a camera bag, but the weight is more evenly distributed on the body than when everything’s in a shoulder bag.

Safari Photographer's Vest

Hikers and bikers have to carry the items they need in the most efficient way possible.  You can’t have things dangling or interfering with your freedom of movement.

Mountain Biker's Belt

A makeup artist often has to work standing up, touching up a model or actor on the set.  An apron with pockets keeps brushes and supplies accessible and keeps you from getting makeup all over your pants.

Makeup Artist's Brush and Tool Apron

A full bib apron combines many of the advantages of a belt or waist apron and a vest:  easy access to tools, comfortable weight distribution, and clothing protection.

Gardener's Apron

I’ve taken to wearing a short waist apron with pockets whenever I’m out and about in the city.  I use it to carry everyday practical items and tools I use in my freelance jobs.  It’s easy to repurpose the pockets to carry art supplies, photography accessories, or travel stuff like reading material and earplugs.

Fred Hatt wearing his everyday utility belt

I started using this apron when I was at the festivals at Brushwood Folklore Center, where I often do body painting and teach workshops.  In that setting, I usually wear a wrap skirt rather than pants, and the there was a need for pockets.  The black canvas apron filled the bill, like a sporran with a kilt.  I can’t remember where or when I originally got it, but mine is made by McGuire-Nicholas Workwear.  Below is a typical arrangement of the apron for everyday use:

Fred Hatt's utility belt with contents labeled

I have a camera always ready at hand for the kind of street photography I often post in this blog.  I have my digital voice recorder that I use to record thoughts, ideas and info while on the go, and to keep track of my expenditures.  The flashlight and tools are often needed when I’m working in a theater or on a photo or video shoot.  The monocular is a small telescope, useful for fine-focusing projections from a distance, another type of work I do.  An umbrella can be tucked in behind the waistband of the apron.  Everything is right where I can reach for it without thinking, and I keep my hands free.

I know this post is a bit of a departure for this blog, but I often write about the techniques and the creative process of drawing and photography.  Every artist needs good tools and supplies and equipment, and part of the artist’s journey of discovery is figuring out what items work well and how best to organize and maintain them.  All artists and craftsmen love their tools.  I hope this will be of interest to some of my readers.  I’ve created a new post category, “Tools and Materials”.  Please let me know if there are specific things along these lines you’d like me to post about.

The illustrations here were found on the web.  Click on any of the pictures above to link to the source of the image, excepting the last two, which are my own photographs.

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