Studies, Stories, Myths

Drawings from 2010 to 2013

Sketchbook 2012
Below are some drawings are from my sketchbook in 2012 - including interpretive studies of various museum pieces.
On the left a sketchy study of Ruben’s painting “Mars disarmed by Venus.” at the Getty. On the right a study of Rembrandt's "Faust."
On the left a study of Cypripedia by William Sergeant Kendall found at the DeYoung museum in San Francisco, on the right a heavenly Nayaki or goddess from an Indian painting
Here are some sketches from a trip to the Getty. I think the illustration of St. Matthew (often shown writing)  in the Ethiopian bible from ca. 1505 is inspiring. I tried to capture the expressive posture and lines from the original artwork. I think there’s a funny relationship between this image and  the almost contemporary Titian painting from 1533. Compared to St. Matthew the figure of Alfonso d’Avalos the Marquis de Vasto is imposing and dramatically lit. He wears menacing armor that is photographically rendered by Titian – it reflects the surrounding environment suggesting a knowledge of optics and camera obscura projection techniques. I wonder if the Ethiopian illuminator was aware of Titian’s paintings or had ever seen them. On the right is a sketch of a sculpture of a putti playing a trumpet from the Getty.  
a surreptitious sketch in the morning.
On the left a study of a sculpture of Hermes in the Getty.
On the left a study of a drawing by Ghovardan, an Indian artist. On the right is a strange drawing I found in my sketchbook inspired by MIdnight Cowboys. 
On the left some sketches of a female heroine for a children's storybook I was working on, in the middle a headlight turned sideways. 
On the left a sketch of a sculpture by Enrico Donati at LACMA
Some abstract metaphorical landscapes :)
On the left a loose interpretation of a drawing by Kara Walker entitled "No World." The original drawing shows a character swimming just below the water whose hands project above the surface to hold the boat. On the right an interesting textile pattern from a Killim. The description at the De Young museum mentions that one interpretation is a floral pattern, showing Ottoman velvets, and another contradictory interpretation (visible if you turn it upside-down) is two swans bowing to a goddess with a large head-dress.  
On the left a loose sketch of a stone relief sculpture from the side of the tomb of Wu Lei. I think this image shows scholars riding on top of tigers. This image touches on many of the things about Chinese art I find inspiring: a relationship to the afterlife, a relationship to shamanism and the spirit world, an interest in language and the evolution of abstract graphical representation rather than literal representation. That may be why this image inspired the single page who can see above with the symmetrical tigers.  On the right a sketch of the Quadraga. The Quadraga was a sculpture stolen by the Venetians from Constantinople during a 15th century crusade. 
Figure Drawings
The drawings below are mostly from a class I took with Jaqueline Wazir in the Costume Design department and UCLA. She keeps up a cool community of models and artists. She encouraged us to create lively, expressive drawings. 
I was painting with ink from printers at this time, using acrylic medium to spread the bright colors around. 
This model had a really poetic figure, in my opinion. I drew this with a mechanical pencil for some reason
Again drawn with a mechanical pencil. 
A couple more gestural figures - I think I used colored pastels for the sketch on the right
Colored with acrylic medium and printer toner
Mythical Scenes 
Here are some moments from various myths where the protagonists are engaged in violent, dramatic exchanges or transformations. I drew the Greek myth of Cronus castrating his father with a sickle. I also drew Kannaki from the Tale of the Anklet - a South Indian Epic - tearing off her left breast to curse an unjust king. Lastly there are a few moments from the story of the Ganges river being born in Hindu mythology. At the time I was thinking about how gesture is closely related to mythological narrative, especially myths that may have been related orally and perhaps performed? For instance absurd acts of violence like this are sort of repeated across different myths. Looking at these drawing now I’m sort of turned off by how "loud" they are, but maybe that's what I was trying to represent.
This elephant is the star of the Ganges myth, a sacrificial beast whose path determines the scope of the King’s territory. There is a mythical ritual based on some kind of fact - once every so often a King should release an animal to roam his lands, accompanied by a band of soldiers to protect it wherever it goes. This establishes the borders of the kingdom I think. In the story of Ganges this ritual ends up killing all of the King’s sons because the elephant ends up disturbing a sleeping sage called Kapila. 
A drawing of the god Varaha, drawn on either side of a sheet of paper. I was thinking about some artwork I remember seeing in a class about Japanese art history - where prints were made of some kind of contemporary fashion in the 1800s. Both sides of the textile and the model were shown - kinda like a runway show.
The other side of the paper.
A drawing of the Ganges River being born as described in the myth
Cronus castrating his father. At the time I was thinking about how gesture is closely related to mythological narrative, especially those which may have been sung and perhaps performed?
Kannaki/Kannagi from the Tale of the Anklet (Cilipattacaram) tearing off her left breast. 
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