I have a long relationship with figure drawing. The first silverpoint I ever did at Tyler was a figure study. When I was in graduate school at Syracuse University, I was lucky enough to get a gig proctoring the free Friday night figure drawing sessions, where I made hundreds of small silverpoint drawings and began to show other people how to do silverpoint. At my former studio in Utica, New York, I invited artists to join me on Tuesdays and share the cost of my model, Julia, and I once had a small exhibit of these works at Mohawk Valley Community College. I still draw the model as often as I can, at the Art Students League of Denver, and in any five-minute breaks I can grab as I teach classes from the model. Although I rarely show them, I have drawers full of these small, quick studies, which I consider among my best and most meaningful work.
Many of these drawings are intended to be non finito, or drawings which are purposely unfinished. Given the few minutes I have to do a study, and the length of time it takes to complete a silverpoint drawing, working in an unfinished style is understandable. However, for ten years I have been developing drawings with the intention that they be unfinished, only hinting at form, or the figure, sometimes fading out of focus in much the same way our eyes truly grasp things, not all at once, but in brief glimpses assembled mentally. Part of why I do this is also bound up in the idea of life drawing as an activity of recording one's reactions to subjects, as opposed to drawing from photographs, which is a decision-making activity rather than an intuitive activity.
Flank Study, 2017, silverpoint on prepared paper, 10 x 9 inches (sheet size)
Lower Body Study, 2016, silverpoint on prepared paper, 8 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches (sheet size)
Ajalee, 2014, silverpoint on prepared paper, 9 1/2 x 13 1/2 (sheet size)
Thorax Study, 2017, silverpoint on prepared paper, 8 x 11 inches (paper size). Private collection.
Shoulder Study, 2013, silverpoint on prepared paper, 8 x 11 inches (sheet size)
Five-Minute Figure Studies II, 2012, silverpoint on prepared paper, 12 x 14 inches (sheet size)
© 2019 Tom Mazzullo