A few weeks ago I was once again scanning through various Calls For Artists in an attempt to see where some of my works could be placed. I came across a show called “Au Naturel: The Nude in the 21st Century” and something just clicked for me. I loved the challenge of conveying the nude form and thought this would be a wonderful way to fully embrace the artist in me. I set about finding “public domain” images that I could recreate. It was a bit tricky making sure I stayed in the nude, and not the lewd, genre. Eventually I found a naked sailor and thought he’d be perfect on the deck of ship with a fleet in the background. So that’s what I did.
Initially I hid the work when kids came in the room. They are older, but I still felt a bit uncomfortable. Then one day Elizabeth and I were watching an episode of Poirot that took place in an artist’s studio. She asked me if I thought it was “inappropriate” (I love her choice of words) to have naked pictures of ladies on the walls like that. I explained how important it was for an artist to understand the human form. I reminded her how on “FaceOff” (another favorite show) artists were always singled out if they got the basics of form wrong. I then explained the difference between “nude” and ” lewd”. She understood, which made me reconsider my initial hesitance.
Upon completion I showed my oldest the sailor (christened “On Ship”, it measures 36″X45″) and he asked the same questions the 10 year old did. When I explained the reasoning behind the nude, he said “So – you’re leveling up.” Apparently that’s a gaming term for when you get so good at a certain level, you have to take on a higher challenge. So yes, I am leveling up.
Now you may have noticed that I have two nudes on this blog. Here’s why….On completion of the sailor I logged on to the website to submit it and found that the deadline had been extended. I was initially a bit put out; that week I had tests in both my classes and had struggled to finish him on time while not neglecting my other work. Then I realized the extra few days would give me time to submit another one (up to three images for the submission price of one). So that’s what I did.
For this piece I chose a Victorian Era lady. The original was in sepia tones, but I liked the challenge of adding color to her couch and blankets. This final piece was much smaller than my sailor and was easier to finish in that shortened period of time (it measures 20″x15″)
Since I am post my blog on social media outlets, I have taken the time to cover up the private bits on each piece. My final works are not offensive, but I wouldn’t want anyone to stumble across them and be surprised. 🙂