Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I can't believe I have been in New York for three months by now. There is always an abrupt reminder each month that passes because I paralyze the humongous mechanism of the city by standing incredulous and ashamed at the same time in front of the entrance of the subway station because of insufficient fare. You see, I can only buy monthly passes for underground transportation and this was my fourth, but I guess you figured that out already. Since we are talking about my favorite way of transportation I have to say something that really "grinds my gears" (Family Guy people, try to keep up!). It is unavoidable to fathom why people cross the yellow line (as in DO NOT PASS) in order to watch the end of the tunnel to see IF the train is coming. Well, I guess it is an act of impatience, but why my God why??? Is not that they can do anything about it. I have to confess that when I'm running late I do that too, and that is why I hate that so much!!! I am a free thinker, at least that's what my Foundation Drawing teacher keeps telling me, so why am I SO predictable. On the other hand, is so nice to get to the subway station and the train is waiting for you. (Can't help thinking about Uma Thurman, Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction) Ok, moving on...

It is important to say that I am not eating right, so please, if you see me, I know I have gained some weight. Some people even had the nerve to assert "You are not running anymore, right?". It is just so difficult to eat healthy in this city, and believe me when I tell you that the occasional pimples in my head are due to the Lili and Loo Chinese restaurant two blocks from my apartment. At first I thought I was deaging somehow, as Benjamin Button, and had found the secret of immortality (although he dies an infant, horrible horrible movie), but then I realized my joints still hurt, particularly when I am at the floor trying to do some painting for homework and after a couple of hours it is just impossible to get back up. Still, I am managing and from time to time I eat almost healthy food. At least I am running again since my Achilles tendonitis seems to be cured by now.

Let's talk about my Foundation Drawing class, shall we? We have been doing a lot, and I mean A LOT of figure drawing. This means drawing a nude human model. We get men and we get women, and we have to draw them in detail. Some of you would say"drawing a nude man would be awkward" and yes, it is, but as time passes it is just another drawing with tonal values and shades. Still, I do not stay much time drawing certain areas if you know what I mean. On the other hand, drawing female nude models is more relaxed and fun since we only get Victoria Secret type models, such as this one:

And this one:

To tell you the truth, the "big momma" was actually very nice and a very good model. You know immediately that she's been doing this for a while (maybe since 100 pounds ago!!!) I tried another more artistic approach using another technique of pen and ink:

I have by now hundreds of these figure drawings but I am not going to bore you with those, instead, I am going to bore you to death with this abstract drawing made with charcoal:

But you may ask, "What does it mean?" The answer is "who the hell knows", and I was the artist!!! The only thing that I can tell you is that I drew this when I was listening to the song "Someone to talk to" by The Devlins. The curious thing about an abstract drawing, or painting for that matter, is that it seems so random, but you need to have an intention in order to be validated as art. What was my intention? Does this represent a message or a state of mind perhaps? You draw your own conclusions (No pun intended) but after that, be sure to send them to my e-mail because I am not sophisticated enough to decode my own abstraction! It's like the word "Composition" in a drawing or painting. We artists all know what it is, we can actually perceive it and even comment on it, but to actually comprehend it or define it is harder than it sounds. It's like the "bouquet" for the wine lovers. They know spot on not just what the bouquet is, but they are able to decipher the odors and even describe and classify them. Still, that word, especially when a teacher is criticizing my work, baffles me.

I also had to draw what I see from my window's apartment. What we got "NEW YORK, NEW YORK"

Now that you have seen that I can actually draw (at least a little bit) I'm going to show you some bad drawings from my Storytelling class. I was considering not uploading them but it would be unfair to you just to show the pretty stuff. At least in the future you are going to see some improvement (I'm already working on a 6-page comic which is turning so much better). This is a story about a man who gets trapped in a steam shower. It is based on a true story. I can validate that since it actually happened to me!!! :) It is only a 3-page comic (that took long hours to complete) so try to enjoy.

Now for my Painting class. A very important lesson, you don't use black to make shadows, you can either use blue, green, or brown, but never black! I had no idea and I almost screwed my painting when I tried to shade it. Anyway, I've been having so much fun in this class. We had to do a personal still life with 3 small objects that mean something to us. I chose a lead Flash figurine, my New York City Marathon medal, and an Ipod Nano new generation. I think the items are self-explanatory. This was the work IN CLASS so it took a lot of hours to complete. I could easily estimate between twelve to sixteen hours. Then, we had to do the same composition on a smaller painting but based on the style of a famous artist. I chose Van Gogh (he was a very disturbed person, but I felt a connection to him because he started to study art around his thirties... Wait a minute... does that mean I am disturbed? Maybe? Perhaps? Well, who cares! I am a FREE THINKER after all).

Also we had to do a homework based on another artist. For this project I chose Roy Lichtenstein. He was a famous pop artist from the sixties who based his paintings from comics, advertisements, and magazines. He loved the serial commercialism of these media. He once said: "Comic books are, to a large extent, a mechanical representation of a romantic situation. I think there's a lot of this in my work. It seems to be mechanical, therefore anti-art, because art is supposed to have feeling. But of course the passionless style is my passion". I would have to agree with Roy on that one "The passionless style is MY passion".

Finally, I have NO IDEA what I'm doing in my Sculpture class. The instructions given to me were simple: cut, bend, assemble, and paint pieces of wood. This is the result of nine hours of work:

Yes, I've been here for only three months and my life has changed drastically, bu somehow it feels right! It feels that I am right on track! I know I just throw a lot of information at you, but my blog is like a ride, or an accident, it happens very fast and has a lot of details and information, but at the end you just can't remember a thing! (I know some smart asses will say: "This was anything but FAST", well, my quip to that is: "maybe YOU are slow!". Yeah, I'm fun! :) So, inspired by Rene Magritte all I can say is "This is NOT a blog".


José Luis