Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Sum of the Parts.

Michael Whynot. Figure study. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Foot study. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Hand study. Red chalk.

Aristotle wrote that: "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." And, while this is certainly true of the human form, where the inherent flow of gesture from one body part to the next can create a grace and emotional connection more profound than the summation of the individual pieces, I would argue that the individual forms, when studied in isolation, can convey a grace and beauty all their own.

There is no question of the wondrous flow of gesture through the legs, hips and torso above, yet, if you study the arm or the leg and the attached hand or foot, taken in isolation, you will find the same ebb and flow through these parts as well.

The organic form is a wonder of engineering, evolution, or creation (whichever term you prefer). It has captivated our souls and our art since we first made marks upon the walls of dimly lit caves and it continues to captivate us today. The fact that such continuity of form, that flowing gesture of grace, is evident no matter how small a piece of the whole we observe, speaks to the profound truth of Aristotle's quote. The whole is, indeed, greater than the sum of its parts, which is greater than the sum of its parts, which is greater than the sum of its parts… ad infinitum.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

A Mind for Figures.

Michael Whynot. Figure study. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Figure study. Red chalk.

This is my first post in over a year. I must admit to having these recurring bouts of fatigue and self-doubt. Doubt in my ability, my goals, and my own will to accomplish them. On such days, I feel that nothing I create is of any worth and that I have progressed as far as I am able to. These are the times when I find it much easier to become side-tracked, by my other diverse interests, than to draw. It's like watching a baseball being thrown at your head, but being unable to step out of harms way.

I am trying to get back on track, though, with this new post and these two drawings from imagination. The human figure occupies my mind constantly and drawing seems to be the only way to release them.

Aristotle said: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."
So, I will attempt to get back into the habit of drawing regularly every day. Wish me luck and, if you like these figure studies, please share your thoughts.