Ever since I started looking at these old figure drawings yesterday, I’ve been obsessing about what I want to do next, and how I want to potentially conclude this series. Having started the project in 2010, I’m now going on my third year of this project, and I’m still not feeling like the project is anywhere near finished. I know that the 50 portrait sculptures that I’m working on right now are not the conclusion of this project. Somehow, I don’t feel that the portrait sculptures are substantial enough to bring resolve to the project, and there is still another phase of work to come.
Looking at these old figure drawings, it makes me think that perhaps at the time that I made these drawings that I wasn’t “ready” to be taking on the full figure at that point. Perhaps that’s why I abandoned the figure drawings early on and opted instead to focus on the face. I was still in the very early stages of figuring out my drawing technique and materials at that point. I’m wondering now whether the 50 portrait drawings and the 50 portrait sculptures were simply “warm ups” for full figure images. When I examine these old full figure drawings they feel like they are barely scraping the surface of what they could potentially have been.
As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m pondering whether I’m getting bored with the portrait sculptures because they’ve become rather routine and my energy is very much focused on purely the technical execution right now. At this point the portrait sculptures are a challenge in terms of stamina and productivity, but there isn’t a whole lot of experimentation going on to keep my mind active. (although that could change soon, as I still haven’t figured out the final format for the digital images) This probably explains why I’m eager to starting thinking of ideas for what is going to happen next. I think that’s a good balance: I can start to brainstorm and look ahead to the future while I wrap up the final 13 portrait sculptures.
Now I’m thinking: 50 figure drawings featuring life size figures on 4′ x 6′ sheets of Dura-Lar. That sounds truly terrifying, and is definitely the largest quantity of work that I’ve ever proposed to myself before. It would certainly test my stamina in a way that I have never done before.
What do you think? Is 50 figure drawings the finale for this project?