Jenny Saville and Willem de Kooning

Jenny Saville

British contemporary artist Jenny Saville

I’m gathering all of the various supplies necessary to make these drawings: etching ink, x-acto knives, lithographic crayons, Dura-Lar, rolls of white paper, and much more. The logistics are all falling into place, and I’ll have my very first drawing session in the studio later today. It’s been a really long time since I’ve drawn anything substantial, much less on the scale (7′ x 4′) that I will be working on. I’m thinking that I will have to put myself through a number of warm up drawings before I start working on the final sheets of Dura-Lar. Most likely it will be charcoal drawings on paper, with the sole purpose of getting myself back into shape. I feel really rusty, so it will be nice to get myself deep into the trenches again.

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British contemporary artist Jenny Saville

Recently I’ve been looking a lot at the British painter Jenny Saville’s work. I’ve always admired the audacity of her work, as well as the immense scale that she works at. Her paintings really feel larger in than life when you view them in person, and the scale has a lot to do with it.  I first saw her work in person at the Royal Academy of Art when I was in London on a travel grant from my graduate school.  I was astounded at how abstract her pieces were in person, especially when seen up close. It finally made sense to me that Willem de Kooning was a major influence in her work. I’m going to strive in my own work to achieve a similar quality.

Willem de Kooning


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