Sunday, February 22, 2009

Grace

Here's a 20-minute sketch of Krissy from last Wed-nesday's class.  The drawing here is pretty accurate - even Krissy, when she came by, said, "Oh, that's me!"  That felt really nice to hear, as you can imagine.

When Krissy took this reclining pose, one of my fellow artists, Deborah, let out a gasp of delight and said, "Oh, that's so beautiful!"  It really was a beautiful pose.  As I've said in the past, Krissy favors my favorite kinds of poses: not overtly dramatic, not acting a part - just posing in the poses of everyday grace and beauty.  This pose, as you can see, was a commonplace side-reclining pose with the body nicely turned.

Aesthetic joy: that's what I'm thinking about today.  It's one of life's greatest mysteries.  I understand that Kant, in his development of phenomenological theory, couldn't not address himself to the question of beauty and the sublime, arguing finally that there has to be something "out there" that creates in us this special, uninterested joy.  (Kant's criteria for the true apprehension of the sublime included the requirement that the subject be in a disinterested or uninterested attitude toward it, e.g., sexual desire is not in this category.)  We've had a lot of rain here lately, and the landscape is gorgeous - all green hills and sheets of water reflecting back puffy white clouds and yellowish sunsets.  A few days ago I was driving along and passed a bunch of people all pulled over, taking pictures of just such a gorgeous scene.  "Living in beauty" - that's part of what we all seem to want to do in life.  

I don't know why artists in general come to life-drawing classes.  For me (and apparently for Deborah) the reason lives in this quest for aesthetic joy, at least in large part.  I had had a hard day at work, and painting Krissy reminded me why I am here and why I am who I am.