Working on my black gessoed canvas. I stretched it yesterday and within minutes of starting, I take the prepped canvas off the bars, for ease in working. Right now, I’m calling this a sketch.
I had no plans to draw out a torso, but when last week, I completed the construction of the head and limbs of my new work, and I put it up on my studio wall to see it hang together…well…I was left with an empty center. Empty space in an area that in its complexity is full of important organs, and energetic systems? No way. The work needs a trunk. It requires a connecting center.
This time, that I paint internal organs, I’m concerned with the accuracy of shapes and their scale and proximity to each other. The area is dense. I need to approach this in a more realistic manner than I ever have before. I lay quick contour lines of the physical anatomy and naturally I start thinking about the energetic anatomy of each area. And for this reason especially, I am jazzed to do the work
I’ve not specifically mentioned, in all the writing about my new work, that at the ground of my studies and this piece, are the Chakras. I became interested in the Chakra system years ago, while in grad school. There’s so much to the study that I’ll let you research the idea, if you’re inclined. I’ll make simple connections here for quick reference.
To situate myself I place the clavicles. Below them I sketch in the heart, and the beautiful bronchioles that resemble a tree of life. I quickly edge in the diaphragm to close the space. It’s in this area where we hold love and hatred, resentments, self centeredness and loneliness. It is also the space where commitment, forgiveness, and compassion reside. Its tone is green for the most part, and a bit of pink.
I take yellow and with it place a recognizable liver beneath the indicated diaphragm, and I add a gall bladder. The lovely little bladder reminds me of a plant stem with a soon to ripen, flower or vegetable. I arrange the kidneys in their space and include the spleen. Next, the stomach, I like to draw the stomach. It’s a rounder, whimsical form, and has line work that I always exaggerate. The pancreas is in the same area, I don’t like the shape and so I only indicate it on the edges of the stomach. I move into the meandering small intestines. These organs are all associated with self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect. They relate to trust and fear. This energy effects responsibility and decision-making and resonates with integrity and self-discipline. It’s also a sort of storage space for strength, when it’s required. Important qualities to move into the world with.
With orange, I frame the small intestines with the large intestines and plug-in an appendix. I set in the bladder, the vagina, ovaries and fallopian tubes. I prefer profiles of these organs, but in this case I have to draw it head on…not so visually appealing to me. These organs are connected to creativity, ethics, honor, and sex.
The ending of the large intestines, the rectum, I draw in red, it belongs to another energy system concerning safety and security, which I’ve already spoken about in earlier posts.
It’s complex in stuff, shapes and energetics. It becomes simple in colorful, straight on, line composition.
As I sit with it all for a while, I start finishing areas a bit. I decide to lightly sketch in the thyroid and thymus glands cuz I like them. And then I include the rib cage, it’s an important and defining structure and it connects me back to the clavicles. I like that I end in the area where I began. I’m done, for now. I call it a sketch at the start of the post, but maybe now…it’s become a close to completed drawing. I do like the work off the bars, but I’ll probably re-stretch.
Again, I have to say I’m amazed with the incredible system we call our body. I am impressed with all that it holds for us, and all that we hold in it.
To be Continued…..