Dear Cleo 18 11 05

Dearest Cleo

I hope you had a good day at school and I hope you managed to get a look at my Seated Figure painting that I posted on the blog yesterday. You know me by now, when I first do something new, I think it is the bees knees, but as usual I have been carrying a folded copy in my back jeans pocket all day and I now have a bit more of an balanced view on the work.

The life drawing is more Cubist than the painting and like I said yesterday I was amazed when I was doing it, I was not trying to do a cubist drawing, it just arrived. I was in Patrick’s life class and I decided to have a go with the hard pastels and I was just measuring the figure as I normally do in charcoal but in the earlier drawings I had done in this way the marks were less easy to get rid of than when using charcoal. When I paused to stand back from the easel to judge the proportions of the drawing to the pose I became fascinated by the marks I had made with the edge on the pastel that seemed so broken and disjointed and cubist I just had to carry on and do the shading because it was there and I had 20 minutes of the pose to carry on drawing, so really I was just finishing the drawing in the way the drawing dictated.

I wish I had stopped when I noticed or at least have taken a progress photograph before I started the shading, because maybe this is one of the missing links of the cubist process. By extending and emphasising the measurement marks I arrived at a cubist composition. I may be a hundred and odd years behind the times but I do feel that the discovery was significant and when I go to see the Cubism Exhibition in Paris next week I will have a theory I can test out whilst standing next to the original paintings, hopefully it may bear fruit.

It seemed intuitive to go from the measurement marks to the Cubist drawing, it happened so seamlessly, that I was shocked that Cubist drawing, real unconscious cubist drawing was so accessible.

The painting is more futurism, having assimilated the lessons from cubist drawing, it is simple to convert to futurism, assume the lessons of Cubist drawing, less abstraction, more visible forms and an element of decoration.

I like to think that Mickos is a bit of an artist, as such he is able to write with a sense of wonderment and attempts to explain his true feelings about the production of the work itself, rather than to link the meaning of the work to some obscure philosophical or religious ideal.

I have learned more from reading Alberti, Leonardo, Vincent, Monet, Ruskin, Kandinsky and Speed than I could ever hope to learn from reading Greenberg, Clement and Hal Foster. However, I am not totally against the critics, I think Gombrich has a wonderful sense of humour and having read a couple of his books, I think Elkins tries to demystify the critical process in much the same way as the artist authors try to demystify the painting process.

My biggest problem with critics is that they fail to include my wonderful works in their shows, I have made a very careful list of these in the hope that one day they can be named and shamed.

So there you go my dear, a personal criticism of my latest work and an explanation of my hatred for critics. Do you think I was mean? I don‘t think so, but I will be when Seated Figure is denied a place in a show.

Just to cheer you up after all that reading I have attached the other drawings I did yesterday at life class, after reading last week’s exercise I think He looks a bit more mobile and ready to move.

Figure 1 life drawing Hard pastel on A2 sugar paper

Figure 2 life drawing Hard pastel on A2 sugar paper

Figure 3 life drawing charcoal on A2 sugar paper

Be gentle

My love as always

Mickos xx