Attached you see a drawing which sort of “just happened”. I had stopped working on any sort of drawings for a few weeks, as my Circe digital project was kind of burning me out with all of the experimenting in techniques and processes. I wanted to get back to some good old pencil work, and at some point was feeling all folksy, so had decided to do a series of drawings/portraits of everyday people from the 19th and early 20th centuries. I settled on Norway as a little tribute to my wife, and since I had used her as a model for the “Norske Jente” digital piece, I could tell myself “Hey, Lou, you already have one drawing done!”
I have a tendency to romanticize “the old days”. Sure, we have it much easier today as far as science, medicine and technology goes, but I still think we are seriously lacking in fulfillment. Many of our conveniences today are toys and distractions, and personally I do not get the same spiritual or mental satisfaction from my iPad as I do a thumbing through my dog-eared old books I bought at a school book fair when i was 11 years old (Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe). The last century seems to me to be a better balance of technology allowing for great works, yet still “clumsy” enough to require a good amount of manual labor and artistry by everyday people. A great example would be sailing ships…. beautiful, complex constructs that are both functional machines and works of art at the same time. They are full of moving parts that require constant attention and recalibration by people crawling all over them like spiders on a web. Another smaller example would be an old wind up Swiss pocketwatch… which to me seem magical or arcane compared to a digital clock.
Anyways, here is the Woodcarver, or “Treskjaerer”, what I expect will be the first of 6 or more drawings of Norskies of yesteryear. Others I am tinkering with include the Bride, the Fisherman, the Schoolteacher… any suggestions are welcome!