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If only...

by rogerburnett , June 5, 2014—08:44 PM

Topics: Caribbean, Passion Love, bathing, life, models, nude, painting, sketches

Today's painting dates from earlier in the year: a languid afternoon and a painting of Jessica sleeping. If only we could return for a while to those halcyon days of painting and bathing. But with an exhibition looming ahead there is no longer time. Our days are spent frantically framing and sending out invitations for the opening. A dear friend, who over the years has fought against every vicissitude that a small tropical island can possibly throw at her, once told me: that if things can go wrong, they will go wrong, and at the worst possible moment. My digital camera finally gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago. Tomorrow, I will spend my last cent on buying a new one… Continue reading… 0 comments

Painterly passions

by rogerburnett , April 26, 2014—08:52 PM

Topics: Caribbean, Passion Love, bathing, life, painting, sketches

My idea of an idyllic beach is a deserted beach. I'm told that, ever since being a child, I've always wanted the sands to myself. Dominica's popular Mero Beach is never deserted and it was especially crowded on Easter Monday. But diametrical opposites attract and it was the blaring music and multitude of revelers that aroused my painterly passion. The only quite tone was my five-year old autistic companion for the day. Like me, she silently looked on in wonder… Continue reading… 0 comments

At the time when Columbus discovered these islands, it was rumored that there was a river, spring or fountain where the waters had such miraculous curative powers that any person who bathed in them would be blessed with everlasting youth. Jessica, my model and assistant, claims that the river that flows around the boundary of our land has these magical properties. Hence she has named it, "The Fountain of Youth". At the end of each working day, we put the waters to the test and bathe. This ritual serves not only as our Elixir of Life but it gives me practice in sketching the fleeting figure. These sketches are my most recent catch of bathing figures… Continue reading… 0 comments

By some strange quirk in the makeup of artists, and contrary to expectations, creativity does not fare well in the comfort zone. If given luxury and financial security we procrastinate: put every obstacle in our way and we produce our best work. Thus, my present creative zeal owes its origin to the trials and tribulations that are doing their best to thwart me. The New Year heralded the breakdown of every device we possess. But despite no electricity supply (the final straw) and three weeks of tropical downpours, the creative urge lives on with vengeance. Today's picture shows work in progress on the torso of my life-size bathing figure… Continue reading… 0 comments

In labour

by rogerburnett , December 29, 2013—12:00 AM

Topics: Passion Love, bathing, life, maquette, models, sculpture

My diary entries for August 2nd (A haunting vision from long ago) and August 11th (Oh what a pity) tell about the conception of the life-size figure that is presently my work in progress. As in real life, conception is pleasant and painless, whereas giving birth can be agonizing. Although delivering the final bronze cast can drag on for many years, the completion of the work in clay represents the true birth. As you can see in today's picture, after a score of sessions with my model and many sleepless nights, the figure is beginning to take shape… Continue reading… 0 comments

Oh what a pity!

by rogerburnett , August 11, 2013—12:00 AM

Topics: bathing, maquette, sculpture

To continue from last week, here is the finished 1/12th scale maquette of my bathing figure. In the final life-size sculpture, water will pour from the calabash shell she holds from her outstretched arms. D H Lawrence's poem, "Innocent England" laments a court decision to destroy his nude paintings. It begins: Oh what a pity, Oh! don't you agree, That figs aren't found in the land of the free! Fig trees don't grow in my native land; There's never a fig-leaf near at hand When you want one; so I did without; And that is what the row's about! Likewise, fig-leafs are not easily found in Caribbean. I too did without and hence, for the time being, my innocent bathing figure must go a begging… Continue reading… 0 comments

A subject that I saw at a glance twenty-three years ago, has haunted my memory ever since. The place is a secluded riverside on the island of Grenada and the subject is women washing and bathing. I alluded to the scene in my book "Caribbean Sketches" and noted that I have learnt more about drawing the figure at the riverside than I have before the artificially posed model in a life class. To sketch the figure in real life, be it at the market place or the riverside, one has to take time to become familiar with the subject and accept ribald comments with good humour. The befriending stage can take days or weeks, but finally the subject relaxes and accepts the artist as part of the natural scheme of things… Continue reading… 0 comments