Thursday, August 16, 2012

'the acrobat's daughter' ~ oil paint on collaged canvas board, 4" x 6"

a few weeks ago i bought  'je suis le cahier: the sketchbooks of picasso'.   the thought of looking through picasso's sketchbooks was, well, tantalizing to say the least.  it is his drawings that i love best; when i saw the picasso exhibit last year in virginia i was mesmerized not by his paintings, but by his line drawings.  

between 1894 and 1967 he kept 175 sketchbooks.  this book doesn't begin to cover most of them, but there is a sampling from different periods in his life. some of my favorite pages are his preliminary sketches for the painting titled 'family of saltimbanques',  which takes me back to the painting at the top of the post!  i painted 'the acrobat's daughter' shortly after i got the book, with picasso's images of circus performers floating through my mind...

charcoal and graphite in stillman and birn 'gamma', 11" x 14"

an inaccurate drawing of one of his drawings!  the man could draw, i tell you!  the reason i'm showing it here is because i sprayed it 

with this fixative, and it really does seem to prevent the charcoal and graphite from rubbing off on the opposite page.  it's the most non-toxic fixative i've ever used; it has three ingredients - water, grain alcohol and casein.  it smells faintly of grain alcohol so you can spray it inside with no worries.   since it has water in it, you have to spray on several light coatings if you're spraying paper.

* * *

kiki smith, brooklyn museum

for fellow lovers of kiki, here's a link to an interview with her.  you have to download it (audio only), but it's worth it...


  1. yes, yes I just bought this fixative too and it's fabulous! it's $25 in Canada but worth it! The young woman in the art supply store offered it tentatively because of the price but I was so excited to find it in my new search for less toxic art materials!

  2. wonderful and i agree love his early sketches and his wacky ones are just pure genius, i tried to do one and its bloody hard lol thanks for the heads up on the spray....

    hugz bev

  3. Great post Lynne! I love your acrobat's daughter and your sketch is right on. I also added the fixative to my wish list.

    You've mentions Kiki before so I googled her and read more and then stumbled upon this!

    We saw this sculpture in NYC and we were mesmerized by it! Had no idea who the artist was and now I know!! Thanks to you. :)

    I love the pretty exhibit in Brooklyn...something about that black and white splashed with a hint of color...and of course the charm of the art itself.

    off I go...

    PS: you said not to respond to your comment, so I didn't, but you didn't say I couldn't comment on your blog. :) xo

  4. Lynne your acrobat's daughter is captivating. The colours sing! Looking forward to finding Je suis le cahier, if the cover is anything to go by.

  5. Lynne, wonderful work!
    I used to love Picasso, but I have moved on, but I did love his drawings too.
    I do LOVE Kiki, I am off to hear this interview.
    Have a wonderful day!

  6. Oh how I love to hear the excitement in your art investigations! We can learn so much from artists and the way they use a pencil is always fascinating and instructive. Thanks for the tip about the fixative! Who wants a smeared graphite drawing after heart and hand have lingered there?

  7. Thats a wonderful image, Lynne, those eyes are soulful and the colors are delicious. I too think that spray is amazing, I've used it and the colors really stay steadfast.

  8. What a fabulous post - had to visit a couple of times!

    Your 'acrobat's daughter' is so wonderful. You captivate emotion brilliantly! And your charcoal sketch is also wonderful. I have been looking for a less toxic fixative, so I'm off to the art store!

    I also have 'je suis le cahier: the sketchbooks of picasso'. on my wish list. His drawings are so simply brilliant -- lots of inspiration.

    Off to listen to Kiki - thanks!


  9. Ooooh!!!! Just loved the post!!!!! <3

  10. Thanks, Lynne, for the fixative tip, and the mention of this Picasso book, which I intend now to track down myself. He has always been a God in my Art Pantheon, and I, too, love his drawings best. I will give Kki (a Goddess in said Pantheon) a listen later this day. Off to the studio now - xxoo, sus

  11. There's so much good stuff here again, my friend! Where do I begin? First, I was blown away by the fact that Picasso kept 175 sketchbooks between 1894 and 1967!

    I can also see why you're drawn to his line drawings and those of Kiki Smith. (Did I ever tell you that years ago I saw a traveling exhibit of John Lennon's line drawings, and I'm still in awe of them?!?!) There is something so appealing in what can be done with a simple line manipulated by a skilled hand. . .

    As always, you art makes my eyes very, very happy. Thanks for the fixative tip, too!

  12. yes, a simple line, drawing is highly underrated eh? and i have always used workable fixatif is this better? will check kiki out, have seen a few videos and they were awesome... ciao ciao xoxox

  13. your touch is so expressive.

    i slept under a numbered Picasso print/drawing for some time in college. My friend's mother had great taste... not sure i appreciated anything about line then so preoccupied with life. Stupid me.


    hope smoke is gone and you can enjoy the trees again.

  14. I will have to look for this fixative...I have never seen this but I am always on the lookout for quality art materials! Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  15. like that mysterious face...
    So nice to be back! (me I mean)
    Thanks for the tip about SpectraFix!

  16. you have no idea how happy your post just made me...a fixative I can actually use in my's off to DB just a quick shoot down the freeway..I simply can't tolerate most arousal fix sprays..give me migraines and the only one that ever even came close was one called low low odor and granted it was less smelly but I still couldn't use in the house...I am head over heels and you are someone I know I can trust...I am a happy camper for sure..and the book looks fantastic..I love peeking into others looks amazing.

  17. I'd been contemplating picking up a sketchbok for a while now... I used to draw constantly, but my creativity started leading in other directions... I think return to "the basics" may be in order!

  18. Can imagine buying one of YOUR sketchbooks in the future! Lovely.

  19. I'm new to your blog and have been loving looking through the posts. May I ask what kind of oil colors you use?


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