09 Dec American Marriage, third version

Art of Action: Attempted my third version of American Marriage. Essentially, two sets of figures occupy the foreground; embracing nude women and the standing male wood splitters. It is a more fluid drawing, and the overall composition is better unified; however, I need to share the image with another to appreciate the effectiveness of the narrative.  I wonder if I can really move into a comfortable place with these more calculated figurative motifs, and ultimately execute them freely and dynamically with paint? I have never been as sure about drawing the figure with a brush as I have with pencil. It is exciting to rely more on fantasy then anatomy to conceive the human form, and to enter into a place of acceptance necessary to create a convincing figure. The resulting distortion is compelling, and clearly at the threshold of a new artistic self-awareness.  Of course, Honore Daumier comes to mind, as well as Francois Millet.  Can a twenty-first century painter really reinvent the figure in its modern context, and have the solemnity and classical dignity that these French masters achieved? I certainly hope so…I am certainly motivated to try.

Talked to my dentist in Brattleboro this morning about The Art of Action, and what she – as a Vermonter – considered to be a critical theme for the future. She was quite certain about the level of poverty in the state and the increasing number of malnourished children. She was quite upset.  We were not sure about the presence of Wal-Mart in the state, because this corporation is an enticing store for low-income shoppers, and provides poor-quality foods. We discussed the nearby store in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, which is just across the Connecticut River from Brattleboro. She suggested I visit the store around 10 AM on a Saturday to observe the human shopping frenzy.