Archive for November, 2012

SECTION: Human Anatomy

Posted: November 16, 2012 in ART Instruction & Syllabus

[CONTINUED FROM “HUMAN ANATOMY”]

We’re all for flesh – as God is!

Before God spoke or walked with Adam, he stirred him up from the Eden’s mud and dust – enfleshed him.

Unlike day and night, and all creation’s beasts, God did not use his Word to create male and female; nut with stirred up dust and a pulverized rib God made Adam and his wife.

Our hand in his, as an artist we can do no less.  The oils on our brush, the graphite in our pencil, are dusted with Eden’s soil and the splatters of flesh.  It is how we image God: do as he does, complete his handiwork.  Take possession of what he has given us.

Yet, such a gift is now ours to exchange – or change its nature or purpose.  With its giving comes its reason.

The logos of Art is Man.  Not God?  No, for it is Man that God himself crowed as both the reason and steward of creation.  For it is Man, his bodily flesh, that is the habitat of God’s own coming.

God never strays far from our flesh.

The reason and stewardship of Art is the same; for it is there, within our Bodily Lie, that God crosses our path, and we his.

This crossroads:  it is both the ground and upper limit of our eternity – of God’s everlasting living with us, and we with him.

Art begins with the anatomy of Man’s existence.

* * *

With mankind, Word did not come first; it was not Logos that had to be begotten.  Not at all.  With man flesh came first.

So it must be with the artist.

Before any abstraction of planes, lines, fields and color, comes bodily form: that upon which the lives of men and women are lived.

God did not make mankind to be “pure spirit”.  Man’s present is lived within his body.  He has no past without it.  Man has no anticipated future without the hope of the Resurrection.  When the Father told his ascended Son to sit at his right hand, the Son did so in the Flesh:  particular flesh, one he took from a woman, and Jewish at that!

When we draw, paint and sculpt, it is bodily form that is our reference, our second-sight, our starting and standing point – no matter our detours, our straying into subjects and themes.

So we go about drawing, painting, and sculpting.

* * *

What is seen is what is touched  – can be – the eye roaming the contours of flesh, with no itch to go deeper.  No need.  The depths of the surfaces of our bodily form are immense and enormous enough.

God thinks so, he meant it to be such.

God goes no deeper than how he made us.  The surfaces of our flesh is enough of a meeting place for God to touch our lived lives.

Why else would God walk the garden paths of Eden, penetrate a Virgin’s womb and take seed?

We know such to be so because we image it, see it reflected in the meeting of man and woman.  Flesh is enough.

Once more,  it is also so for the artist:  eyes and hair, mouth and thigh and feet, and the trobbing warmth that makes it all so.  This is the sacred subject and soul of any honest work of Art – even, within any particular work, when man’s bodily form is understated and assumed.  Must be.  Should be.

* * *

Will be so in our course of drawing.  We’ll look deep into the contours of human flesh, storing in our imagination the make-up of every human body part and relation.

Such knowledge, nestled as second nature within out ways and methods, will guide our pencil stroking wisely.

Doing all this we both image God and imagine his meeting with us along the way.

There’s enough here for a thousand pictures.  No need to go beyond.  By staying close to human flesh, with all its quivering contours, we are doing the work of God – drawing (painting) out our salvation.