This image is part of a portfolio exchange project that questions the
ramification of the world's increasing demand on oil. The title refers to the
Latin translation for the "Black Death" or as we know it: the Great Plague
that ransacked Medieval Europe and killed off nearly one half of the
continent's population. This occurred because of several reasons, one being
population density in urban centers which saw the rapid spread of the plague
but also due to unregulated commerce which brought the disease from the east in
the first place. This unabated commercialism was the result of high demand of
inexpensive commodities and goods, without concern of quality. Before this
time, the Roman Empire had a well maintained, regulated
and taxed shipping and commerce system, which prevented any major pandemic from
taking hold. Medieval Christianity had no such standards but learned its lesson
which helped bring about the Renaissance. We are now reliving the complications
brought about from unchecked consumerism which oil consumption is the heart of.
The catastrophe this time however will not be a mere pandemic but environmental
destruction on a scale which will make life for human civilization untenable.
Of course we offer our up our future generations to this fate in the struggle
to consume as many manufactured goods as possible.
There is a significant difference in working with a costumed pose as opposed to a nude. Firstly and strangely enough, it is more difficult to gauge the proportions of the anatomy as accurately as you would be able to when the body is unencumbered by clothing. Secondly the color of the costuming usually deceives the eye in regards to value. With lighter colors, one tends to raise the value making them brighter than they should be, and vise versa with darker colors. Thirdly, the detail and texture of the fabric entails visual trickery that is sometime time consuming and other times gets too muddy and confused. The above two images of Lindsey in her "Lady Jack" attire were harder to get right than if she was in the exact same pose in the nude. I avoided attempting a painting as the fish net stockings would be a nightmare and getting the temperature would be very maddening since here costume was pitch black, yet her skin tone very pale white-blue. I embellished the ink on bristol by adding the red ink and the charcoal version depicts the darker color/value issue I referred to.
This etching is titled: "Seeking the Behemoth's favor," and it comprises the Bureaucrat aspect in the Villains category. In theory an efficient, fair and transparent bureaucracy is essential to the proper functioning of any truly democratic system. However history has shown us replete that in practise no such body exists. Not in any institution; be it government, academic, religious. military or corporate, can one find a system void of corruption, inequity and gross mismanagement. Human beings are not infallible and prone to relishing power, be it true or perceived. We must demand a fair system with adequate checks and balance, yet also be willing to deal with the realities of the complexity of any system and not try to skewer the system in our favor. No body should ever be entitled to advance past everyone else that plays by the rules.
This charcoal study of Janet reclining legs up is another great exercise in understanding the anatomy because it is much more difficult to draw upwards from the head being at the bottom position. The eye is always trained to identify the head at the top of the body and therefore naturally expect it at the top of a composition. By drawing this layout, amongst others, it forces the artist to really get the proportions of the body and the facial features correct as your mind is seeing the face essentially upside down.