Conte and pressed charcoal on newsprint



All gestured images the original renderings of blog author, Ruth Ann Scanzillo.

© Ruth Ann Scanzillo  8/25/16  All rights reserved. Please do not share images, either independently or as a blog post. Everybody wants increased traffic to their blog sites; should you direct viewers and readers to my site, I’d be grateful. Thank you.




22 thoughts on “Figuring.

    1. You’ve got to be kidding. Never thought traits like decisiveness came thru in my gesture drawings; I am certainly only decisive in crisis situations! The rest of life is a gnawing brood. Give me an image to render, I guess, and life just takes a back seat. You must feel like that when you are making your wondrous color creations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like to draw and re-draw, and erase, and redraw, there are little signs of that here! Mind you, we did used to practice 2min poses where there was no time to erase, those were fun, and sometimes unexpectadly rewarding. But yeah, certainly all else is excluded when the going is “best” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, drawing serves two functions; to the painter, or other image maker, drawing is a structural pre-requisite; to others, it is the end and the means. I only ever draw, as paint is a substance I cannot control with any wielding bristle. I need a stylus, or a beveled edge, and the limit of a few seconds; beyond that, the piece is already overworked and useless. The goal (for me) is to stop when the next stroke does not come of its own volition.

          Liked by 1 person

              1. Thinking back to when I got involved around the mid 90’s, we were taught that drawing was central and essential, I recall a welcome speech where we were told if we wanted to draw like Michelangelo, they could teach it, that anything and everything could be taught, that it would be disciplined. – then when at degree level, I met others from different backgrounds it was odd, cos some of them would come t a drawing class with lumps of wood and PVA! Not On I thought! Yet they seemed to get away with it! I stuck to the disciplined methods I’d been taught, and the tutors weren’t against it as such, but I think they thought I could do with loosening up a bit!

                Anyhow, drawing continued to be central, a full day weekly, but then with some students going on to specialise in performance art, or video installations and so on, questions were being asked why all the nudist art obsession? Its still a tennant of British art schools as far as I’m aware, tho not in every school, in fact its a bit of a free-for-all, the school I went to was probably dragging its heels a little. I wanted to drop drawing in the final yr, as it wasn’t my strongest card, but the bosses there said no – didn’t matter in the end, came out with a 1st, so can’t complain now, happy enough with that, even tho I felt the work I did that yr wasn’t what I wanted to continue, it was a weird buzz led me up a blind alley, all very disciplined and (I can’t think of the word right now) but kind of “approved & conventional”

                Liked by 1 person

                1. So grateful to hear all this. Foundational, disciplined…By way of comparison, Fredonia State was still fairly undeveloped as an art department, or maybe I should say not as infused with the bells, whistles, and equipment to handle computer generated wizardry in the graphics end, when I was a student there. We had some seriously qualified faculty (Carol Harrison, sculptor), and one or two of dubious effectiveness as educators. I was very fortunate: the drawing instructor was David Small, of Kalamazoo, MI. He had a definitive style, easily observed, comprehended…..and, our classes were small enough for those who were serious to get individualized attention. I learned how to use the large muscles, first – sweeping, gesture drawings that were scribbly, intended to “find” the movement in the figure. Never got into muscle and bone analysis, although some art institutes actually include studies with anatomy. He also introduced me to my Best Tool – Conte crayon – critical to control of a line that changes in an instant, enabling selective emphasis, a concept also new to me. (I’d been drawing since veritable infancy, only spending a few months in my senior high school year in an actual art class, with a teacher who devoted his time to me and ended up helping to select/prepare my portfolio which won a city wide competition, enabling the funds to enroll in art at Fredonia. (Mum decided that, since we couldn’t accept the munny unless we could prove its applied use, God had willed that I go to college.)

                  Anyways, I jumped headlong ahead, waving fundamental drawing classes (consequently, I still struggle with the light and shadow factor – !) directly into Small’s life drawing sessions. And, our live, totally nude female and male models were varied and dazzling (first time I ever saw the old pecker, bebs, was on that Adonis opera composer who would later become an administrator at….Manhattan School?!). So, that’s my story. It’s all about the line, and I am feeding you the true one. As always, contrary to the haters, love. XO

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. Third reply: Oh, and yes; there were several students in my other classes who specialized in hanging sheets on wooden frames and throwing paint and hacking with hatchets and doing Visual Concept pieces (One of my classes, by title). (We did the first videos in the history of humankind, I think – our instructor was from New York.) Our PAINTING instructor was the one with whom I had the least affinity – he was from Scotland ? – and, was really into trends, and magazines, and such. He told me to look at periodicals, and get up to date with what current painters were doing*. (I loved photorealism, as you might imagine. But, pouring paint onto the canvas paper, and waiting until it congealed……BELIEVE me, his stuff just looked like layers of congealed paint.?) *I’d been told to do that with my poetry, recently; read the other stuff, and decided who might “like” mine the most.
                  And – the critiques!!! I would just stand there, baffled, at the other kids, as they launched into lofty, conceptualizing apologisms for their creations, pieces to which I could not make any “artistic” connection. There was only one other student in the whole place who could actually draw – “PK” Paul Kreiling – and, I was his “day girl”.” (Meaning: not his “girlfriend”; we’d just lunch in the Union, drawing on the formica with pencil, and then rubbing it out.) He’d been to Hull for an exchange program, and was quite the Anglophyle. Another friend was Steve Zwillinger, in my graphics class – from a wealthy community on the Island…..I tried to find both these boys, in recent years – and succeeded – but neither of them ever replied, in any form, to me. This hurt, but it was out of my hands. So, yes; I am the girl who draws. Many might never call me an artist.

                  Liked by 1 person

  1. P.S. But, please forgive, these drawings from just Thursday evening (!) are the first of their kind since 1977. [ Stop ]. That’s what she said. [ Stop. ]

    (faint marks on several that resemble erasures are deposits from the backs of other newsprint images. I did, however, erase part of the feet in frame……4?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My best drawing experiences were at foundation level, I think maybe because it was new to me, and the others in the class too, so it was a very strange atmosphere, it was a strange group comprised of unemployed and drug addicts, losers and weirdos! This was a course set up to provide access to education, we weren’t wanted by the mainstream, which was comprised of 19 yr olds, those who graduated school at 18, and wanted to do a bridge course before university – they would go on to become artists, graphic designers, illustrators, animators, or whatever. Only about 4 of us on the Access course went on to further study,

    The models for the mainstream course were an old couple, been modelling for yrs, as a contribution to the local college I guess, I think they were nudists!! Lovely old couple, drew them a few times – our model on Access was a younger woman, the method we were taught was using mostly charcoal, sometimes with chalk, we didn’t go into anatomy particularly, I’m not sure the promise they could teach us to draw like Michelangelo was for real – I think when we were given that talk I think she just meant to say if you new entrants are worried about anything, don’t be, cos we have the staff, and I’m sure they did have a very good team – some very interesting people, and a well established course there, shame they didn’t welcome us on the Access group quite so well, we had to fight to get equality, I think they were a bit freaked out because we were a new group imposed on them from outside their usual expectations.

    There were a lot of changes in education around that time, a lot of courses were cancelled and new directives imposed from the central government, what had been quite an organic system was replaced with a more tick box curriculum around then. It was still quite beautiful tho, had a lot of fun and absolutely loved some of the staff, wonderful people! Couldn’t ask for more. I think its important to have some good personalities on a course, we had a good balance, quite a bit of friction between them, which helped provide plenty of alternatives – looking back, it was like a love in really, such dedication from their side(s) is what made it all worthwhile 🙂 XX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WOW, OF! The UK is so far ahead of us, as is Canada, when it comes to providing education to all. In this country, there is such an archaic (and, anal) class system — the wealthy get facilities and choice faculty; the poor districts get the shaft. In fact, the Commonwealth of PA’s ed system has granted the least equitable distribution of monies from among the entire rest of the counties IN the Commonwealth to our county. It’s a disgrace.
      Sounds like they took the best and the brightest (you being one) and gave you a golden opportunity. Which isn’t to say the feebleminded got nothing, it’s just that you were determined to be a creatively talented and provided for accordingly.
      It’s all about character and values, at a national level. But, I have to acknowledge that, in the US, our immense size and scope make managing all this a real task; those who argue against European models for the US are quick to point that out. With the exception of China and Russia, most other civilized countries are no larger in populace than many of our individual states (which, I’m certain, you already know.) I see the problem with Federal Government programs, which is the Democratic way, taking allocated funds and giving the jobs to their friends and family…..yet, leaving it up to each state and local government, the Republican way, you can have the same kind of problem manifest differently. There’s very little universal pride at play; rather, just a whole lot of polarization. Anyways, how did I get off on this?!


    2. OF, you won’t believe it. The model posted my one hour “finished” drawing, which she had photographed before I had a chance to say “don’t take pictures of my drawings!”. I posted it on Facebook, and then took it down because I just didn’t like the proportions. Tonight, she Friended me, and when I accepted, went to her Wall and here was the drawing, big as life, with the one word caption: “Disproportionate.” Now — see — this is what makes me nuts. Should I NOT have put my drawings up on Facebook? What would you do, if this were you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I could go on quite a bit here, some of my claims might sound ridiculous – I believe that education should be a sacred quest for knowledge and enlightenment, but instead it gets manipulated by politicians, so that people are taught everything from either a left or right wing perspective, which is so sad, leftists miss out on the glories of classicism, and the right are taught that elitism and Darwinist ideas are the only ones which stand up to scrutiny. We are somewhere in the middle as a nation, where we used to have some wonderful inclusive ideals, such as free education for all, now the kids have to borrow so much money to get what they were formerly entitled to, education is turning into a profitable industry which offers youngsters the opportunity to get ahead rather than gain something worthwhile – luckily there are still lots of good teachers involved – you can’t kill the human spirit, try as they do!

        Its a very complicated ball game this, I met tutors who were trained in the post war 1950’s, back then higher education was only available to a very small number, but there were some good schemes for those without the cash, some of those tutors really had such dedication – you could see it in their eyes, they believed in the potential for a much better world, they were sent forth to build it full of confidence and humility – amazing far sighted people! Educators from latter generations are great too, but I think I could detect how times have changed from those older ones – my parents are of that generation, they put the past behind them and marched forward – amazing!

        Nowadays they use the phrase “Going Forwards” all the time, its meaningless, they use it at my work, it means “we are where we are” i.e.: the money has run out, no one is interested in former triumphs, now its how to hide the bodies and make it look good!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I rambled a bit there!

          Yes, it was a golden opportunity indeed! I was unemployed at around 30, with no hope really, worn out, had enough, then I got in touch with some educators and it all took off again, it was like being re-born, we on the access course weren’t particularly welcome at first, the access staff felt that the existing foundational school was being elitist, while they felt that standards were being dropped by letting us in the door – no one was listening to the old school, the access people looked to them like government lackeys changing everything up, massaging unemployment figures, cutting corners and costs, taking everything to the lowest denominator. They were right to think that way, but access had the attitude that because we were adults, we had additional experience to bring to the table which the younger students hadn’t – it was an interesting point, because traditionally, you went through childhood education, then onto higher, then out into the world, whereas we access people had already been into the world, now when we go into education, we aren’t soft and subtle, often we call bullshit! Sometimes we are wrong, sometimes right, but I think there is a value to be had from being older, we question everything in a way which less malleable youngsters don’t – when they question, they are more often wrong, can be broken down by the system, more vulnerable to the temptations of wanting fame or glory, while we older ones often genuinely wanted to learn because we had reached a certain point in time.

          Well, six of one, half a dozen of the other, there’s value in all things 🙂

          I have a picture of the old nudist couple somewhere on a disk, I shall email it you, it was one of my faves – we never got offered to draw them as a couple, because one was modelling for another class – but one night they offered to do a free session for all comers, it made a good change to do a drawing session without worrying about grades, the result was far sweeter! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Thats awkward – (the Facebook posting) I’m not sure what I’d do, I can be quite sensitive about my art and what people say, I might be inclined to declare all out war, or else just throw up my hands and walk away – rally some people have absolutely no idea whatsoever!! If her friends liked and loved it, at least there is that consolation – I’m pretty sure I’d write and ask her to change the description to something more positive, but I’m not sure how to go about it, since I guess a drawing of a nude is in a way a contract between the artist as well as the sitter, so we both get what we get – surely she must have liked it or else she wouldn’t have shown it, I think she’s being over sensitive, perhaps she needs you to come forward to her and give her some sort of closure? Very odd situation! XXX

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can’t understand it. She insists that she loves the drawing, and said something about ‘being disproportionate’, which I would dispute; she is nearly perfectly proportioned…, anyway, it was baffling. I decided to back away from the issue, because of having misunderstood (I guess?) the comment.
          I asked that it be removed, but then she was emphatic with praise, so that left me perplexed and speechless.
          I’m like you; sensitive to criticism (AND competition); I’d be the gymnast who falls off the bar at the Olympics.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I have noticed you don’t monetize your page, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn extra cash every month because you’ve got high quality content.
    If you want to know how to make extra money, search for:
    Mrdalekjd methods for $$$


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.