This shot reminds me of how I feel about my own studio. It is a sanctuary that is created through artistic energy, work and ritual. When you are invited into someone else’s studio they are sharing all of that with you. This is something I never take lightly.
This drawing began by tracing a woman’s body shape directly on the paper. It is a portrait of an individual person. Anatomy sources are used to insert an anatomically correct skeletal system. Monica has discovered that the layers of back anatomy, yet to layered on top, are a lot more complicated than she expected. This in-depth study of anatomy has created a heightened awareness of her own skeletal system. When she moves her body, she thinks about the placement and movement of her interior anatomy. This mind/body connection is also practiced with Monica’s ongoing study of yoga. The beginning of this drawing is quite beautiful, but it is there to be built upon. Monica documents the stages of these drawings, but is quite willing to let each stage go as she pushes through to reach the finished drawing. The beginning is structured and accurate, while the end is a mesh of marks that show a complicated journey of exploration with the parameters of the subject. There will be little or nothing left of this beginning stage.
When I look at Monica’s work up close I really get caught up in the detail work. There is something powerful about large scale work that is just as interesting in the small details as a small work is. It is an interesting contrast of what feels epic, and what feels intimate.
It is always interesting to watch an artist handle their work. They are always so casual in doing so. Others will always use extra care to communicate their respect for the work and the artist. But artists often touch their art while they are talking about it, and enjoy showing how comfortable they are in doing so. It can be really enjoyable to watch an artist do this.
Here we have the wonderful combination of book illustrations, artist materials, and productive activity. I never tire of seeing the hints and clues of what goes on the studio when the artist is engaging in their isolated production.
This larger shot of Monica’s studio shows a bit of how layered, active and visually interesting her space is. Like most studios the total space can’t be captured with casual photography. The memory of my visit will stay with me tonight as I work (hide) in the privacy of my own studio.