Portraits, Croquis and More, by Stefan Stenudd
Drawings with Pen on Paper
The following 22 drawings are quite old, now - from the 1970's and -80's. I have done some, later than that, but only occasionally. Nowadays, I tend to use the camera more, the automatic picture-generator. Push a button, and there it is - well, kind of.
My fingers sometimes ache of a lust to draw, again. We will see what happens in the future. Anyway, here they are, the old ones, from a period when I was quite devoted to the visual arts, like a passion, almost a religion.
What else to start with, but the very organs in charge of both the making and the consuming of pictures? Honestly, drawing has always come easier to me than painting - less to think about, less technical aspects to be aware of. I guess you could say that my way of drawing mostly comes close to the sculptural. Sculpture, on the other hand, I have rarely been... drawn to.
The eyes might be deep wells, so it is said, but then faces are complete landscapes. You can stroll around in them, and they change not only with time, but also with moods - those of the model or those of the spectator.
A landscape indeed. This terrain belonged to a friend of mine, who surely had a hard time recognizing himself in this portrait. Me, though, I have no problem seeing lots of him in it. Well, maybe it's all in my mind...
Another friend, another landscape. This profile is rare with me, because he is facing the right side. Almost always it tends to be the other way around, probably because I am right handed. I don't remember with any certainty, but this might have been an intentional challenge, when making the drawing.
Bit by bit we widen the perspective. If the eye is a deep well, and the face a landscape - what, then, is the body?
Approaching it with all due respect - or maybe a bit cowardly, from behind.
When the face is there, it's hard not to make the body sort of a frame for it, roads leading to it. Posture, weight, movement - it's all pointing towards the features of the face.
Let's involve the classics. Just as well, since art is mainly a dialogue with the past, artists of the past - and of the future too, of course.
Truly, there's not really a difference between the dynamics that can be found in one face, one body, and those of a group of bodies. Easily, too, the group can blend into one figure, one being. Reality has no frames, no borders.
The struggle is one person's also - mine, of course. Whether in embracing or fighting, bodies blend together. Funny, isn't it? Whatever people do with each others, basically it's all the same.
Let's return to the face. In a face, there is also a meeting of several identities, several bodies - blending, momentarily, into one. Sometimes struggling, sometimes embracing.
Objects too, have a way of interfering with bodies and faces, as if being their equals. Actually, I am not sure of the difference between them.
Drawing, c. 1980
Now, we're in between decades. I can't say that much happens from one to the other. You be the judge.
I would like to say that I have increased in consequence, clarity. Then again, maybe not. When speaking through time, what's a decade?
The lines that form the body and the volume, they have their own world and meaning. Please, look at the very lines that form the picture. Weird things, aren't they?
The lines need not be many, to make a body. Well, scientists experiment with animals and their perception: what's the minimum of characteristics needed for recognition - and more importantly, for reaction?
Even with the lines as few as possible, there is recognition, and a sense of individuality, of life even.
A face, a personality. Someone. Is it the person portrayed, or is it me? Is it a third person, the struggle or embrace of ours?
A few more lines don't hurt, but they do not necessarily add things. We're back to the movement of them, how the lines caress the paper, stroke or slash the background.
The way the lines create body, weight and directions. Perception, it's not a passive thing.
Ink drawing, late 1980's
This is in ink, a material exclusively devoted to the lines. They come out so strong, they could hurt you. One has to be wary when using it.
With this and the next drawing, we not only go to ink but also to the next decade. These two I made on the border to the 90's.
Ink drawing, late 1980's
I rarely draw or paint anything but people. These ink drawings - and those in the special ink work exhibition - belong to the few exceptions. I have also tried some calligraphy with ink and brush. Very likely, that will be a coming exhibit. This one is over. I hope you do not feel that you wasted your time.
Video filmed drawing
This is more recent, from 2008. I draw a portrait with some complications. It's hard to decide when to stop. I did speed the film up a bit, not to burden the patience of the viewers too much.
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