Marja-Leena Rathje
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I am continuing to go through some rolls of old life drawings and document a few of them. The one on the top here was rolled next to the first drawing I showed yesterday and seems to be of the same model. The lower two drawings are from a roll which does have a date: September 1983.

The light in my studio is not as bright as I wish with our rainy and cloudy days at present so there are strange shadows here and there, some revealing the curves in the paper from being rolled up for so long, even streaks from light exposure coming in at the end of the roll. Though I tried to fix them as best as I could, I rather like the aged look, even if these are not such professional photos.

I know, I should wait for better light conditions but I'm eager to carry on with the tidying and organizing before I lose interest. There are decisions to be made - which to keep, which to discard, and how to store these more safely. Hmm, I do have some new large tubes with end caps and some acid free liner paper to wrap them in. No room in the flat files, sorry, those are reserved for my prints.


Marja-Leena | 30/04/2012 | 10 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Care of Art Works, Drawings


I really really like your drawings. They are very strong.
The weather has been strange here in Seattle: bright sometimes but mostly overcast and with rain from time to time. The flowers are lovely, though. You really seem to be doing a lot these days.

I used to do that, the modeling, not the drawing. Took pride in being very still for a long time. Treated very well, respectfully, by the students always. Painful exercise. Needed some solid meditation skills.

Hattie, thank you. I'm really enjoying revisiting these, wondering if I can still draw as well now, would probably just need some practise. The weather is similar here, the first half of April was the sunniest and most beautiful.

Zhoen, really? modelling is hard work! I've always been impressed with the ones I've drawn back in art school and later, and yes they were always respected. We students would occasionally pose for each other (dressed of course) so we got a sense of how hard it is.

You probably like them better now, marked by time and change--that sounds Marja-Leena-ish to me!

I don't think that I could have borne being a model! Zhoen is clearly more patient than I am...

Surprising angle on the first one. Interesting how one clambers through all that ranginess to get at the staring, concentrated head.

You know I spent a fair amount of time as a model too. I'm glad you were able to make such good use of all grueling labor your models performed. The drawings are excellent and well worth storing in those tubes you mentioned.

Marly, you may be right, I do love some of these - wish they were on better paper! Thanks for the interesting observation on the first one. I might bore you with more as I slowly go through them.

Susan, thanks. I remember one of your stories about being a model. Grueling labour indeed!

As I look at those drawings again with better attention I feel that they are unique in showing that we are thinking animals. That is, you are depicting both the thinking side and the animal side of the models. I am not sure I have ever seen exactly that before.

Hattie, very fascinating thoughts you have! I wonder if the 'animal side' comes out because the figures are unclothed, and the 'thinking side' from the thoughtful yet faraway expressions on the models' faces. Thanks for studying these so closely - I'm so pleased by your response to them.

What strong and beautiful drawings! I especially like the second one shown here. It's good to see these; thank you for showing us. (My old life drawings are similarly "aged" but I like the look too.)

Beth, thank you, I'm pleased you like these. How about showing some of your 'aged' ones too?