Many years ago, when I had thought that I may have enough talent to do figurative drawing, I purchased a standard tool for artists: an artist mannequin. It didn’t take long for me to discover that I simply did NOT have what it took to be a good figure drawing artist – most of my faces came out looking like Elmer Fudd… Which, of course, is perfectly fine if that is what you are going for… but I wasn’t.
Which left me with: what to do with the artist mannequin?
By this time, I had named him: Basil. As most of you know, my favorite artist is Wassily (or Vasily – it depends on what source you are looking at) Kandinsky. Wassily/Vasily is Russian for Basil – so you see where this is going, right? Also, one of my absolute favorite British comedies is Fawlty Towers (please, if you have not had a chance to see this show – do so, it is one of the funniest things I have ever seen #JohnCleese)… so Basil just made sense.
Starting in 2012, I had the idea of taking pictures of Basil in ordinary and extraordinary situations (I will be totally honest: some of the best situations that Basil got into during this time period, my partner thought up)… so we have pictures of Basil at the beach, making snow angels after a blizzard, in book stores, hiking, rock climbing, chatting up a mermaid in Rockport, MA, on the Freedom Trail in Boston… you know, normal artist mannequin things you would expect an off-duty artist mannequin to be doing 🙂
And then… I started to forget to take Basil out on our adventures… and he just ended up sitting in my art studio, patiently waiting for the fun to begin again.
Recently, I started to work on increasing my social media presence and try to stick to a more regular blogging schedule… and I looked around for inspiration for a recurring blog theme/post idea… and there he was… Basil, just sitting there patiently, waiting for the adventures to start up again… and I thought: why not?
Why not have Basil join me on artist dates, studio time, art supply shopping trips, visits to the museums – yes, I even got Basil into the Boston Museum of Fine Arts once – pretty much include him in anything art-related.
So, here’s Basil (check out how excited he is during this photo shoot!) – introducing the two art books that I just ordered:
I can’t even begin to tell you how exited I am about both of these books, but the “Ninth Street Women” book, I tell you, I have only had it for a couple of days and I can’t put it down, it’s that good.
I have learned more about New York artists in the 1930’s and 1940’s in the first 80 pages of this book than I learned in almost a dozen biographies of artists from this period. It is the most well-rounded biography of multiple individuals that I have ever come across. #MaryGabriel YOU ROCK. I can’t wait to see what how this develops.
So, getting back to Basil: our first big test will be in a couple of weeks when we will have an entire art weekend together… and from there, we will resume our regular adventures… together 🙂
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