Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Life Drawing of a Young Woman #2 (1982) / I and the Village, by Marc Chagall (1911)




Although I was not conscious that I was using green, blue and orange as Marc Chagall had used them in his painting, "I and the Village," it suddenly occurred to me, while writing these words, that his painting certainly influenced me as I did this drawing so many years ago. I hadn't hesitated to draw a green woman with blue hair.

My mother had become interested in Marc Chagall during the time I was in high school and brought books of his drawings and paintings home from the public library and shared them with me. After I graduated from college at age 32 in 1982, my father took my mother and me to New York City and Washington, D.C., during which time he took a picture of my mother and I standing in front of "I and the Village," in the Museum of Modern Art. "I and the Village" is 75 1/4" x 59 1/4 inches, much taller than me or my mother or my father! As I type this, my laptop rests on the large art book, MARC CHAGALL, by Franz Meyer. Marc Chagall is a continuing influence.

The week that Marc Chagall died in 1985 was the week when I was visiting my parents in Northern California. A man and his wife who were in their late 80s stopped by to visit my parents and when I showed them photographs of my drawings, the man said, to my great surprise, "Ah, a new Chagall!" That, along with R. Allen Jensen's appreciation of my drawings, was the encouragement that I needed. I liked my drawings but continued to be startled when other people besides family and friends liked them, too.

"The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world. In this long vigil he often has to vary his methods of stimulation; but in this long vigil he is also himself striving against a continual tendency to sleep."
(Marc Chagall)

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