If you'd like to contact me directly my email address is: nvo21@comcast.net

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Drawings

This represents my work with the figure over the last four years. I have been working with people as my subject for somewheres around 35 years, at some point I will do an archive post showing how the work has looked through the years. I am a Realist, more in the sense of "New Realism" than the more general term for representational work. If you are interested go back to my first post where I talk about what this means specifically as a point of view different from a lot fo other figurative artists.

The selection of 'the image' I work with is very important. My process involves an interaction with each of my subjects, when I am fortunate to have the opportunity I have many dialogs about what I am doing and what I am looking for. When we do a photo shoot I take many images, my attempt is to break down the discomfort we all have when having a 'portrait' done, and get down to what really matters. I am digging for something personal and evocative, a special moment, or a glimpse of part of the personality that we often don't show publicly. We have an ongoing relationship with our mirror - here is where we preen, we pretend, we sometimes assume that that is who I want the world to see. But our mirror is a liar, it says everything backwards, no matter how hard we try. And everyone else sees us differently than we do ouselves.

There are little narratives, little stories I'm telling, but they are mostly very simple, very subtle. I'm not going to tell you those stories, sometimes they are very personal in my dialog with the subject. But they are there. What I want is for you to feel some emotion with each, then make your own assumptions if you feel like it. 

These pieces are very detailed as you might notice and they take a long time, some as much as 3 1/2 months to complete (meaning as if working full time). They are very large, life sized, as noted. I wish I could work faster but I find this is my approach and I find satisfaction when I do this kind of investment.

If You Click On The Image Twice It Will Give You A Larger Image

"Dishwater, Flyswatter... thanks Jesus, but a paper bag'l do" 2111
22"w x 30"T
Graphite On Paper

"More Than Simply Drawn", 2010
70"Tx 56"W
Graphite On Paper

"I Was Too Busy Staring At You", 2010
Graphite On Paper

"Handgrenade", 2009
Graphite On Paper

"Yellow Stripes, White Sox...", 2008
Graphite On Paper

"Handgrenade" A Study, 2008 (left)
Graphite On Paper

"Specs, A Study, 2009 (right)
Graphite On Paper

"JB, A Study, 2009
Graphite On Paper

"Skullcap", A Study, 2009
Graphite On Paper


  1. Your drawings are indeed beautiful.
    They are as beautiful objects and
    beautifully crafted. For me, however,
    the subject of your drawings, the power
    I get from them isn’t about beauty but
    about particular emotions. Each one
    seem to speak about a different emotion.
    These are very human emotions which, I
    think, we all relate to in our own
    personal way, which are very nicely
    described by your drawings of these
    people. Your chosen medium
    accentuates that emotion for me.
    The numbers of different people you
    have drawn reinforces that for me.
    That is powerful and beautiful,
    and the more people you have drawn,
    the more emotional each drawing has
    become. The “message” I take from
    your work becomes more apparent to me.
    Keep it going! Ken H.

  2. Thanks! It's a long haul making these. I have to admit they even affect me when confronted...a happy confrontation? not always, but it still gets me, and I'm not sure why. Terry

  3. Brandon Janner: Wow...Terry, I remember seeing the Yellow Stripes, White Sox drawing a couple years ago, at various stages during the process. I remember being impressed then. As Ken noted, one can really feel the subject of the drawing. Obviously it is a snapshot in time of that person and that person's emotions at that exact moment in time. One can feel the energy of the subject at that moment in time. Amazing artwork. Thanks.