Taken from the first chapter to my book:
Collector's Edition Pencil Drawings - A look into the art of David J. Vanderpool
Same sex attraction, or attraction to the opposite sex can often lead to very powerful drawings if the subject is approached carefully, respectfully, and in most cases, none sexually. Allowing the model to speak for themselves and not for the artist.
Whether it’s a sensual pose, as seen in this drawing of Cristina, or of Stephen from Palm Springs, California (pages 26, 27), keeping away from sexual themes or poses and focusing on the emotion or character captured in the original photograph can be enough to catch the viewers attention. And leaving them to want for more.
Questioned, judged or perceived, in regards to who we may or may not be, has always been something an artist has had to deal with when it came to selecting who he works with
Too often are we judged and labeled by what we create. And granted most artists welcome and in fact encourage it when their works take on social issues - but as mention early in this chapter - sometimes art is just art!
Years ago I received two e-mails on the same day. One from a young Christian man and the other from a woman.
The young man questioned my sexuality and then stated that my drawings caused him to sin and that I should remove my drawings of men from my web site. I wrote back, in defense, and told him if he has a problem with his sexuality that was an issue between him and God.
The next e-mail was from a woman who called me a sexist for the women I drew and that I should be shamed of myself.
I never replied back to her. The Christian in me knew better than to go there. At least at that moment and especially after the earlier e-mail.
Sexuality and drawings.
For some people they see only what they want, seek what they desire, and assume the hearts of others without knowing who that person is personally, solely on the bases of what the artist is able to put on paper, with just a few pencils in hand.
Is the drawing of Stephen sexually appealing? To most people of course it is?
Does the drawing make people uncomfortable seeing a full frontal male nude? That all depends on where you are in life socially and where you live physically? What is rejected in America is appreciated in Europe. Just as the education man will see the detail in the side of the mountain he is resting on others will take first notice of his penis - and never see past it.
However, in all fairness to those who see “that” part of the drawing first, it is in the center of the drawing and masterfully drawn with all its detail so how could you not see the drawing for what it is?
A nude man.
Nude, not crude.
As art should be!
For where others see a naked man in the drawing shown here I see a portrait of a man asleep in the sun.
But no matter what I see, or why I draw who I draw, there will always be people who question my interests and motivation behind male drawings. And in doing so they limit themselves from seeing the rest of the drawing and the effort that was put into creating the art.
Point given: When working on the book on drawing men I was asked why didn’t I draw women? For goodness sake man where you not paying attention! The book is on drawing men, for crying out loud! Or course you wouldn’t see as many drawings of women during that period!
Yes there will always be beauty in both sexes to catch an artist’s attention and therefore we will be judged for the art we create. And that is the difference between commercial art and fine art! To work with those who catches the artist’s attention and allow others to react to what they see before them. For good or bad - that’s up to the viewer