I have no wish to compete with photographic images. When I paint a nude from a photo as in this case I want to find my own way of expressing the feelings I have towards the subject. If I just tried to copy the image on my computer screen it would be just so uninteresting and also demoralising because the original photograph will always be best. I know there are super-realists out there who would disagree with me. There is no wrongs or rights, for me it’s just a personal quest to find a form of expression.
Reclining nude 36 x 26 cm
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I am the first to admit that I have been uncomfortable when confronted by nudity. I grew up in Catholic Ireland and at the same time I was very exposed to the culture of England which was and still is so anchored to Victorianism. I’d better be careful here, I don’t want to get political. I just think it’s a pity we have been made to feel so ill at ease in appreciating the naked being. Thankfully, I moved to Sweden. That was 31 years ago so I have had time to adapt to what I still feel is a refreshing attitude towards nudity. It’s such a pity we feel embarrassed by something that is so natural.
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My life drawing classes, which are live-streamed on Zoom begin again this week. I don’t actually get much time to sketch during the sessions as I am the organiser of the event. I’ll have to join someone else’s life class to practise. Ironic, I know. Because I don’t sketch the nude as much I’d like to I set myself a weekly goal of producing a watercolour that I can later use to promote my life drawing classes.
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Every Thursday I run my own life drawing class here in Stockholm and this means I need to create a drawing or a watercolour to help publicise the event. So yes, some weeks I am quite desperate to paint a model. Deadlines, deadlines – even artists stress sometimes. My life drawing is streamed live because of the pandemic. If you would like to join please go to this page: https://www.meldrum.se/lifedrawing/
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Yes, I am trying to paint a nude a day. My plan is to wake up, have breakfast and then paint a nude. I never have to think about what I will do, I just have to start painting a nude. Simple. I wonder how long I will be able to keep it going?
I have started painting nudes again. It’s a real challenge, human skin-tones are so fine, so delicate. I am enjoying it though. It takes a lot longer for me to complete a nude, I’m not used to that. I don’t really have the patience for it so I spread the painting over several days, I work for an hour or two each day until it is finished. This is the best way for me to work right now, I hope I can improve my concentration with the next watercolours that I plan to paint in the coming weeks. Nude: 36 x 26 cm
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My first life drawing class for this year was last night with a new attendance record. Changing from Friday to Thursday evenings is a definite plus.
I managed to do a few sketches that I later improved when I had some more time.
If you live in Stockholm and are interested in life drawing, visit the Meldrum Kroki page. English or Swedish is up to you.
My name is David Meldrum, I love painting watercolours. Another passion I have is life drawing, I run a class called Meldrum Kroki. I was born in Ireland but since 1990 I have lived in Stockholm, Sweden.
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