The Approach to Figure Drawing. . .In an effort to participate in the great tradition of figure drawing, Marlene Steele explores the figure from life in charcoal.Sometimes in revisiting a pose, Marlene Steele will reinvestigate a classic figure on a toned paper or in another media such as watercolor or pastel. These works seek to represent the human figure as an element of design in the context of composition with the added challenge of color. By expanding on the initial concept, the artist investigates in depth the viability of impressions of the croqui sketch.The defining process involves both editing and amplification and is achieved in alignment with graphic design principles. The artist aspires to combine skills of observation with personal terms of expression. There is much insight to be gained in the process of seeing for oneself.
Figures painted in Oils
Series in Black and White on Grey Charcoal Paper
Quote on figurative painting: curator Daniel Brown July 19th 2013"What always strikes me about Marlene Steele's art--be it in painting, watercolor, or drawing--it the exceptional dignity that she gives to any of her subjects, be they figurative, or urbanscape, or occasional still life. Her kind of classical realism, most manifest in her figurative work, imbues each model, each person, with an essential respect for both the life she renders and for the art she makes from these figures. You will note how frequently she uses curves in her paintings and drawings of figures, and they, too, provide an essential sense of hope, of optimism, of the neverendingness of her world of art. She also favors a conservative palette, a gentle one, where colors neither scream nor overwhelm, but lovingly render her subjects, her figures, in colors and hues that again link her with The Renaissance, in particular, and with the kind of painterly realism that has nothing to do with copying, but everything to do with a transcendent originality, most manifest in her studies of the male figure, which she approaches with grace and with the kind of dignity I associate with Ingres' paintings and drawings of female nudes."