Betty Duffy

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Going through the attic

Any time I receive a comment from my friend Karly, I think about art, because she and I used to draw together in college. Had to go to the attic and pull out some old sketches. As you can see, I was/am a copy cat artist. I copied photos, drew models, and I managed to look at myself in the mirror long enough to do a self portrait.

Took my son to the art museum yesterday, and as always, I'm amazed at the ability of some people to originate their own images and then translate them to paper or canvas (which is something Karly was able to do).

Feeling inspired to do sort of a tweaked image of the Divine Mercy. Would love to commission a real working artist to do it...but I've got empty pockets.


Hope said...

As someone who can barely draw stick figures I admire anyone who can draw....and you are one of them.

Jordana said...

I think your sketches are lovely and more than simple copycat work. Though much of great art is perhaps just copy work in some sense. My little brother is a fine artist graduated from art schools in Italy and Sweden. His work involves copying and translating onto canvas those things he sees in a model or a still life. He's very good at it, but he didn't create the things or people he's copying.

In crankier thinking, make a Divine Mercy image that actually attractive, not just hideously sentimental, and maybe you can start rolling in the big bucks.

BettyDuffy said...

Jordana, I have cranky feelings about the popular Divine Mercy image too--mainly because I live near a Casino, and it sends up strobe lights on the weekends that look very similar to the rays coming from Jesus's heart.

My interpretation, so far, is having problems. I think I need a model for Jesus. Maybe my husband wouldn't mind standing in.

Karly said...

I'm just going to echo Jordana and say there is an artfulness to copying, too, and also that the last word I would ever think of to describe you is "copycat." It takes a brave soul to be able to see herself clearly (with the help of God) and then portray that, either in words or picture, and you happen to be facile at both. It makes me think of the unfinished dissertation of another of our classmates, Molly Z., on amateur lady musician/painters/writers in the Netherlands in the 17th century. (I always like to be reminded that the word "amateur" is based etymologically in the word for love). And she is still working on that dissertation because she has moved on to other creative pursuits, namely a brand new baby girl name Lucy.

I also remember very distinctly being in your parents old home, seeing a gorgeous pencil drawing on the fridge that I think your sister did of her own newborn. A talented family, yours.

dylan said...

I love the one with the foot!

Emily J. said...

I'll chip in on the commission.

mrsdarwin said...

That's a very good self portrait. I wish you'd draw me.

And I would love to see a new popular Divine Mercy image. Why do so many religious artists translate "pious" into "effeminate"?

BettyDuffy said...

"(I always like to be reminded that the word "amateur" is based etymologically in the word for love). "

Karly, this has completely changed my perspective on a few things. And thank you, for your comments on both this post and the last one. I looked at the painting you noted, and again, your comment made it more meaningful for me. I still have a lot of incomplete thoughts about it, but mainly, I love the way Mother, though she is tired herself, creates almost a shield around the Child, so that he feels nothing of the trial.

Mrs D, I'd love to draw you! Maybe if you make that move back to the Midwest.

Emily, wanna go in together? Really. Maybe we could get enough people to commit to buy prints that we could make it worth his while to do it.

Dylan, Thanks. That was a self portrait too, actually.

Enbrethiliel said...


I really like the one with the feet. =)

And there is something so strong and honest about the self-portrait that let me know it was a self-portrait before you said anything.

Karly said...

Betty, I love that description and observation of the Mother in Caravaggio's painting. I've been looking at the painting online, too, and thought this bit was interesting, about the music the angel plays:

"The notes in the score follow a real musical piece, a motet written by the Flemish composer, Noel Bauldwijn. The text, from the Song of Songs and dedicated to the Madonna, begins “Quam pulchra es”, “How beautiful you are”.

The theme of the music transports us to the refined world of Caravaggio’s clientèle, in which concerts and evening entertainments were appreciated and frequent."

Bring back the days of the salon, I say. Which reminds me of something I've been meaning to ask you, involving playing the cello. I'll be in touch....

eaucoin said...

You have a lot of talents, Betty! You have probably read that St. Faustina was not happy with the image herself and Jesus told her not to worry about it(which is possibly another way of telling us not to worry if the priest who we confess to does not remind us of Jesus very much, or not to worry that, in spite of all our efforts, we don't feel that we represent Christ through our person very well). The image is more powerful than can be contained in a human drawing and the message "Jesus, I trust in you" was an essential part of the image, so I don't know about tweaking it. Instead, the next time you might just regard its inadequacies and forego your dissatisfaction with the statement "Jesus, I trust in you!"

TS said...

Thanks for sharing these. I like Mother Teresa, the self-portrait, and the feet sketch best.