11 feb. 2013

Franklin McMahon: "What I lose in accuracy I make up for in spontaneity"

Franklin McMahon: "What I lose in accuracy I make up for in spontaneity":



"My method of working is to draw directly wherever possible." said Franklin McMahon in an article in the April 1956 issue of American Artist magazine.



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"I pick a point - usually a point closest to me in the scene I'm drawing. I begin at this point and work out. All other parts of the drawing take their place in relation to this point."



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"I wait for the people to settle down or assume a characteristic pose and then draw them in."



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"What I lose in accuracy I make up for in spontaneity, and there is a hoped-for reality (a feeling of being there) which I don't think can be achieved as well in any other way."



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"All of these drawings were made directly in ink with no preliminary pencilling. There is no blocking in. The edge of the subject is almost traced out of the air."



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"Sometimes I pencil-up the signs, lettering them in later at the studio."



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"I am very much interested in design," McMahon continued. "I have a distinct feeling, however, that design, as we have come to know it, has become rather in-bred."



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"Being primarily an illustrator-designer I found that my own personal corrective was to get out and look around - a return to first principles, so to speak. That is why I have welcomed these direct drawing assignments."



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"In this sort of drawing the design grows out of the artist's work on the site and his interaction with the subject matter..."



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"... rather than being superimposed later in the studio."



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At this point in his career (the mid-1950s) McMahon worked with #4 brushes dipped in india ink on large sheets (20" x 25") of cover stock. He said, "I use this large sheet since I never know exactly, when I begin, just where the drawing is going to end!"



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"The drawing is not blocked-in or planned in advance...



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"... it just grows and the design continues to develop with it."



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* More on Franklin McMahon tomorrow