By Bonnie Gangelhoff
What inspired your winning entry? I taught anatomy for quite a few years at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. We had multiple skeletons around, and one day I had them all in one room. They seemed to be just standing around, so I thought it might be interesting if I arranged them in such a way that it looked like they might be interacting. Because they were used so much, arms fell off and pieces were missing. That’s why some of the skeletons have missing limbs and one is missing a head.
Do you come from an artistic background? Not really. I’m pretty much the only artist in the family. I’ve been drawing every since I was little.
Where did you study art? I have a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA, but I also took art classes there. After that I went to the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC. I have a master’s degree in painting from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
What is your favorite subject matter, and why? The human figure. And I include skeletons in that. That’s where most of my training is, figurative drawing. I am fascinated by the human form.
What is the best advice you have ever received? For specific artistic techniques: Use straight lines in figure drawing. This technique goes back to a Frenchman, Charles Bargue, and his drawing course. It involves blocking out with straight lines and using straight lines to measure angles and spatial relationships within the form. You find the big directional thrusts on which details exist, and then once things are blocked in, you refine the details. It’s the single most valuable technique that did more for my skill than any other piece of advice. I learned that from an instructor at Corcoran.
What is the most meaningful recognition you have received for your artwork? Maybe the fact that I’ve been employed as an art instructor by colleges—that they trust me to teach students is the most rewarding recognition. Currently I am teaching drawing at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
What is the one thing people will never see you paint? A cat.
Future goals? Keep doing what I’m doing and keep achieving recognition and financial rewards for it.
Representation: Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center, Cincinnati, OH; Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Birmingham, MI; www.douglasmalone.com.
Featured in our annual “21 Over 31” competition in November 2010