Stick figure drawing

— Wayno’s title for today’s (uncaptioned) Wayno / Piraro Bizarro cartoon, in which Popsicle, Creamsicle, etc. artists gather to draw a model popsicle stick:

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page)

The cartoon juxtaposes two worlds:

— the world of (what I’ll call) -sicles, quiescently frozen snacks on a stick: ice pops and ice-coated ice cream on a stick (which is conventionally known as a popsicle stick, from its use in making Popsicle® ice pops)

— and the world of life classes, in which artists draw a human figure, traditionally nude, from observing a live model

The translation from the life class world to the -sicle world is through the analogy of the popsicle stick (without the edible material the stick serves as a handle for) to the naked human body (without the clothing that protects, conceals, and adorns it)

So we get the goofy image in #1, in which -sicle artists gather to draw figures of a popsicle stick modeling for them: a -sicle life class, so to speak.

Background 1: -sicles. From my 7/16/20 posting “quiescent and deliquescent”:

From Wikipedia:

(#2) An assortment of Popsicle® ice pops

An ice pop is a water or milk-based quiescently frozen snack on a stick. Unlike ice cream or sorbet, which are whipped while freezing to prevent ice crystal formation, an ice pop is frozen while at rest [while quiescent] and becomes a solid block of ice.

Then to ice pops combined with ice cream. From my 10/17/18 posting “PUMP!ing it up”, on the Creamsicle Access Trunk (in the Access line of men’s underwear, so-called because it provides open access to the wearer’s buttocks); and on the Creamsicle — Popsicle-ice frozen exterior, vanilla ice cream interior — originally in orange flavored ice (hence the color of PUMP!’s underwear line), though now in a variety of flavors; with a section on Popsicles, Creamsicles, and Fudgsicles:

(#3) Orange Creamsicles

Background 2: life classes. From Wikipedia:

figure drawing is a drawing of the human form in any of its various shapes and postures, using any of the drawing media. The term can also refer to the act of producing such a drawing. The degree of representation may range from highly detailed, anatomically correct renderings to loose and expressive sketches. A life drawing is a drawing of the human figure, traditionally nude, from observation of a live model. Creating life drawings, or life studies, in a life class, has been a large element in the traditional training of artists in the Western world since the Renaissance.

From The Advocate magazine, (a gay-oriented journal of news and culture) “25 Images of Artists and Naked Men In the Studio”. by Christopher Harrity on 4/23/16:

Nude modeling in the artist and photographer’s studio has long been a safe container for prolonged exposure to the male body in all its casual beauty.

At the turn of the last century, one of the few social positions lower than actor was artist’s model. They were seen often as dire characters outside the edge of normalcy, and often assumed to be prostitutes (as were actors). Yet, they were still sought after as painter’s models for the large classically inspired salon paintings of the time. And there seemed to be no shortage of very fit young men perfectly willing to spend hours completely naked while swarthy artists (with very cute beards and mustaches) closely examined their unclothed bodies in minute detail. It’s for the art!

The situation was novel enough that there is a fairly large number of existing photos of naked men lounging about dank and dusty ateliers with groups of clothed men crowded about them. This was a special pre-YouTube moment when nudity still meant something outrageous and lofty at the same time.

Two of the images, one from the 19th century, one from the 20th:

(#4) Laurits Tuxen, Male Nude in the Studio of Bonnat (1877)

About the artist of #4. From Wikipedia:

Laurits Regner Tuxen (9 December 1853 – 21 November 1927) was a Danish painter and sculptor specialising in figure painting.

Tuxen painted mainly landscapes in Skagen [Denmark], but also portraits of European royal personalities, namely Christian IX of Denmark, Queen Victoria, Czar Nicolas II, etc.

(#5) John Koch, The Sculptor (1964)

About the artist of #5. From Wikipedia:

John Koch (August 18, 1909 — April 19, 1978), (pronounced [like coke]), was an American painter and teacher, and an important figure in 20th century Realism. He is best known for his light-filled paintings of urban interiors, often featuring classical allusions, many set in his own Manhattan apartment

… Koch’s early work may be considered Impressionist. A review of his 1943 one-man show at Kraushaar Galleries praised his “throwing off his Renoirish tendency and asserting himself on his own”. Much of his mature work is made up of portraits and social scenes, including cocktail parties and scenes with the artist at work with his models. The models are often but not always nude.

… [Ernest] Ulmer [one of Koch’s wife’s piano students] posed for Koch’s “most self-revealing painting”, The Sculptor … Its original title was Prometheus, the god who stole fire from Mount Olympus. A full-length standing male nude seen from behind, Ulmer towers over the seated Koch and holds a cigarette lighter at hip level, while the artist leans in to get a light. The lighter illuminates Koch’s face and its flame is vividly reflected in his glasses, “a sexually loaded reference to Prometheus’s gift of fire to mankind”.

A note on the compounds popsicle stick and (from Wayno’s title for #1) stick figure. Popsicle stick — referring to the flat wooden stick that serves as a handle for eating a -sicle, an object that’s been put to another use in tons of arts and crafts projects — is a part-whole compound: a popsicle stick is a (kind of) stick that’s a part, the handle part, of a -sicle .

On the conventional compound stick figure, from Wikipedia:

(#6) A basic stick figure

A stick figure, also known as a stick man, is a very simple drawing of a person or an animal, composed of a few lines [the sticks of the name], curves, and dots. It is often drawn by children, and known for its simplistic style. On a stick figure, the head is most often represented by a circle, which can be either a solid color or sometimes embellished with details such as eyes, a mouth, or hair. The arms, legs, torso, and abdomen are usually represented with … straight lines.

This stick figure is a complex kind of source compound: a stick figure is a (symbolic) figure made from (elements resembling) sticks.

But Wayno’s title is another little joke; his stick figure refers to an (artistic) representation of a stick, so is parallel to, say, flower painting, rather than to something like snowman.

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