Sunday, 24 May 2009

Sketches & Methods & Thoughts on things

Hello there! It's another sunny day here, which is great but I always seem be snowed under with some project or other when it's sunny. Lots has been happening. First of all I started on a monster of a painting (for me). I cannot finish it right now however as I was asked to submit some work to an exhibition whose theme (no matter how I try to rationalise it) has nothing whatsover in common with the piece.

Here's some sketches from that on-hold piece:

I don't like to leave a piece once its started as I go off-the-boil very easily and never pick it up again. Given that I put a lot of effort into planning it and getting the finished drawing i'll be a bit pissed off if that happens.

But in any case, the theme of the new show is 'Birds and Bees' apparently. This is, I believe, primarily because the main artist is Mark Rowney and he produces a lot of work involving birds and bees. Actually, he also makes some astonishing leather work around this as well which you can buy at his Etsy shop here.

When I saw his work, and some pictures of the size of it, I went into a slight panic. My work is, as a rule, very small. This is very gradually changing as I gain confidence, and also as I bring my impatience under control. Even so, I felt that now would be a good time to go bigger still. Enough that you could see my work without having to squint :)

The first flat layer of paint. Cobbled-together frames will again feature heavily. I also managed to get hold of 2 beautifully carved Black Forest frames.

Anyway, I've been thinking about how my work has changed and this is in large part because of this gain in confidence, particularly in handling colours and also in the Acrylic inks I use. I was an artist in college who dropped everything and worked in digital mediums for years. It's only the last few years that I came back to working with paint. And I was not confident at all. If I look at the early paintings I produced it is all monochromatic, incredibly simple, highly illustrative.

I still love them for their simplicity, however as I gained confidence in using colour I wanted to expand beyond these kinds of images. Not only that but my drawing skills were very cramped. I was not confident beyond drawing the face and shoulders. My figures are always disembodied, as though I only really notice people's faces (Some self-observation comfirmed I pay no attention to people's bodies whatsover).

So ultimately i'm trying to observe people more, try things out which I would originally have been too worried about e.g. getting larger & losing the symmetry I rely on so heavily. I don't want to go too far out, there are things which are in my work for a reason and these are right, the rest is there because of anxiety and i'd like to see if I can get the necessary skills to overcome that.

So many of these issues can be easily solved by paying more attention, sketching more often, and crucially being willing to produce shit. Hopefully not too much shit, there's not enough hours in the day for that :)

Anyway, I hope to post some progress soon....and thanks all for your great comments and being a really supportive bunch x


Rowena said...

I love those early paintings. They are beautiful.

Maybe you should try some life drawing classes or just find a model to sit so you can examine, look and draw the human form at leisure.

Pherenike said...

Hi. I love the term an 'art practice' It really does get to the heart of creativity and its evolution as we 'practice' making it. Your colourful painted works are gorgeous. Sometimes small artworks seem more precious because of their size. Like jewelry. Its an intimate experience viewing a small piece of art, you have to get up close and while you are appreciating it, no one else can, its there just for you.

ArtSnark said...

Your early piece is lovely but your new WIP is on a whole other level. Hope you find the time to continue with it. Good luck with exhibition too

littlerobot said...

Thanks ladies :)

Practise is right, the more you do the better you become...the more confident you become..the more options you have because of that. I am thinking life-drawing or some manner of dedicated study.

I agree about the miniature experience actually...I loved holbein's miniatures when i saw them. The grit is that I fear working on larger pieces, so i'm going to pick at that :)

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