19 August 2020
Since my last post we have had snow, heavy rain intermingled with lovely warm days(in my studio anyway). Spring has sprung, the daffodils are blooming, the roses are shooting and the weeds are growing fast. They will have to wait a few more weeks for attention as I am engrossed in my online course Find Your Joy; the purpose of which is to change your mindset, find your unique style and get greater enjoyment from your art and produce exciting paintings.
The week before last we were tasked with making paintings by stealing one or two aspects of an artist’s work you love. Sounds simple but it absolutely wasn’t. I attempted four paintings; only one of which I was happy with. It is very hard not to end up stealing more of than one aspect but you cant paint like another person so if you focus on the end product you are unlikely to be satisfied.
The first is by Joan Fullarton. I like many of her works. In this one I love the colours and hint of landscape in the underlayer. Lots of lovely marks as well. My attempt is the second photo. I am reasonably happy with.
The next one is from artist Anne-Laure Djaballah. My version was not particularly successful. I was using textured watercolour paper which didn’t allow the paint to move over the surface very well. I like the idea of a colourful under layer with white areas overlaid then black drawing and mark making and I will come back to this after the course is finished. In both of these I painted intuitively without a plan other than steeling some aspect of the artist’s work.
Last week the learning was about the importance of contrasts in a painting. This could be warm and cool colours, dark and light, busyness and calm, thick and thin lines, an image out of normal context and so on.
I worked further on two exercises done earlier in the course. The first was warm and cool as well as scribbly drawing and calm areas. This week I took this one further and built up the composition and contrasts as shown in the second photo. Loved the process and how its turned out(for now!)
The second exercise again combined very colourful detailed areas with calm neutral ones. Still not sure that I am happy with it. I think the composition is fine though. A bit too bitty for me perhaps. There are some very interesting complex areas. See where it goes!!
As well as all the exercises, the active keeping of a journal is strongly encouraged. I have done this on and off over the years but have never been disciplined enough to keep it going. I have enjoyed it this time and plan to make it an ongoing aspect of my art practice. An extension of this is developing a ‘mood board’ which is the starting point for painting a series of cohesive works. I have started three: oceans, floral still life and boats and jetties. There are images of my own paintings, those artists I admire, sketches, words etc.
So I am really excited about going forward with these and hoping my work moves to another level. Upwards of course.