Monday, November 25, 2013

Trying to think like Simon (Carter)

About 16 of us are painting the space with Simon Warren at Firstsite. I'm interested in discovering how Simon takes a drawing back into the studio and works it up into a painting.  I find it difficult to create something 'real' without being terribly literal. 

At Firstsite we have been going into the space (an architectural space) and drawing.  At the first session we did quick drawings and then painted from those, using those school watercolour boxes.  We just had a go.  Unsurprisingly, I found myself falling back on my literal approach, almost copying the drawing.  I didn't use local colour but I didn't like the results at all anyway.  

I felt uncomfortable on a number of levels.  Although drawing anything is great, I do not feel inspired by the Firstsite space, particularly.  And when Simon used the word 'domestic' about the way I had collapsed the space, thinking shapes etc, rather than using the available space to inform the drawing accurately, I felt a bit trapped.  Nevertheless, the point of the class, for me, is to look from a different perspective and to explore the problem of studio painting.

I enjoyed the second week more, as I let go and felt and then drew the architectural space (in one drawing)  for pretty much all of the session.

We've just returned from Cornwall where the landscape is archetectural in its feel and scale.  Now there's a subject I can relate to.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make drawings as we walked in Lands End, Penzance and elsewhere, but I did photograph as I walked.  

On the drive home I wondered about projecting the photos onto the studio wall to feel the scale of the landscape and then to draw from it, trying to take Simon's approach to heart. Tomorrow I will take one of these drawing and see what they do in paint. 

My Firstsite drawing suggeted Diebenkorn to Simon.  The one below might be a bit more Milton Avery.