Friday, February 26, 2016

Painting from daily drawings

Oil on canvas 25 x 25cm
                              Jar Jug and Vase with Flowers

It's difficult to photograph wet paintings but it's even more difficult when it's getting dark when you do it, so I will shoot this again in the light, but I wanted to end my week with a finished painting  that I began by referring to one of my daily drawings that I'd made earlier in the week.  

I love seeing them here together.  And can remember each of the choices and struggles I had to get to the finished painting.

Pastel on paper 6 x 6"

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Different media for different purposes

Sue pulling on sock, Pastel on paper 22 x 24cm

Figure with Beads, pastel on paper 6 x 6"

At my life drawing group recently someone asked me how I came to begin making my 6 x 6" pastel life drawings.  I told her that it is all about the colour.  It's interesting the way different materials work to enhance the subject matter and what I want to say. I find pastels and their direct colour suits me when I want to get something down and I want to create a mood. They can also explain light. Big charcoal drawing are about gesture and light for me. I often use my drawings to begin something else. Figure with Beads was a starting point for Japanese Interior with Figure, if you can believe it...

Homework pastel on paper 6 x 6"
Because oil paint usually requires time and different ways of applying it, I use it to describe different things. I have the same preoccupations but the process yields different results.  If I were someone who made pictures in the same way every day I suppose my results would be different and much more similar to each other, but the way I was taught, by my California School abstract expressionist teachers, was to begin every day as though you know nothing and find a way through. Perhaps that explains my willingness to work across media 

Japanese Interior with Figure oil on canvas 40 x 40 cm

Spring Beads and Royal Blue pastel on paper 6 x 6"

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Feeling unsure

Imagining Vuillard's Bouquet (oil on canvas 30 x 30cm)

The first few days of my weeks feel busy with life drawing, a visit to the care home and a morning in Ipswich at the refugee centre.  So even though I draw everyday, on Thursday mornings I can feel unsure.  It's not that I have a lack of ideas, it's more that I have at least two whole days stetching ahead and I don't remember where I was and what comes next.  It would be easy to do all the other things that I have neglected but I go into the studio and I begin. 

I was tempted to paint over something I had hoped I'd finished but I stopped myself.  It felt tight and joyless but I have a habit of painting over instead of waiting or solving a problem.  I was already frustrated and I hadn't even got my brushes out. I and then, sometimes when I feel like I can't paint, I can trick myself into painting and something simple and surprising appears.

Flowers On Orange Tablecloth (oil on canvas 40 x 40)


With my painting, I am trying to let the painting tell me what to do instead of recording what I see.  The painting on the bottom became the painting on the top.  I think it may change again...

Carnations, Christmas Beads and Smoking Jacket (pastel on paper 6 x 6cm)

And I continue to draw my beads.