Monday, December 11, 2017

Looking for the meaning

I attended a brilliant life drawing workshop with John Dobbs on saturday at Heatherley's Art School. John is interested in capturing the essence of the subject .  You can see his work here: . The day began with a series of really quick sketches (1 minute timed) where we tried to work intuitively to find a way to indicate what the key element in the subject and pose were.  Richard held a rope, crouched, stretched and I used scrap paper and a stick of vine charcoal to indicate direction. weight, light.  

John showed us some of the artists he thinks do what he is interested in best including Park, Lobdell, William Theophilus Brown, Rembrant - there were about ten.

John wasn't so interested in whether the drawing was accurate but more whether we could say something about the subject that was meaningful.  He had us do an exercise that I won't share as I think doing it is the important thing but it helped me to experience the difference between 'copying' and 'observational drawing'. 

The above drawing was the penultimate and longer than anything previously, nearly an hour.  My goal was to get Richard to READ THE BOOK and to show the mood through his posture.  I like the pieces of the drawings below as I believe them too.

At Sudbury life drawing I decided I needed a colour fix so only used pastel for the two hours. What I wanted to address was combining light and colour more effectively.  One of the stand out messages in the workshops has been YOU NEED MORE DARKS. The last drawing, the one at the top may be more effective although Pete's left thigh doesn't do what it should.  I like the gesture of the three last drawings.

I was still a little sick when I wen to my last NEAC drawing school session with Mick Kirkbride on the 24th of November. It had been a long day with visits to the Modigliani and lunch at the RSA with some family friends and Patrick. It's interesting that with a big piece of paper and an hour, I run out of time now.  It's a case of constantly adjusting. I know I need to look more, though.
Last drawing with John Dobbs

John Dobbs with former scholar

And Carol Webb invited me back to a daytime portrait session.  She's had models who can only sit in the evening this term.  David Stone, an artist:, sat for us for a few hours last Wednesday.  I had planned to paint but in the mad rush from refugees and school meeting I forgot half my supplies so drew instead.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Exhibition round-up

It's been a week of exhibitions with the latest in Bermondsey, London.  Not so long ago I responded to an open call for The Concept Space's Winter Salon and was delighted to be selected.  It was the private view on Tuesday so Patrick and I travelled down, arriving first! I had bought advance tickets and for some reason our return ticket was 8:30, so we stayed for an hour and a half but missed KB Stowe's little talk and the performance art. I met lots of people, including Robert Fitzmaurice whose work was between my two pieces. It was remarkable how well the hang worked.

The weekend before,  was the Heart of Suffolk Winter Exhibition.  We didn't know it but the Bury Free Press did a write up and chose my drawing to showcase.  There were a seasdy stream of visitors and as well as each artist selling something, we raised almost £700 for Suffolk Artlink with our raffle and pop up cafe. 

The miniprint exhibition was in Halesworth over the weekend, but I wasn't able to visit it this time.  Lesley has found a venue in Bungay, so there is one more chance to see the work before the spring. The private view will be 6pm on the 15th.  

But before the Miniprint, it's Colchester Art Society's Winter Exhibition at the Minories.  I hope I have some work in that (not sure yet) but will be going along to the PV tomorrow (6pm) anyway.