Friday 3 September 2010

Masterclass in Composition and Thoughts on Colour

Among the preparations I made for Elizabeth Barton's Masterclass was ( as instructed) , files containing images that inspired me, copies of 'good' paintings by artists of the same subject. I had a folder of waves, another of vases, a portfolio of images at speed from a train. I settled for using the one on doors as being more graphic they seemed easier subjects for the exercises. Given the plethora of pictures I had, it was surprisingly easy to choose an image from the village at the top of the Anovreti Gorge in the Peloponnese. It hadn't changed much from when I did a watercolour of it 8 years previously apart from peeling a little more and that particular Greek blue has stuck in my mind for decades Laying tracing paper over the photos, drawing then photocopying and cropping resulted in this image which got the thumbs up during the critique process from my peers. The combination of diagonals and wonky lines is particularly appealing.

On day 2 we discussed the importance of tonal studies, not something I've done much of but potentially very useful. I only had time for one stab at it so not quite balanced but definately worth pursuing. It also came in handy for my painting course!

Interesting thoughts from Elizabeth on colour - on using ones that sum up the emotions associated with the subject rather than being representational. Something I definately need to work on in helping me move towards abstraction. Co-incidentally, a post on this topic today from Robert Genn in his Painters Keys. Also an apt quote from 'Bright Earth ' by Philip Ball which I'm currently rereading

"The seventeenth -century French writer Roger de Piles clearly felt that painters re-created the landscape to suit their own vision- to such an extent that this 'imagined reality' impinged upon the artists very perception of nature:'Their eyes see the objects of nature coloured as they are used to painting them.' "

That's me! Seeing purple in everything!

I digress - talking about colour always does that for me. I argued for using 'Greek Blue' for this piece because it is so much about the colour itself but it would be interesting to try a different palette of colours eg reds- that's where Photoshop comes in handy.

A useful part of Elizabeth's class was the the one-to -one attention and opportunity to get another opinion. As part of the selection of artists intepretation of doors I'd brought along this newspaper clipping about Prunella Clough. Following on from our'homework' looking at artists and quilters we admired, I was more able to articulate why I like this piece - the bright fine detail inserted on top of a looser , larger scale painting, the interest this generates.

This made me think of how I could combine texture of peeling doors with image of the whole area without having the same level of detail all over. With Elizabeth's input looking at my photos, we combined a photo of the door area with a photo of frayed sample done for QuiltWOW workshop on distressed doors. Definate possibilities!


Hilary said...

Brilliant interpretation of the paint-peeling doors, Mags. Great to see someone has been doing something since the class. I look forward to more.


Sandra Wyman said...

This is fascinating so far and has my ideas churning. Pity I couldn't have had a time-turner and done two workshops! Look forward to seeing how this goes...

Nina Marie said...

Its so fun seeing other blogs on Elizabeth's class. After taking two of them myself, I can tell you it really effected the way I approach my own work. Thanks for sharing!!

neki desu said...

thank you so much for the Robert Genn link. i've been thinking about that lately and it reinforced some of my insights and opened my eyes to more.