I'm getting back into my stride now on the second week of 'Contemporary Painting Studio' at City Lit with Lucinda Oestreicher, picking up where I left off on 'Ways into Abstract Painting' .
The piece above used one of the newspaper collaged backgrounds I'd prepared, with brushstrokes inspired by Pierre Soulages. Still a bit heavy handed but I've some further backgrounds to play with
I'd initially decided when booking the class all those months ago ( it fills up very quickly) that I would use the opportunity to leave work there to develop my oil painting techniques and that my subject matter would be boats, continuing from 'Reading a Paint Surface' .
So I started off with developing compositions based on sketches and photos from Iron Wharf ( we had another walk around there a couple of Sunday's ago , I must post some more photos, there's a new old boat!)
But of course I'd also taken some of my artwork based on breakwaters and did some colour sketches of those too. While I was waiting my turn for some advice from Lucinda, I prepared some more scumbled backgrounds ( one of the many useful techniques from Advanced Painting course).
The suggestions from Lucinda were to try out many compositions in black and white only, working tonally initially and to take just one subject at a time and explore it thoroughly. Of course I knew that but in my haste to get into colour I'd forgotten the basics! There wasn't time to do many in the class but I bore it in mind for the next session and was much better prepared.
Week 2 started with a look at everyone's work so far, to see different peoples approaches to using reference materials , testing out ideas, getting started. Some were using collage , others painting on photocopies or cropping images , there was working directly from sketchbooks, blowing up images on the OHP projector, layering images and a couple starting painting directly and responding to what was happening on the surface, doing one piece and then working from that in a series of samples not referring to the original source. Most were working from photos or sketches but a few were working with more abstract concepts including family memories and recent events in the news.
I'd brought in a folder with the work I'd done in Photoshop for ' Birchington Breakwaters' ( which I suppose was tonal being red and white rather than black and white) along with sketches and photos of my journal quilts and previous paintings. Lucinda referred to it as the 'archive' approach. In a later discussion she said she could see how both my scientific and textile backgrounds came into play with my methodical sampling of techniques.
There were demonstrations of image transfer using acrylic gloss gel ( which I realised afterwards was the basis of paper lamination ) and of using the OHP to play with scale and orientation of images. I used this to combine photos and drawings on acetate projected onto a larger piece of paper. Interesting use of obsolete equipment, years ago I used my slide projector to project a slide of Moroccan sand dunes onto my quilt top for ' Erg Chebbi', I'm just as happy using tracing paper as it simplifies the image.
I'm feeling more settled now in continuing to explore the theme of breakwaters and the interaction between my painting and textile practice. On Friday I'm heading off again to Studio 11 in Eastbourne for a mentoring session with Christine Chester.(I'm planning to do some monoprinting with my bench time ) Filling in the questionnaire has already helped a lot in making decisions about what to concentrate on , in this case breakwaters and acrylics rather than boats and oil paints as is feeds in more directly into my textile work .