Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Painting Studio Time 1

I was unable to get a place on this terms 'Contemporary Painting Studio'  class  at City Lit and in any case I'm  already doing a collage class starting 22nd.  However Lucinda put together a 2 week class in a free room to fill in the time before CPS started  and I was very happy to have the bonus of an additional couple of painting days.  There's 10 of us plus Lucinda who is  working on her own paintings rather than teaching  but as ever,  seeing what other people are doing and asking/receiving advice is invaluable.
I thought about bringing in the large painting I was working on before Xmas but without the big screens to pin it  on  I decided to return to the  preliminary sketches I'd made of  Iron Wharf  in
Week 1. I also brought in  a couple of the prepared newspaper collage backgrounds  to work on 






Focusing in on a detail of the awning I  used transparent glazes to build up colour so the textures were still  visible . It's not finished yet , I need to make further changes to the composition and to details such as the ropes . 

Lucinda had brought in some cardboard so I put together a quick newspaper collage background, painted it with gesso and carried out a quick painting sketch. Not sure about the 'frottage' of paint over the corrugations   but  it's given me ideas about how I might use that effect to best advantage.  


As I've now used most of my newspaper collaged  backgrounds , with access to large quantities of PVA , I used up 2 copies of the days Metro in preparing some more. 




 On our walk on Boxing Day along Faversham Creek at low tide , I took some photos of the sun on the mud(! ) and the boats  and will make a start  in tomorrow's class about developing these into paintings. 



Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Exhibition Catch-Up

Rachel Whiteread 

I've  been in hibernation over Xmas  and New Year.  Apart from going out for dinner on Xmas day and the visit of some friends on 28th ,  we've been taking advantage of being well stocked with provisions  and not had to venture out in the horrible weather. Just as well as I've been fighting off the lurgy, going to bed early, getting up late and watching daytime TV ( loved Paddington!)  
I've been stitching on the piece ' wind me in the sea ' I started last January  (it is now a very large loop) and thinking about what I intend to do as a daily(ish) project, gathering collage  materials together, reviewing what I got out of the art courses last year. 

While excavating my studio, I realised I hadn't got round to reporting on some of the exhibitions I'd  visited.  On 12th December, on the way to Upper Street to collect my quilt after it had been returned from its travels with Knit and Stitch shows , I finally made it to Tate Britain to see the Rachel Whiteread exhibition, a fascinating exploration of negative space given form and substance. I particularly liked the works on paper, seeing how she develops her ideas and the 'bookshelves' with the details of the page edges recorded during the casting process.  

While I was in the Tate , I had a quick whizz through the 'Impressionists in London' . While it was interesting from a historical point of view, most of the art wasn't to my taste  although it  was great to be reacqainted with some of the paintings from the 'Turner ,Whistler, Monet' exhibition . 13 years on and pre-blog it remains one of those memorable exhibitions that changed how I look at thing.

The surprise was at the end - a selection of vibrant  paintings by Andre Derain paying homage to Monet  choosing the same motifs . I'll definately go back to have a closer look , I remember being blown away by his paintings  at the Courtauld in 2006 




Andre Derain 'Barges on the Thames' 


Thames barges mean so much more to me now having lived in Brentford   and seeing them on the Thames  and now with 'Iron Wharf' for inspiration. I made quick notes in my sketchbook, I particularly liked  the use of primary colours  and how the mast/ sail changes from red against blue to blue against red . 

On 5 December, I combined  a ' Drawing Tuesday' visit to Tate Modern with seeing ' A Sense of Place  by View Seven at the Menier Gallery 




I particularly likes the work by Susie Koren  ( above)  and Claire Benn - I'd loved her work at FoQ in 2016  and  it looked even better in this venue . 

 Back at Tate Modern, I had  quick look round Ilya and Emilia Kabakov -' Not Everyone will be taken into the future'. Not an exhibition I would have paid to go into but  being a member of the Tate  means I try out  things outside my comfort zone 


The installations  were interesting and  thought provoking ( 'Labyrinth(my mothers album')  was quite haunting , with the collaged family photos  and  songs ) What I found most inspiring were the large scale paintings based on collage - gave me ideas about scaling up of marks etc 
This Friday, I'm making a return visit to the Scythians at the British Museum ( another exhibition I went to when I should have been drawing  at Kings Place...)



The size  and intricate workmanship of the gold belt buckles  are indeed jaw dropping  but it is the  fragile objects  including textiles  found in remarkable state of preservation in the permafrost that I'm looking forward to seeing again .