A very dear Dutch friend, an artist and art teacher in Rotterdam, has very kindly given me some assignments to help me loosen up and investigate the abstract in my approach to painting. I was bemoaning my frustration with my work, and how I want to explore new horizons. I feel moved to push myself towards abstraction, especially after the art class I attended in Cornwall a couple of years ago, but I need guidance, so she generously said she would help me.
So it’s back to the drawing board so to speak!
The first assignments involve strengthening my composition. The first was to draw anything I like, anywhere I like, drawing whilst looking at the subject and never looking down what I’m drawing, thereby not knowing if lines were meeting up properly or if the scale is right; then to crop that drawing by laying a rectangular or square cutout of paper on it, I was then to draw what I saw through that rectangle/square, doing the same again and again with each resulting drawing, at each stage the drawing becomes more and more abstract. I enjoyed the sense of play this brings, knowing that these are exercises, it’s a relief from having to create a finished artwork, it allows the mind to wander.
Here are some examples of that exercise:
the second assignment was to involve colour as well, but using my memory of the colours, not observing and colouring at the same time; a very different way from how I usually work, usually trying to interpret the colours and shapes I see, as with most artists; however, due to senior moments I had to jot down where I’d drawn them so I could delve into my memory for the colours!
Here are 2 examples of colouring from memory:
I then used the same concept using some drawings I did when I subscribed to the live-streamed life drawing class from the Royal Academy on 25th January.
I know I’m deviating here, but incidentally, this was their first foray into this kind of event, I believe it was quite successful for everyone who took part, for amateurs and professionals alike. I think it’s still available if anyone is interested:
There are some quick 3 minute poses to start with, then longer poses towards the end.
Anyway, I tried using the cropping technique with these drawings and came up with these:
I now see what I’m meant to be aiming for, the interest is in the marks themselves and the composition, it’s not necessary to recognise it, but to create a pleasing assembly of marks and colour.
Another try, this time I played with an interior I’ve painted:
Lastly, some halcyon days reared their heads again this week and the grasses are growing quickly, the spring flowers like jewels randomly dotted amongst them:\
but sadly it’s back to rain and cold again today, even hailstones; never mind, we know summer is around the corner!
I’m publishing this a few days after writing, and we are back to sunshine again!