I finished this charcoal drawing above, and the oil study at the top. There is a lot going on pictorially in the drawing, and the oil study is my first attempt to try something in paint after these recent pieces I’ve been making. I need to do some serious thinking about how I’m going to make any attempt to develop this work into painting. I’m even wondering whether I should. Are the drawings the statement I’m trying to make?
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Thursday, 17 November 2011
It proved to do this, but so much more too. It was taught by artist, Paul Brandford, who was such an inspiring teacher. He continually challenged and pushed the boundaries of the student’s knowledge and forced them out of their comfort zone. I say the student’s, but me too as I also joined in alongside them with Alex, a student teacher on placement with us. We were both addicted to the whole thing throughout. It was great fun but also very hard work.
The day’s workshop was driven by the idea of drawing as an important form of enquiry, which is what I believe in. I did get increasingly despondent about my own efforts though, as I became increasingly tired of my own ‘handwriting’. The more drawings I made, the more I found it difficult to push past my own limits.
Tonight I’m thinking about the charcoal drawings of the motorway I’ve been making with fresh inspiration and drive. The last couple of ones I’ve made I have felt things becoming freer and more involved in ‘drawing’ and disentangled from their photographic sources. Paul has opened up my thinking about what I can do and I can’t wait to get back down the studio in the next few days.
On a final note I looked up Paul Brandford on the internet and discovered his own website, which has some really interesting stuff on it, but I also discovered that I had actually exhibited alongside him. Paul was the First Prize winner in the prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2003, which I was also selected for that year. Here is his drawing below. It’s a great piece, which is also derived from a photographic reference. I remember enjoying it at the time and enjoying the celebrations as Paul collected his prize from the judges at the Private View in London. What a nice coincidence to meet him today at a time when I’m beginning to develop my own approach to drawing and how I use it to express my ideas. I really got a lot from his workshop today. Below is a link to his website:
Saturday, 12 November 2011
In the meantime, here is one of my photos above of the foggy trees and another of the view from the hill where you can normally observe great views of the Birmingham, but today could barely only vaguely make the shapes of the trees. I like this ‘barely there’ quality and might explore this in a study. The trees reminded me of this next M5 drawing below which depicts the concrete motorway supports.
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Seeing them all on the studio floor and how they relate to each other is pretty exciting. There seems to be a real dynamism emerging from the big black shapes that dominate the compositions.
I watched with the students a documentary on David Hockney’s recent Yorkshire landscapes today. Seeing all the original paintings he made ‘en plein air’, before he went on to make those multi-panelled bigger pieces, I was really struck by their scale as he arranged them in his LA studio. Size is at the forefront of my thinking at present as I mull over how to take my own drawings into paint. I had thought that they should be really large, but seeing Hockney’s pieces, in combination with Kline re-entering my head, I’m now not so sure. They need to be large, but maybe not that large…