Wednesday, 28 September 2011

I be afeared o watercolour...

It's true. I may pretend that I don't like it, but the brutal truth is that I am a bit scared of it. Now, in the general scheme of things it's a bit pathetic to be scared of a painting medium, so I suspect that what I'm saying is that I'm scared of failing at watercolour. I like to experiment and I love techniques that allow me to use lots of layers, but I don't feel quite in control of watercolour... it refuses to bend to my will.
It's a paralysing thing the fear of failure, and the flip side I think, is the search for approval. If you get positive feedback about your work or, even better someone buys some, it is really easy to repeat yourself endlessly. There's a danger that you will stop experimenting, you'll stop taking risks, and before you know it, you're stuck, and your work is boring!
So, in the spirit of feel the fear and do it anyway I have attempted some watercolour this week, I nearly didn't post it because frankly I'm not impressed, but here they are anyway...

a sneaky peek at my desk

terrible photo, ok painting

watercolour on newspaper prepared with emulsion

Meanwhile, back in my comfort zone, below is a painting from the same photo as the watercolours. I much prefer this, and I enjoyed doing it....I dunno, perhaps watercolour just aint my thing?

Monday, 19 September 2011

Words and Pictures

....and I don't mean the childrens's telly program of the 70's ,although I loved it, particularly the episodes with the stop motion animation stories, there was a really good Russian one once with Prokofiev's 'Troika' (from Lieutenant Kijé) as the soundtrack....but I digress...
I mean using text as part of the image. I have been experimenting with this idea for a while, and I don't know that I have solved it to my satisfaction, but here they are anyway.

yes this spider only has six legs, I drew it from life (or death actually) and it was minus a couple.

don't plums just deserve to be in the spotlight?

not a total success in that you can't really read the text, but I like it anyway, it reminds me a little of a Shirley Hughes drawing.

The spider one is my favourite, the text seems to fit with the image in a way that the others don't. Having said that, it's all just experimentation. Often the images that find their way here are like sketchbook images, not done in a sketchbook but explorations just the same....

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Sometimes an apple is just an apple (with apologies to Freud).

1) apple

2) basking

3) this years tomato harvest
I have been thinking about how I label my work this week and it's an interesting thing....A title can do such a lot for your viewer. I'm afraid I am one of those people who wants to know the whys of a piece of work, I like to look at sketchbooks and I want to know where the ideas come from. I'm just nosy I guess.
I was recently reading an old magazine article where Howard Hodgkin and Johnathan Meades were talking about this, apparently " I'ts an English thing: there has to be a point, a meaning exterior to the work, there's got to be a text alongside the work explaining what it's about. "
Having said all that, perhaps it's only the work that I don't like that needs explaining? Ah, it's a complicated subject,  it can be very intimidating to offer an opinion on an artwork, and if it's been explained by the artist there's no danger of getting anything wrong. Not that I care, my opinion is just that, I don't mind if you disagree. (so there!) Sometimes too, a work will 'speak' to you without an explicable reason.
Anyway, I have given the above pictures titles, but what if I changed those titles to 1) 'autumn' 2) 'holocaust' and 3) 'holy trinity (or' there is a light that never goes out')? Just a few small changes and there I am commenting on the seasons and the state of the world!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

What I did win on the Tombola and other stories

what i did win on the tombola
A jar of beef paste (containing chicken!?!). Who knew that such a thing even existed? Not me, that's for sure. I suspect it will be disgusting....I am enjoying drawing food in low afternoon style light though, it's funny how lighting can affect the whole mood of an image and I like the way the lighting here suggests that the jar was the last thing left...abandoned and unwanted... on the tombola table.
pink enough?

The above are pictures of my stall at the ladies pamper day on sat...not very well attended, but fun all the same. I made some very simple notebook/sketchbooks out of old comic books I had.
I have been thinking this week about those old fashioned masks that you can get for parties, and that's why I drew another face that's missing the bottom half. I suspect it will be quite scary, when worn....I will make some and post photos. It also occurs to me that it would be fun to have masks of family members so that everyone can wear each others face, or everyone can wear the hosts face.
Well, I think it's a good idea.