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First Blog – finally

My first Blog!

When I wrote, I wrote ‘Finally!’ because the simplest things seem to be hard. Technology is not like painting – and the technology for this newsletter has been tricky to say the least. As a ex-filmmaker I should not be surprised. I did love making films pre-digital age with filmstrips that you could hold up to the light and, with time, read how the projected image would look from the moving shapes changing bit by bit on series of 16mm wide images.

But ultimately – the visits across town to the Film Laboratory, getting Prints made, Time Booked in a Soho Sound Studio to say nothing of the lengthy applications for Grants and Awards – all this weighed too heavily – in some way interfering with the simple act of looking and the peaceful enrichment that comes when looking for painting or drawing.

Drawing & Painting

As a child I had many painting and colouring books. There was a rather dull looking one with line drawings. Everything was black or grey but . . .

. . . with just a paint brush and some clear water carefully applied, the little dots of printed ink that composed the images burst into the most vivid colours. Try not to go over the edges ! Let one colour dry before trying to spark the next shape into life ! Tried and tested suggestions that I liked to follow – maybe why I was so drawn to study academic painting principals – which are a bit more elaborate as those who have trodden this route will agree (groaning at the memory).

I’ve just cleaned up my watercolour paint box – now its all ready to be used again

A simple pleasure

In writing, it’s brought to mind this particular joyfulness. The focus of coloured water on a pristine page. Watercolour has to be allowed its own way unlike oil paint which is endlessly malleable. And writing has prompted me to connect some ‘dots’.

Maybe it is possible to ‘colour in’ with a computer too ? As you are reading this – if you know – please do let me know too. Then maybe my career as a painter will finish as I happily spark colours onto a grey screen.

Spot the difference

In newspapers sometimes there were spot the difference drawings. Two seemingly identical drawings placed side by side would have very small differences. The only clue would be ‘there are 6’. A stripe from a jumper would be missing, there were only two chimney pots on one house and three on the ‘master drawing’. . .

Majolica Plate with Fruit – Painting & Photo

This was a 6 month sight-sized project. Fortunately quince contain low levels of sugar so they don’t decay at the drop of a hat like figs do ! Now aren’t you just looking for the differences ? Why does the photo take authority over my long endeavours ?

NB the photo is of course a bit higher – but why am I defending myself ?

A detail – have I won you over to the lusciousness of paint ?

Looking & Seeing

As I remember these things and glance back to what I have just written it is so evident that these early delights are those of childhood. I don’t believe they create the artistic spirit but they are fun at the time.

Then I remember my painting book and once the line drawings with their painted colours had sprung to life – it was done. Who can say that of a painting?

We all know . . . “a painting is only abandoned never finished”

How to explain the way the world looks after a lengthy painting session when one is looking with such great concentration and trying every weapon in ones arsenal to replicate what one sees.

NB These military like comments ? At Angel the Senior Instructor Jered Woznicki shared this approach to painting and when it comes to sight size or any form of representational painting working directly from a subject, it seems to conjure up just the right attitude.

Letting go

Not such a bad thing after all to have difficulty in saying a painting is finished. To have these places, these windows on a world of our making that continue to demand a dialogue. Some paintings seem to ask for another pass another campaign. Like a life in its own right.

Open Studio

Currently I am preparing for the Surrey Artists Open Studios. It means that pretty much all my thinking is going into that. I shall continue to write blogs – (now that I have taken a HUGE step in understanding how to meld in with this technology).

I hope this excites and inspires you ? I also hope this time I have left instructions on this post asking for Comments ‘Yes please’.