Took me a while to ask my friend from my art class if she would be my subject, I was pleased I did as she was more than helpful, I shared my ideas with her and we took some pictures for me to work from.
My approach is to start with some sketches and then moved on to painting, this works better than diving straight on in with the paint and gives you time to understand the subject.
I found using acrylic to ground your canvas is quick but I found the oil paint went on better when the oil under painting had been done, I probably won’t start with acrylic next time. also tried a black acrylic paint pen for my drawing, it was good that it didn’t vanish but it took some painting out.
I struggled to paint her hair, it’s one thing I really don’t have a good approach to, this time after a couple of goes I tried under painting the shapes and tones, when this was dry I used a rigger brush to add detail, this seams to have worked out ok, something to explore more.
Visited Oxford to see the Modernism exhibition as the write up says some really interesting pictures in this exhibition and it lived up to the modernism tag.
“This is the first exhibition to explore the ‘cool’ in American art in the early 20th century, from early experiments in abstraction by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove and Paul Strand to the strict, clean precisionist paintings of Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth.
See incredible loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, including 35 paintings that have never been seen in the UK before.
In the Jazz Age of the ‘roaring’ 20s, and the ensuing Great Depression of the 30s, many American artists expressed their uncertainty about the rapid modernisation and urbanisation of their country by producing work that had a cool, controlled detachment and a smooth, precise finish.
This exhibition brings together some of the greatest works ever made by American artists – iconic pieces which reveal this fascinating aspect of American interwar art.”
afterwards I dropped in on a small exhibition downstairs by a Chinese artist Qu Leilei, some really inspiring work.
Contemporary Chinese artist Qu Leilei (b. 1951), now based in London, was a founding member of the avant-garde ‘Stars Group’ in the late 1970s, and immigrated to England in 1985. This exhibition shows his progression from calligraphic collage to an exploration of a new vocabulary of ink language blending lively brushwork with western technique.
Qu Leilei was born in 1951 in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, China, and like many other Chinese artists received training in painting and calligraphy at an early age. He started his career as a founding member of the famous ‘Stars group’ in China but it was while living in Britain that Qu Leilei has formed his unique style of ink painting. The exposure to Western art, especially classical sculpture and Italian Renaissance painting, intensified his quest for perfection of naturalistic image of bodily beauty in art. His love of beauty for its own sake, and his long and careful studies of the anatomy and Renaissance old masters, have led to large and impressive life-like figure paintings which are the primary focus of the exhibition.”
I don’t exhibit my picture very often, so when our local art group had a print exhibition it was an opportunity to put some of my photo art in, I had a lot of kind remarks and interest into how they had been made, but no sales. I have always made pictures for me so it was not really surprising. They have moved on to be exhibited in the local Swan Hotel so you never know they might catch someone’s eye there.
Started this year with a little pledge to sketch a face everyday, things started well but finding a few hours each day to sketch is not that easy, still I have started to gather a book full of faces and any practice has got to be good practice, even if its not everyday.
Looking at negative and positive space, in my art group last term , I had to have a go at a cutout, loads of respect to the artist creating cutout, this took me about 4 hours and it’s not that complicated.
Last term my art group looked at the 6 elements of art, how they are used and how they work together in art, we all took different motifs to illustrate them, some good learning to think about when making art.
Tried reusing one of my old canvas boards, by painting on a couple of layers of gesso, it covered the original ok and seemed to give a ok surface, but painting on it was like painting on gritty sandpaper, so not the way to go for future recycling.
Thanks to Iain McKell for his reference picture of modern Gypsies.
Back in 2009 I started to follow Benoit Paille on flickr I was inspired by his portrait photography , although it seems miles away from his current work the pictures stuck in my head.
I have used his photograph “girl in a subway” for referance in my latest attempted at a painting, this is water based oils on canvas board and I have included some of my process pictures, to see how my process changes as I progress with my painting.