Tag Archives: Precision

Difficult pleasure…abstract fun

Having recently returned from visiting family in Victoria and a challenging time trying to work through arrangements for aging parents to establish the best care for them in the circumstances, I was relieved to seek refuge in my art class.  I was in definite need of some art as therapy.  Too exhausted to even think of lugging canvas and paints to class, and to stand and create, I chose to sink into a chair and just doodle. 

My sister and her husband are building a new home and I offered to do a painting for them.  She is keen on abstracts so with that in mind I began browsing through various magazines and art books allowing myself to do some research and see if anything sparked an interest.  After some time, some shapes in one image caught my eye and I started to just play with them.  Not experienced in abstracts, I welcomed some gentle guidance from my teacher on how I could work up the image and using pastels began to play with colours.  Perfect.  Just what I needed.  Whether this would ultimately end up the painting for my sister, for now I just wanted to experience the process.

 A week later  I returned to class, this time with canvas, paints and renewed energy and enthusiasm to take my mock up and transform it onto canvas.  I had already prepared the surface by building it up with impasto.  And so began my “Difficult pleasure” as Brett Whiteley had once described painting, or creating art.  Moving into the abstract area was challenging me and yet at the same time, it was great fun.  All the more so given my recent work in portraits and the precision required there.  While the painting still needed to work, to have balance and all the elements required of a good painting, there was also quite a lot of freedom particularly in the process of rendering this painting.  To see the outcome of my “difficult pleasure” or “abstract fun” visit my new Abstract gallery and “Sea Bed”.  This is what flowed from a day that began with some old fashioned doodling.

Precision, spontaneity and dancing between…

Drawing and more drawing.   I started portrait classes in January and the learning curve has been steep.  Going back to the basics, the fundamentals and endeavouring to absorb the intricacies and intimacy of the human face and figure.  Anatomy.  I never studied it at high school and yet here I am learning it now and it is fascinating.  My teacher, Nafisa Naomi, is passionate and particular, which is precisely what I wanted.  And precision is definitely the word.  There are days when I get a likeness and others when they are just not quite there and it is my observation that is out.  I am finding it challenging and yet rewarding.  I now have a series of self portraits in charcoal, figuring atleast if I am drawing myself I am not offending anyone!  Oh the inner critic runs rife!

But I am missing my painting.  I have been missing the colour and the canvas.  So inspired by a recent visit to Nicholas Harding’s exhibition at the SH Ervine Gallery, I got out my palette knife and some beautiful colours and, with the joy of much greater freedom, did a couple of floral works (see my Floral Works Gallery).  I love the way the colour mixes undercover of the knife’s blade, and which seems more like a wand as you wave it across the canvas, never precisely sure how it will translate.  I love the way each swipe is uniquely recorded and never to be repeated, a spontaneous creation.

So I am dancing between.