We were at some point asked to paint a conventional landscape in a matter of minutes, resulting in quite one of the worst pictures I have ever produced – I just got the colours completely wrong and there was no time to go back. I would normally have thrown this away but I’m trying to be truthful:
On the second day we moved more overtly into abstract. I illustrate three examples.
First is a ‘figurative abstract’, not a particular view but an imaginary if conventional A3 landscape ink-washed in a matter of minutes – artistically probably the best of the small works I produced all weekend:
Next is a full-on impressionistic landscape in my characteristic acrylic-lurid, totally abstract yet conventional in painterly terms in that it it is composed of a foreground, middle ground and background.
(to be added)
Thirdly, and the last exercise we did, is the most interesting of all in that it was at the time, and is, demonstrably abstract; its content and colouring are basically random, though its composition has been chosen. We were given a cardboard picnic plate which had been used as a palette (by Ake) and dried hard into a random mixture of colours, shapes and textures. We were invited to select an image of any size within this pot-pourri and to cut it out. Our results were pinned up: this was mine, a scrap of stiff cardboard 6 x 10 cms:
We were then invited to paint a picture – quickly – on A3 paper reproducing a larger version of our mini-image. This was my acrylic version:
This is truly abstract in that none of its elements are consciously figurative nor is the whole representing or even based on anything ‘real’. This particular sketch is clearly crude and not very true in colour terms but the basic image is attractive and I may well work this up into a proper painting. I love the deep black in the background, suggestive of great depths or distance. Anyway, this was the last exercise so we had finally taken a big step ‘towards Abstraction’.
Along the way we also dabbled with collage: Ake is very keen on collage, though I forget the exact position it featured in the course. At one stage we were given a small heap of bits and pieces of various materials and invited to make a collage. Mine included some black lacy material and tracing paper but the result wasn’t inspiring so I stuck a red acrylic face on it (below left).
A second collage was more successful in that a newspaper advert for a luxury handbag offered the chance to cut off the bag and anchor an image on two enigmatic loops (the handles) against a felicitous rust-red, grey and black background. I liked this one so much it is already framed and hanging in the house (below right).
We also played at wall-paper, ‘designing’ single colour, striped and patterned examples. We were then invited to cut them up and compose an ‘abstract’ collage. I ‘borrowed’ another student’s cuttings (below left), which seemed to me to provide a very attractive base on which to create a collage. My sketch in charcoal (below right) is based on joining the two strips of paper together.
Next below left and right are my patterned and striped wall-paper designs:
And finally is the resultant A3 abstract collage. I confess to being mightily pleased with this to the extent that it has been immediately framed and hung in the Summer Exhibition currently gracing (?) my domestic walls. About which a post will follow –
- but only after two new computers have been brought on stream over today (purchase and delivery) and tomorrow (making work – not by me but by someone WHO KNOWS! – later: delayed for logistical reasons)