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20
Mar

Back To Barbara

Fortunately, this coming weekend is a busy one, otherwise I might be feeling a little adrift after finishing the short drawing course I’ve been on at Tate Liverpool. It’s been an excellent few weeks and I’d like to think I’ve learnt a lot in that time. Certainly I feel my confidence levels have risen. And after being directed to wander into the gallery and draw, any inhibitions about drawing in front of others has all but vanished.

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Asked to draw two artworks together I’d struggled to find what I wanted and was surprised later to discover that the main item was, in fact, another Barbara Hepworth piece called Two Forms (1933). You can’t see it from here, but in the distance was a painting called Large Black Landscape (1946) by Jean Dubuffet.

Odd then, that I’d started and finished the course by drawing pieces by Barbara Hepworth, an artist I’d not known very much about before.

Here’s a weblink for those of you who might be interested – http://barbarahepworth.org.uk

Anyway, here was my first sketch last Saturday morning.

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There’s the Dubuffet painting in the bottom left. Pleased though I was with this, I was soon back in the Tate’s studio and set about working up another sketch based on the first one. This time I was using chalk pastels. See what you think.

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My challenge now is to keep drawing as I move towards my first attempts at oil painting in a little while.

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9
Mar

Taking A Line For A Walk

Apparently it was the German-Swiss painter, Paul Klee, who said that drawing was essentially like taking a line for a walk.

That’s precisely what I got to do on my drawing course at the Tate yesterday, although at times it felt more like taking my 11 month old Labrador, Henry, for a walk – unpredictable, shall we say?

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After the tutorial was over and I was let loose in the gallery, I found this piece – Hanging Disc Toy – by Chinese artist, Li Yuan-chia.

The remit was simply to create a number of quick sketches to bring back to the studio of a range of modern pieces. This was the one I made of Hanging Disc Toy.

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Pleased that my tutor and a fellow student both expressed the view that my drawing has freed up somewhat over the last few weeks.

Next up was a sketch from a piece by Robert Adams – Space Construction With A Spiral.

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And yes, that’s me working with wire and a pair of pliers as I try to turn the image into a 3 dimensional structure. See what you think.

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This is my 3-D piece on a white background and lit by a spotlight. Comments welcome!

6
Mar

Artist New To Me – 1

Can’t quite remember how I found the work of Jordan Casteel but was instantly moved by the figures she portrays.

http://jordancasteel.com

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Powerful and vulnerable all at the same time I felt.

Warm, rich colours at work, too.

 

1
Mar

Gabo Time

Week 2 of my drawing course at Tate Liverpool and I’m being challenged to use my drawing to represent a 3 dimensional object in an abstract manner. I chose to have a go at a piece by Naum Gabo – Construction; Stone With A Collar, 1933.

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The tutor suggested that we sketch our chosen object from three angles. Here’s my sketch.

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After nearly an hour we returned to the studio and were invited to develop our sketches using whichever materials we wanted. I chose pastels and this is the end result.

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A little rough round the edges but not bad to have completed this plus the original sketch in just three hours.

For those of you interested in finding out more about the work of Naum Gabo you might want to check out this site – http://www.naum-gabo.com

22
Feb

Getting Edgy

As part of my preparation for beginning to paint with oils I’ve embarked on a drawing course at Tate Liverpool. I want to improve my drawing skills and meet new people to talk Art. And to receive some high quality coaching along the way. We’re using a current exhibition at the Tate called Constellations – http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-liverpool/display/dla-piper-series-constellations

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The piece I chose to sketch was this Barbara Hepworth piece. I was drawn to its colour and foolishly thought it would be a relatively simple piece to draw. Here are a few preliminary attempts.

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A few more attempts and this was my final piece.

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The tutor suggested going back into the gallery to have a go at a different drawing. This time I chose a piece by Sam Gilliam called Simmering.

Here’s a detail from the original.

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And this was my sketch.

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More from the drawing course next week. In the meantime, any feedback very welcome.

18
Feb

For No Other Reason 2

For no other reason than I like this painting I’m posting it on my blog.

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This, of course, is by Vincent van Gogh.

31
Jan

Everybody Draw.

We all know that it’s just about ready to be the Year of the Horse, however, I want this to be the Year of the Oil Painting if possible.

Work commitments and personal circumstances have meant I’ve devoted a lot of time to drawing in the last year or so, and am just about to embark on a drawing course at one of our national galleries, however, I want to see this as the prelude to starting to have some fun painting again. This was a pen and ink sketch I did last summer.

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Meanwhile, we could do worse than take our inspiration from the Chinese and their interest in drawing.

In the stunningly serene setting of the parkland that surrounds the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, I happened to see this older man practising his calligraphy which is a very precise form of drawing if ever I saw one. All the man uses is a brush, some water, and the paving stones as an ephemeral canvas.

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Chinese painting and drawing has tended to be very traditional over the centuries, bound up with the culture and class system. I don’t see too much change on the way in the short term, but you never know. Certainly, this junior art class on the shores of West Lake in Hangzhou, has the children’s attention and engagement.

DSCI0078Look more closely at the students though and you’ll see that it’s a fairly rigid copying process they’re being taken through, with a very traditional choice of subject matter.

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The course I’ve signed up for sounds a million miles from this – watch this space!

28
Jan

Nearly New Year In China.

It’s nearly the New Year in China – and this year it’ll be the Year of the Horse.

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Or maybe it should be the Year of the Rowing Boat for this happy crew.

I snapped this while being rowed lazily around the almost impossibly beautiful West Lake at Hangzhou, a sizeable city of a mere 8 million souls a little over an hour away from Shanghai by high speed train.

So many happy memories of China and hope to back there soon.

24
Jan

For No Other Reason

For no other reason than I like this painting I’m posting it on my blog.

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Sad really, but I can’t even remember who the artist is. I just remember that it’s the Suffolk Coast and I’d been researching painters from that area, or artists who’d worked there.

 

19
Jan

“I Don’t Hold Inquests.”

Asked during a short Q&A film made at the Tate by Bloomberg whether he ever wished he’d never exhibited a particular painting or series of paintings, David Hockney replied very simply;

I don’t hold inquests.”

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He went on to add that he’s more interested in looking forward to next week’s project.

Great way to think about our own creative efforts as we edge our way into 2014.