I've just come to the end of this year's Greg Kerr (website currently under construction) painting course, "The Dinner Party", which once again has been a fascinating, informative and unpredictable ride through the world of painting, art and artists, as well as really fun, sociable interludes throughout the year.
It started with researching and making Valentine cards for 5 artists, plus yourself, as preparation for the course. During the first week we painted place settings for each one in acrylic, glazed and embellished later if needed in oils. As prep for the following session we had to make and photograph clay models of the artists at a dinner table, in a setting, which we drew up carefully and painted in class onto one canvas and freely painted onto a second, using oil glazing methods.
In September, we were introduced to a process called Decalcomania, where we covered our place-setting paintings with plastic, repainted the images thickly in primary and secondary colours in acrylic, and then quickly transferred to a new canvas of the same size, repeated as many times as was necessary for a rich textured surface. This process produced unexpected and random results; blobs, blotches, textures, misregisterings, all of which were part of the grand plan.
On these printed images we were to cool down and warm up chosen areas (Mavis and Fred in Greg's unique terminology!) to make them recede or come forward, and then go through a list of possible interventions to challenge us, develop a dialogue with the work, and create an interesting patina and history - including more decalcomania, patterning, glazing, shadows, wet-in-wet and dry brush painting.
The entire project has upended my 'normal' way of doing things - which I welcome wholeheartedly, bored as I often get with my faithful renderings of things and people - but challenging and perplexing it certainly is...and am still busy with, so no final results to show you as yet, but here are some pictures of the process so far.