Thursday, November 8, 2018

Paying Attention

I have been listening to a lot of artist's podcasts - too many, there are a million of them out there! But a couple of phrases have stuck in my head from other nuggets of wisdom I've heard recently. (I will credit them here if I can find my bitty notes, but both have recurred in a few interviews.) 

One, regarding subject matter, is "Pay Attention To What You Pay Attention to" (sounds obvious doesn't it?) and the other is "Work in Series". I think both of these will help with frustration at myself for continuing to have such a diverse range of styles, medium and subjects. I dread the question, "So, what do you paint?" and should really have a ready reply by now!

Something that keeps stopping me in my tracks with a longing to capture them, are the groups or pairs of (usually) women in local streets, chatting, sitting or walking around - wearing bright colours, with umbrellas, children on backs or otherwise attached; mostly in summer when shadows are strong or people are out and about later in the day. Such a warm, convivial feature of Johannesburg, I've painted and sketched these scenes often but haven't found THE way to do them that isn't a rather slavish copy of a photo, but more finished than an urban sketch. I did two versions of this group - dressed all in white in this case, walking home from church through the leafy green streets of Emmarentia - trying to keep to strong, simple shapes, the results not what I'm after yet... are they ever though? 


dinahmow said...

I think the top one, with more colour, gives it a "stronger " feel.

But that's just me. :-)

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Dinah, just your opinion is appreciated! That's probably my natural tendency - strong colour, much as I admire other's more subtle approaches

laura said...

These are beautiful, Cathy--lovely scene, great drawing/composition, clear, fresh washes of color. What could be better?!

RH Carpenter said...

Funny, we all have our own opinions and I like the second one for the softer shadow shapes but the top one for how the background yellow-green tie in with the shadow on the left figure :). I think when people ask you what you paint you can say, I paint Johannesburg because that’s what you paint, whether it’s building or jacaranda trees in bloom or the people walking around :).

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks so much Laura, lucky to be doing what I'm doing!

Thanks Rhonda for your observations, which weren't that intentional :D Johannesburg is what I've mostly posted recently, but there's a roomful of other stuff too - every subject and medium under the sun!