Friday, January 24, 2014

Draw, draw, draw

I have been busy drawing for my upcoming course, 'Objets Trouvès' with Greg Kerr which starts in Johannesburg next month. Part of our prep was to find an object - not your regular Still Life subject matter which may have been drawn and painted to death already - but something unusual and perhaps strange or unappealing that happens into your life or surroundings.
I had a few false starts with things I found - a woodwork plane - too linear, a toiletries travel bag - too tedious with its zips and meshes, a computer fan - too hard and mechanical... when one day a storm approached, the wind blew, a painting flipped off the mantelpiece knocking off and breaking an early attempt at turning wood on a lathe by my son - which made me a bit sad until...aha, voilà! I had my objets!

There's something deeply satisfying about completing and beholding 20+ drawings you've done of the very same item. I usually draw something, tick it off and seldom feel inclined to do it again, so before I began I dreaded all that slog before me, certain I'd be bored to tears halfway through. But tackling one frame at a time, and with options of different mediums to do it in I became absorbed in the challenges and new perspectives of each rendition.

Starting with three drawings with the humble HB pencil, moving onto six in charcoal and going onto my favourite method, water-soluble ink with bleach, water, brushes and pens (I had whittled a new bunch of bamboo pens while watching cricket on TV days before) which I explored and experimented with for the remainder of the 20 - I've only shown three of those ones here, will get to photographing the rest sometime. So interesting to play in this technique but be warned if you try, I'm told they won't last - the paper may rot and the ink fade!


RH Carpenter said...

These are amazing! So complex and visually interesting - shows your skill and work as an artist! In a way, I'm sad the ink and paper won't hold up, but in another way, it's pretty pleasant to think of it changing and devolving as time goes by. Wonderful work!!

Cathy Gatland said...

Thank you Rhonda - yes, I've never been too hung up on making art for the archives and also enjoy some changes that time brings. I guess if somebody wanted to buy them for 1000s of $$$$$ though, you'd have to worry about it ;-) said...

It was like the universe threw the object at you to draw and paint!

Thank you for the link to Greg Kerr, he's a very interesting artist.

I really like all of your drawings and even though the ink may fade and the paper may rot we have them for now which is all we can say about most things.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

well, you found an unusual object and had you way with it!
An amazing visual feast!

Unknown said...

Great drawings. I especially like the colour ones. How do you use the bleach?

Cathy Gatland said...

Hi Sue - I first did washes of ink and water, then drew into them - sometimes while still wet and others once the wash had dried - with a bamboo pen dipped in bleach. I also diluted the bleach sometimes to get a softer, less bleached out effect. A lot of trial and error, but it was fun playing!

Cathy said...

Oh my word!!!! They are stunning! What a great job!!!!! I'm totally impressed! I love the colours you managed to create in the last watercolours you show

Bohlen said...

Hi Cathy,

great work. I am also of the opinion that the bleached paintings are something special.(Not to say i am absolutely hooked on them.)
But i can´t really imagine the process. If you like to do a video or similar some days it would be welcomed , not only by me, i think.
Greetings from the baltic sea