I was thinking that I should focus this blog on urban sketching and not be such a scattered Jill-of-all-arts - but then I have these big gaps where it looks like nothing's happening, when it is. And I need to record it because I will forget!
I've been busy with another of Greg Kerr's year long painting courses, this year called Objets Trouvès. Four weeks spread over the year, with plenty of homework in between (just remembered that I did in fact do a post about some of the preparation before we started back in January). To track back to what seems like an age ago in the progression of the course... we had to do a bit more slog - find an insect... I 'found' (thanks to my photographer nephew who had been given it by Pretoria university for a shoot) a nice big dung beetle, long deceased and easier on aging eyes than the little goggas that drop belly up on my windowsills... photograph it, construct it out of wire and photograph that - ready for the first session. Amazing how you can begin to feel fondness for such a creature when you study it so intently!
In class and already well acquainted with our bugs, we used our material to produce four big (40x55cm) charcoal drawings, each with an aim in mind - a history (or palimpsest - lovely word); architecture, tone and texture; spatiality and surface detail and; monumentality, complexity, personality. To put it in a nutshell - it took long hours of concentration, teacher inspiration and application!
Then... I'm rushing along here to catch up... back at home and keeping the creative force surging, we had to pick two or more of these drawings, photocopy or print (hold the toner) them onto watercolour paper to produce 12 formats on which we did different colour exercises in various mediums - watercolour, gouache, wax resist and encaustic, acrylic alla prima and glazes - to explore terms such as hue, value, tint, tone, chroma, complementary and adjacent hues...etc etc.
I have to admit that I got annoyed at myself around this point because... I know this stuff, I've been doing it forever (and forever seems to be running out). WHY don't I do this by myself in my own time, without the impetus and discipline of a class and an encouraging teacher...why don't I grow up and be a 'real' artist?
Well, now heading towards the fourth and final session, I think I've figured it out - there are big gaps in my art education, and they are being filled by this most excellent tuition - I'll keep you posted, will try not to take so long about it next time!