I am so out of practice with painting. It is something I have always struggled with in a sense but I found my own way and style by getting comfortable with my materials and using a whole host of things to develop a piece. Most of my previous works use just about every kind of material I have to hand – collage, watercolours, inks, pencils, pastels, acrylics and oil sticks – all in the same finished piece.
Layers and layers of shapes and colours and lines all placed in a seemingly haphazard way, but somehow each ending up in just the right place to make an image work (in my humble opinion). I love using lots of subtle, misty blended layers that disappear into nothing such as in this piece, but there is also alot of line work created with pencils and inks to provide contrast and tension, these bring the image to life I feel. Perhaps this piece is a good example.
I think this is how I developed a distinctive style in my artwork over the last few years. Now i am trying to shake that up a bit and challenge myself. I continue to work through the stretching within e-course and am starting to use acrylics….on their own…..without my usual safety net of a table full of materials that I am comfortable with.
Gosh it is difficult and the results are less than satisfactory. But that is good and exactly the result I was looking for. I don’t want to feel comfortable. I don’t want to work in my normal way. I want to get back to basics, to work on cheap paper that I don’t care about. I want to produce lots of images that will probably end up in the rubbish bin. I want to practice and practice until I find my feet and my own style starts emerging again.
Usually when I work on a painting I am working from my imagination with lots of collected images that I use as a very loose starting point. Here I am just painting straight from images, trying to get to grips with using just paint and nothing else. I think I will work on quite a few more of these to see what happens. This is not to say that I won’t start introducing my beloved pencils and oil sticks again, it is just time to do something different for a while as a way of giving my work a much needed shake up and hopefully something even better will emerge.
Apologies for the dry, descriptive tone of these current blog posts – I guess my head is just in my studio and I am working through a process, so my train of thought is fully switched on to that! It feels good though and I am excited to see where it takes me……