Wednesday 30 January 2008
In the public eye
It's much too cold to set up to paint outside... I've been looking to see if there's any difference in the work I do from the 'real' and from photographs.... the outdoor work might be livelier ( changing light, the call of a cup of tea or nature could lend a sense of urgency!), but the standard's no better 0r worse.
Very often a photo gives a viewpoint that the artist couldn't maintain - looking up at a building or over a wall, for example, or, dangerously! a good view from the middle of a road.
And it's still important to draw regularly from life.
Spectators can be a distraction when working in public - when I was a student I hated onlookers ("Aye, I've a second cousin twice removed who does grand watercolours, beautiful!") but working on murals and window paintings cured me of that- you just have to get on with it, too bad!
For the Tour de France in Plumelec I was painting a life-size portrait of a rider, inside on the window of a bar. As a final embellishment I started painting a ribbon in the colours of the French flag along the length of the window.
By now it was 'l'heure de l'apero' and the bar was packed. A silence fell behind me as the clients watched the painstaking progress of my loaded brush. When I'd done the final flourish, I turned round and gave a bow and a great cheer went up!