Tuesday 25 March 2008

"Bloomin' Marvellous!"

The latest Monday Art Course saw the students bravely tackling paintings of flowers in acrylics. To avoid a cliched vase of flowers floating in a neutral background , they chose big juicy photos of the hearts of flowers a la Georgia O’ Keefe.
The negative shapes of ‘background’ in these pictures are just as important as the positive flower shapes, and make for a strong and refreshing design.( Negative shapes are the shapes which occur between objects – the space inside the handle of a cup, par example.)
A painting presents many different challenges; there are the basic physical skills of using a brush to put paint onto canvas, and eye-to-hand coordination, even “Do I stand or sit- and where do I put my materials??”
Add to this some accurate drawing ability, good composition, awareness of light and shade, and the science of colour mixing with its unpredictable magic….. not to mention the ‘higher sensibilities’ like self-expression and putting some feeling into the work….. HELP!!
The Art Courses can be likened to Circus Skills- I wouldn’t teach someone to juggle by first throwing them nine balls, but would start with one or two and slowly build up! In this way, the various skills required in Art are gradually introduced in a controlled, (usually studio) setting.
Monday’s paintings saw students trying to ‘juggle all nine balls’ - some were dropped , some picked up again ; some were put aside in panic! A lot of concentration, courage and perseverance was involved and for most of the day the silence was deafening!

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