Pots,Vessels and Dresses

I have for some time wanted to make a pot. I like vessels and am always attracted to still life drawing and paintings that contain volumes. I think the paintings by Volkert Olij are some of the most exquisite things I have ever seen, I can only describe the feeling in front of them rather crudely as lust! They are the type of paintings that for me are just very difficult to walk away from.

I keep going back to his catalog to look, I am not sure exactly how they are inspiring just the feel of them, the light and space and the forms.

Withstanding was the first piece where I started looking at the shape of the skirt as a form in itself and more and more my sculptures have been getting clothes. I recently went to a lecture on drawing and started drawing this dress.

It was so ingrained in me and so particular I worried I had seen the image before and have copied it from a famous image somewhere, but have not found the source so far. In the lecture one of the artists was using the shape of a skirt in her paintings and it seemed to trigger something in me, I think it was that it was ok to be feminine. I drew and drew the dress, it seemed odd to me but at the same time right.

Paintworks 08

I wanted to document some of the ideas, thoughts and inspirations that were going around in my head as I led up to the show at Paintworks 08.

My starting point has been drawing and the Bristol Drawing School. Drawing a lot and often is like refreshment, its invigorating, inspiring and reviving. It is something that I should have always done more of, can never do enough of. It is like a fantastic foundation on which everything rests and draws from but without you necessarily realising it.

See note 1 on drawing

I used to always do large drawings in the life room but have found through doing a lot of drawing they have become smaller, they do seem to be studies. It is not so much about making a beautiful drawing, more about trying to really see what’s there, really learn, through repetition about the human form. The volumes, the angles, the flesh and how bone pokes through towards the surface. To me these more intuitive drawings do in fact make a ‘better’ drawing, more interesting and definitely more useful.

I still do the charcoal drawings in the life room and will be showing some of these also.

I have also been reworking drawings that I have done at the Drawing School. It’s like an unwritten rule for me not to touch the work once the model has moved but now I do not seem so precious about it. I am still not sure what to think about this process though, without wanting to get too dramatic about it, it’s like a fear of loosing the truth. Here is one of the more successful ones though, I showed it at a recent show ‘Drawing Matters’ in the drawing school and someone said it had more of me in it. I am undecided as some are not successful but will have another play at it all the same, any drawing seems to connect to that part of the brain that refreshes, opens.

See note 2. on drawing opening you up

This amount of drawing has given me the courage to move on, push things further. I have never been able to paint from drawings I guess I have never had the courage to just use my own work as reference. Although I always use my imagination and knowledge gained in the life room to make sculpture, painting from drawings has always seemed unattainable. Now I seem to be able to guess where the information is missing, which is what I do solely in making sculpture. Painting, while still a huge challenge for me seems more approachable now.

This drawing was done at the Drawing school and then later I used it as reference to make this painting, which will be on show in November. It is 8ft x 4ft and I enjoyed the marks moving from small movements of the hand going to large movements of my arm and body. I try and do the majority in a long day or two; any longer I think the spontaneity would go, I hope to do a couple more before November.

Colour 2008

I used to use these colours in big pastels but a recent trip to France and the ochre mines got me back into thinking about colour. The intensity of colour in the land around Roussilon and the shop selling pigments, pots and pots of beautiful colour all lined up, delicious.

I returned home and forgot about my trip and then was tidying up and found my old pastels; the intensity of the colour was there again.

I love muted tones and mostly work in monochrome but it is exciting using these vibrant colours again, now they are not pastels but oil and at some point I hope they will appear in my sculpture also.

ochre mines

ochre mines ochre mines
ochre mines ochre mines

ochre mines
ochre mines ochre mines
ochre mines