Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Things I cannot do

... sounds like the awesome new title for a series of posts - possibly even better than 'Paintings I like'.

While there is plenty I cannot do, the thing that kept bugging me for the past fortnight was - you probably guess right - a field. The field I see from my bedroom, next to garden. It's a corn field. Almost ready to be harvested, the corn sways in the wind, it's silver, purple, orange and green. Above all, it's bulky - well, 2 metres tall or so.

So, it is definitely not a meadow nor is it a grain field; a potato or sugar beet field it is neither. Yet - and here's the irritating bit: I am, for the life of me, not getting it to look like more than a grain field at best, most of the times it's looking like a flat meadow. And it's not that I haven't tried: plenty of sketches at any time of day, with or without sunshine, with or without wind or rain.

I am just not getting it. It's the bulkieness (?) that evades me - so, the field keeps teasing me, C'mon, Gesa, gie's another try.... I oblige, and then it becomes yet another meadow. Mind you, I do like my colour studies of it, so I get a sense about the difference of full sun at noon, or late afternoon, but: no chance for a corn field.

Corn fields at noon
Corn fields at noon x2, soft pastel in Moleskine

Corn fields late afternoon
Corn fields late afternoon x2, soft pastel in Moleskine

So, a plea to all the pastelists - because I think it's a technique with the medium that I cannot do: how does the field turn bulky, tall and swaying in the wind? The last attempt involved some ink, possibly not enough: I figure it's something to do with the strokes on the paper, maybe they need to be more systematic or so, so I tried some dark ink before I applied pastel, but it's not happening.

Cornfields or not
Cornfields or not, Ink and soft pastel in Moleskine, 26x21cm
[also obliging my Mum to do sth in orange]

Anyone any ideas?
So that I can come up with yet another series of 'The things I've learnt today'

Thank you!

4 comments:

Brian McGurgan said...

I'm looking forward to hearing what people suggest as well! Open fields of tall grasses (and corn I'm sure) are very challenging to capture.

Neda said...

Hi! I am back home to Austin and catching up on "my" blogs. Delighted to read the posts I missed. Hope your summer is winding down nicely :)

Sorry I cannot help, I am utterly useless when it comes to technique!

Gesa said...

Hi Neda! Good to hear your back in Austin. Hm, am still thinking of your Beirut poem. It's certainly cold enough here to qualify for autumn... not yet, please!!
Hm... useless at technique?? Dunno, don't think so somehhow ;)

Brian... cheers, also for the other comments. Will contribute on the fields convo when back home in a week, yes: wow... only a week now. Oh, good. How do you do tall grasses, though? I's sure you've tried?!

Brian McGurgan said...

Gesa, I just posted a new drawing with a field on my blog along with notes on how I am approaching drawing fields these days. Feel free to make suggestions if you feel I'm missing anything (I'm sure I am!).