Sunday, 8 March 2009
... with this post eventually. But first off a few thoughts on group dynamics (again).
I mentioned a few times before how my Saturday group has been changing from the exhibition last June onwards. This term, it is even more different. The group runs as an adult education class, so people register for it - and for the past few years, the group always consisted of about 8 people who had gone for a long time and about 4 new people who would change from term to term.
Not so this term: it's pretty much the other way round and it's intriguing to see how that changed the dynamics from an open group very much into something much more structured and tutored. We would turn up some time after 10 am and usually Tom, Irene and myself are the last to leave at about half one. I tended to be one of the early ones there, just at the back of ten.
Yesterday I turned up at 10.08 am and I was the last one. That has consequences: the room is generally cramped; with poor lighting, there are about four places close to the windows and the sinks - I would always try to get easy access to the sinks because of the water-based, frequent handwashing mix-fest that much of my work is.
But: there has never been a space close to the window. Bummer. So, it's somewhere in the middle of the room, taking up some of the flexible and improvised corridors that form throughout the morning.
So, in the middle of the room, it was busy - so many people, so many projects, so much busieness. I could feel myself getting all worked up within five minutes. Oh dear, - it often takes me some time beforehand to figure out what I'd like to do. And it was all clear: I wanted to do pastel drawings of some new scenes. But instead I was quickly developing hectic spots all over my face, crunching up my forehead and breathing far too fast.
And then I remembered: I packed up my sketchbooks, took my box of pastels and some pens and left. Went out to the corridor with a great view across the West end and sat on the floor.
So: their projects aren't mine, their worries over how to mix that paint weren't mine, either; instead I wrote pages upon pages with the ideas kicking around in my head. Very good ideas, but they need to get out of my head. So, they went onto paper.
But where do they go? I've begun to use an A4 wire-bound sketchbook to record ideas, work out prices, and collect stuff. - All done verbally, in text.
Immediate and urgent plan:
To move my writing into something more visual. Work out my ideas more in sketch/drawing/visual form.
This means I need to rearrange my sketchbook scenario again: not so long ago I decided to just work in one at a time - the large-sized Sketchbook Moleskine. I like the smooth paper and the format. Yet: it's is just not large enough for my ideas - so I find it easier to write them out rather than to try them out [and I know that some of you will say: yes, we told you so ;)]
Thus: a sketchbook order is called for: Katherine has a good post [here] with lots of comments on what sketchbooks, and I took note:
I want a smooth, perferably Hot Press, relatively heavy paper - for dry media but the occasionally oil/gouache/acrylics; it needs to lie flat when open (but hardbound so that I can easily work across the pages) and it needs to be LARGE.
In addition, I want a smaller one [A4 or square?], wire-bound with similar paper to carry with me - for bigger sketches and experiments when outside.
People also mentioned cutting, redrawing or pasting work from the portable sketchbooks into the main one. Sounds good to me. Will try that.
I think I will order a couple of books from Green and Stone, and try them out.
As for the painting class, I eventually did some pastel skecthes, as you can see at the start of this post There's a crit & comment to follow soon, along with some further ideas for where this may go.