Monday, 3 September 2007

Festival sketching

I went to a music festival for the weekend - it took place in a beautiful part of Argyll, so for the landscape and for the people I took my sketchbook along. Yet, with it larger than my bag (note to self: get a smaller sketchbook when there is really no space extra) I left it at the place where we stayed.

Sketching all those people would have been a real challenge for me - with some life drawing I can get to grips with more detailed anatomy but the generic 'masses of people in a distance' way of sketching still evades me. So, there's something else to add to my to do list: look up and find out how to do figures in groups, distance and in a general way.

Another visual arts-related observation concerned the sense of vibrancy and movement. How do you capture and (re-)present people moving, music in the air and vibrancy? I don't mean drawing people simply with their arms in the air or one foot off the ground but other ways of getting that sense of movement.

I tried to get to this sense with one of the desert paintings - the Spring in the Sky one here - where my initial impulse came from a drive through the desert on the way to Tel Aviv airport and one hill after another buzzing by - yet, if you look at the resulting study, it is as static as can be: it ended up being about spring colours in the desert and there no sense of movement whatsoever.

Of course, the Italian futurist movement in the early 19th century, most notably Giocomo Balla's Dog on a leash, explored modernity through dynamic movement.

Giocomo Balla, Dog on a Leash,
oil on canvas, 1912, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy

I think I need another round of finding some information not only on the Futurists but also other ways of depicting and capturing movement.

A website I just came across in my search for Balla was the art education site Art in Motion - Capturing movement in art - initially targeting secondary school children, it offers a good starting point to the study of movement and the various ways to capture it in sculpture, painting and drawing.

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