Friday, 16 November 2007


I am making use of this space as an annotated and visualised folder to myself: here is my first note to myself for the next year.

People and trees are the plan for practice. Let me elaborate:

Trees - much of this summer had been about paying closer attention to landscapes, changes and movement therein. So, plein air sketching and pastel painting has been a big step towards that; also, the observation of clouds and skies has help sharpen not only vision but also in developing a sense for how time of day, weather and season have different effects on and in the air - the invisibles which nonetheless carry so much.

Hence: next step is to move closer to living things: I've already begun to be a bit more systematic with my attempts at greenery, and there is plenty of scope for more.

Having begun in autumn seems like a fortunate sly of hand, almost: the dropping of leaves, autumn colours on trees and on the grounds leave trunks and branches. So, there's much to explore for structure, solidity and airy movement in the wind without the distracting and difficult addition of green. So. Let's continue with that one.

People - hm... I did a couple of life drawing and painting classes last year. The complexity of anatomy, movement and expression is fascinating - in part clearly because of its challenge. So, there is on one hand the wish to develop this rather rudimentary ability to draw from life further. On the other hand it is about peopleing - however abstractly - some of my land- and cityscapes. While I admire people who do this, I am somewhat unsure how far I'll be able to get there - am just thinking of all the hours, months, years of practice that I won't be able to fit in.

Study of female torso
Oil on canvas, 40x50cm

Never mind that, now, though. I just have to look at any of Joan Eardley's paintings (which I have been doing quite a lot with the exhibition opened in Edinburgh earlier this month) to get a sense of the vibrancy there is in painting and drawing people.

Pat Samson by Joan Eardley
Pastel on paper, c1962
Hunterian Art Gallery

So, there's a resolution for someone who doesn't do resolutions... I'll keep coming back to it.

PS: I suppose it's not really a resolution but a project, and projects I do like.



Casey Klahn said...

Thanks for the intro to Joan Eardley's work. Great, great stuff.

Gesa said...

Yes, it is, isn't it - I thought you'd probably like her work. I had only seen just one painting by her in real before. The exhibition is in some of grandest exhibtion places Scotland has to offer and when I went for the first time I just stood among all these seascapes and children and struggled hard not to cry.

Casey Klahn said...

I have a feeling that you can do some work like hers, Gesa.