Monday, 9 March 2009

Lines across a field

Lines across a field, 37x45cm
Pastel on Japanese paper

... ok, here's the promised crit & comment bit on Saturday's studies of THE field. This should have been ready earlier in the evening but some simple editing tasks currently take ages. I even had a Photoshop Elements in my shopping trolley inbetween.

I am intending to be good-willed and patient with my new open source image editing software.

But: essentially: I don't understand it! It makes out to be intuitive and yet it asks for channels, terminals, plug-ins, for me to build its help file and suddenly I am back in year 11 trying to ignore the fact that not a single one of my scripts ever got the computer to play chess, move the cursor or whatever tasks one tried to make a computer in 1990 perform. Ach... but... I still don't understand it. The Help files aren't built and the user manual doesn't tell me how I can change colour retrospectively. So, Gesa, start again...

After a while of this, I now have something that highlights the problems in the study. It was study no 2, it followed the one I posted on Sunday. Again: the task was drawing marks and a different palette. The scene originates with last summer's sketches and I did some more in December. I am therefore back with the fields again; searching for a subject for a reductive lino print.

But before that, I tackled some highly unsuitable paper with my Terrage sticks - it's a Japanese paper, fairly thin and with a kind of felted surface - consequently: crisp marks kept evading me and it dissolved rather quickly - as the second circle from the bottom shows.

The composition looked wrong to me, but after a while I realise that it's a bit more subtle than that: the top circle shows too much contrast between sky and forest in the background; and the salmon in the second from top circle folds the space of the field against the forest in a funny way.

In many ways I love that effect: how hues make space, bend it, twist it and confuse the onlooker. I like the salmon colour a lot since I discovered it, but it doesn't work in that field.

So, for a pastel drawing study, the marks are intriguing but some of the hues are not worked out in relation to each other - I think the violet blue in the foreground is wrong too.

And, while I cannot as of yet put my finger on it, I think it got me further for a reduction linocut. There's something in the layering of different hues here - and perhaps the solidity the drawing is struggling with in the background, which could work well in print.

Good... more on that to follow.

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