Thursday, September 5, 2013

Finding my Artist's Voice - Chapter 2: Take A Class

After a brief hiatus it's time to get back to this finding your voice series of blog posts.   A lot has happened since we said goodbye to our dear friend Dufus, there will be more to follow on that later, but for now... Finding Your Voice.  Part the Second.  Take a Class.  I mean it!

Take a class, and not necessarily a class in your usual or chosen medium - in fact, taking a class in something different is perhaps even better.  I do scratchboard/ink and pastel ... so I took a class in acrylic painting.  Riiiiiight.

Why did I do this?

Well my reasoning at the time was that I felt I was getting too 'tight' in my work.  My attraction to fine detail and realism is partly why I was drawn to scratchboard in the first place.  The medium allows you to have something beautiful from across the room that still holds up to scrutiny from six inches away.  That being said, I do think that all artists have to be able to work loosely.  There's a certain amount of the creative process that comes from working the piece - beyond just executing the image that you've already decided on, down to the minutiae.  Which is what my scratchboards were starting to become.

My first acrylic painting - loosely based on Martin Pryce's "Poppies and Broom"

I thought that painting might help me to loosen up and explore a bit.  I wanted a more 'painterly' approach to my scratchboards and had no idea how to achieve that.. learning to paint seemed like as good a place as any to start.  I'd taken an oil class in the past, and I've work on and off in pastel - but I wanted something different.  Also there are some similarities to acrylic paint and the ink that I use on claybord - the fast drying, the translucency.

I found a class at a local art school taught by someone with a fabulous style - who happens to have a background in architectural illustration, who better to help me learn how to transition from tight to loose?  I thought painting would help me loosen up, and it did

My second acrylic - "Angel" 24 x 36"

Working in a different medium also got me thinking about what my medium could and couldn't do, and whether I was happy with that, and what I could do about it.  In essence, thinking in acrylic let me look at scratchboard with a fresh perspective.

It also introduced me to my Mentor - but that is information for another post!

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