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Part 8 Blowing away prejudice

Part 8 Blowing away prejudice

Blowing away prejudice - Part 8


I have had several comments about not being able to draw what is in your head.
This is very understandable but it is a bit like not being able to keep your tennis balls inside the court - you have to practice and build up your skills!

But wait a minute, its not over yet! If you read the first tutorials, you will see that I have recommended that you experiment and draw all kinds of shapes very freely.
This is important as you are developing a feel for the process, gaining experience in different kinds of control and experiencing space (inner and outer). In other words there are spaces around and between your shapes, also inside your shapes that are just as important.
Have a look at the work of Paul Klee and the early work of Miro. They all have a strong abstract qualities but some begin to be quite representational too.

If you would like to look at painting that evokes the subconscious then perhaps the work of
Odilon Redon might interest you. Be warned that the apparent simplicity of all three artists is deceptive, the work is highly sophisticated and has developed through a lengthy journey.

Consider this! You can 'copy' a painting by Rembrandt but you can't paint his next work.
Can you 'copy' such a painting? Well not easily as you would have to have it there in front of you and a canvas exactly the same size. You will now have to know which colours he used or their modern equivalent. Than you will have to acquire X-RAY vision and work out how the painting was built up in layers. Finally, you will have to have the same ease of brush stroke or bravura (from the Italian bravo'bold'.)

Now lets ask the question. Is it right to copy a work by someone else - a resounding yes!
The fact that you have selected a particular work make a big comment about you, the subject, scale, colour, light, form, composition, style, everything will tell me about your personality and state of mind (which changes of course).

You will also learn about all those elements and after a great deal of work, will have received a creative shot in the arm (so to speak). You then have the added pleasure of telling your dinner party that you picked up the original at a famous auction house (as long as you confess at the end of the meal!) One of my students 'copied' a Degas pastel, full size and made a pretty good job of it. I framed it in a bamboo-style salon frame of the period and it has pride of place in her lounge. The problem is that she tended to' worship at the alter' of this one work and lacked the personnel drive to continue.

So what are the problems. Well if you do try the above exercise, do select something within your scope of you will run out of steam! Secondly, having learned from the experience, try to put the knowledge back in to your work, if you do that, you really are a serious apprentice!

What would you learn by actually tracing from a drawing? A great deal as your hand will form all kinds of shapes that you will not have done before. You will be on a 'learning curve' (sorry I couldn't resist that). What if someone 'copies your work, will you feel invaded, cheated, robbed? No, by the same token, they are learning from you and at the same time paying you a great compliment! They can't paint or draw your next one so they will have to watch you pretty closely.

Why, each time I use the word 'copy', do I put it in comas? Because there really is no such thing as copying as every time you look at something and re-work it on your paper or canvas, you are transposing it and although you may not fully realize it, it will now contain something of you.

Every time you put down your own shapes there are a myriad of influences working away under the surface. From earl childhood, every shape, symbol, form etc.. that you have ever seen will have built up a sophisticated archive in your brain. When you paint or draw or model a shape, e.g. a star, literally millions of stars and star associations instantly queue up while you casually meander through you personal mind-library making choices.
So just how fantastic is that!

Now all you have to do is start to make your own language very freely. Read the previous tutorials about relaxing and clearing your mind of extraneous tensions. Later we will talk about working with tension, anger, and all sorts of feelings. For now, no more excuses about there not being enough room! Some of the drawings I have uploaded on this site, were made in a coffee bar 'sun dancer' for example

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