Friday was the first day of a ten week Sketchbook and painting project course, put on by West Highland College. Tutored by me & ran out of the local church Hall. ( not too late to join ! )
It is quite a jump for students who have been painting scenery they like, or copying from photographs to start thinking about themes, and artistic development work. It was great fun pushing folks out of their comfort zones, while trying not to scare them off! Another challenge for all of us was the idea of a whole day doing art, we are much more used to our time being broken into small bites. However we soon broke the day up, and started thinking and creating , learning to ‘think, but not think’ !
( Many thanks to the students for allowing me to blog them !)
We did some flip chart brain storming and started looking at reference sources, painting techniques & warm up drawings. It was a lovely day so we went on a little jolly out to three local art studios. This was great fun!
Caroline MacCormack was working at her easel when we arrived, It was brilliant to catch her in action and to get a chance to talk to her about all the things we’re discussed in the morning. Her bright impressionist style was very inspiring to everyone, folks were also fascinated by her technique and the lovely textures built up on the oil palette. It puts a whole different slant on art to be able to talk to the artist and get behind the paintings.
We also went to the Carron Pottery, Craft shop and Gallery, which has a wide range of local and Scottish artists work. We looked at composition, light, brush marks, texture, themes, contrast, line, colour, harmony and subject. It was great to have the time to do this which the usual 2 hour class would not have allowed. On the drive there and back we had the chance to apply the more analytical art thinking to the stunning spring mountain and loch scenery around us. The third studio space was that of Jan Picking who’s bold, textured work I couldn’t tear the students away from!
Some jokingly said that they were depressed after seeing such high quality work in all the galleries, Which of course I won’t let them off with! its all about finding our own balance between aspiration, expectation and what comes out, what we want to achieve and what we can or do achieve. Letting go of critical judgment enough to let us just try things, express things, just play. chaos vs control. Thinking and not thinking. ( memo to self )