I’ve looked through all of the exercises in this module on landscapes and have decided to use the garden as the starting point for the various elements in the study of the landscape. I feel that I want to centre my work around a central theme, rather than work through each exercise. Having done the Drawing 1 course, there is quite a bit of sameness about the different exercises and even though I can see that this is necessary, I want to explore a new way into my learning and not just follow each element separately. We have a lovely garden and I am excited about exploring it through visual responses.
I have not necessarily worked specifically through each exercise but elements like perspective etc are incorporated in the studies.
Exercise: View from a window or doorway
My studio is at the bottom of the garden right away from the house and surrounded in a wild meadow and compost heaps. There are several mature trees. My first study is looking out through large windows onto the wild hillside. I have used collage and mixed media to convey the mental freedom and excitement which this area gives me. My experiments with colour and various tools were interesting and I felt to be working totally intuitively with no basic understanding to draw on. The freedom was great – simply didn’t care about the outcome…just loved the process. In a strange way the process of painting takes hold and my brush seems to work independently of me. I sort of let this happen at the moment because I think it is good for me but perhaps some control is needed…..
In searching for some kind of understanding about what I am doing I looked at the work of a couple of favourite artists – Matisse’s ‘Open Window’…just love the freedom of the marks which he puts down on the paper and yet there is the control. I get the feeling that each mark is carefully placed and there is nothing there which is not needed….unlike my painting!! I am also fascinated with the work of Ben Nicholson because of his search for another dimension in his art. Seeing beyond what the eye thinks it sees leads to new views of perception and understanding.
Out of my experiments with these studies I am trying to expand my ‘vocabulary’ of colours and colour associations. I find that when I begin to paint I naturally go to certain colours and colour combinations rather like, when writing, one keeps using the same words. Just as in writing, one needs to expand one’s vocabulary, I think it must be the same with painting. I have begun compiling a gallery of colours …just collecting images of colours and their association with other colours. This is exciting work and I am finding that it is making me very aware of colour all around me.
The following image of the view from my studio reflect this exploration into colour – I am really trying to understand how to use colour. Also I have limited the palette to just a few colours to see the effect of this and to make me explore the mixing of colours.