So I have begun something new that I can do in winter – when there aren’t too many flowers around and the idea of sitting outside and drawing is chilling. And it is dovetailing so well with teaching oils to beginners.
I have begun collecting vases for my studio. I go to charity shops, pick them up, handle them, look at the shape and see if I want this vase in my home. And it has to pass the less than £4 test! The one on the left has been part of my life for many years and I find its shape quite sensual, but also quirky and almost off-balance. This vessel was designed for decoration, not function. It is very tall and is charcoal with fine white lines.
Anyway, vessels have a sense of presence, especially when they are empty. They have a lineage that stretches back to the most ancient days when even in the Egyptian dynasties, vessels could be decorative or functional, for funeral rites or celebration. They are tactile and our response to their shape is very personal.
Photoshop is marvellous. I have drawn five vases so far and I can use Photoshop to put them together, changing the scale etc. The decision-making is how to present them and give a credible sense of depth and to add cast shadows from one vase onto another with all the shadow distortions, when I have changed the scale of one vase to another. Large paintings? Huge paintings?
I have always loved this poem Burnt Norton by TS Eliot: here is a quote –
Words, after speech, reach Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern, Can words or music reach The stillness, as a Chinese jar still Moves perpetually in its stillness.
I hope to fully explore these vessels, in colour, pattern, texture, space and background – through drawing and oils, and possibly collograph. I’m not sure where this will take me or where my calligraphy will fit in (if it does, but it always seems to lurk).
On another tack entirely:
I am sorry for the long silence – you may have wondered what was happening. I had a glut of things which I could not share on the blog because commissions are always confidential, my child-art with granddaughters is a surprise for Christmas and my first oil painting students are not ready for publicity. But I have been very busy, what with completing the church Christmas card, some calligraphy for the church, sample paintings in oils to make sure I was on track with what I wanted to teach; and now the latest commission piece. Plus I had loads of filing to catch up on, to get my tax returns in. The muddly office is starting to look respectable! Oh and please look at my oil-painting page on my website (many hours of work!)
My long list is getting some ticks, gifts are being wrapped, gift shopping almost complete and we are slowly turning our home nto a Christmas house. An what strange weather – horrible floods, (I so feel for all those people up North) yet mild days. Today I saw cherry blossoms on some trees and our bulbs are all popping up rather early.