My journey with the Masters
I am enrolling for an exciting diploma course in 2019, which gives me 7 months to prepare. Here is a little bit about where I am coming from and where I hope to go…
Planning and packing
Where have I come from?
I am an oil painter of 2 years – or 48 years whichever way you decide to look at it. My background is a fine art degree at Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa under Cecily Sash and Robert Hodgins. I majored in oil painting and drawing. It was the era of Mark Rothko, Bridget Riley, Kitaj and Jackson Pollock. I finished my degree with lots of life painting and life drawing, hard-edge abstracts, but never having painted a realistic landscape! This was followed by a teacher’s degree. And then I married my childhood sweetheart, had babies and then…?
Somehow I ended up in calligraphy, graphic design and adult education. I loved the creative side of Lettering Arts, and the graphic design (wedding stationery, calligraphic commissions) was good bread-and-butter work, put my children through university and helped me settle down when we moved from South Africa to the UK in 1998.
This year we celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary (after all, I was a child bride!) One daughter is a graphic designer and the other is a writer and creative writing teacher. Our son is a 3-D animator and creates apps such as Dinosaur Zoo.
What is my goal?
In 2012 I made a 5-year plan. I decided to move slowly away from graphic design and Lettering Arts and revisit my fine arts roots, keeping an open mind about my choice of medium. I did watercolour, screenprinting, collograph, lino printing, Japanese woodblock printing, urban sketching, Chinese life painting and finally in 2016, oil painting – which is my chosen medium.
I had to rediscover ‘my style’ and learn about developments in oil painting materials and all those mediums which have changed since 1972. I decided to start off by going to workshops with a few very good tutors.
Because I am a teacher in adult art education with 40 years’ experience, I am more than equipped to teach beginners and intermediate artists, so I have been teaching oil painting. I have been on two courses at Norfolk Painting School (NPS) under Martin Kinnear and was very impressed with Martin’s talent and incredible technical knowledge. I did ‘Simply Oils’ studying Edward Seago and then a JMW Turner course, both of which I will blog about fairly soon.
Where am I going?
I love contemporary landscape, but I still have the quest of learning as much as possible about what oil paints can do and how best to develop my style. At NPS there is a one-year diploma course studying the work of the masters by copying their work (in true traditional atelier style) using modern materials to get similar results.
I have enrolled.
I am going to be blogging about the diploma which has 9 X 3-day workshops – approximately one a month with lots of ‘homework’ in between.
Preparation and Packing:
With 7 months to go, I can make this time really useful by gaining a few essential skills. Here is my research and preparation list so far:Learn to use a digital sketch app: Tanasui Sketches
- Start keeping a sketch book of digital and actual sketches.
- Continue to collect photos for resource material
- Read & research! Books to get:
Crowell, Rebecca & McLaughlin, Jerry: Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, concepts and conversations (I have ordered this from Australia as it is out of print in USA. My brother is visiting from Oz and will bring it over in June)
Livingston, Alan: Kurt Jackson’s Sketchbooks
- Attend the following Workshops:
- Eat healthily and exercise regularly. I like to swim a kilometre three times a week. I know that if I am to sustain my energy levels for all that driving, learning and painting, it is vital to maintain a fitness regime!
I hope you will travel with me and encourage me on this journey. In the next few blogs leading up to January 2019, I’ll blog about workshops that are planned and have already been part of the preparation. The next one will be about my workshop on Abstracting the Landscape.