Ok, so things are organised for the first exhibition on the list and I’ve been having fun trying out a couple of different things. There’s a busy time coming up exhibition-wise!
I’m putting these first three paintings in the Art Society of Tasmania’s 137th Annual Exhibition. It’s being held in the Long Gallery at the Salamanca Arts Centre, here in Hobart. The exhibition starts on the 13th and runs until 22 August, opening 10.00 to 4.00pm daily, closing at 3.00pm on the 22nd.
Things have changed course a little at the moment. I’m doing an online course by Bibby Gignilliat which involves greater use of collage.
It’s fun plastering pieces of paper down willy-nilly without having to think much about it. Just grab a piece you like the look of, tear it up if you want, try a placement or two and glue it down. I even graduated to spreading the glue with my fingers which is not something I normally do! Takes you back to early childhood! After all, aren’t we all trying to regain that childhood freedom in our art? It remains to be seen whether I start actually painting with my hands, we’ll have to wait and see about that one.
The image above shows the next stage in the development of one of the exercises. At this stage you’re not concerned with composition. It’s about creating a “surface/history”. I’m not sure where they’re headed yet but I do like the surface the process has created so far.
Something else I’ve been trying (thanks to Jenny Nelson) is an exercise in mark-making that leads into design and composition. You create dark marks of any sort, freely and randomly, spreading them around the paper. Then the paper is cut up into squares (I like the idea of just tearing it up too).
It’s like a jigsaw or puzzle with no image for guidance. A design forms as you play. Squares are swapped and moved about until you find something you like, then they’re glued down. Working with black and white helps you quickly see the basic design. It’s much easier to decide whether things work or not and simple to make adjustments as well.
Ok, one done, so now what?
Well, now I can use these value plans or designs in my paintings. I can also alter them as I see fit then use them, cut them up again in a different way, or make bigger designs out of several. I’ve changed the one from above so it’s more to my liking (below).
Having a design I like that has impact, movement and interest helps the painting process in general, as well as guiding my decision-making as paintings near completion. Notice I said guide. These things are not carved in stone!
I’m looking forward to where both these exercises might take my work.
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