Thursday, 22 November 2007

Steiner - Drawings - Itsuki - Flatholm

Heyla Anj,
The disc with 7'retro' digital drawings taken from scribbles and photos taken on Flatholm have finally gone to the printers today, it's a load off - he'll give me a price for framing and mounting them at A2 ish. Now its down to the free painting to do with Marconi - so all in all - at least I'll have something to show.. we hang on the 8th & 9th Dec - opens on the 10th & Rhodri Morgan is officially opening it on the 17th Dec.

The Steiner is still as oddly dense as I remember it to be - but like the quote you put up - it has many many little flashes of sentences here and there that strike a loud chord - and are usefull.
It is an odd book in many ways and a brave one - he has to admit freely that he; like much journalese and his own world of academic thesis and commentary that he has a critical eye on in various passages - is doing the same thing: Providing yet more commentary on the creative process - which is primal and needs no angel to sanctify it let alone a professor.
He tries to do much much more though - and I think he succeeds - because, even though an academic of the deepest learning - and partly because of his history and his families history - he brings a deeper voice to his thinking that has a quiet empathy within it - because he damn well cares - and so is not prepared to be soft or to flinch from any common or elevated truths that work for him as well as possibly against him - he picks his way thru this stuff - always giving examples - which can be very enlightening.
This has been important to me Anj, particulary later when he talks about the possible 'meaning of meaning' ( although that goes thru it all the way) and cuts a huge swath thru post modern posturing to arrive at a position of tranquility ? - that must always include the reality of communication - as a fundimental and emotive thing - not an academic exercise.
That's why after I read it - not understanding half of it - but understanding very well the things in it that spoke to me - but with pieces jumping out at me - I kept using it as a 'dippin in' book and slowly more bits of it joined up.... and are still doing so.

The book helps - mindset - and being an artist is about mindset and 'will' rather than pure technique.

I mention the Itsuki background in Angie2 - so I won't go into that here....I don't want it to get mixed up out of context.
I also talk about drawing there - but I would say that I like the drawings very much and I might cover some ground from Angie2, but that's ok in this case.
The drawing that you put up as a 'logo' for the blog - I've only glanced at -ever- because one look and I said to myself ' Oh, Ok - good choice Anj - from the later Picasso etchings to do with the artist as monkey -or maybe from the Bachus stuff or the Minatour stuff - anyway - nice classic Picasso drawing.'
Now I see and from yr writing that it's yours.
I look from some odd 'classical' viewpoint y'see, that I can't define - I expect the best - and I find that I am hardly ever dissapointed, ( at least not by the work in all its prime innocence or strategies) I'm always only surprised that others can't see it. ie I had no internal reasons to think oh it's 'just'a scribble by so and so - like a lot of the stuff on the paintersonline site, it's all good in some way, but as Steiners book lays out - difficult to talk about directly - or at least in the way one wants to talk of these things.
I've been shown many blobs and swirls and Dalieque meanderings and death metal pain and angst paintings and sexual vanity paintings and sci fi paintings by people I've known over the years - and to use a very old fashioned phrase - 'they are scoundrels' - and I know that anything I say will go directly to that part of their ego. Still: y'look at the work and you speak as y'find - and it is of absolutely no help to them at all in the end - they don't have the mindset - they don't know how to carry things onward -they don't want or invite or embrace the real wonder of it all. It's always. ' Do y'think I could sell it?' 'do you think I could get into art college'
(not a hope in hell - but today, possibly yes!) - ' Do you really really think it's like Van Gogh?' - Bah!

I love that little drawing - and would do a swap for it sometime - IF y want to - if y'still have it.
( It's the only one I can't click on to make bigger!)
All the other drawings - again I cover something of this in Angie2 - about a week away, but what might help you straight off - particulary if you want to try those 3 portraits, Joss, Keith & Jay again a few times and in a few different ways.
Everything occupies space - in music it is layered - in looking with our eyes, it is layered - both have depth. Lets say the sheet of white paper is the whole orchestra and the thing you want to draw is the score. ie it embodies the real thing -the real presence -and again - as Steiner remarks - ALL is interpretation of SOMETHING.

I like the look of the drawings and their scribbly bits and the rubbed out outlines providing hesitant halo's, the tentative curving lines near the edges that try and provide a way for the eye to see them as curved receeding or advancing space, the hesitant highlights.

Here's something to try.
Lets say the first space or sound we'll put down is the major mass, the first uniting chord - rub some pencil lead on with a bit of soft cloth, but not too dark - perhaps it forms half or more of the face and neck and shoulders ( if any) so you have a floating light grey shape - you can try it at a few different densities on paper - ie do a few at a time on A5 - say 3: three shapes for 3 different Joss's, Jay's and keiths - let them differ - let one side of some of the grey mass be darker in some. The second space is definition of the space itself - you arn't drawing closely around the grey soft shape - it has to have space inside the outer defining line ( because that's where some light comes through) Draw that line clearly from whichever direction you want, all at once or in bits - crown, ear, cheek, chin and up the other side, if it doesn't join up -leave it be.
When I say draw directly and cleanly, it doesn't have to be all in one uninterrupted line - the quality of markmaking is up to you. Directly and cleanly draw the neck lines and the shape of a collar or scarf as it lies and falls onto the chest or shoulder. Look at the shapes first from your previous drawing and how the larger mass of the shapes fit together.
We have a soft shape inside, or surrounded by, strong lines. Work into these main shapes with other shapes and marks as if an instrument, a chello here, some pizzicato violins there, but don't crowd it all at onece - check back and fore for the real shapes of the score, the particular accents of sound and shape that speak of the particular person - if its from 'magic memory' or a photograph, choose what pleases you and fits best with what is infront of you so that it helps make a whole sound. Some bits may be out of sync in their sizing, don't worry, let the orchestra carry it, and leave it alone. Once I've played a note, it is gone in time, I can't unplay it, but can listen/look back later and see the whole relationship that it sits within - perception changes.
Add balance and little mark riffs as you think and feel them -the little trills, the decor, but make them clear. ie they may have different stroke weights n strengths, but they are all IN the orchestra and no instrument hides - just give them their voice no matter how small or fast or slow you make the mark. I said to try about 3 of each because experimenting with line weight and density of marks as they balance in a finished work that shouldn't take too long is a way to move quickly and not get bored.
Balance - a load of sqiggles on one side is not neccecerilly balanced by the same on the other, a density of white space can do it or a couple of fullsome marks. ie Blance doesn't equate with symmetry.
Like colour - you need an awfull lot of yellow to balance a small patch of red

I'm going to leave that there Anj - these are drawing exercises about ways to move forward not in how to render things - you do that fine on your own - I'm perhaps trying to clarify the sound here and there or suggest a different way of listening.
Cheers for now -alla glory - Dai

( Haven't had time to spell check - Sam is dying to get on this computer to get some homework done - see y'later)
( Have since come back and re-edited the last bits of the drawing stuff to make it clearer - I hope)

1 comment:

Angie Phillip said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing your drawings for the exhibition. So impressed by the speed with which you produce so much all the time - pictures, words, music...

Yes, I'm really enjoying the Steiner (although I'm only at the beginning - there's so much in it, and so many bits that I relate to - the bits that make you feel like you've come home).

And yes, you express it so well - that communication should be a fundamental and emotive thing, not an academic exercise. And maybe not quite like coming home, more like the flash and comfort of recognition so that flying off to the next space is possible. That's what your teaching makes me feel like.

re 2 Heads
I just posted 2 Heads 1 & 2 Heads2 on the blog. I cut the resolution down so I could post it, but notice that when clicked on 2 Heads 1 to make it bigger, it looks awful. Maybe it's because it's only A5 in the original, don't know.

Dai, I'm flattered that you like it. You're welcome to have it. When I meet you, I'll bring it, but it's only a page in a sketch book. It has been important to me though. I'm not sure why it was so important but I knew it was so I printed out a copy, plus a copy of 2 Heads 2 which arrived sometime later and had them on the wall of my office in Oxford. I looked at them so I could work hard enough to escape from my job into part time work which would give me time to draw/paint. They were my inspiration and I've done it - I've got to this space where I can paint. And I've found you as my teacher. The chances were a thousand to one - ....

I'll start on the exercises you've given me tomorrow (or maybe tonight) and will post soon.

I'm appreciating your words on balance. My pictures have often ended up quite different from their beginnings because I've needed to balance either colour or shape, but haven't really known what I've been doing. I've been aware of the need, and then have proceeded via trial and error.

I'm looking forward to trying the sketches like you suggest.

I'm going to the magic bit next.