Being the middle of winter seems like a good time to catch up a bit from the summer...
Here are some studies I did during the month long class I did with Rita Natarova,
last summer at Argenton Chateau in France.Rita Sleeping, oil on taped canvas, approx 24 x 20cm
This was my favourite figure painting for the whole month, the very last one I did - an oil sketch of Rita herself done in about an hour and a half. At around 4pm on the final day she and posed for the few of us who were left. The pefect model, she didn't move at all (actually, she lay down promptly fell fast asleep!)
This next one is of our model....Study of Eliza, oil on stretched canvas, approx 55 x 46cm
This was the final 'official' classwork we did, I think I did about two or so days work on this one. I enjoyed the right-brained focus of the method Rita was teaching us. The main focus wasn't perfect drawing but to work on getting the colour shapes right. The class was fantastic, and I have plenty to go on with on my own once the weather warms up and I start yearning to pick up my brushes again.
Below is a shot of some of my studies all together. Some of these were done in 25 mins, some were done with just palette knife and limited palette, some were done over two days, using glazes on the second day. We did lots of quicker studies to get us focussing on the big shapes, beginning with palette knife to stop us trying to get into details too early. Then we started to work larger with longer poses. Rita's principal was always the same - nail the big colour shapes first, placing one colour spot (or shape) next to another, whether the painting is going to take 25 mins or 25 days!
About a month ago I returned to playing around with some inner landscapes, using gouache, and more recently oils. I made another stealth kit for painting in breaks at gigs, this time with gouache and a waterbrush and some watercolor paper. It works great, whether I want to sketch or simply do some colourful doodling.
But apart from that, there hasn't been much painting cos the main focus of late has been music. Since early January my life has been 'taken over' by a 12 week online mixing/mastering class I'm taking at Berklee Music College. I'm doing my best to demystify the world of EQ and dynamics and effects processing, something up till now I've never been able to do. The course is great, very intense and for me very challenging! I have no ambitions to become a mixing engineer, my own goals are simply to be able to get a better sound in my home recordings and understand it all more deeply. Funny how so many of my musician friends find this stuff so easy to grasp without needing to take any courses to learn it! But for whatever reasons my brain ain't wired that way, so I have to go over and over the lessons and examples again and again as I struggle on....
I recently began playing around with song ideas on my sketchpad computer-based 'studio', for the first time in a long long time. I'm really excited about what I sense I'll be able to create musically with today's technology, and it'll be great if I can also improve my engineering 'skills' along the way. It does feel like I'm about to enter into a new phase of songwriting/composition, and that's very exciting!