I love it when I see an Artist’s creations and they have that much of an impact on me that it changes the way I think about my own.
In this case I’m taking about the latest episode on Colour In Your Life, featuring Sydney Artist, Sandra Blackburne which was aired in Sydney last night, and which I have now watched for the second time.
I would class myself as a ‘Beginner’ in terms of painting as my creative background has been through Photography, over the past 35 years. It started as a bit of a hobby about 5 years ago, though and I only ‘painted when I could fit in it’ as I have had other full-time occupations in that time. In January this year I decided that I would allocate 2-4 hours per weekend to my Oil painting and so far I have only missed out once, and I made sure I doubled the amount the following weekend. 😃
As I watched the episode, taking notes (as I do with each one), quite a few things resonated with me and have given me food for thought, such as:
- Sandra does a few Plein-Air sketches of the subject she paints rather than photograph the scene. She mentioned that this allows herself to ‘put more of herself’ into the painting rather than be constrained by a photograph
- Sketching with Colour Gesso is a new technique to me and watching Sandra create, I can see the benefits of doing it
- The choice of colours which creatively evoke the Australian Landscape
- The concept of layering paint which helps give the image light and life
- The colours that were used and the way that they were applied. Sandra said that ‘tightening up when painting’ signals the death of a good painter
- Using Cobalt Blue on Gum trees to reflect the Blue of the rich Australian sky
My style (if indeed I have one yet) seems to be more to ’try to paint subjects in a pictorial way.’ I remember when I did a basic Drawing course 6 years ago, the teacher said that appeared more a ‘Line Drawer’ than a ’Tone Drawer.’
Part of the challenge for me I guess is that coming from a photographic background, I’m too used to seeing subjects in a pictorial presentation rather than a fluid, abstract way, i.e. when I paint a leaf, a tree, or a building I try to capture all the detail when I don’t need to…
Looking at Sandra Blackburne’s Art I see sheds, trees and other subjects as perhaps ‘how I would remember them after a period of time has elapsed’, rather than as if they are in front of me, right then.
Sometimes I paint from photographs, sometimes from my imagination. I know which is more fun! A bridge between the photograph and the imagination is perhaps a Plein-Air sketch or two, which will then allow me to ‘put more of myself’ into a painting.
Thank you, Sandra Blackburne for your Art and inspiration. I look forward to seeing your Art face-to-face. Thanks also to Graeme Stevenson and to the team from ‘Colour In You Life’ for bringing such Art and inspiration into our Lives!
The journey to find my personal style continues…
Written by David Johnson
21 May 2016