I was really struggling with my paintings today, I was getting so angry and frustrated with whatever I was making. Eventually I gave up and left it for a few hours. Then I remembered I had some black sharpies stashed somewhere, paired with a blank canvas I thought I would give drawing a try.
I haven’t drawn in so long, sketching is such a foreign concept to me but as soon as the pen touched the canvas I was off. It felt just so natural. There is something quite initially daunting about a clean, fresh white canvas and I think this is amplified when painting on a canvas. There is something so permanent about paint when in actuality pen is a little more stable. Paint can flake off, break down, be covered up but pen is a concrete bold line that takes many coats to cover up and the ink actually sinks into the canvas.
I’m still using my pron images for reference and I think it’s really going to work for the drawings I do. The next thing I’d like to try is mixing materials and finding out how pen and paint relate on a surface. does the harshness of the pens lines interfere with the softness of the paint? If the paint is applied harshly (with a palette knife) will this diminish the permanence of the pen?
With my art I’ve always very much stayed within and close to my comfort zone. I never go far away from what I’m comfortable with. You will have noticed that through the images of my own work that I have put up the majority of them have been paintings. I get very precious of the canvas and surfaces I use and feel like if I have painted on it then it is a surface wasted. However I have found myself very much stuck in a rut with my work at the moment; its not really progressing and I feel like I’m just going round in circles with it.
In my sketchbooks I normally take a bit of a break in between photos to write a “diary entry” like this. Hence why there are no photos in this post; I didn’t feel it necessary. I like to do this from time to time to re-cap everything that has happened before. It is almost like a mini evaluation and assessment for myself and it has helped me in the past to encourage my work to progress. It also is a nice place for me to write down any ideas I have had that feel like trying out.
I really want to experiment with charcoal a lot more, especially on canvas and canvas board. I love the texture of charcoal and the possibilities of it. It can be give a soft and hard feel to an image by just varying the pressure. I’d really like to experiment with charcoal and explore how it reacts with other material, such as paint. Paint can be such a thick viscous material where as charcoal is quite bitty and is very chalky, mixing the two together could proved a very interesting image that offers a lot of flexibility within it. I often search for flexibility within my work and the techniques I use but rarely find it; it’s always so hard for me to explore ideas without reverting back to my own ways. I think what I need to do is to just do a painting and as soon as I feel like I’m getting there, just stop. Stop and back away from it and leave it for a few weeks. As I create a painting I find it very easy to get lost in what I’m doing and it is very easy for me to take the painting in a direction I didn’t intend to take it in which often ends up being a style that I am used to.This might be a good thing and it might be what I should be doing but at the moment I really want to break out of this “style” I’ve developed.
I really want to go back to long distance drawings, where I attach the medium to a long piece of wood/stick and draw from a distance. By physically distancing myself from the work I want to see if it also removes any mental and emotional attachment I have to my work. I think by doing this it might allow myself to get a better idea of when to stop and say a piece is finished but it will also force me to stop being so precious over the image I’m creating. I can’t be as finnicky with it and the overall image would be a lot looser. It would also eliminate the issue I have had with the size of the surface; by extending the distance between me and the surface I would actually benefit more working with a much bigger canvas. It gives me a lot more play within the material and allows me to be a lot more broad and bold with my mark making.
In conclusion, I just need to man-up, be brave and try something different I think.