April 18, 2017

My Moleskine today...

I had time to see Cy Twombly exposition at Pompidou today and stayed for coffee and sketching a while. Both were great for heart and soul.
I decided to draw simply and straight forward, without fiddling and hesitation, using a ballpoint pen. We don't always need the whole picture, all details. Draw straight on accepting errors as part of the drawing. Stop as soon as you think the page is complete visually, when some kind of balance or interest is obtained. It's so easy to carry on filling the page with ink. This exercise as every other should be repeated. I hope I can cope with that to feel more secure each time to be able to create more interest, to dare more... to let go.
What I like with Cy Twombly's work are the layers of paint and drawing traces on each other with that energy that visually emerges! The colors are very subtle and quite feminine in my eyes. It's not agressive.
I would love to put layers in my paintings too one day!
I haven't studied his work more than today so I admit I don't get the meanings in the paintings he proposes, the stories he's telling. But there are series of his work that are beautiful and that don't need explanations. They might have needed a starting point for him to develop from but for the viewer the story is not necessary in my opinion.

April 11, 2017

Sketches from south Normandy's coast...

I spent last week-end in Granville on Normandy's south coast and I even got some time "off" alone to sketch one day. Sea was low, beach large and rocks uncovered from water. Weather was incredible and other than the seagulls' scream everything was quiet. Noise is a big pollution in our environment and when I get to be in silent nature I'm really surprised of the wellbeing it gives me each time. This was short but good. I would have loved to stay to explore more painting.

April 04, 2017

"White flower sketches" with students...

Here are quick sketches, directly with the brush, to illustrate my speech during class this week, only words aren't enough many times. Too strong guidance can also be "threatening", as they end up thinking I want them to paint like me, which is not the point of the class. I rather prefer to give the tools to be simply able to paint alone. This takes time and they know it and persevere for that, and of course, that makes me feel grateful.

My students remind me of how difficult it was for me to draw and paint flowers with their many petals. My remedy then was to draw them over and over until I started to be able to "stay cool" in front o so many layers and shapes and I actually started to get them all on the paper. I did this with a fine felt pen so I couldn't rub it out, which also gives you confidence with practice. The rubber will not be needed much after that.
Today I try to teach the short cuts, if any, of how to render flowers and how to see in general. I explain what to look for to respect the shape (the contour) of the flower and the most important; the shadows. How to simplify and link shapes (shadows int this case) a maximum. To "paint the light" is the order. Do it by painting the shadows, after that you can eventually ad very light shadows in the light side of the flowers. To keep the painting luminous use light colors ("diluted" in watercolor painting) If your shadows are too dark it might not look credible. The light, mid and darker tones have to be related to make one shape. If one of those stands out too much we won't see the whole shape as one, that part will then not fit in the flowers harmony.
Stay "bold" in the gesture when painting, feel active, not passive and avoid fiddling with the brushstrokes or details. In the beginning you can use one color only, later mix a blue, red and yellow in different quantities and with more or less water to make luminous grays.
I hope you "see" what I mean and that it might be helpful...