Often I feel a little jealous when I see the success of a colleague, not a lot jealous, not the kind of jealousy that will keep me awake at night and have me plotting but the kind of sad jealousy that makes a little part of me wilt. In theory this jealousy should spur me on to work harder, be more brave and determined to try harder and think more clearly about what it is I should be doing. In theory this is what jealousy is supposed to make you do if you’re a creative person, if you’re not creative than you just sulk and mooch about with a sour look on your face. Jealousy in the creative person is a healthy spur to higher achievement well in theory anyway. But what happens if you feel you can’t achieve any higher or worse still you don’t know how to clamber onto the next rung of the ladder. Then maybe you feel a little angry and frustrated with your limitations and your jealousy turns to resentment and then it’s hard to get rid of that old sour face.
One person’s achievement should be another person’s lesson plan, why not, surely that’s how we learn by imitation, so from now on that little worm of jealousy will be transformed and so it is I forgive Barry for producing a very good drawing, a drawing I’m a little envious of. It’s a drawing that starts with the simple premise of capturing the proportions and look of our excellent model Jannine. He does this but then just keeps on going, turning the recording function into the expressive function with a strong dose of design for good measure. The hierarchical cross supporting the figure suggests all the usual connotations of Christian Art but then also suggests work from the turn of the century when designers used sinuous nature to decorate and soften hard linear forms. I find it very appealing how the strong iconic shape of the cross becomes incorporated into the actual figure; it’s a device that could be exploited by more of us. It could be interesting to play with priorities, why is the figure any more important visually than the easel behind or the red window blinds. I know the answer is in the title, ‘Life Drawing’ as opposed to ‘Random Objects Drawing’, but it might offer an opportunity for an alternative way to approach the subject. Ann did something similar to good effect a few weeks ago.
I quite like it when people extend their drawing beyond the model because you then have a chance to see a bit more about their likes and dislikes, What colours do they like and which shapes appeal, we know for example that Barry is a straight up and down kind of guy, ruler at the ready he’s not going to allow any of those wishy-washy wobbly shapes anywhere near his drawing. Whereas Roger S thinks rulers are for propping open doors, the tyranny of straight lines is to be avoided at all costs. His work is a lovely amalgamation of accident and opportunity well taken, t’other Roger is hot on his heels and is now looking for a more open unstructured and therefore unpredictable way of progressing. I’ve suggested the seductive combination of watercolour and ‘pan pastels’ which I think could be stunning, but Roger seems a little hesitant. I might have to engineer it so that splashy Roger is next to neat Roger and whoops a little accident occurs.
I think Hadyn is also onto something, compared to previous weeks this drawing didn’t quite hit the mark but presently there are more hits than misses. The work sits on the cusp of sweetness with fine drawing balanced with robust watercolour, sometimes it tips the wrong way but when it doesn’t there is something very attractive about the restrained and cautious drawing over bold paint.
Like Russell, I have to travel quite a distance these days to come to life drawing but it never disappoints even when driving home and I feel a little green worm gnawing my vitals after all there’s always next week and the week after that and the week after that and the week after………………..
Don’t forget next Thursday Short Poses with Steve – should be good, I hear he has quite a repertoire!
Saturday – a full day and one pose with Justin – be there or be very square!
Paintings and drawings by Ben, Cathy, David, Hadyn, Ian, Janet, Roger H, Roger S, Russell, Sandra, Sue, Tom, Tony, Yvonne and featured artist Barry.