Monotype of Suki by Louise (detail)
I’ve been watching Sky’s ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ and quite strongly directing remarks towards said programme on screen that many of our regular life drawers could equal if not surpass most of the contestants. Imagine my frustration then when on Thursday and Saturday I was spectacularly unable to prove my point on my own behalf by producing some very mediocre work. Damn!
I should have stuck to drawing and more drawing until I was in the zone. Neither my head nor my heart was in the painting for various reasons. Either the planets were all misaligned or it was to do with the surface I was painting on or because I had mislaid my favourite palette knife.
That old palette knife is one that someone gave me some years ago, it is worn, cheap, thin, rusty, springy and I use it for everything from mixing and applying paint to scratching into and scraping off paint. I never work without it. On Saturday I could not find it, I searched all the drawers and my boxes and it was nowhere to be found so I had to proceed without my ‘comfort blanket’.
I had brought an old painting to paint over and, no matter how I tried, the leg from the under painting continued to encroach upon the figure being painted with the result that Suki ended up being some sort of contortionist.
However halfway through the day I found the said knife (where I had looked in the first place) and managed to just about salvage the painting but not to my liking and I shall paint over it again in the future.
Looking through the gallery I can see that other artists there on Saturday had a good day with some fresh and lively work to show for it. The pose was interesting with the model seeming to rely on the easel for support and the diagonal line of the arms and hands across the figure.
Kwan has interestingly captured the reliance of the model leaning on the easel with some confident, energetic lines around the figure set against the static solidity of the easel. While Jackie has painted a lovely composition with a quiet mood to it giving us quite a private moment with the model almost caught unawares. So good for us to see two new artists joining us at Red Brick and adds to the mix.
I also love Louise’s prints of Suki, it was so interesting watching Louise working with this method of mono printing using minimal materials with a lot less fuss and mess than one might associate with printing to such good effect.
The rest of the regulars as usual produced their high standard of work with Ann who was only there for the afternoon achieving a lovely, accomplished piece of finished work.
Ann also promised to leave a bag of apples for me next to my car. I’m not sure whose car you might have left them next to but I’m sorry I could not find them after strolling round all sides and having a scan around the nearby ground. However half way home the thought struck me that they might be on top of my car where I had not looked and I imagined a fat, bulging bag of apples balanced precariously on the roof. The result was that I drove and braked very carefully up hills and around bends expecting at any moment a cascade of apples bouncing off the boot or the bonnet into pedestrians and following vehicles. I did manage to stop and no they weren’t there.
Many thanks to Suki who was, as always, superb.
by Sandra Cowper
Paintings and drawings by Anne, Chris, David, Fiona, Jackie, Jane, Kwan, Louise, Sandra, Tom and Tony.