Monday, 7 January 2008

Take it Further

My services as an expert dog-sitter have been required today so I have been pretty much confined to barracks which has helped me concentrate on the Take it Further Challenge. I had been having thoughts about focussing on an artist that I admire and everytime I have given it any thought the Cornish artist Kurt Jackson has come immediately to mind. I admire Kurt Jackson for his work because he is passionate about his art. He lives and breathes painting and works with great freedom and energy in mixed media predominantly, but also in graphite, charcoal, oil and watercolour. I have seen film of him at work and he works out in the open, in front of his subject, often on large sheet canvases which are framed later. He will use any tool in his work to move the paint around and give him the mark he wants, often paddling through the paint or moving it about with his fingers and feet. Many of his paintings include pencil notes made at the time about sounds heard around him or the weather at the time. Many of his paintings incorporate found objects, even old paintbrushes, beach debris, netting, newsprint, envelopes, letterheadings.

I have taken two of my photos of St Ives Bay and combined them to give me a workable composition that I hope to work on the embellisher. In an initial bid to learn more about the composition I have made a sketch of the seascape in watercolour and then in Neocolour water-soluble wax crayons.

I can already see that I am making the usual mistake of not paying attention to the balance of areas in the painting. The brain likes to repeat itself and will often make one area the same size as another which does not always make for a good composition. At the moment it looks as though the depth of my foreground is the same as the depth of the band for the sea. Also, the depth of the sky is equal to the depth of the distant land and the sea. I will need to adjust the sizes of these shapes for a better composition.
I think I have probably left out a step in my process in as much as a pencil drawing may have helped me forestall these errors. You can see from the first photograph that my source picture was fairly square but my watercolour has elongated the scene. This is because I have let my brain take over automatically and not measured the distances and spaces in the photo. My brain "knows" it is a long way to the opposite shore so it has enlarged the mid ground space when in fact that space is quite narrow compared to the vertical of the sky. It will make a better composition if I keep the band of the sea narrower, I think.
I intend to make a small jounal page/wall-hanging on the embellisher and have thoughts of including some stitch and beading in the foreground. My next task is to maybe make a paper collage of the scene and then decide on my base fabric and the fibres I am going to use. I am new to the embellisher so I need to experiment with the effects I want to achieve, particularly for the foreground.


Jacqui said...

Fanastic start and l love seeing all the processes.

I would say that your foreground based on the photo and my PC's screen view of the colours, need have more contrast between the pinks and the greens. Also there appears to be a strong zig-zag movement from the foreground to the sky.

Looking forward to seeing the end results.

Lesley said...

It's fascinating to see that stages of your work and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do on the embellisher.
I'm waiting for Mr Postman to arrive with 10 new needles as I snapped every last one the other day!!!
Lesley xx

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Your art work is gorgeous Julie - sitting here feeling very envious! Lucy x

DeeMom said...

You are one talented woman Julie.

Gina said...

It's really interesting to see your thought processes as you work Julie - and it's beautiful work so looking forward to seeing it translated into textiles.

sharon young said...

Aha!! so that's what the collage is for then!! Sorry about that but I've just got to that stage in my colour studies and was wondering what this obsession my tutors have for tearing up magazines into little pieces was leading to!!
It's such a privilege to see the very early stages of peoples' projects. I love the way you have approached this one. It's all very clear and precise!
I had a look at Kirt Jackson's site, I can see why he inspires you. His work is amazingly vibrant and energetic.
Good luck with this challenge, you've made a great start