I’ve joined the Stroud Life Drawing drop in sessions today and found them very good. Better than the class in Cirencester, which was held late in the evenings and in a very poor room. These are held in the old Stroud Art College, with aural painting and shamanistic drumming going on in adjoining rooms (all very, very Stroud). An excellent model, who looked good and could hold a pose indefinitely. She must have been the same age as me, so nice to see we oldies can still flaunt it. The first sketches were dreadful, on the wrong sort of paper and wrong medium, but these two in charcoal, conte and some pastel worked quite well. I shall probably go to the Tuesday evening sessions mainly, but you only pay for the sessions you go to, which is very economic. I always miss some.
I painted these two little watercolour greeting cards from a guest house we stayed at in Kerala over New Year’s eve many years ago. Small sailing canoes were passing by in the early morning, heading for the fish market in Tellicherry. I tried to give them very intense colouring in the manner of Paul Hogarth’s screen prints. That was only partially successful, but I have always liked them. They bring back memories of heat and intense sunlight in what was the middle of the European winter.
I have always had a soft spot for camels. No animal makes you feel quite so unimportant. I always feel that they are the one domesticated animal which one day will say “We’re just not going to do this any more”. These were the ones we rode into the Thar desert in Rajasthan to view the sunset over the dunes. Along with 50,000 other tourists. The sunset was not good, but the camels were worth it.
I have posted my acrylic copy of Klimt’s Eve before, but I realised that I had taken a series of poor quality phone-photos of the picture at several stages in its painting. It is interesting to see how it developed. Initially I thought it would not work, but after I painted the leopard skin she stands on (hardly an advert for the Garden of Eden, where all is peace, harmony and vegetarianism…) I suddenly thought “I can do this” and carried on. Her hands don’t work well, but then Klimt never finished them in the first place, so maybe he was having an off day too. (He clearly was, he died before he finally completed them). One of my favourite paintings of all.
Very sad to just hear that Refna’s life class in Cirencester has just been cancelled, due to lack of support. Great shame, it was due to restart next week. I am wondering if it was time that I joined the Stroud based drop in life class. I have never attended it before, but maybe it is the answer. The details look good. Watch this space
Believe it or not, this acrylic ink painting started out as a drawing of a camel. It clearly wasn’t going anywhere and someone suggested that I should try and be more abstract. I over-painted the whole thing in what was meant to be a parody of geometrical abstraction, but by the time it was finished, I quite liked it. The white acrylic ink lines give it a texture which makes it more vibrant. If you look carefully at the original (but not on this digital image I’m afraid) you can still just about see the camel…