Saturday, September 6, 2014

Friday Portrait, - Notes on Turner

I am really getting into the swing of the Friday morning portraits. I have plans though to buy tubes to take with me, as the pots of acrylic I lug along are getting too heavy!

Here is yesterday's effort.

It is the same model as last week. You do get to know someone's features better the second time even though the angle is probably completely different. Second week doesn't guarantee a more successful painting though.

As I set about working yesterday, the model said to me.
"I really loved the painting you did of me last week. Actually I took a photo and am now using it as my facebook profile!"

I was a bit taken aback. I asked firstly if she had acknowledged me and of course she hadn't. I said I was very flattered that she and all her 98 "likers" had "liked" it but that there was a question of copyright. I was happy for her to use it as long as my name was there. Then it is win win.

This week's effort had a more traditional approach. The model was costumed-up in a colourful dress, faux fur and flowers in her hair. She was seated and so was I on about the same level. I worked quickly as usual blocking in the lights which always strike me first. I guess the traditional method would be darks first, but I am at last finding a way that is truly mine.

This week my art reading was "Turner" by Peter Ackroyd (Chatto and Windus 2005). I haven't ever been much of an avid Turner fan as I have never had the opportunity to see many of them in the flesh. I am sure this would make a lot of difference. I do appreciate his sublime landscapes and the drama of his clouds and waves but it is long way from my own experience.

I did enjoy reading about his inveterate travelling and daily sketching habits and also his work methods of having six works on the go and just moving from one to the other. There are some amusing anecdotes in the book particularly about his teaching. His answer to student's questions  - "Suppose you LOOK!"

I enjoyed this juxtaposition of two pages with Ruskin on the left and Turner on the right. One of the most interesting relationships between artist and critic and unparalleled in its advantage to the artist. All artists need a Ruskin in their lives.

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