Winding down

It really is time to take it easy don’t you think? The festival was a success in Cronulla. I am starting a new series of oil paintings, though they are more like drawing than painting. They will be done in oil-stick and will only be one colour. My plan is to draw portraits on paper with oil-stick and if I am not happy with the drawing I am allowed to wait until the first layer is dry and use a different colour to then go over any bits I am not happy with. It is a way of recording the drawing process and keeping drawing the main focus. It is an expressive type of drawing as there is no way to refine the marks, it is not meant to be gestural but observational I will see where it goes.

What I like about the drawing approach is having to observe the face in real time with graphite and then use the drawing as a way of revealing the face in a larger format with oil-stick. Who knows I might lose interest pretty fast but I feel like it plays on my strengths and feel very focused at the moment. I also bought an iPad with the Apple Pencil so I will play with aerosol ideas. I think drawing with graphite for me is more important but you can find relationships quite quickly digitally and then use those ideas as templates for graffiti or drawing.

I have bought a couple of books on Frank Auerbach, one is a book of drawings that won’t be released until early next year, the other should arrive sooner. I like the way Auerbach uses colour and his drawing style. I appreciate the textural forms but I am very interested in his new works which are gestural and show a mastery of colour. For example in the work ‘Reclining head of Julia’ 2020 he uses a cadmium like yellow with black brush marks defining the sitter, in an older work ‘E.O.W, Half-length Nude’ 1958 yellow ochre and chromium green with red highlights.

These pieces are iconic and the little I have seen of his drawing has been impressive, he had a distinct approach that seemed to spread in small marks defining a face. These facets of impressions seem to be more analytical than artistic. This is something he is known for, the psychology and observations of his artistic practice becomes a materialistic beauty that at the same time is mysterious and goes beyond the material.

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