Sunday, 24 October 2010

Fourth Drawing Session with Tony Hull

This was a tough session. Another six hours of hard drawing only this time Tony started us off by placing a piece of paper on the floor and asking us to draw it! It was a significant agony! My sheer inability to 'see' the angles the lines, the perspective or anything was humiliating. (Reassuringly, I was not alone).

Turns out drawing a sheet of paper is indeed very testing. Tony helped by showing how to create a rectangular guide around your drawing and then to measure angels and proportions against the rectangle. Despite this and despite some basic explanation of perspective. (The sides are not parallel as I would have expected, but in fact converge towards the vanishing point), this exercise and its development into more sheets and more shapes, cruelly exposed my basic weaknesses both in seeing and then representing what I have seen. As more sheets and shapes were added my drawing became more chaotic and less accurate. By three o'clock ( a long time to be drawing sheets of paper!) I was weakening. Of course I realized that this is exactly the rigour that I need and that I need to keep challenging myself to see more analytically. To block out what I think I see and establish what is actually there.
Then just at the point when I would have chucked in the towel, Tony asked us to look at what we had and try to make a drawing out of it: something completely different. Follow your nose wherever these messy shapes suggested. So here is where I started:
And here is where I got to an hour later:
I found myself with a sort of Roy Lichtenstein pastiche:losing almost all of my original shapes (which was a pity . The real challenge of this was to adapt what you had in the first place, not remove it). I had succeeded in establishing a strong sense of direction, but nothing much else. I was disappointed in my efforts, but could see the benefit of transforming what feels like a mess into something vaguely visually interesting.
This whole session chimed with what I had been reading in Art and Fear.
Dean Melbourne mentioned this book in his blog. It is a reassuring little book which deals with just how tough it is to make decent art. Here's how it starts:

Making art is difficult. We leave drawings unfinished. We do work that does not feel like our own. We repeat ourselves. We stop before we have mastered our materials or continue on long after their potential is exhausted.

Then a few pages on:

The fear that you are only pretending to do art is the (readily predictable) consequence of doubting your own artistic credentials. . .It's easy to imagine that real artists and that they (unlike you) re entitled to feel good about themselves and their art. Fear that you are not a real artist causes you to undervalue your work.

Actually it is a reassuring book which I shall continue to dip into.

1 comment:

  1. I think perhaps you could take out the word artist and insert many other professions or roles in that final quote.... xxx