As promised, the story of the art from our Paint Andalucia trip. Casting our eye back to the beginning and my Garlic Bulb practice it is worth saying that this was my comfort zone. Pen and ink. Something you recognise. I understood it. Yet one of my great passions is abstraction. Experimentation. Pushing the boundaries a little (though Shock has been done, yawn ). I just never forced myself over the hill to do it.
Our tutor, Anna Martin, is not only a creative artist herself but also a finely tuned teacher and life guide when it comes to the creative process. Day One we sat around the terrace of Finca La Paz and were encouraged to free our minds, do a little yoga, and feel the spirit of the surroundings and sensations of where we were.
Now, I was brought up in the coal mine villages of Northern England where, if you were in the slightest bit arty, you didn’t let on that you had any sweets. I have a Bullshit Monitor that goes from “ 0” all the way up to “Ben Kingsley”. But I was prepared to let go of some slight nervous inhibition and go with the flow to see what happened. In a way, I gave myself permission to experiment and see what happened. It was the first tentative step on what turned out to be an interesting and ultimately fulfilling journey – for the week – and then prove to be the first step on the journey that my painting will take from now on.
Instead of drawing with a pencil we were encouraged to draw with the paint brush – be broad – free flowing – experimental – and not to be afraid of colour. The medium throughout is acrylic.
So, in chronological order, with advisory notes (clicking on the pics opens them up larger);
Flamenco Dancers. Anna held a pose while we went for it. My interpretations are a mixture of pose and imagination.
My Frigiliani sketches don’t seem to have survived the trip so here is my Alcazaba archway. We have to go back here. This place is huge and we only saw a fraction. Must get there earlier on our next trip. 🙂
Wednesday was day off but Fi and I painted the Plaza in Torrox. By now I’m beginning to form an idea in my head of the images I want to create and perhaps there is a path developing.
The Plaza painting was finished on Friday morning since the sun was beating down at high noon.
Then came Acebuchal and brimming with confidence (!) I decided I would take this whole mark-making experimentation a step further towards abstraction.
I hope you can detect that I took a journey completely free from boundaries, the only ones being set were my own, incorporating an experimentation in mark making with paint. By the end of the week I would experiment mark-making with anything I thought would do the job. (I dismissed the last one as wallpaper….but maybe it’s a better shower curtain. )
And finally, one last thing before we pack away for the week. I played with pastels, water and free flowing colour to produce my rose sketch.
There are no rules when it comes to art. It’s all about the expression of the artist in his or her medium trying to communicate to an audience and hoping that the signals are received and understood………..over and out…..and hopefully changing the way the viewer sees actuality too. I feel that I’ve taken some giant steps in discovery and have been released from the straight jacket that psychologically held me back in painting. Who knows where it will end ? Thanks Anna, I owe you.