Tag Archives: BEEP

Dystopian Man

23 May

I haven’t done much sketchbook work for a couple of weeks because I’m working flat out on a painting – sort of. I’m not a painter but I’m entering an international painting competition and I decided I’d push the definition of painting a bit and approach it as a scribbler and printmaker. The theme, broadly, is Utopia or Dystopia and of course I’ve e gone for the dystopian viewpoint. I’m very close to finishing but it’s taking all my time and energy, no time for sketching or printmaking until the deadline, which is this Friday.

It’s on quite a large scale, about four times the largest I normally use and I’m working onto primed heavyweight cardboard with litho/relief inks [oil-based] applied with squeegee, roller and pallette knife and using oil bars for the detail. So it’s sort of paint. But I don’t use a brush – ever. It also involves a lot of rubbing off with rags and scraping with all sorts of implements. I’m having a good time. This is a detail. The finished piece has three figures – male, female and child. This was the man as of last night. I’ve done a lot more work on him but I forgot to take my camera in today. It’s a pretty grim image but that’s okay because I wanted to see how far I could portray a concept, a state of being, using just human figures with little else to contextualise them. It might fail miserably but I’ll know by Friday.

BTW I’m using cardboard because Toulouse-Lautrec used it and if it’s good enough for him ……….

Beep Gospel And Nude

15 May

Has a very productive day in the studio and did lots of preliminary drawings for a very large piece I’m working on for an international painting competition, BEEP. The deadline is the end of next week so I’m working flat out. I’m not a painter but BEEP wants artists to challenge traditional notions of painting, so I’m approaching it as a scribbler and printmaker, constructing it mostly using printmaking equipment – squeegees and rollers – and also drawing into it extensively with oil bars.

Husb and I went to Taliesin Arts Centre this evening to watch the Dave McKean directed film, The Gospel of Us, featuring Michael Sheen. It’s extraordinary, moving, powerful and the visual quality is superb. I’ve long been a fan of McKean’s comic book art and his film collaborations with Neil Gaiman. This is very much an independent art film type of thing so I’m not sure how widespread it’s cinema release will be, but it’s worth tracking down.

The drawing above is one I did last week of an older female model. It took about ten minutes and it’s in Faber Castell Pitt pen into a Bockingford sketchbook. I like the composition very much, especially the way the drapery falls and I might reconstruct this as a scaled-up drawing ready for turning into a monotype.

Dystopia In My Studio.

23 Mar

Elysium Artspace is sponsoring an international painting competition, BEEP, in May and I thought I’d go for it. Now, I’m a printmaker and a scribbler, not a dauber, so I’ve decided to approach it from that angle, using printmaking and drawing tools to create a painting. Normally my work is quite simple and self-contained, using just one subject, usually a solitary nude figure but the topic for this competition, Dystopia, has spurred me on to try a multi-figure piece with at least five people in it. The composition that I’ve sketched out is a complex one so I find myself in the position of having to do an awful lot of preparatory drawings. I’ll usually do a simple prep sketch as the basis for my printmaking, but they’re not normally detailed. For the BEEP thing, though, I’m rattling off loads of preliminary drawings and thoroughly enjoying the experience, which is a new one for me. Here are a few in progress. I’m really excited about it. I’ve been using a squeegee and a roller to apply oil pigment to a huge piece of prepared cardboard. I’m in good company, Gerhard Richter has done lots of paintings with a squeegee and Toulouse Lautrec painted onto cardboard. I’ve got about 2 months left to complete it so I’d better crack on because I have to remember the drying time for the oils. Dystopia is a pretty grim topic and some of the drawings are getting me down, so it’s good that I do a lot of sketchbook work of the daily life around me, which helps to ground me and shake me out of the deep and dark things going on in my head.

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