Saturday, May 17, 2008

Rag and Bone Girl

This is the eighth out of what may actually turn out to be the twenty I initially quoted to Nicko last year. Some where after about 3 or 4 Nicks skepticism seemed well founded. Now I think my optimism might have been prophetic. Now I've started I can't stop.
Whether or not they work or whether anyone will buy them has become irrelevant, I can honestly say I'm not concerned. I actually love doing them and find the outcome very rewarding. I've always missed the toil that traditional watercolour is bereft of. This method allows a slow piece by piece construction that does not reveal itself until complete. I guess it's not unlike doing a jig-saw puzzle. The silver-point work I do also requires time and patience I think that's why I was doing them along with watercolour, just something to work on for a few days. I need occupation I guess. The "Zen" style of watercolour is very admirable and worthy of regular practice but it does not always serve the need of the painting or idea. I know a seasoned watercolourist who often says; "Failures take all day". Depends on what you're painting I think. The idea is the art not the process or even the outcome. I think the outcome is always an abstraction of the idea. It's like trying to grasp water in your fist.

This piece was much like all the others in process during which there were times when I thought it would find it's way into the bin.
Rag and Bone Girl seemed an apt name at it appears the mannequin is holding a spine. Weird and a little dark I guess but that is the nature of this series for me, I keep finding things I never noticed when I took the photo. The spine is actually a motif on a T-shirt just behind the doll.

The pre-edited photo.

The process is pretty close to this;
Following deciding the crop, I'll get rid of the excessive detail by using the *cutout* filter in PS*. Then fiddle around with the image adjusting colours and values before printing it out. I then project the image using an LCD projector, painstakingly draw the damned thing which might take 2 or more hrs for a full sheet .
The painting process begins by following the print-out. About 3/4 of the way through I dispense with the print-out and let the painting inform itself so to speak.
I will then usually "look" at it in a mat and frame on the wall for a week or more and make chromatic or tonal adjustments before signing it off.


Blogger Nick said...

I love this one Dake...will be back as soon as time permits to comment more fully on this and previous post. RRR

May 17, 2008 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Yes the idea is where great art comes from....the most important tenet in my "3 Questions Theory" that artists ask themselves when confronted with a piece of art:

1. Do I like it? (if the answer is "no," the next two are superfluous)

2. Could I do it? (this is the one where everybody gets bogged down, and many never get beyond this level)

3. Would I have thought to do it? That's the clincher, the one that matters.

Imagination is the key, and those who don't have it will never get beyond mechanics and copyism, never become creative artists.

I'm not sure I was ever skeptical about this series, but rather, hopeful. And it's coming together beautifully. I'm the one who probably doesn't have the discipline to complete a series of 10 or 20.

May 18, 2008 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger David Burge said...

Thanks Nick, Do you have a banner with your "3 question theory on the wall behind you when you run your workshops?

"Would I have thought to do it"?

Is certainly the hard question to confront honestly. I think most of us would say; Too Bloody Right I would!
If I'd taken notice of that doubt I would have crawled back into the womb......I'm sure Freud(Sigmund that is) would have nodded at that one.
I wonder how many great artists or would have beens have either stepped over that question or fallen into the abyss that it is.
Probably to an alien we all look and smell the same.

May 18, 2008 at 6:19 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

This is very interesting David...a challenge and very different to your other works.I really like what I have seen so far.( but I like your watercolours too)
What medium are you using?
The questions posed by Nick are also challenging and make one think...I like your honest and thoughtful responses.

May 19, 2008 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger David Burge said...

Sandy, thanks for taking a look.
These are 99% watercolour so far. Some areas have watercolour pigment and gesso mixed to make a kind of gouashe.

Yes, Nick is quite right. Point 3 is the true test of a truely creative person but I like most have to admit to being influenced by others, including Nick himself.
So it's difficult for me to nod and give a hearty yay to the theory when I know he knows how much of an influence he's been on my art. Thanks be to the gods.
Presently I'm settling into this method which Nicholas had been doing for goodness knows how long. It does teach one some new lessons about the medium and it really just a gateway into new areas for me.

May 22, 2008 at 2:28 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

David, Nicholas has been an inspiration to me as well...gesso was something I never thought to use with watercolour until I 'met'Nick... He has opened up new horizons and pushed boundaries...exciting stuff!

May 27, 2008 at 2:57 AM  
Blogger David Burge said...

Technique.....10% maybe!

I should not be so stuck on it.

May 28, 2008 at 4:16 AM  

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