oil inspiration

Bin getting really into Duncan Grant & Vanessa Bell's paintings recently. I find some of theirs are in a simillar direction to what I want to do with my oils.

With these ones, I like how well the person sits with the nature around them, soaked into it. Really like how the strokes all come together, flowing in different directions to create the shape. The lottery of colour weaved and winding a figure out the Earth (like a wave out the ocean). I think the lack of detail on the faces especially adds to this too - no real personal distinction, its just a person in some shape, just as you may paint a flower arching in some shape.

This is probably the best example:

This one especially, the face kinda rises out of the foliage. The darkened outlines too on his knees and his right shoulder lean him outwards too and give him a slight distinction.

Oil Paintings

so continuing on from the last post, bin keeping at oil paintings. Just doing my third at the mo, and having a break inbetween.

As I said before, what I'm enjoying most is the way you can mix oils on the canvas. I'venever enjoyed colour, its always been a finnicky point for me, but I spose that's because I never went near a theory book for it or tried to understand how. Using oils gives me the time to do this, by practicing it, and learning as I go along.

Anywho here's the second one I did, its of me nan.

Quite happy with this one, though not really as its not what I was going for.

What I want to do with oils, is have the paintings be really loosely defined at the edges, then all come together in the focal point (in this instance that'd be the face) What I'd change is have the outer edges of the painting - eg the shoulders - be really loose & abstract, all paint splodges coming together, like flower petals, rising up to make her face. I want all the splodges to feel like nature coming together to make something. The idea being that we are like waves; how waves rise up out the ocean and form for a minute and we point and say 'hey look its a wave', people are the same: We rise up out the Earth, form for a moment of time, 80 years or so, then fall back into it, like waves do.

This is the idea I want to imply with my paintings. Not capturing that at the mo, but I feel if I continue I will. I think at the mo its because I'm new to it and still toeing quite a conservative line. When I've got the confidence of the medium I'll be able to express what I mean properly.

With this in mind, I'm going to break one of my rules. I've always believed that an 'artist', be it a painter, writer, animator or whoever, should try their best with what they're trying to achieve (the message, not just the technical ability). if you're not trying your best your setting in stone a limit of your abilities that is lower, and is a harder standard to reach further from. Your also not developing. Hemingway summed it up neatly during a conversation with Fitzgerald (from his book A Moveable Feast):
"He had told me at the Closerie des Liles how he wrote what he thought were good stories, and which were really good stories for 'the post', and then changed them for submission, knowing exactly how he must make the twists that made them into salable magazine stories. I had been shocked at this and I said I thought it was whoring. He said that it was whoring but that he had to do it as he made his money from the magazines to have money ahead to write decent books. I said that I did not believe anyone could write anyway except the very best he could write without destroying his talent"
This 'destruction of talent' is the reason why I've chose to avoid the industry. Perhaps its pig-headed to do so, but I don't care, its only my opinion. Perhaps im setting myself up to fail, but again I don't care, I may end up 27 with no 'experience' behind me except my own subjective avenues but I'd rather explore them than some other pursuit. I also know its an ignorant perspective (ignorant of the virtues of the industry) but still the main thing I want to do is my own thing. I'd rather walk at my own pace & do that than be caught up in some whole other world.

But for painting with oils I'm going to break this for a moment; I think what I need to do is continue practicing: be conservative about it, if that's all I can do. Most of all I must just keep at it. Keep knocking them out and getting better technically. It's like Dylan said, 'Write ten songs a day, throw nine away'. The gems will begin to shine.

When I have my confidence with them, I'll be able to be freer with it and explore how I want to use them. I spose this is the standard way really - Picasso learnt to paint traditionally & realistically very well before he went into Cubism. Ralph Steadman too - he was a very accurate & articulate, traditional painter, painting landscapes and still life and such. He got his abilities up, then he met Hunter Thompson, got crazy, and his drawings completely changed..

My main inspiration, I'd say is still Kathe Kollwitz. I love her looseness. Altho she didn't work in oils (atleast that's not what she's known for) the way the lines curve & caress and disperse freely is (referring to the waves idea above) what I want to present.

Also love Lucien Freud just for the sheer thickness of his paint, & his auterial eye.

Also getting very into Duncan Grant & Vanessa Bell. I think these two touched on what I want to do at times, and in their varied exploration threw up some interesting ideas.

If you know anyone else I should look into, let me know. 

I do find I'm very 'conservative'. Painting, writing & such you learn things about yourself (for an auteur POV), infact it was playing Chess I really realised how conservative I am. My friend I usually play with would make big sweeping moves - throw the Queen out into the centre ground within a few moves - whilst I'm there, hushing my pawns along, little by little. As I've got more confident with chess, I've began making bigger sweeping moves, this will be the same for painting, in time.

Right, time to get back to it. Will post the painting up when done. Not liking it at the mo, but must keep my integrety, not let the Lilly Briscoe blues take over, and just keep at it.