Posts Tagged ‘Portrait’

Tony Abbott

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Five images of people from Autodesk 123D

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Drawing for painting

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

I’d been excited about painting again, but the painting wasn’t working. I’d forgotten how to look at people properly, and was struggling with working from a relatively unfamiliar sitter. That had been okay in the past, but now I feel like I need to know more about the head in front of me than I can get by just looking. I need to know how it feels, and how heavy it is, and how it moves, and how thick the skin is and—

So, I’ve been making these drawings of myself (they’re ordered chronologically):

Girl with Red Fingernail

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Painting again. This is from a photograph, of which I’ve made drawings from in the past. I’ve wanted to paint this ever since I saw it, and it’s been a nice warm-up before I start painting portraits again. There’s a little bit more to do, but mostly I’m satisfied.

Caroline and Irene

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Two portraits

Saturday, November 20th, 2010
Revision 5 (Failed Portrait 1)
Revision 5 (Failed Portrait 1)
Erin Resting, in a Complicated Dress
Erin Resting, in a Complicated Dress

Drawing, again

Thursday, October 21st, 2010
Erin Sitting, with Elbow Out [drawing]
Erin Sitting, with Elbow Out

I’ve been wanting to draw again: big charcoal portraits. This is the first one that is okay. I worry so much about not make illustrations when I’m drawing, and this is maybe that. I notice more ‘nice lines, and composition’ rather than ‘a person’.

I’m a bit frustrated with all my work, at the moment. I’m impatient, and it feels like I’m right at the start of everything. The abstract paintings are getting bigger, and are going somewhere, at least. I am looking forward to pushing my drawing. Moving away from line, which I feel very in control of, and trying really dig people out of that page. The carefulness, and tenderness that line can give, I don’t want to lose, but..

I mused today about how controlled my paintings and drawings are. Even in the paintings that start with stains, and thick messes, there are later placed bars and rectangles of single colours. I have a very ordered way of looking at images, that I think comes across most obviously in my videos. I worry about this, too, being too clean, and illustrative (though not in the

Mostly unfinished portraits

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

A poor photo of a new painting

Saturday, June 12th, 2010
Erin and Orange
Erin and Orange


Saturday, April 24th, 2010

I’ve spent most of this year playing round with sources, styles, and techniques. Worthwhile, but to the extent that I’d gotten so far away from what I like about painting I couldn’t quite remember what that was. There was a lack of catharsis, which was part of why I was experimenting, and part of why I create: it was exercise.

Reading a (rather too Frencherly written) book on Nicolas de Staël—whom I discovered recently via Robert Hughes’ (rather insightfuly written) book on Frank Helmut Auerbach—was the wake-up moment.

Nicolas de Staël - Portrait of Anne
Nicolas de Staël – Portrait of Anne
Nicolas de Staël - Football Players
Nicolas de Staël – Football Players

Seeing (some) of his paintings, particularly the two paintings above, did what I find most art I really like does, and that is remind me of something inside myself. The artists I most like are the ones I feel I share something with. I am attracted to the way de Staël straddles abstraction and description. All his paintings come from his eye, but he describes what he sees in near-geometric forms. There’s tension, and contradiction in his work that I feel very sympathetic with. But there is also a distance that I want to avoid.