Saturday, 12 February 2011

Art Class 2: Pointless

Watercolour: Pig's Puzzle

It's been a while since I blogged about the art class projects. There have already been four meetings, I missed one because of a family mini drama, and the other three have been taken up on one project. In this first assignment, we were simply told to cut images from magazines and stick them on an A3 piece of paper to form a collage. Then, using a 4x6 inch frame, move it around the collage to find the best segment, then square up the framed section onto A3 size watercolour paper, effectively enlarging the image by around five times.

My initial reaction was why bother? I know I have said in the past that it was good to see the tutor give us all the same project, because it gave us all the advantage of seeing how everyone else goes about the same task, and see their different interpretations of the same subject. But this time I think our tutor has lost the plot. Firstly, it was extremely long winded to find enough cuttings to fill an A3 piece of paper. In fact I gave up after covering about two thirds of it, in any case I just could not see the point. Why not just cover the 4x6 then enlarge it and save ourselves all that trouble?

Collage of magazine clips
Anyway, I have gone along with the project to give it a chance to grow on me, even though I thought the whole thing was pointless. On the collage photo you can see the red rectangle, which although there were numerous permutations that I could have chosen, was the section I decided to paint. Our tutor did say that we could do endless paintings from the one collage, simply by moving the rectangle around, but just doing this one had me pretty fed up by the end, so there was no chance of me ever doing another!

The finished painting looks like something, well not exactly abstract, more like something of a riddle for the viewer I guess. The pig was everybodies favourite - he does have a nice smiling face, and I like the sundial and probably the gargoyle, but to me, this whole thing is a bit of mish-mash. I haven't really enjoyed the project, but I suppose I've gained a little more knowledge in the art of watercolour painting in doing it. Maybe you the reader will see something in this that escapes my way of thinking, but  if something comes up like this next time though, I think I'll give it a miss!

Monday, 7 February 2011

A Trip Back in Time

1960's Panda car: watercolour
Last September whilst holdaying in Gloucestershire, we visited Littledean Jail. This is no longer in use as a jail, but now harbours the most extensive collection of memorabillia I have ever seen, especially stage and screen items. Among the many things on display that caught my eye, was a lifesize Spiderman, Darth Vader and a rather sexy looking Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. The walls were almost totally obscured by photographs and trivia of 20th Century celebrities many of whom are now departed.

My encounter with Spiderman!
One of the the things that really turned me off however, was a real stuffed calf with two heads! There were many other gruesome exhibits on display, which by time we had finished looking round, got to be a little bit much of a muchness, and it was with much relief that on stepping outside into the back yard we noticed the Quadraphenia Collection housed in one of the outbuildings. Having spent my teenage years in the 1960's era, this was right up my street! The whole collection was based around the film about mods. The place was filled with lambretta scooters, covered in spotlights and mirrors, parkas, badges and lots of photos from the film. I could associate myself with all this, being a mod myself at that time, having a Lambretta, the latest fashions etc., but I never actually possesed a parka.

Quadraphenia Display
In the yard outside stood a marvelous classic car - a police Panda car from the same era. A Morris Minor, fitted with what was then a high tech police radio, but now looked very antiquated! In fact, everthing about this car looked antiquated, but very nostalgic.

The painting was done rather quickly - I just wanted to get a feel for this lovely old car. Nevertheless, my attempt is fairly accurate I think and was quite a pleasure to do. The windscreen was a bit of a challenge, I have never painted one of these before, the different amounts of reflected light made it tricky to make out the interior. I just tried to paint what I could actually see.

Quadraphenia Display at Littledean Jail.