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!


  1. Glad you stuck with it for you were probably focused on painting things you might never have painted otherwise. I, too, really like the pig and the sunflower!

  2. Even I liked the pig. Coming to the project, well I think it is intended for just pure fun without any inhibitions..:)

  3. I think you've painted this exceptionally well Frank ... given that the interest wasn't really there. An interesting exercise !
    The pig is definitely cute, and gives the piece it's character because of the laughing face - almost laughing at the mish mash of objects it's been placed in .... could be more than a painting lesson in this ! The moral of the story being, "if you find yourself in a situation that doesn't make any sense - just smile" :)

  4. I know how you feel! I seem to be endlessly havng to paint what I am told to paint by a tutor and you can tell when it hasn't come from my own heart or I haven't enjoyed it! When I paint something for my own pleasure the finished piece is always SO much better! But - I realise that without having done the ones I was told to do, I wouldn't have improved or learned what I have, so it's all worth it in the end. It's certainly a painting that triggers thought and interest, even if you don't like it :0)

  5. Frank I agree with Sandra, sometimes we need to complete tasks in order to improve. That said I really can't see what value you would get out of this "project". Maybe if the idea was to explore mixed media or collage, but for water colour????? Maybe ask your tutor the value, other that to get lots of colourful subjects?

    I hope you get something worthwhile next.

  6. You're right Kim, but I am am glad that one's over. Prabal, there was no fun in this for me. Alice - ok, I'll smile, Sandra - I wonder if people really would find it interesting if they hadn't read this blog? Sue - I'm with you all the way here, and I'm going to have a 'free' this next leson before the mid-term break.

  7. I'm glad you put in the explanation and photo of your collage otherwise I'd be thinking you've finally lost the plot. Well executed Frank, despite the lack of interest.

  8. Oh my - this post so reminded me of my C&G course!
    We were asked to do some ridiculous things and I did them because the course required it, but soul - destroying - oh yes! I have every sympathy with you.
    Your painting is well executed - but that's because you can paint! Sundial on its own is my fave... not keen on the odd perspective with the rest.

  9. John, yes I think I was forced into loosing the plot with this one, so I need to do something more orthodox to regain my sanity!

    Pat, thank goodness both you and Sandra mentioned that you both have been through the same! I think my days at art class are numbered - it's time to move on and take my work in the direction I choose myself.
    The sun dial is one part of this painting that I actually liked doing.

  10. Frank, I've found you via JWJ blog and find your paintings a joy, yes even this one. .I may even try this excercise. How about that? Hard to believe you were away from it so long and still such good work. Like riding a bicycle. !! A little wobbly at first, but then right up to speed ! bj

  11. Well thanks Barbra - and welcome. If you are going to try this, then I wish you luck, I'm glad to be out of this one! If only getting back into art was as simple as getting back on a bicycle, but then again, I've tried getting back on a bicycle as I used to love bikeriding, but now it just hurts my prostate. Isn't it typical how age is out to get you?

  12. Frank
    I think it was meant to be a colour mixing exercise. We were meant to reproduce the colours from the collage exactly in our painting. As you paint in a lovely loose way I don't think it was a very relevant exercise for you. I even heard our tutor say she would allow you some 'artistic licence' in the colours. I, however, was encouraged to go over something I had finished with a pink wash as the colour just wasn't quite perfect. Don't give up on the classes - we need you there to see how it's done! Linda (Fellow class member)