Thursday, September 05, 2013

No more drawing practice

Well, thank goodness that's over.

I finally came to my senses and realised I'm not Kurt Jackson. Nor am I David Hockney. Or Graham Sutherland or Euan Uglow. Or any of the other artists I've been admiring and copying lately.

I don't go walking across the moors, sketching and painting (and generally being rugged). Neither do I go out in all seasons, in all weathers, to paint the landscape as it changes through the year. (In fact, I'm a bit if a wimp. Nowadays,  I only go out sketching when the weather is 'mild'.) I don't spend years on a single picture, carefully measuring and marking. (I prefer to scribble quickly and hope it looks OK.)

It's been an interesting year of learning by copying but you know what? I'm BORED! It has made me so DULL! All I've been doing is drawing other people's stuff every day. And I'm not much better now than when I started!

But not any more. I'm over it.

And I feel happier already.

I actually quit about two weeks ago and since then I've done more drawing than I have for ages! Mainly, I think, because I'm enjoying it.

The problem with copying the work of other artists was that I lost my own sense of style. I was neglecting my own work. Another thing was that I was comparing myself with other, better, more experienced artists. In the process I had been forensically examining my own weaknesses, which was quite depressing.

This comment, in a book about the artist Zsuzsi Roboz, finally clinched it for me :
"My very good friend Carel Weight once told me whilst we were discussing the work of Peter Blake, 'There is no such thing as good or bad drawing - only expressive drawing.' "
I agree with that, so that's what I'm going to focus on now.


Comments:
I've been reading George Bernard Shaw's Three Plays for Puritans (a book I was forced to read in school, now I'm reading it 'cos I want to - go figure!) and in the preface, written by Shaw himself, he makes no apology for being a critic of Shakespeare, a writer he thought the first great comer in that epoch 'to reap the whole harvest' and reduce those who come after to 'the rank of mere gleaners'.
Persistently living in awe of those deemed greater than ourselves (which I'm sure such fragile egos thrive on) means, for us lesser mortals, living in their shadows.
To paraphrase Shaw again: it's need alone hones artists in the face of criticism to bring new art into being.
You know all about doing your own thing, just keep on doing it.
 
Thanks for the comment ... some of which I understood!
 
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