Saturday, 11 January 2014

Arguments With Hywel Harris

I now have no excuse. I have a drawing board, I have paper, I have paint.

After immersing myself in a dedicated art shop, I did try Poundland as recommended but they didn't have what I wanted, I was pleased to see that I'd come away having spent just £30. I resisted buying canvass at this stage because that is expensive and I'm still unsure of myself. So I got a cheap A4 pad and a pad of slightly more expensive gummed paper. The pad I'm going to use for sketching and experimenting with colours and techniques. The more expensive paper will be used to put ideas together. Once I have a composition that I like I'll then commit to canvass. Aside from the paper I also bought a drawing board which will perform a double duty of having something to stretch my paper on and give me something to rest my paper against when I draw. I did think of getting an easel but they were expensive and it's far too early to commit to that. I might find I give up after a couple of doodles.

Part of my 365 challenge. Got board
waiting for Peter to come out of a shop.
The temptation is to rush at it like a bull at a gate but painting takes time. It's a bit like reading a book. You don't rush through the pages to get to the end in case someone takes it off you. You read slowly, savouring the plot, thinking things through, absorbing information. It's the same with art. Yes of course you can sit down and do a painting in a day, some artists do work that way. However my approach has always been slow and steady so when I finally commit to the finished piece I am confident it will turn out exactly as I want it too. At the moment I have an image in my head of what I want my first piece to be, which is always a good thing, to have an idea. Getting it onto paper might prove to be a bit tricky because as always nothing with me is ever simple.

So the trip out was really quiet uneventful. The art shop took most of the time, I must have been rummaging for at least an hour, and yes I did want to buy it all. I was particularly drawn to the oils but they are far to expensive to experiment with as they are difficult to control. We stopped off at Tesco's on the way home and bought more fruit, I'm manic for the stuff at the moment. I bought plums, tangerines, apples, bananas and blue berries. I will be making a smoothie with the bananas and blueberries though, so maybe it's not as bad as it sounds.

Back home I found a package waiting for me from Papworth. Inside were two little pots and instructions to get my blood taken for repeat tissue typing. They like to tissue type every three months or so just to check nothing has changed, though what cataclysmic event would change your tissue type I don't know. As I have an appointment with them next week, where the tissue typing is usually done, I rang them to see if they really meant this or whether it had been an error. Thankfully it did turn out to be an error and yes I do have an appointment next week, they hadn't checked. Phew!

With that little crisis over, well not really a crisis just a reluctance to be punctured twice in one week, I went downstairs and stretched my first piece of paper over my board and left it to dry. The result this morning was perfect so at least I haven't forgotten how to do that. To be fair stretching paper was drummed into me in school by my art teacher, Hywel Harris, whom I never really got on with. I loved Renaissance art, Leonardo, Donatello, Titan, he was into more modern stuff, we clashed. Our most memorable coming together was on a trip to London, I think it was to the Tate. I remember clearly standing in front of this completely black canvass, there was a red one and a white one too, and being asked what I saw. 'Errr, nothing. It's blank.' I replied. The look I got would have floored elephants. After that I can only say our relationship deteriorated. I passed my Art 'O' level with a respectable B grade and desperately wanted to take it on to A level but I knew I couldn't do so at school so left to pursue my interest at the local Further Ed, where I came out with an A grade for art and a B grade for ceramic at A level.

As an interesting side note after he died he was buried next to my Grandmother.

Right the moment has come, time to start sketching out my visions and then, with a bit of luck, transferring them to paint. I suspect there will be a bit of swearing but at least I won't be vegitating in front of the TV munching my way through a tube of Pringles. I will post my progress in the future blogs.