Saturday, 17 January 2009


Once I got to the situation where I was actually happy with the way my picture was developing, I got scared. At first, time came to my rescue. There wasn't enough of it to work on my picture. Then when I had the time (or at least the slim crescent moon of an opportunity) the fear got worse. I began another picture, from a photograph that I'd taken last September in Scotland, of a beach I can't remember the name of now (I'll find out), a beautiful, windswept expanse of black volcanic rock and pinkish, almost white sand. I'll make a separate post about this picture later, needless to say the anxiety I had begun to feel about my North York Moors painting infected this new picture, because it very soon began to go wrong. Then, determined not to stumble twice, I pulled the Scotland picture into something of a decent state, and found the courage (literally) to work some more on my North York Moors picture.

I realise that often, my need to do something tempts me to rush on in my enthusiasm, and draw (or write) blindly, without really looking or thinking about what I should really be doing. The need to achieve something is so strong that I tend to get a bit headstrong when I should be more cautious or contemplative. This was in danger of happening with my picture (both of them). So I tried to look at it and think about those tonal values a bit more, and also to work at the picture bearing the whole thing in mind, as opposed to getting carried away with one little part of it. There was little 'parts' of my picture that I was quite pleased with, you see, the way you can get pleased with a line in a poem to the detriment of the rest of the poem. So I have to try to fight my vanity, even if this means letting go of that little patch of oil pastel that I really quite liked, but to think of the whole of the composition, how it works tonally (as that seems to be the key for this piece for me) and texturally too. Texture plays a big part in my memory of the moors, so I would like to convey this in some way with my picture, using layering and juxtaposing of the various media used (in this case oil pastel, coloured pencil (both in dissolved and dry state) and possibly later, Indian ink) to create a lively and co-ordinated image.

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