Monday, 24 April 2017

Peter Doig on Bonnard

Peter Doig   White Canoe

Peter Doig  The Architect's Home in the Ravine

Peter Doig writes of Bonnard:
"Somehow he is painting the space that is behind the eyes.  It is as if you were lying in bed trying hard to remember what something looked like.  And Bonnard managed to paint that strange state.  It is not a photographic space at all.  It is a memory space, but one which is based on reality."

Pierre Bonnard  2005 in    Peter Doig, Phaidon.

Pierre Bonnard  The Intimiste

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The abstract trip

Angel of the North (work in progress)

Life study (work in progress)

I am experimenting with a more abstract approach, here are a couple of pieces in progress, made with a limited palette and over a build-up of marks and coloured shapes.  This is a free way of working which I love, but I maintain a precis study and exploration as well.  Here is a preliminary profile drawing of me.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Freedom and analysis

 I want to explore more of the free approach to painting that I experienced in Pauline Agnew's e-course.  I worked for months on this garden subject and know its colours and compositions well, so I did a colour sample of the colours, then went "free" with the resulting selection. I thoroughly enjoyed this moment of spontaneity and  freedom, and yet felt a bit lost because although it feels natural to me it is so different from the analytic and slow process of learning to paint.  The latter often produces good results.. eventually.  And I learn a lot, particularly the necessity of really engaging with a painting with all the despair that can entail.

So today I returned again to observational work, currently a self portrait (more struggle here!), but then suddenly saw a figure in the one of the little free pieces I did yesterday.
So I started to introduce it into the painting.  This is good because the energy is already there.  Also I think I realise what Pauline Agnew means by the background and the figure being one.

So what works for me at present is to stick with the painstaking observational work and studies of anatomy, but also to have some joyous playtime which brings together the figure and elements of colour.  These different processes can mesh, and provide a way of taking my painting into a new place.....
Dunblane painting

Colour sample from above
Free version 1

Free version 2

Starting to "find" a figure in version 2

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Abstracting the Figure with Pauline Agnew

Diana |Hand Copy of Degas drawing
I am very much enjoying this three week course with Pauline Agnew, in which we are discovering a new and more relaxed approach to figure drawing and painting.  Here is a large drawing I did today, a "hybrid" between drawing and painting in Pauline's terminology.

More to come...  All the study of the past two years in anatomy and life drawing is beginning to make sense   Hurray!  Here are two more pieces, the lower one is a quick study from a Bonnard painting.  Need to do a little more on it but not too much.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Abstract art

I am  doing an online course "Pathways to Abstraction" with Pauline Agnew.  It is a fascinating challenge and a change from conceptual and figurative art making.  In fact it is my most natural approach to art, and one that I always used on my textiles. But the paintings ask different questions!  As ever, it is a reality check to get some of these early attempts onto the screen and surprising to see what works.   Watch this space

Returning to this subject a few weeks later, I am delighted at the fun and freedom this method of working gives to me.  Yesterday I mixed up a range of colours from the work I did on the Dunblane Museum paintings and drawings, and started simply to play with the colour and to explore it in a different way.

A huge pleasure.  This is a natural way of working for me, especially after the hard work I have been putting in on drawing and painting in the classical style.  However, I think the way to think of this freedom is as a kind of energy which combines and energizes more analytic work.  Here is a sketch I did over another of these little "abstracts", using the same palette, and later built into more of a face.  It is a really good starting point, with so many implications about not being bound by figurative observation.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Self portraits

Self portrait (unfinished)  by Diana Hand

Alternative self portrait 1  Photo by Diana Hand

Alternative self portrait 2  Photo by Diana Hand

In the knowledge that every artist is really painting themselves in some way, I have included a 
couple of street shots along with my own first attempt at conventional self portraiture.  I have been fascinated for years by the oddments I see on pavements and in the streets, and now realise that the fragile beauty of these transitory and vulnerable objects may reflect how I feel about myself.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Gottfried Bammes and drawing the human figure

Diana Hand Figures sketches from Muybridge (January 2017)
Learning about shapes and movement from Gottfried Bammes - a great way to gain a flexible and useful basic knowledge of how the human body is shaped and how it works.  

My desk in the workshop

 HERE (below)  IS A PAGE OF SKETCHES BY HENRY MOORE, showing how he was thinking about the anatomical structure of the body in movement.

Henry Moore   Drawings of miners

 The movement drawings are different from the more considered study (below)

Diana Hand  Drawing of life model

Diana Hand  Preliminary drawing for painting on canvas (January 2017)

Diana Hand  Final painting of above (detail)

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Toko Shinoda in Takayama "Art breathes life into architecture"

This includes reflections from the house!

Art breathes life into Architecture

An exhibition by Toko Shinoda in Takayama, Japan

This exhibition was in an old Edo type wooden house, in Takayama, a hill town in Central Japan. I was thrilled to see the use of stone lithography and the architectural abstract theme in Shinoda's work. She is 103 this year.  She is one of Japan's greatest artists. I hope she will not mind me including me in this blog.