Firstly I will apologise for the disjointed nature of what you are about to read, I managed to stay in my studio until 11pm tonight so must be quick.
I stole a really cheeky look around the National Gallery after dinner the other day in the big smoke, I had to be quick so I decided dive into see the post impressionists and then into the incredible Australian impressionists exhibition (I was bought membership here for Christmas so this allowed me to duck in - guilt free at the minimal time I had...walking briskly past the canelettos - I had no time for caneletto's today, I had to get to the Australians before anything else.
That morning I had read an article on a Facebook page regarding the optimal viewing times that "experts" consider to be the best in which to understand the painting you are looking at. I thought I'd put this to the test as I was I was in the perfect place to test such theories. The time was something like four minutes and seven seconds by the way.
As I headed straight for the post impressionists (as always) but became waylaid by the superb Australian impressionists exhibition, the painting I looked at was Arthur Streeton's "fires up". A magnificent painting by anyone's standards, I stood gazing, probably for the best part of ten minutes, I looked intently and as I did the painting begun to offer more information about itself, other characters and the story unfolded. An experience I will never forget.
Of course I had to see my artistic idol Cézanne - rude not to, so whilst testing the above theory (which works incredibly well) I noticed - whilst loosing myself in a landscape by the great man it was painted with masses of energy...a painting that I thought I knew intimately changed before my very eyes. Fascinating and I recommend you all do the same.
I was standing the middle of one of the huge galleries and I had stopped as I was feeling full from the meal we'd just had and slightly tipsy - I pulled my phone out to look at - i then realised - what the hell are you doing - a phone usually one of the most prized items in the hands of anyone, at least so it seems judging on every train I got onto today and the throngs of people constantly passing - heads down,
slipping quick glances forward to ensure they aren't going to collide with anything or anyone. I digress, the phone, to me, then became the poor mans choice in terms of visual and cerebral stimulation with such a multitude of sumptuous richness to look at - need I say I see the error of my ways and promptly slipped the phone back into my pocket almost not being able to believe what an ass I had just been.
Okay more from tonight's studio session:
I had an incredibly satisfying session tonight in which I learnt a lot and saw future doors open before in anticipation of the time I need to walk through them, a fabulous feeling.
Tonight's quote - so apt and I can really respond to this:
"More of me comes out when I improvise" - Edward Hopper
Whilst considering what I had drawn tonight it occurred to me that I need to begin looking at the negative space in my work now...the stark white space could be developed and cultivated for better use in future endeavours. The drawing that I finished tonight, it is little more than a sketch but I loved every second of its creation for the value it has given me. I learnt a lot about new processes and the behaviour of a new pen and the qualities of the inks.
Thank you for humouring my horrendously rushed entry tonight.