Saturday, April 11, 2015

Reflections and some old small paintings and drawings

It might appear that my blog is a touch self indulgent.  To be honest I am only writing it for myself to draw together my ideas about art and my efforts (or more lack of) over the decades.  Eventually, when I catch up, I want to move onto adding a drawing a day as a small discipline for myself.

Small painting - 80s
I must admit to really enjoying the process of self discovery...

As part of this process I have been reading the introductory chapters of well known New Zealand artists, whom I like, and it has been interesting to compare their early beginnings.  Most seem to have come from homes with no real evidence of any art. They all liked drawing from an early age and the evidence of their very early work rings a bell with me - copying comics and the like.

Looking back I had similar experiences. I loved copying Disney images, World War 2 fighter planes, and images from comics of day. I remember drawing jet fighter planes from Blackhawk comics - set, I think, in Korean War days.

Unlike the artists featured in the book I never really took my art any further. There were no art teachers at our small local high school and when I went boarding for my sixth form year and I looked only in admiration at the work of students who were taking art.

Bull and cow drawing 60s
It wasn't until I went to teachers college in the late 50s that I was able to take art. At this time I also became interested in nature study. I had a choice of a third year training in Nature Study or Art.  Deciding on the former meant putting art ambitions to one side. It wasn't a bad choice.

Old House in Patea  1960s
Small painting 80s

As  a school adviser in Nature Study (renamed Science at a later stage) I was lucky enough to work with other advisers who had an interest in art.  At the same time New Plymouth had a small controversial alternative art group, the best known members being Michael Smithers and Don Driver.  Also, through John Bevan Ford, then an art adviser, I met up with a number of well known Māori artists.

Looking at the early work of these artists (particularly the art advisers) I noted that they all seemed to have moved from traditional styles to eventually finding their own styles.  Many worked through the influences of such artists as Picasso, Matisse and other moderns greats.  At this time, for many, the impressionists were difficult let alone artists like van Gogh.

80s Pastel
Now, as my involvement in education is being left behind, I want to try to take up my interest in my own art.

My observations and readings have shown that mastery only arises out of years of effort and experimentation. As mentioned, eventually I want to post a drawing a day as a way of developing my ability. Talent by itself is not enough, hence the motivation for this blog.

Drawing of a school in Oxfordshire 1980

No comments:

Post a Comment