Monday, 27 October 2008

Still life with a box of red wine

This is more like it, and the brother-in-law is on the Martini. The bad news is that I think I've lost my sister. Here's what happened; we read through an exercise in one of the books I'd brought on the stages of painting a still life in pastels - start out with a charcoal outline, then lay in the shadows gently, then put in the local colour of the objects, then develop these with modelling, and finally add detail. Mine was going fine, so I stopped for a bit to look at what my sister was doing, and made a few suggestions, and then some more. It was when I asked if she minded if I drew on her work to demonstrate what I was failing to convey in words and she adamantly told me NO! that I knew I'd overstepped the mark.

We laughed about it, and she's been digging me about it ever since, but I think I've learnt that if we're drawing together, to leave her to it until she asks me for help or advice. She is also an Open University tutor, and understands how to give feedback, constructive criticism and all that. I don't. I'm a well-meaning oaf who can't keep her gob shut. I'm just glad she hasn't asked me to go home.


Brian McGurgan said...

This was funny, Steph. It reminds me of a story about George Inness, the American landscape painter. On visiting an artist friend's home, he learned from the son that his friend was out and was shown a landscape that his friend was nearly finished with. Inness started by lecturing the son on all that was wrong with his father's painting, then suddenly took up his friend's palette and brushes and went to work on fixing these issues. No doubt it was quite a surprise for his friend when he returned.

I'm enjoying watching your pastel work progress. I've been thinking about doing more still life lately and your work here is inspiring.

Yellow said...

That's an incredible story, Brian, and I sympathise with Inness, and yet I'd be horrified if someone drew on my work. I remember a school art teacher drawing on my work and I was furious. I just wanted to bin the whole thing, it was like he'd soiled it, even though he was trying to be helpful. I overreacted, but I'm sure those with artistic temprements, and tempers, would understand.
I'd love to see some of your still-lifes. I find choosing the objects the hardest thing of all.

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