Thursday, 15 January 2009

Working from life


Last year when I had the time I found myself making some pastel works from photos I had taken. It's so much easier and more comfortable working from photos, but I find my heart is never really in it. I'd really much rather be working from life because I think there is more soul in it, if you know what I mean. You are responding to what is living and happening in front of you in a spontaneous way, and it is much more meaningful. The difficulties are: one that I work very slowly and two, the idea of going out in public with an easel fills me with terror! I've got so much admiration for people like Rob at http://paintingwalesdiary.blogspot.com (sorry I don't seem to be able to do proper links). He paints plein air in all weathers and completes his beautiful paintings in about an hour! I think it would take me an hour to sort my gear out and that's before starting to mix the right colours which always seems to take me ages. I think the answer is to practice in my own environment with various media first and try and speed things up a bit!

3 comments:

Anita said...

Annie - I have come to a conclusion about this. I had read a lot about painting from life being more passionate. And I since I started working from life and then going back to working from photos I've noticed the difference. From photos I am much more calculating about detail and lose the thought of relationships between spaces.

Annie said...

Yes, I agree, it's such a temptation to go into unnecessary detail when using photos. I think it's possible for some people to just use them for reference and not base a whole work on them, but I havent got to that point yet.

Carol Horzempa said...

Annie - Thank you for joining my blog! I have been reading and admiring your work. I can really relate to what you said about working slow and spending time in your own environment to learn how to speed things up. That is exactly what I'm going through now. I especially love your pastel painting!