Taste the rainbow…eat the crayons
Last Monday found me feeling like I’d been given a free ticket back to kindergarten. The huge rainbow box of Crayola wax crayons atop the tutor’s desk may have had something to do with it. Ah nostalgia!
It was the start of a weekly general painting and drawing course at a local college. My initial apprehension vanished like a fart in the wind once I realised that all I really needed was my rampant enthusiasm.
We were encouraged to freely splash paint about whilst focusing on the abstract painting style of Gerhard Richter. This was to help us hone our observational skills and develop techniques using pencils, watercolour and acrylic paints – as well as those wonderful smelling, perfect sticks of wax colour.
My mind is open about abstract art – not wishing to dismiss it or agree with Al Capp who famously said that:
“abstract art is a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.”
After closely examining his pictures and coaxing my brushes to replicate some of his prints I became rather fond of them and realised that they’re much trickier to paint than one would initially imagine. Not sure I understood them, nor that I’d want to adopt one.
Richter is paid millions for his paintings.
So it’s a bit ridiculous putting my playful splodges up beside a work by a renowned (and probably the wealthiest) artist. My husband and son must’ve thought I was wasting my time when they saw my rendition of his “Dienstag, 22.1.1984”.
And yet…I took away the feeling that I’d really learned something – about how to achieve depth and richness of colour by drying the paint between layers and keeping the colours clean.
What’s that? You were expecting a masterpiece from me so soon? Small steps maybe…but in the right direction.