Monday, August 31, 2009

Gine Embroiders

I feel like I've run a marathon but have really only just been pushing myself to finish the painting that I've entered in the Art Extravaganza at Pukeora this coming weekend. The subject is my friend Gine who was furiously working away at an embroidery she was finishing as a wedding gift for friends over a year ago. It is the first time I've ever done a proper portrait, of a human that is. And trying to paint a white garment without it ending up looking flat was especially challenging.

At art group last week Kevin Annand from Electra Gallery came along and did a critique on people's paintings, giving us some pointers at how to improve them. "Gine" was discussed and Kevin remarked that he'd once seen a painting of a woman in white except no white paint was used. Now that would be really interesting to try. Suggestions he made for other paintings was to try and allow the viewer be able to walk through landscapes in five or six steps so that colours gradually lead you through the picture. Also how a living thing added to a painting will immediately become the centre of interest. One other idea I found helpful was that there are often two of three prospective paintings trapped in a picture waiting to get out. By using a couple of cardboard mounts he was able to show how paintings could be improved by strategic cropping.

Friday my cousin Gwendolyn posed for portrait class. I have no idea what she made of us all but she certainly seemed to enjoy the banter. At midday we all went to the Paper Mulberry for lunch. Unlike the last time I was there in early June it was very warm and pleasant sitting at a table with the others. Gwen and I even went into the second hand bookshop at the back of the the cafe and managed to find a few books for her to take home to Melbourne although she did give me two (on Feng Shui and crystals) to add to my hoard- um I mean collection. It was a lovely day but I wish that she lived closer so we could see each other more often as I find our conversations fascinating and uplifting.

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