Towards the end of last year I decided to find a painting class I could join to practise painting life figures, a discipline I had not done since college. I wanted to be among other artists who also wanted to experience the struggle and intensity of studying the human form.
I found a small group of about 8 people mostly fellow female artists that meet on a Friday afternoon for a couple of hours. Most of the group attend the drawing class in the morning as well as attending the painting class in the afternoon. The reason why I am doing this is because I want to get better at painting. I have for a while concentrated on printmaking as my main creative work, and I like the painting practise the class gives me.
I have posted two paintings above. the first painting was a sitting for a two week pose. This week was supposed to be the second week of a two week pose. Turning up to the class with only a painting in my hand and paints to start the class I set up as I usually do, to give myself a bit of a breather before everyone else arrives. I like the quiet of the room before the shuffle and mumbling that happen with every session as everyone becomes organised .......moving easels, stools etc. As people drifted in we found that the chaise lounge that had been used the week before was in another room where an exam was taking place and a new pose was proposed, with the first pose being returned to next week. Another student very kindly lent me some beautiful watercolour paper and then the model struck a pose. Looking back on my work I can see an enormous change. Not so much in the style, but in allowing myself to take chances. Fear of the white space before you can be debilitating.
The room where I paint is full of light and looks towards Canterbury where the Cathedral is prominent on the horizon. As the months have changed while I have been attending this class, so have the surrounding trees from skeleton branches to being dressed in beautiful lush green foliage. The models sits or stands where the light is best, to the centre of the room opposite the windows. I don't know why I chose tones of green, maybe the ensuing change of season from barren winter to the green of spring was an influence and having committed to using green in the first painting, I thought it best to continue in the same vein. There is, I think a flavour of "Chinese Girl" by Vladimir Tretchikoff's in these paintings. It is mysterious to me to know why green is so appealing when trying to recreate flesh...... perhaps it is because we see this green lurking just beneath our flesh. For Egyptians the colour green was indicative of vegetation and new life. I like to think of my painting course as a new beginning that will flourish into a harvest of creative work.
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All Artwork © 2014 Wendy Murray. Protected by The Copyright Act and the provisions thereunder.