Monday, January 29, 2007

I was inspired

I recently watched a TV programme about Rolf Harris.

(I always remember him for doing large paintings; they must have been about 8 by 6 foot size, using a 6 inch paint brush. When he was painting he used to say “Can you tell what it is yet?”

When he finished the painting he would stand in front of it and sing a song. Of course the painting was the same subject as the song he sang, and provided a good backdrop for his performance.)

It was a very good programme and he talked about coming to London from Australia in the 1950s.

He went on to say that his mentor (painting mentor) showed him how to cover the whole canvas in paint and then pick out areas and refine them. The approach was to work on the whole of the painting rather than focusing on a particular section.

How about trying a different style?

Of course he was an accomplished artist already, but it can be interesting to try to paint in different styles and try various methods of applying the paint. It can be easy to get caught up with the idea that you have to paint in a certain way or have a proper picture at the end of it.

I know this happens to me! It is not always easy to allow yourself the freedom to experiment on a painting surface. However if you do not like the final result you can always cover the canvas or canvas panel with a layer of gesso or thick white paint and reused it. If you are painting on paper you can throw the paper away or cut up parts of it to use in a collage.

Trim it to a good bit!

If you are painting on paper or a canvas panel you might have a particular section that you really like. Using these painting surfaces means that you can trim down the surface leaving you with just your favourite section – another masterpiece!

Do not stress about painting something wonderful. You can learn a lot by just playing around with your paints, and having a good time too.

No time like the present

In Rolf Harris’ case he had stopped painting for about 10 years before he was offered a painting TV programme to do. So even if you have not picked up a paint brush for a while there is no excuse.

His enthusiasm was contagious; he was having a great time. He said that he likes to turn off the TV and do things instead. I have to admit on a dark winter night I tend to just sit and watch The Box.

Perhaps you will think about doing something more interesting, I know I will be!

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