Thursday, 21 June 2012

Part of the art!

I've been attending a short workshop called "Die Farbe hat mich", a quote by Paul Klee meaning "I am possessed by colour". He declared in 1914 that he would devote himself to colour for the rest of his life, so I'm in good company. Each week at the course we have taken one colour (red, yellow, blue in that order) and at the final session today we used all of them, but of course we've been dong that all the time (at least, I have). I really enjoy a challenge and working with a limited palette is fine, if tedious, but I don't think my work meets with much approval at the course. Too crazy? Too violent? Too colourful?
Some of my - admittedly colourful and a bit crazy - abstracts can be seen here:

Destiny? Despair? Or merely good fun? 

It all reminds me of the dilemma of any accompanist. A very famous and very good accompanist (Gerald Moore) wrote a book called "Am I too loud?" as an plea to all the singers who need musical "underpainting" but would prefer to submerge it in their own sound! In fact, a singer is very much at the mercy of the accompanist. Resisting the temptation to dominate the act (which would sometimes be a blessing!) is one of the qualities that make a good accompanist.

Getting the balance right is part of the art

Of course, that applies to painting, but should I be submerging my own need to create colourful, vivacious works in favour of stuff that might appeal to an agent or even a gallery? That is not why I paint, and it would make no difference if I painted differently, since it's impossible to please everyone, so I might as well just please myself!

Whatever this discussion is about, one thing I have to emphasize is that I paint for the sake of it. It's compensation for not being on the stage any more. The white canvas is as endless and cavernous as the black stage. The artist provides the light!

Here's me in opera roles:

as Joan of Arc

as The Medium (Menotti)

and as Waltraute (kneeling) in Götterdämmerung.

The answer to the criticism of my work? Too much on the canvas (or paper). Too much temperament. Could be, but I don't think there's any chance of my being able (or even willing) to start all over again.

So once again I come away from a workshop feeling disappointed with myself! Below is one of my better efforts, but I painted most of it at home after creating a simply dreadful yellow work at the course.

I did manage a more or less yellow painting, however. Here it is (painted entirely at home)

Nearly all the other efforts are destined for the recycling container!

Maybe this one will survive, however. I came home last week and turned to Kandinsky for comfort. The painting is not to scale, but it was the way back to doing something for the sake of it and not for some kind of silly reason (such as pleasing the teacher???).

after Kandinsky - unfinished!

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