This blog gets lost in the mists of time…

…I think it’s because blogspot is more convenient, but I’m going to try to keep this one going in future – and now I’m using the new editor I am greatly enamoured of wordpress!new-age-2

To find out a bit about what’s been happening before today you would have to go here!

My almost daily paintings got lost in the mists of time, too, mainly due to using up my energy and time in other ways, but also because I’m no good at selling the ones I’ve done – if indeed they are sellable! – so I have a guilty conscionece about creating yet more canvases though my storage room is full to bursting point and I have oodles of paintings in my studio.

Bird of prey

I discovered zentangle style drawing a couple of years ago, but broke away because I don’t like working in a tiny format that feels like a cage (another rule was that erasers are not allowed – how silly is that when you use graphic shading? erasing to create highlights is part of drawing, after all)). But….now the tanglers are using the once despised colour (that came first), erasers if they need them (but don’t talk about them- yet) and larger formats, not to mention all the object decorating that has been going on for some time, so in fact, the style of drawing is merging with other classical, decorative traditions and these days, though there are fusspots who insist that ‘zentangle’ has to stick by the rules, plenty of others are ignoring them!

An earlier experience of rule-setters was with the jazz singing style called barbershop. new-age-3There, strict rules were applied to the harmonies allowed in arrangements. For that reason I stopped doing barbershop and did my own thing with my arranging for my choruses (which is exclusive and covers all of every concert), employing more dissonances than the conventional ones “allowed” by barbershop purists. But now I notice that the harmonic scope has grown enormously in barbershop, despite the fusspots. I expect the yowling and howling will also stop eventually (sorry, barbershoppers, but they are often mistaken for legato).

In art, munew-age-5ch the same rethinking is going on. Acrylic colours used to be despised and not considered suitable for archival or classical collectors’ work. But the makers of acrylic colours continued to perfect their products and now they are accepted everywhere, and loved by artists for their convenience.

So what has happened in art? Makers of oil paints have done their homework and made H2O mixable oil paints better. More convenient, less messy and less toxic (due to chemicals needed to paint with conventional oils) than conventional oil paintsnew-age-01 (the queens of paints!), they do have a quality that is lacking in acrylic paints – I suppose – I use them all. It used to be the drying factor. Oils don’t really dry for weeks – acrylics dry in minutes. But the manufacturers have solved that problem, too: they’ve invented acrylics that don’t dry until you apply heat to them.

ornamental-birdOil paints were not discovered until pictorial and decorative art was well-established many centuries ago. Before then the normal procedure was to mix pigments (ground by apprentices) with oil or egg and water, or a combination of those 3 to make tempera, a forerunner of commercial gouache, which comes ready-to-use (you can also buy prepared tempera). In those days, and for centuries after, watercolours were only a sketching tool. Studies for large paintings were done in watercolour. They were followed by socalled grisailles (monochromes, usually greys) and the precious pigment colour was not applied until the master was sure that the painting was going to work. One reason for that might have been that several people worked on a painting – it was a workshop or school – so there had to be some kind of cooperation. We meet that again at graphic and film studios, where several skills are needed new-bits-4-birdsand combined to create the finished product. One or two artists are commercially successful enough to use others to do their creative work for them, but they are in the minority.

We have come a long way over the centuries, but it’s always back to square one when we start something new.

A few of my recent art doodles are included to brighten up this page!



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