Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Deja vu... all over again

"Thoughtful" ACEO can be bid on here.
Copyright Rita Woodburne

"Apples, Silver & Pomegranate" ACEO can be bid on here.
Copyright Rita Woodburne

Hey! Speaking of projects I guess that’s partly why you came back today, isn't it? Last year, February to be exact, a group of artists by the name of Fine Line Artists decided that for 2007 they would create a monthly project for themselves, and anyone else interested in participating, and each month that would involve studying one of the Masters. The only one I participated in was the artist for February, that Master artist being Van Gogh, a personal favourite of mine. Why? Because I admire his use of colour, he was incredibly prolific in his very short artistic career (and life), was very expressive and open-minded in his approach to looking at and creating art and, lastly, because he was crazy. Crazy people are always interesting.
Most importantly for me though was the colour issue. It’s not that I was doing “bland” work (okay, some of it was, but not all of it) but I wasn’t pushing beyond what I was capable of doing and also what I was capable of seeing. Black isn’t just black and white isn’t just white, y’know?

During this project from last year I decided to do a landscape, which came out quite horrifically by the way, but I was also working on a horse piece at the time. Much like the solvent experiment that I just wrapped up, with the horse piece from last year I gave myself permission to screw up and I made myself see some colour. I struggled with it, to be honest, but in the end I was so very pleased at how it turned out. I named him “Peat” and wouldn’t you know it? I took him to the first big art show I had last year and he sold on the first day. I was sad to see him go but there really was something about that piece that smacked of a breakthrough for me. “Peat” can be seen below:

"Peat", 8x10, coloured pencil on Colourfix
A very crummy photo, I might add
Copyright Rita Woodburne
Private Collection

After “Peat” I never looked at colour the same, and I have the project from last year and Van Gogh to thank for that.

So, for the next 2 months I’m going to return to studying Van Gogh. Last year for my birthday my brother bought me an awesome book on the absinthe- imbibing artistic wonder and there are some excellent sketches in there as well as an abundance of letters written to his brother Theo.
One month simply wasn’t enough time to cover an artist as prolific as Van Gogh, nor to go over all the documentation associated with him. I suspect that 2 months isn’t enough either but in the interest of keeping things fresh that’s about as long as I can go with in-depth study...that and gardening season will be starting by end of March! :D
I’m sure my study of him will extend throughout the year as relevant artistic issues pop up, but I’ll just dedicate the next 2 months. And after all, I still have another Master study planned for later in the year, so I can’t let Van Gogh have all the glory.

So that’s what’s happening on the project scene. Again, this is open to anyone out there, professional or hobbyist so if you’re interested in joining drop me a line or leave a comment. The whole thing will “formally” start next week when I’ll post a few goals I have for myself related to doing this and what I hope I’ll accomplish over the next two months. So, are you game?

Back on Friday!


Meg Lyman said...

I'd love to see more about Van Gogh. Bring it!

Rita said...

Will do! There's oodles of info on him and I'm sure I won't get to explore all the things I want to but I'll try my best!