Tuesday, 23 June 2015

figure studies

small figure study

figure study 'woman with striped bodice' -acrylics on linen (on card) -  I wanted here to create a dynamic figure with a bit of attitude.

I especially like paint to look like paint - thick and textured with the memory of brush, knife or finger. I often smooth paint with my finger, creating a swoop of smooth colour. I look at painters such as Dubuffet and Francis Bacon, and Frank Auerbach (just reading his biography, slowly but surely) - I am not attempting to emulate or copy these painters, who for one thing worked on a much bigger scale. I am attempting to make my own gestures and explore my own way of working.

Working in this way is always a hit or miss process, for me. What I think works can be different once dry. Layers of acrylic shrink down but layers can also behave in interesting ways, especially if varying colours. The figure study above is an example of layering. There's a lot of paint used here - which is why I prefer to work on something more than paper. I make my own supports/surfaces, using heavy mount board, linen and gesso. Making my own supports gives me the ability to alter surface texture from the beginning and of course I can make a picture just the size I want.

handmade blank surfaces for painting - starting the week with my own 'blank canvasses' 

Below is 'saint' -  I wanted here to create a figure that could be both anonymous yet tender. Again, there are many layers here. What may appear to be a 'simple' portrait is actually worked in stages and has various puzzles to work through.

saint - figure study


Jess said...

I love the idea of working on your own customised pieces of card and linen. How satisfying it must be to create the whole thing!
Jess x

jo headington said...

Your paintings are so much like your poetry and writing Cathy.
I love the stories they tell (me).

(and you were so kind to share with me your gesso tip - I have left some edges of my cotton on card frayed and love the effect!)