54. Reflection.

13 May 2018. Now awaiting tutor report for Drawing 1, Part 3, and about to start Part 4.

At this stage I feel that I’m doing fairly well and showing some improvement in my work.  I progressed quickly at the start of Part 3 but then lost some momentum when I went to America for 2 weeks. I had intended to continue my course work during my USA visit but only managed 1 sketch, although I was spending many hours a day painting a nursery mural for my future grandchild. Even so, I ought to have been more diligent. On my return other things needed my attention so I was slow to catch up with course work, having to extend my deadline by a week. I’d progress more quickly if I could make myself draw faster, perhaps if I limited the time I allowed for each drawing, but at this stage I don’t seem able to do that and be confident that I’ll get a satisfactory result.

I ended Part 3 with what I think is a good assignment piece, but I was conscious during the drawing of it that I was taking much longer than the suggested 2 hours.

Overall, I feel my confidence growing, particularly with outdoor sketching and life drawing. I booked for a 2-day life drawing class with the WEA which was cancelled due to lack of student numbers, but I will try to attend as many life drawing sessions at the Studios in Wakefield on Thursday nights. These sessions are without instruction but still very useful and will help with Part 4 of the course.

I’ve just been reading a biography of Andrew Wyeth and a passage in it struck me as something that I ought to take note of – the biography, “Andrew Wyeth, A Secret Life” was written by Richard Meryman before the artist’s death. “Wyeth believes that egotism might inhibit him as an artist, make him timid, afraid to splash paint and risk wrecking a picture. He believes that to be successful, a picture must at some point be what he calls ‘out of control’. An example is the big 1957 tempera Brown Swiss. He had spent months painting the Kuerner house seen across the little pond ………… ‘I had the literal truth, the workmanship almost overstudied’ Wyeth says. ‘But I’d never gotten wild during it, given it the fire I felt. One evening just before dinner I mixed up a huge bowl of ocher color and raw siena, very watery. Then I stepped back and threw it all over this huge painting, color dripping down. Then I rushed out. If I’d seen it drying, maybe all patchy, I’d have doubted and tampered with it. The next morning I found I’d made it. I take terrible chances like that. Sometimes I miss and it’s awful – chaos. But I’d rather miss sometimes and hit strong other times, than be an in-between person’ “.

I’ve been lucky enough, due to having relatives living in the area, to have visited the superb Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania many times and seen many of the Wyeth family paintings and drawings. I intend to go again.

Meanwhile, on with part 4.


Figures from my collection.

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