|After the Bath by Paul Beel (1890)|
Ten days ago I completed my second course with the Ottawa School of Art. First, the exhilarating Anatomy of the Human Figure with Aida Alves, and second, a first-time journey into Acrylic Landscape Painting with Blair Paul. My technique improved a lot. Composition, colour, the whole thing. If you've been visiting this space you've been seeing it happen. But I haven't been making pictures about what I want to make pictures about.
I haven't made the pictures I want to make in years. During my first maternity leave, just at the tail end, I did some work I wanted to do while my daughter went to daycare part-time. I tackled a classical painting of Ada's face, a couple of other things. Three months later I got back to work and started drawing people on the bus. I drew anyone with whatever materials I had from fall 2010 to spring 2012.
On my second mat leave, I drew a number of pictures of my son while he slept. I loved doing these pictures, but I really wished I had more time and different poses.
Next, I chose the Anatomy course because I was weak on anatomy. (Great at heads, feet not so much.) And I chose the landscape course because the courses I really want to take weren't offered when I could take them. Contemporary painting, Expressive figure painting, etc.
I guess I've been making art out of whatever's in front of me for three years. It's exciting that I can do that now. Make things workable. I'm a much better technician than I was.
So, the next step.
Ada will be starting school in a new place across town this fall. We're buying another car so I can drive her there every day on my way to and from work.
In other words, the bus part of Bus Blog is over.
I'm pretty freaked about this. If I don't have Pictures from the Bus, what do I have?
The ideas I do have are pretty unformed. Ever since I first saw Canadian artist Paul Beel's After the Bath I have wanted to do nudes of children. I've made a few basic sketches. I'm nervous about taking photos, which would help for reference. It seems like a violation of my kids' privacy somehow. I'm not sure what poses I would do. How could I avoid them seeming sexualised? Serious art featuring kids doesn't have a good smell to it these days. How would I present these paintings? Would they be appropriate online? What audience would they have, if any?
I guess I'm thinking too much again, aren't I.
I'm not ready to do the children paintings that I want to do. And I don't want to do more of what I have been doing. If I'm not actively producing or growing as an artist or technician, then what am I doing? I'm consolidating.
Time to redo Best of Bus Blog and update my art site.