31 December, 2017

Post workshop ponderings

It has now been over a month since Martin Campos came to New Zealand to deliver a 5 day painting workshop .

I have to admit, I expected a post workshop lull in my work but did not expect to have to SUCH a lull. He gave me a LOT to think about.

Workshop experiences affect everyone in different ways. Some people take off at 100 km/hour straight after, churning out new work . Some brew a little before the workshop has any affect on their work . And then for other , the brewing takes longer than initially anticipated. Right now, in the brewing stakes, my spoon would stand vertical in the mug!

It's not that what he said was so phenomenally mind-blowing or would change my whole practise....no, its a subtle thing. It's how to incorporate and extend the principles that I found most useful into my own practise without me looking like a Martin Campos clone. Too often, the work after the workshop bears the stamp of the master. Martin is a great painter and he has his own signature style I admire....but I have my own too and I need enough time to pass so that I can remember his words but create my own response using his teachings.

Oh, and then there was Xmas and a holiday with the family to contend with. The break in the work continues. The brewing continues and so does the time-frame.  I may start using analogies about whiskey , soon!

So I look to my own process and analyse how I work and find that much of what I instinctively do was articulated by Martin. I have never been a painter who worked in an orderly fashion, from A to B and onwards, a clear plan in mind of what the painting needs to look like. I think about how I want the painting to FEEL. Or rather, the feeling I want the painting to convey.  The painting  is most often not about the subject matter at all. I am asked "Where is that?" of my landscape painting. The real answer is that is exists in the "feels"....no geographical co-ordinates for those, I'm afraid. Sure, the landscapes are based in reality on places but are changed by my mind, the passing of time in the memory, the way I paint it, my choice of colours and technique and then it is no longer the Taieri plains, its "Burnt around the edges" ....and all that the phrase might mean.
Burnt around the edges

The workshop itself was great. I struggled. A lot. I always do and I know that its a good reaction because learning something new, upskilling and having to work in ways hitherto unexplored is always difficult. I was not the only one. I was exhausted by 4 pm...and he pushed us through till 5, wailing and moaning! 

I have some notes I wrote down and they read:
Do not be a slave to what you see
Find and lose, repeat


I sit and think and distill and paint a little plein air before I throw myself headlong into painting again .

Happy New year.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...