“If you have any notion of where you are going, you will never get anywhere.”J Miro
Final part of this group critique.
Anna has taken Stan Laurel, from the famous Laurel and Hardy comedy duo of the last century, as the main image on her 6ft canvas. There is a statue depicting Stan Laurel, by artist Bob Olley in Dockray Square in North Shields. Stan Laurel lived in North Shields from the age of 5 until he was 15 (1895- 1905).
Anna has always traditionally worked in the medium of Spray Paint so has spent some time getting to grips not only with the subject matter, including perspective, but also the application of the paint. She said she has found this new medium better to work with than she had imagined and wants to continue developing her skill with it, potentially painting some more landscapes. She has done several smaller studies, which she has included in her sketch book. It is always challenging to try new things, so it is to her credit that she has perseviered and created a bright and colourful painting of this legendary personality.
Anna cited the well known artist, P Mondrian as her inspiration for using primary colours on the statue. In reality the statue is shown in one colour. Originally it was painted in blue and green, the restorers found these traces of paint when it recieved a facelift (literally, a plastic surgeon was brought in to fix part of the statue back in 2016!) It was then repainted to the uniformly brown colour it is today.
I was familiar with Mondrian’s art work using lines with boxes of colour and have admired them since my 20’s, but I was completely ignorant of his earlier work, which, as a lover of colour, I thought were beautiful. See below for examples. So I thank Anna for opening my eyes to them. I can see correlations between this work and that of Van Gogh.
Elaine had the lovely option of using a photo of her brother, Ken, as the base for her work about North Shields. Ken was a Fish Merchant and Elaine had a fantastic picture of him at work next to his boxes of fish. Not content with this, she built the theme up in a surrealist manner, changing Ken’s arm into a crane, which in turn is lifting the Wooden Dolly into place. To further abstract this, she has placed them both under the sea and is building up a selection of marine life and the seabed. It really is a completly unique, personal and amazing painting.
Joan is using an image of the Dry Docks for her canvas. Originally she intended to complete this using collage and although both of the development painting she has created are “mixed media”, she has now decided to paint her canvas. She showed us two test paintings she had completed (shown below) both of which I thought were stunning in their realism. The depth she has achieved really leads you into the water contained in the dock and the water is so believable. As she had both the preliminary painting to hand and a series of photos we were able, as a group, to make suggestions, which of course Joan may or may not choose to incorporate. I really enjoyed both of the smaller works and am looking forward to seeing how the larger one develops.
To conclude, I think we should all be proud of the pieces we have made; the effort and love that has gone into creating them.