Wednesday, August 29, 2018

When the shine comes off

I should be writing, but I am temporarily dismayed. This might be because I have just spent half an hour on a helpline and had a most unsatisfactory outcome; or it could be because I've been reading Robert McKee's Story and I've realised that there is not enough jeopardy in my novel. What I can do is tell you about the art workshop I went to on Sunday. 

It was at a small local gallery:

I've been wanting to mess around with shape and colour for some time and the workshop provided an opportunity, as well as some minimal and helpful guidance on how to get started.

The first thing we did was rip up (or cut up) a piece of primary coloured paper and stick it on a sheet of plain white cartridge paper. We had ten such pieces of cartridge paper and did this same action ten times. Then we went back to the first one and made a single mark on it with paint or pastel or charcoal or ink - our choice. We did this with each piece of paper. Then we went back to the beginning and worked on each piece some more in whatever way we liked. It was a good way to get going, and ideas came as we went along.

There was no expectation that we would have a finished piece of work at the end of the day, but that we might have got some ideas as to how to progress and work on our own. This was good, because although I brought four pieces home, there is only one I still like, and it's as basic as you can get:

I have no pretensions and no pride about my 'art' work which is why I am happy to show it here.

The workshop was absorbing and fun and also strangely tiring, so that when we were given another task an hour before the end, I wasn't up to it. We had to paint on an A2 sheet with a long handled brush held in the hand we don't usually use. I did this and loved the way the wet paint glistened in the studio light. I though it was fabulous and brought it home to work on it some more. Now I realise how deluded I was. It does not look enticing now that the paint is dry. It looks like someone trying to get some turquoise paint off their brush. And there are even drips!

I am going back to my writing. I can't imagine wanting to do art work on my own. Being in a room with other people playing was encouraging and fun. Doing it on my own when I have little confidence will feel pointless. I'd rather be doing patchwork, which is also playing with shape and colour. I know I can achieve something lovely with that, even if I do hate the sewing part.

The last thing to say is to Ana - about a book I mentioned in the comments section. I said I was engrossed in Meet Me at the Museum. I was engrossed, but two thirds of the way through I got bogged down, skipped to the end, and I never went back. I'm waiting for The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve to arrive in the post. From the details online it looks as though it's brimming with jeopardy. Perhaps it will help.

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