|Still life arrangement from my easel|
It's forty six years since I last produced an oil painting. Today I produced three.
Back in 1971, my art teacher - Mr Doyle - asked me to create a large picture in oils for the school canteen. It was taller than me and about four feel wide. Working with a palette knife I made a picture of a woman hanging up washing on a line that had been strung across a street of terraced houses. It met with general approval.
Unfortunately, I have no photos of that painting and very much doubt that it survived various re-developments at Beverley Grammar School. In fact, I suspect that builders may have used it for mixing cement upon.. When all is said and done, all art is ephemeral.
It was at midnight last night that I clicked the button on this laptop and signed up for today's course at The Art House in the centre of Sheffield - "Introductory Workshop in Oil Painting" with Marcin Szuba. There were nine women and me.
A few basic techniques were quickly described and then we had to get on with two small "sketches" based upon a still life arrangement that Marcin had set up for us. Using one of these sketches we spent the afternoon making large paintings based on preferred "sketches" from the morning session.
I enjoyed the whole process even though my finished painting is nothing special. It was a learning process. In some ways, I found the oils easier to work with than watercolour. Oil is more forgiving. You can rub it away or paint over it. You can use your fingers or a knife. You can scrape it, thin it, thicken it.
Now I know what I will be asking for ahead of my umpteenth birthday next month - an artist's smock and one of those jaunty giant berets that were once favoured by old masters.
|End result (Marcin to the right behind)|
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