I didn’t really know what to expect from this Thursday workshop, however, that’s part of the reason why I chose to do it.
It was run by Celestine Kim, a PhD student studying at the University of Reading. And we decided on our meaning of abstract drawing and decided upon the features of expressing your ideas and emotions. But what is drawing? It can be categorised into two types; preparatory/finished work. We also worked on the question; what is painting for me? Basic instinct, a want or need to make mark, to keep a record for ever. These ‘definitions’ links to prehistoric drawings; Spanish cave of the hands (Impulse to leave something behind, to leave a trace, transferring a sense of their identity, natural) and chavet cave drawings (diary, a warning of danger, was no industry at the time BUT all of these are expectations that we have because they are there, but we will never really know why it is actually there, drawn on the walls).
Idea: Keep an art diary and make it as abstract as you want (some of the pieces we did were very therapeutic – especially the pink and black one).
But again, what is abstract art? The release of feelings. Will. Uncontained. More imaginative. No obvious meaning. Thought provoking. No explanation.
We also looked at some artists to gain some inspiration and almost a starting point;
Jutta Koether, I know there’s nothing else to do, Oil on canvas
Sue Williams, testicle flange on the green, oil and acrylic on canvas, 1997
Cy Twombly (main artist for the session) 1929 – 2011. The US. He was an abstract artist in the 60s where drawing was very much preparatory. As an artist/work he was emotionally raw and used visual clues but it was all up to visual interpretation. For me, his work looks like doodling but doodling can be an artwork. Isn’t that part of what abstract drawing is? His work is visual poetry.
Synopsis of a battle, 1968, oil-based house paint, wax crayon on canvas, 68 x 81 3/4 inches.
Untitles [inainomenos], Bacchus, 1st Version IV, 2004, wax crayon on wooden panel, 98 1/2 x 74 3/4 inches.
Poems on the sea, XIX, 1959, oil-based house paint, pencil, was crayon on paper, 12 3/4 x 12 3/16 inches.
Venus and Adomis, 1978, oil, crayon, pencil on paper, 28 x 39 1/2 inches. Collection Stephen Mazoh, New York.