Monday, 14 November 2011

Riverside Settlement - 14th November 2011 and a word on preference of loose artistic style

This is my latest sketched work in my loose impressionist style. This is on A5 paper using charcoal pencil and pencil. 

This is one my favourite ways to compose a sketch of imaginary subject matter, to make horizontal layers with each layer being a component of a townscape/landscape. So here there are five simple layers starting from above:-
  1. The Sky
  2. The Mountains
  3. The Settlement/Buildings
  4. The River
  5. The Foreground River Bank including tree and other plants.
You could actually see this scene as six to eight layers if you include the plain between the buildings and the mountains, the other river bank etc.
As soon as the first horizontal marks hit the paper, the landscape starts taking on a resemblance of a horizontal landscape as simple horizontal markings are easily interpreted with little detail. When I start a drawing like this I often have no idea what I will do and it takes on form and works towards the end result spontaneously. I hardly ever use an eraser as I kind of see it as cheating and a defeat of artistic ingenuity, creativity and adaptability. I prefer to work a mistaken mark into the composition even if it means taking the drawing or painting into a totally different direction.

I am much more pleased in an aesthetic sense by loose, undetailed paintings and drawings rather than realistic, detailed and accurate ones. I am not totally sure why this is. I think it is because impressionist and expressionist work possesses more creative effort, more individual meaning, and more variation whereas realism ends up making all artists works similar to identical. There is also a hand crafted nature and character about impressionist and expressionist styled work which is absent in realism and detail.

There may be another more spiritual reason for my preference of expressionist-impressionist works over realism and that is the longing of the soul for another world. Realism is a reminder of a world where we know we are leaving and has many problems that plague us whereas scenes removed from reality by absence of detail, colour or un-natural colour, proportions etc take us to another dimension a bit like dreams do or visions of an afterlife described in revelation to possess giant fruits, trees, mansions etc. This would make sense as the creative side of the human personality is very much connected to the spiritual side which manifests beyond mere sense perception and mechanical, physical movement.

From the point of view of time, a loose style means the ability to produce more works. Reality is of course complex, detailed and full of minute variations of colour. Thus the sky is not a few shades of colour but in reality hundreds or thousands of colours, the varied light and shadow intensity on any object also results in that object possessing hundreds of shades of colour. It is this detail which must be at least partially reproduced in realism, whereas the  impressionist style can be abandon the accuracy of colour variation and average out the colour and the expressionist can exaggerate or unify it. The imagination is therefore more at play in the latter case whereas the scientific observation and imitation is more at play in the case of realism. This judgement is of course concerning the application only, as indeed the intent and meaning attributed to a painting can apply to realism as well as other styles (and historically it was the impressionists who moved away from deeper meanings rather than the classical realists who often served religious objectives).

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