|My Version of 'Adam and Eve' - Marc Chagall|
As it happened, the Course Leader had based the course around 'Memories', linking it to the way Chagall used memories in his work so much. This was a bit of a blow because, as I mentioned a few posts ago our daughter had died only three weeks before, and the idea of drawing and painting about our memories was just not something we could face.
So we spoke to the tutor and explained, and it was arranged that we would set our own aims for what we wanted to get out of the course and opt out of the group work. I decided that I would spend as much time as possible in the Gallery just soaking up the 60 Chagall works on display, observing and writing, and experimenting to see how it all might influence my own practice.
Easier said than done, as I'll explain, and I'll show you the mental process I had to go through to get myself even able to draw so that you will know it doesn't always come easy to me.
I wandered around the gallery trying to get the pencil to actually touch the paper. Have you ever felt like that? Sometimes it's so difficult to make that initial pencil mark and this time is was particularly difficult.
The floating head piece at the top of my first page above was a complete failure, with not enough space allowed and everything really badly drawn.
So I tried to draw just the cat from Chagall's 'Paris Through the Window', a tiny part of the large painting and apparently so simple. But could I draw it, oh no. I tried over and over again in the same place on the page, both looking at it and without looking. You can imagine how un-pleased I was with the page above!
I did a lot of careful observation and writing as well, including what you can see on the second page above. Still trying with the cat at the top of the page, and then a two-way head from another part of the painting.
A bit better. I wandered around the gallery for a while then went back to the struggle with the cat. I will NOT be beaten by a cat!
Yes I was, and soundly beaten too. What I have written beside it is 'I still cannot get this blasted cat right, not even his/her expression'. The head is like a human head with cat ears, so simple but so difficult.
My mood was lifted a bit at that moment when two ladies passed by. They obviously didn't think much of Chagall's paintings, because one said to the other 'Look at that! He doesn't even know how to draw a cat. It hasn't even got any whiskers.'
I felt I could tackle a drawing now, but decided that I would choose a painting I really disliked rather than something I liked. This one, a very large painting entitled 'Homage to Apollinaire' is not typical of his work, and it is so dark and gloomy in colouring. I read later that it's original title on his initial sketch was 'Adam and Eve', which makes a little sense of it.
As so often happens, I forgot to take a photo of the initial drawing, and even when I did photograph it I missed out the lower legs. This is when I'm partway through adding colour with pencils and you can see that I just focussed on the main figures. You may just be able to see some of the faint guidelines I used to help me.
It looks such a simple image, but my goodness it was difficult to draw and it took me ages.
All in all, in spite of the struggle I was happy with what I had achieved, and knew that I would be able to get into drawing easily the next day.
If you are still with me, thank you for staying to the end.
Linking to Paint Party Friday