FIGURING IT OUT
IN THE LONDON SKETCH CLUB IN DILKE STREET
THIS ANALYTICAL DAY COMPRISED A WHOLE DAY WORKING IN FRONT OF THE MODEL, WITH DRAWING EXERCISES FOLLOWED BY PAINTING. THIS CLASS used a balanced palette based on Henri Matisse’s early painted life studies.
Matisse: Colours have their own distinctive beauty that you have to preserve, just as in music you try to preserve sounds. It is a question of organisation, of finding the arrangement that will keep the beauty and freshness of the colour.
Matisse’s response to Cezanne, Picasso and other cubists (and WW1) led to him limiting his starting points and his modus operandi being based around reworking.
The drawing exercises resulted in ‘fresh and superficial sensations’ during the first session and a ‘state of condensation of sensations’ after that.
then for the first painting we mixed a simple palette of greys, then, ‘seeking light from the opposition of colours’ added brighter hues after a break in which a more robust palette was used on multiple versions of Richard, the remarkable dancer who was modelling.
The work produced by Sarah, Michaela and Gill was extraordinary and I am full of admiration for their inventiveness, using Matisse as a catalyst not a template.