Back to the drawing board – the ENERGY within

At the 2nd Drop by Drawing session at the NGV I went along to in January, the very lovely John Wolseley  enthusiastically pressed us to think about the different ENERGIES within the composition of the paintings around us.

Surrounded by some very traditional 19th Century works, this was a completely new way of looking within the painting. 

Possum and Banksia

Honey Possum atop an Orange Banksia – drawn from specimens in the new Darwin Exhibit at the Melbourne Museum Feb 2013

John Wolseley

John Wolseley engages us to look past the image and see the ‘energies’ within the paintings

Detail of Maguerite

The point John was trying to make was that what we ‘saw’ were not clouds, water or sheep, or even mere paint and pigment, but a transformed energy we could recognise as clouds or water etc.

The exercise then was to take in about seven works or so and make some loose ‘energy maps’ before taking a smaller view and working on it in detail.

This exercise prompted me to get ‘back to the drawing board.’

So I went along to my first class with Marco Corsini at his Enderby Studio in Richmond.

Marco’s landscapes capture an amazing depth of colour and space but retain an incredible level of detail. Just as I’ve tried to loosen up a lot more with life drawing – now it feels like time to build some more technique and observational skills.

So here are a few samples of the struggle so far …

The new Darwin to DNA Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum presented the beautiful specimen of the tiny honey possum (Tarsipes rostratus) atop an Orange Banksia flower (Banksia primotes) for me to practice on today – I saved the image with a bit of sepia tweaking to give it that old botanical drawing look. 

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