Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Paul Walls demo at Lisnagarvey Art Society in Lisburn

I think Paul Walls takes pride in the moniker the Ulster Museum levelled at him of being ’the thickest painter in Ireland’. For the purpose of the demonstration Paul painted in acrylics, not oils, and having never seen every painter in Ireland I’ll take the Museum's word for it. 

I had my iPad with me so I checked Paul's website and work out online as I had never heard of him before. Not his fault of course. I’m the newbie to all this painting malarkey! As a detailed pastellist, Paul's work would not be my cup of Earl Grey at all but I did enjoy his good humour and intelligent banter. Sort of guy I would get on famously with though got to say his taste in shirts... 

He’s not a fan of Tracey Emin, her unmade bed and past Turner prize winners like Damien Hirst and Anthony Gormley! His demo musings ventured into postmodern art and the Turner Prize. Is it really art? For a prize named after esteemed British painter JMW Turner who worked with traditional paints, canvas and brushes why are we pouring praise and showering accolades on bizarre exhibition pieces and works that have their home in lalaland somewhere? These are my thoughts by the way and though Paul might echo them I would never want to put words in his mouth. 

If Judy (who has been one of the four judges of the Turner Prize for the last three years) ever reads this she’ll remove me from her Facebook friends!!!

Getting out of the hole time: I'm not against modern/postmodern art. I have walked through the Tate Modern several times over the years and it all washed over me, left me completely unaffected – and I am someone who spent three years talking concepts and codswallop with lots of Fine Art friends at college. Maybe I am just not getting it. I'm fossilising! As stuck in the 1970s as Status Quo!  

Back to 2016 and Lisnagarvey! Paul and I did disagree over Van Gogh. Not a good drawer? Seriously? Paul backtracked a bit and notioned that Van Gogh was a better painter, but I doubt he was a better technical painter than the Dutch Masters. Van the Painter Man did have his own unique,  impressive style with his impasto swirls which would touch millions years after he died but he was fine with the oul drawing too. He did over a thousand of them and from what I recall of my final year thesis, a long time ago, he believed that drawing was “the root of everything.”

Paul’s website can be found here for those interested in checking out his work.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Grahame Booth watercolour demonstration in Hillsborough

This was the second Grahame Booth watercolour demonstration I had been at in the past three weeks. He had previously shown off his prowess with the riggers and the like at Lisnagarvey Art Society. 

To tie in with the year theme of ‘industry’ he painted a straightforward watercolour of a scene from the Harland & Wolff docks which was OK but far too loose to get me excited.

Hillsborough was very different. 

I have always been fascinated by pen and wash so I was all eyes and ears when Grahame demonstrated a quite ordinary street scene of Portrush on the big screen.

I was hooked! Big time! 

Now I needed to find some interesting images to draw. I want to go A3 but Grahame recommends A4 but I wonder is that because he’s a two-three hour man whereas I am more ‘whatever time it takes’ ...

I like the idea of being loose, of painting wet on wet and creating a riot of pigments soaking into each other to form other mad colours but then I have to remember who I am and my need to be in control in a Geoff Kersey kind of way. I think I need to saturate myself in some good pen and wash YouTube videos, then put them down and get on with creating something that is totally me – a wee potion of Geoff and Grahame and a large shot of yer tatch man.