Updated: Apr 20
MEDIUM oil on paper SIZE ~ 12 x 12 cm
I am very happy with this semi-abstract work. Of course, it is still quite figurative and especially expressive. But still... It is an invented person. It nicely illustrates how abstract and figurative can interact. The effect of one material invites a certain technique, which in turn requires something that I had not anticipated.
If you paint a lot of portraits, you eventually get muscle knowledge.
As an artist, I know how a face is put together, which muscles are where and how they extend to the skull. And how to use that knowledge to portray a desired facial expression.
The amazing thing is that in time, your hand will also ‘know ‘this.
And then you can start playing with this almost automatic motor skill.
Playing with ingrained motor skills
In other words, I can partly manipulate my hand, while at the same time it is going its own well-worn motor way. It is wonderful to create intuitively and emotionally in this amazing freedom.
In other words, this painting came about through that combination of study and freedom, discipline and creativity, meticulousness and 'just let it be'. Then not everything has to make sense.....
And it is in that combination that this painting was created.
I am playing, as it were, with my own skill.
'My original Self'
During my career as a product designer for a large multinational, I developed a growing desire for making things myself, drawing and painting. As this hobby became more and more compulsory, I felt as if I found back, what I call my original Self.
Let me explain.
As a secondary school pupil, I took great pleasure in the creative subjects of handicraft and drawing. To me this was like swimming with ease. Close your eyes and just go. And getting nines and tens, that too. I took it all for granted to such an extent that I thought it was all too easy for me. It just came to me and I didn't take it seriously. An example.
An 11 instead of a 10
One time, I had made a piece of work from steel. Then the teacher asked me: ‘Hey Frank, you're going to put this up for sale, right?’
I had no idea. Why put it up for sale? In can't do that, can I? I remember thinking: 'It's just my own thing, that's crazy!’ It didn't occur to me that it might be a special piece of work.
That teacher advised my father, who was my handicraft teacher, to give me an 11. Of course, it turned out to be a 10. My father wouldn't dare…….
In the end, it turned out that I could have gone straight to the second class of the Art Academy.
ORIGINAL DUTCH VERSION, WRITTEN BY Arjo de Vries
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