Sunday, October 30, 2011

Drawing Workshop with David Fairbairn

I was lucky enough to attend a  4 hour workshop on Portraiture at Caloundra Regional Gallery  yesterday with David Fairbairn.
He currently has a12 year retrospective exhibition of his work at the gallery, which is travelling around the country . The current show continues until Dec 4 , 2011, and is certainly worth a look.
The majority of the works were very large drawings on a number of  Arches sheets of paper stapled to a Matt board behind perspex and white frames. They are very beautiful and exquisite in all their rawness, energy , honesty and grubbiness. Some remind me of  Frank Auerbach .
What did we do?
1.We drew our faces by feel not sight.
2.On another sheet  using a mirror, again we drew our faces, looking and drawing as if feeling our faces. The aim was to follow the direction of the surface and aim for an open webbing effect over the surface.
3.Take the sight drawing and tear or cut it up, keeping in mind the contours of the face.
4.Arrange and glue on another sheet so that the idea of your portrait is still there but it is distorted.
5. Photocopy  and then work with the photocopied versions.

From my understanding what he was trying to do is push the participants beyond illustration. Emphasise" the  process as art making" , "aim for an honesty of expression".