Monday, December 3, 2012

again drawings (6): pine valley in painstaking line strokes

pine valley ~ frank waaldijk
pine valley (own work, 2007, 21 x 30 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

pine valley ~ frank waaldijk
pine valley (detail 6.7 x 9 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

one reason for adding the detail: it might give an inkling how many lines this one drawing took to complete. i find it interesting to note that this level of detailing inevitably leads to image files which are significantly harder to compress than average photgraphs. in the case of this drawing, the compressed .jpeg file is about 10 times as large as when compressing a normal photograph...showing how much information is packed in such a drawing.

oh, and i should add that the file (around 1.2 Mb) still doesn't do the real drawing much justice.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

old and new worlds, experiment, picasso, african art, el greco

self-portrait exploring new worlds ~ frank waaldijk
self-portrait exploring new worlds (own work, 1987-2012, 45 x 30 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

[also see the previous post] technical, emotional and psychological experimenting, trying to get to the essence. this work i started when i was in art school (art academy utrecht). almost needless to say, my teachers often didn't quite get what i was driving at, although they thought my work of high quality.

for them, any work i made was to be seen as an exercise, something to repeat at least 10 times, so that they could comment on every stage, and understand where it came from and was headed. for me, i was doing what the title suggests, and for me this is not served by studious repetition.

therefore i still have unfinished works from that period, works that i spent quite some time and effort on then, but was unable to bring to any satisfactory conclusion. in the past 10 years, i've been finishing a number of these `old' works, since nowadays my direction is clearer and my skills have improved.

this also reflects on how i see an artist's development: there is progress, but early periods have their own psychological merit and need not be discarded for lack of skills. on a different scale, i feel the same way about (art) history in general. modern art is all very fine, but... again like i wrote a few posts ago, perhaps george steiner was right in saying that our civilization is past its prime [in a 1989 dutch television series `nauwgezet en wanhopig']

steiner illustrated this feeling with comments about picasso, saying that picasso in essence only commented on the great masters of the past. so let's take a look once more at picasso's inspiration sources. perhaps i mentioned african art earlier on this blog?:

picasso en afrikaanse kunst

but did i mention its influence on les demoiselles d'avignon, the famous painting that picasso worked feverishly on for months, with hundreds of prepatory sketches? (and which he would not show)

picasso, les demoiselles d'avignon
pablo picasso, les demoiselles d'avignon

but one also discerns the catalan-romanic art influences from medieval times.

another major inspiration for les demoiselles d'avignon was the following masterpiece of el greco:

el greco, opening of the fifth seal
el greco, the opening of the fifth seal of the apocalypse

a painting which could have been painted yesterday as far as modernity and experiment goes, but which stems from the beginning of the 17th century, in the last years of el greco's life.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

again drawings (5): experiment, new worlds

grief and comfort v ~ frank waaldijk
grief and comfort (own work, 2012-2013, 40 x 55 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)[updated sept 2013]

wodance together, dance alone ~ frank waaldijk
dance together, dance alone (own work, 2010, 20 x 30 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

child abuse ~ frank waaldijk
child abuse (own work, 2010, 40 x 50 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

like i wrote in this earlier post on digital photopgraphy, i feel artists should explore new worlds. for this, i need constant experimenting. that doesn't only mean technical experimenting, but also a lot of emotional and psychological experimenting.

what is it that my `inner' artist self wants to show? how can i, the holder of pen, brush, pencil,...help this inner source to express itself in a poignant, perhaps sometimes disturbing but hopefully moving way?

life is not about superficial esthetics, and so for me neither is art.

again drawings (4): various subjects

i've been through the desert ~ frank waaldijk
i've been through the desert (own work, 2011, 40 x 55 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

woman with anxiety disorder~ frank waaldijk
woman with anxiety disorder (own work, 2012, 30 x 21 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

st francis in the woods ~ frank waaldijk
st francis in the woods (own work, 2011, 30 x 20 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

digital photography: composition with window

composition with window (own work 2012) composition with window(2012, own work)

i commented a little on the digital photography revolution earlier on this blog (see the posts labeled digital photography). although it is still laborious enough, at least now i can achieve full-colour photos in much the way i want them to be. i'm not overly ambitious as a photographer, but the medium is rich and i love to take pictures and transform them into something `more'.

some years ago i spent quite some time on a photographers' forum (now closed) and what surprised me was the general disdain for the use of photoshop. as a visual artist, i guess my perspective is a bit freer. i see photoshop as one of the many tools which i can use in achieving a certain image. and in my opinion, (photo)realism is vastly overrated.

we artists can (and therefore often should) explore new worlds. we don't all have to be revolutionaries, but why keep on producing same old same old imagery year after year after year? granted, new imagery takes time and effort. but new windows on our world is our business, as far as i can see...

in this work, abstract composition plays the central role of course. a cooperative tension between figuration and abstraction often meets what i'm searching for.

i quote from a digital photography revolution post:

Not only will this result in a massively larger quantity of good work being produced but, I suspect, a huge difference in the type of work produced. The idea that photography could finally enter the same century as painting in terms of philosophical outlook rather than lagging a hundred years behind excites me greatly. The influx of trained visual artists into photography can only be a good thing.

again drawings (3): pregnancy, child wish

child wish ii ~ frank waaldijk
child wish ii (own work, 2011, 30 x 18 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

sleeping expecting woman ~ frank waaldijk
sleeping expecting woman (own work, 2011, 40 x 50 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

woman overwhelmed by pregnancy desire ~ frank waaldijk
woman overwhelmed by pregnancy desire (own work, 2011, 20 x 30 cm, click on the image for an enlargement)

much of society's obsession with sex i understand through the simple fact that as a species we need to reproduce. this need does however in my eyes have many components that do not squarely fall into the category of sex. many of us have a psychologically deeply rooted child wish, i presume. and the (un)fulfilment  of that wish is a major issue for most of us.