Friday, January 02, 2015

Thank you Michael Taylor, artist

I was reminded of Michael Taylor when I put lettering on the Hibiscus painting (last post), because it was he who taught me the technique. Michael is a gifted teacher and I learned so much from him in 2005 when I took his 5 day life drawing class in Grafton, NSW.

Michael's own work focuses on relationships. It is thoughtful but whimsical, just as he is.

I produced a lot of work at that course that I have since painted over (my first experiments on canvas after years of watercolour on paper), but there is one piece I value to this day. It was painted at the very end of the course on a full size piece of watercolour paper. Those who work in watercolour will know that working on full size (56 x 76 cm) paper is a challenge - not least because most watercolour easels get wobbly holding that sized paper, if they can hold it at all.

The class had been very committed, starting well before the scheduled 9am start time on each of the five days and landing exhausted in the pub about four o'clock. We had two models, male and female and they were exceptional, able to hold poses for long after others would have had to move. They said they did a lot of yoga to prepare for the course.
1127 Couple
56 x 76cm
Watercolour on paper

My final piece was done in a state of exhaustion just as the course was closing. Watercolour is one of those mediums that requires a great deal of practice and care, but sometimes you have to just 'let go' and go with the flow. My state of mind at the end of this course was such that I was no longer able to think or be in control  - I just painted, putting what was before me onto the paper without so much as a minor correction.

The result was a lovely work that I hauled out from all the other paper work a few months ago and hung on my wall. I smile as I pass it each day. Thank you Michael Taylor for your gift.


Rethink Street said...

Wow 5 full days - how brilliant, I bet it was totally absorbing. Lovely painting.

Elizabeth said...

It was indeed totally absorbing. Glad you like the painting!