Oceania

I joined the artist who blogs as Outside Authority at the Royal Academy of Arts a couple of weeks ago.  We made three forays into the “Oceania” exhibition of artefacts from the Pacific diaspora, one to Renzo Piano’s achitectural display “The Art of Making Buildings” and had a timed ticket into the Klimt/Schiele “Drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna“.

OA and I have made previous drawing expeditions together but with longs gaps between.  At New Year two years ago, we draw water in Cromford in the cold.  As so often, later, I reworked sketches to find the picture I failed to capture outdoors.  Many months later, we visited the Kathe Kollwitz exhibition and, reflecting on that experience, we wandered, drawing, through Birmingham.  As usual, my medium was soluble ink, moved around with water and covered over with conte crayon. That day, I adopted an idea from OA to limit myself instead to using just three felt tip colours.

However, smudging the sketch with water had led me to be lazy with the lines.  In recent sketches I have used water-fast ink, line and block, to render tone and texture, denying myself the option to alter the picture with water.  This was the approach I took to drawing the Oceania artefacts.

I much admire the work of the German artist Susanne Rempt who blogs under the appropriate monicker Sue Blackpenart.   She frequently draws artefacts in museums and her drawings have such simplicity and carry so much narrative.  On occasion, she illustrates the thought-provoking posts and fiction published by blogger CakeorDeath.  He has posted several times about the importance of the Pacific peoples’ art to the western Surrealist movement in the twentieth century.  Susanne’s influence is obvious in my drawings.  In the first two of these drawings I started with and later erased pencil lines, but in the third, like Blackpenart, I committed myself directly in ink.