Damn You, Steadman!!!
Okay, so artist Ralph Steadman (and the two pictures included in this post are his) has nothing to do with my current frustrations - I do. I have to do a drawing for my Printmaking class and keep coming with very derivative ideas. Steadman isn't someone I talk about much, but his work, style and imagination have always caught my eye and my own imagination. Frankly, in my own opinion, drawing isn't my strongest suit. I prefer painting, but I wanted to learn lithography, serigraphy and intaglio. We are about to learn some of the more painterly aspects to traditional lithography, but I am stuck for an image. Sadly, some of my sketches have proven to be quite unoriginal.
I am quite sure we share a passion for the painter Francis Bacon: he certainly shares some of Bacon's stylistic qualities, so maybe I shouldn't feel so uptight about it. But then I started working on something else, away from those Bacon/Steadman-ish impulses. Once again, I strolled into the garden of plagarism, this time Éduoard Vuillard's plot. Vuillard is a relatively little known French Post-Impressionist painter and printmaker. I stumbled onto his work while searching for something new, and was struck by some of his images. I am not into Vuillard's work the same way I am into Bacon or Steadman, I appreciate his work and his sketches in particular.
Anyhow, as I was sketching yesterday I was struck at how familiar the image I was drawing was. I went to the Public Library and found the same Vuillard book I had studied at the Emily Carr College of Art in Vancouver. Bam-o! There it was: a pencil sketch of a man standing in an alleyway. Too similar, despite it having been 4 years since I last saw the sketch. So I am searching my brian for relatively less derivative.
Part of the frustration is that I am used to working without sketches. I just go to work on canvas or paper and either erase or paint over that which does not please. Traditional lithographgy works with grease pencil, and you can't just erase that which does not please because it never truly goes away. I tried shaving my first plate with a razor blade, but it doesn't work. I'll figure a way around this, eventually.