Let’s Achieve Something Great Together 7 – Studies

Face Study – Lee Gascoyne 2012

For some artists, studies are an integral part of their practice and may have a set pattern of exploring studies before even considering the final piece of artwork. I try to keep my practice as spontaneous as possible with an element of organisation, without which nothing would really get done. The two words spontaneous and organised are pretty contradictory, but only in the sense of seeing the idea of being spontaneous as doing what you want whenever you want, and organisation as trying to control every aspect of daily life towards an unrealistic perfection. I think I may be drifting away from the topic of studies here! But there is a connection. Whenever we impose a system we are inevitably in danger of being caught by and sticking to that system, which may have worked well for one project, but needs to evolve in order to propel the next one in a fresh way. So I tend to see studies as activities that the piece of artwork requires in order for it to be the fullest expression it can. Some pieces of artwork don’t need studies and are more of an action and reaction type dialogue between the artist and the paint or sculptural material etc.

I recently created the following study for the painting I am working on at the moment and will probably do more. If you review my previous posts on the development of this painting, you will see that I have made some basic progress, but in order to establish where the finished look is heading I felt I needed to study the master image I had created. I have broken it down into smaller chunks in order to concentrate on one element at a time as it is a very large painting. I am fortunate and grateful that my friend Fay posed for the master image that I am using as a reference. This means that I was able to create the whole image from the ground up and also take the reference photograph myself.

Fay (Painting Study: Graphite & Acrylic on paper) – Lee Gascoyne 2012


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