Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Why Museums?

Why museums? Lots of reasons, not least that I have loads of photographs from The British Museum and The Louvre from when I was there in November. At that point I was thinking a lot about backgrounds and composition as well as wanting to learn more about how different people have imaginatively portrayed the human figure.

These are all things I want to explore and experiment with during the hundred days, along with thinking more about colur and mark making. Other advantages are that there are plenty of museums within easy travel distance for me to get new reference material (particularly looking forward to The Burrell Collection) and that there is a very wide range of possible subject matter, allowing me to explore a sorts of colour combinations and compositions.

However, there are limitations - working only from photographs, not controlling the light or the arrangement of objects. In some ways though these are freedoms - building a database of photos to work from is time consuming but can be done when otherwise tired and means that getting started in the studio is fairly painless. Not having control over the subject matter's arrangement or lighting means I have to concentrate more on composition and colour.

But the main reason is that I just really like being in museums. The only other type of place I maybe like as much (apart from the studio) are bookshops. Take me to a beautiful, awe inspiring landscape and I'm pretty bored. Take me to a museum, and I could be there for days - looking at the exhibits, drawing the exhibits, watching the people, having a glass of something and cake . . . they are like a little world apart, parallel to normal life, each one different and yet the same as all the others. Heaven!

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