process: Strawberry fields and seeds forever....

Strawberry under observation

I've been continuing to work on my botanical watercolour of a strawberry which I started the other day as part of my botanical illustration class. I've never looked quite so closely at a strawberry so closely in my life as Im usually scoffing them fast with side order of cream. 

This lack of looking is part of the reason (asides my interest in botany) why I've chosen to do a class in Botanical Illustration - to make me pay for attention to the smaller things and taking the time to absorb and observe which this kind of painting/method helps you do. It is also very meditative - more on that aspect later!

The overstimulation of the visual with the barrage of images we face everyday whether it be through the internet, public spaces such as shop windows, signage, posters, flyers etc can almost be blinding.  You look but you don't really see or really register. 

I often wrangled with this overload with respect to my artwork as I'd always be collecting lots of ephemera/material in sketchbooks - from exhibitions to films to events, talks and so forth. There were tons of ideas - enough to last me a few lifetimes and some. But usually working freeform without parameters can be debilitating and you often continue 'collecting' without at some point, stopping and delving into one thing to literally go right in and cause some expressive chaos with that one point of reference.

I still struggle with this - being on the Masters courses over the past 2 years has helped with the deadlines including shows/exhibitions, essays and the final summer research project (2015) which spanned 3 months from conception, research to  writing and realization. I often go back and remind myself of these deadlines as a way to try and create new deadlines and parameters for myself so that I don't literally get lost in some vortex. It also reminds me that you can do quite a lot in short spaces of time - e.g during the MA Art/Space/Nature course we did 5 exhibitions over 2 months and at one point 2 shows over 2 weeks which was a really good experience. These short bursts of time can often bring out spontaneous, exciting things which often, with too much thinking/reflection easily discarded as rubbish. 

I'm not sure as yet where this strawberry and botanical painting journey is taking me as yet but the key thing is just to keep going but at the same time with reference to what I've written above, take some time at some point to dive right in and tease something out to work on in more depth.

Tutor demo of strawberry illustration

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