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fotini hamidieli
About this artwork
Title
Passing
Materials
Mixed media on canvas
Dimensions
h.80cm w.50cm d.0cm
Completed
Jul 2004
Artist

fotini's Description: I' m interested in combining drawing and painting so in this work I stressed the use of line. This image is based on a poem.

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JP Delaney


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Comments
Maria

Hello, Fotini, welcome aboard! I wright in English so that others can pop in the conversation too. I am so glad to find a new Greek person in ArtProcess, I didn't introduce to myself.

Drawing, i.e line, is one of the most important elements of painting in my mind too. I think that line and texture are the basis. One can apply wichever combination of colours, that will of course lead the work to different expressive paths, but the essence of it all lies in drawing. In the way forms meet and interact with each other. Whether two or three dimentional.

fotini

maria thanks for the wellcoming i live in asmall city it's difficult to find people to talk to about art when i need to, so artprocess is great .

Hanjo

By chance I ran into this painting of Fotini and then found Maria’s comment on drawing which sounds very strange to me. I know that we had this discussion on drawing very often here but I have forgotten when and where. So let’s start again. A drawing is a drawing in the first place, done with pencils, pens, needles or charcoal. It’s a clearly separated section of art. Another clearly separated section is painting done with brushes or knifes and the technique is absolutely different. Drawing is an act of abstraction. The basis of drawing is following the outline of an object. This is what sculptors do, at least as I have learned it. The tension in the outlines shows what’s between them so there is no need of shadowing it with any kind of hatching. For example, if a sculptor draws a globe it will be a mere circle that contains everything that has to be said about a globe. Even when drawing the surface of an object you always have to look for borders: where does one hue begin and where does it end to put your line at the exact place.

Painting in the opposite deals with surfaces. In this painting is closer to nature as drawing. It’s less abstract then. In other words drawing always beginns with an outline whether it is a real outline or in the middle of an object. Painting compared with this is concentrated on surface areas. So drawing can be described as coming from the outline and going to the center while painting is growing from the center in the direction of the outline.

In nature there are no lines, not really, everything is surface. So a line is an abstraction what in the literal sense of the word means that everything that is not absolutely necessary is pulled away. A painter’s eye on the other hand pulles nothing away from what she sees but tries to get it all, the whole surface and transforms it into hues of paint. It’s not looking for an abstraction but for a metaphor.

Some fifty years ago I already had this kind of discussion with our beloved friend Hillel. It was about Reaissance = construction = line and Baroque = description = surface. There are other periods in art history that can be used to describe this contradiction. Sometimes it occurs in one and the same period like in the ninetieth century. For example Blake and Turner. Blake, whom I loathe, was about 25 years older than Turner, whom I adore, but nevertheless they were contemporary. Blake is called a painter but what he actually did were coloured drawings while Turner was a painter at it’s best. Try to put a line into one of his magnificent paintings and you will fail. One can start with the greeks, they had drawers who did vase „painting“ and painters that did paintings that are echoed in Pompeian murals. In Egypt you find drawings like in the tombs and paintings as on those wonderful lively mummy portraits of the latest (hellenistic) period. It seems to be like tide. You have draftmen and then painters and then draftmen again followed by painters and so on and so forth. Your favorite painter Maria, Goya, was both a powerful painter and an accurate draftsman as well. This is rare.

Well of course you need some drawing as a painter. But these lines are raw sketched outlines just for to know where to stop. But that’s not exactly drawing. It’s marking. Okay I admit that this is my very personal view but you will understand that I can only talk about what I think. Drawing for me is somewhat bloodless while painting is a very erotic bath in paint. Oh oh, I can already hear the outcry aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrgggggg but nevertheless this is what I think and what is the basis of what I do. We can continue on this when your newest paintings are to be seen in a higher resolution. And for I love you Maria this will be a hard fight.

To end with I have to say that Fotini’s painting in my eyes is just what she has said: a combination of drawing and painting with NONE of them being superior. That’s interesting and well done.

Hillel

Hanjo knows (no pun intended) how to draw me into a discussion (even if I am depressed as hell) and I see he's in a mood for talk. I'm not sure what Maria had to say on the topic (direct me to it) and perhaps I'll be repeating something she said, although like with everyone else sometimes we agree and sometimes we don't.

The concept that drawing is only about line and is done in a medium like graphite, charcoal, pen and ink is something I just can't agree with. According to the dictionary, curators and art institutes that does seem to be the case however ink and watercplour washes and recently oil stick and magic markers are acceptable media for drawing even if their results do cross the contour v.s. mass borderline.

For me drawing is pure thought, It's how artists tackle the measurement of their visual experience including the weighing of hue and tone. Maybe confusion arises because in bygone times when artists painted huge murals and elaborate cathedral ceilings the separation between the initial sketches (drawings in pencil, charcoal or oils) and the finished life sized cartoons, ie. line drawings to be transferred to the prepared surface and the paintings themselves were viewed as two distinct activities. This firmly established difference between drawing and painting has been challenged in our time given our experience of recent art history. From the impressionists to the abstract expressionists, artists have drawn colour directly with brushes and knives onto their canvases and that spontaneous quality is a hallmark of much contemporary painterly work.

The whole idea that drawing is just about the medium used, seems to me to be quite absurd. In what way is an intricate black and white or monochromatic tonal work in pencil, charcoal or conte different from painting? I know, NO PAINT therefore no painting. I can accept that concept based on the technicality but not the reverse... that a painting drawn directly with brush and paint is less of a drawing because of paint and/or colour.

Great artists have always been great draughtsmen as well as painters and/or sculptors. They drew their drawings and continued the drawing process when they painted or sculpted. I can't think of one example who was both a lame draughtsman and painter or sculptor. Just because we can use various techniques like "Photoshop" today to determine outlines (nothing so new, camera obscura has long existed and certainly Vermeer used it to determine outlines yet he remains in my mind a great painter and draughtsman). There's no shame in using shortcuts to determine naturalistic outlines if that's what you're into. (I prefer a more holistic, overall drawn approach) Each one of those little squares that make up a Chuck Close painting have to be drawn and painted or drawn with paint. No matter how you Hanjo, Isolate areas and contours in your figurative works, those areas have to be drawn with paint and if it wasn't for your proficiency as a draughtsman, the end results wouldn't be as successful as they are.

Hanjo

Indeed the trick worked this time. I’m so proud of me.

Well, it was my fault to try to make something objective what actually is a highly subjective thing. In a way ... and there Hillel’s absolutely right ... one can see everything as a drawing. It’s not only that one can draw with everything, one can use a stick to draw in the sand, you can use blood on your fingertip, you can draw even with your tongue on your lovers belly or with a lipstick on the mirror to say thank you for that and so on and so forth. When painting our hand makes kind of linear strokes with a brush or a spatula so in the end one can define the act of painting itself as drawing. The only method to avoid that is taking a bucket of paint, turn it upside down and splash the whole paint on the canvas. But this would be a bit difficult to call „painting“ in the narrow sense of the word. Hillel is also right ... and maybe this was what Maria was refering to and what I misunderstood ... when saying that without the training of drawing one can hardly do proper painting. It’s drawing that sharpens our eyes. The discipline we need to distinguish one thing from another, the different shapes of forms, the different hues of colour or the colours in general, all this comes from the training we get through drawing. So I could write an essay on the benefits from drawing as well so everyone would say oh, what happens now?

What I have in mind is a quite simple thing. And it is not objective as said at the beginning. So one can hardly discuss it with using sophisticated arguments. I am refering to the attitude you work with. It’s the difference between discipline and playing or the difference between thinking and feeling, between cold and warm. Do you hand yourself over to the paint and have a conversation with it or do you execute a picture you have in mind. Don’t take me wrong, I know that even when bathing in paint you have to controll what you do. So please do not become over-subtle again. From the view I want to show you one could say that even drawings could be „painted“ like Jenny Saville ones. Even Hillel’s wonderful Rabbi portraits seem to be a kind of painted drawings to me. Or take the work of Cy Twombley as an example. Are they drawings, are they paintings? I would say paintings.
So the distinction in drawings and paintings for me is an emotional thing one can hardly verify in terms of art theory. When looking at paitings my reaction is instinctive: this is a drawn one and that a painted one. And even in looking at drawings I make this distinction for indeed there are „painted“ drawings as said above. My distinction is emotional and irrational and it’s obvious that I prefer the „painted“ version. Maybe it simply has to do with my own developement as an artist. My „proficiency as a draughtsman“ ... as Hillel has put it ... caused a particular awe when discovering the power of painting. I got kind of over exited. Painting gave to me what I could never achieve with drawing alone. So that’s why I am a „painting“ freak.
Okay, I guess no one will follow or understand me so I will become very very sad and all of you have to come and console me.

fotini

Now, now we don't want anybody feeling sad but even more so I don't like thinking of Hillel being depressed and hope that he will get his ''kefi'' back quite soon.''Kefi''although not able to translate it ,it widely means a good feeling for life.

Well art theory is fine but when it comes down to it and when I find myself in front of the bare surface I use what I need .If I feel the need of lines,their nerve ,edginess,want to see them flowing on my surface in whatever material or way ,it is them that I use without consciously thinking about it.But when I need to immerse myself in color it is color that I use.Before placing color and start building forms I definetly need lines to act as my foundation.

Turner used to let one of his nails grow longer.Maybe he used it to scratch out lines.

Maria

My comment on this is going to be very short for no other reason than that of being extremely tired and haven’t had anything to eat for twelve hours or so. Still, I cannot but interfere in this (well, Hanjo does know our weak points) to say that Hillel made a very successful summary of what I call drawing, in just one sentence: the weighing of hue and tone . To this I want to add that drawing, as I define it, refers to the whole organizing of the pictorial surface as far as composition and whatever hue or colour values are concerned. It is simply not merely about line. Cezanne for example is full of threads that connect his elements without being actual lines neither do they define contours. They can consist of one brushstroke here one there that continue one another visually and lead the eye into a harmonious journey through the picture. This is also what the old masters used to do when they had to organize a large mural for example. A leg at the bottom, right corner might be related to a brushstroke of light on an arm at the top left corner, which might be metres away but still makes a visual axis and so on and so forth. Sorry for this attempt to summarize this big matter but I really need some food, some alcohol and my sofa now.

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