28.9.06

Koko with checks

I'd forgotten how darned difficult checks are to paint. Think not? Try it. It's not the getting the lines straight, although that's bad enough. It's the points inbetween. I'd drawn one in in a pre-painting rough, so far, so good - but found when I came to do the final artwork, I had to really, really concentrate - hard - to get the exact matching up of the corners of the squares, without overlap.


Because there is an infinitisimal point at which they all meet up, and it doesn't really exist. So you are trying to paint a nonexistent thing. I think. Maybe it does but you need a microscope to see it. It is created instantly and effortlessly if you simply draw one line across another. But I keep coming back to the same thing, trying to pinpoint in my mind's eye the precise, oh I don't know what to call it, the precise 'bit' where four corners touch each other, creating a miniscule area which can't be an area, as we can't see it. I really can't explain what I mean and whenever I dwell on it for too long (more than 30 seconds) my mind does flip-flops. It reminds me of the idea of angels dancing on a pinhead. I wonder if it would make a good meditation focus? Maybe not. In my attempt to get my head round it, I went to a book I bought some years ago, but never really got round to reading fully, 'The sense of Order (a study in the psychology of decorative art)' to see what trusty old Gombrich had to say about it. But although it threw up some fascinating observations on the checkerboard as a pattern, it didn't explore my four-corners-touching conundrum. If you are interested in pattern as artist this is a wonderful book and if you're very clever you will find it a brilliant read. I simply dip into it until my head reels with the academic-ness of it, and prefer looking at the pictures. Oh yes, what was the background for? Another strange creature, Koko. Maybe because she is that kind of Chanel pink.



I think she's gone boss-eyed thinking about the corners in a checker pattern, too.

17 comments:

Daisy Lupin said...

Oh she is a little beauty, holding herself together with a pin. A little pink kitty looking for a home. Is that her little fish pull along toy?

Anonymous said...

Painting checks can make me absolutely crazy! I lack depth perception in my left eye, so mostly I just wing it till it looks good. Actually, I'm glad I'm not the only one having a hard time painting those darn checks! The crazy thing is, alot of my art have the checkerboard backgrounds!

natural attrill said...

Blimey G, that would have driven me mad, painting all those checks! You have done a wonderful job. I really like Koko alot, a great little character, the pin is a nice touch. I love the tail, it really gives her a quirky and individual look, though if I were painting it, I would have been tempted to make it fatter just so it would have been easier to paint the checks around, would not have looked so good though! Did you play around with the eye colours? I guess she would have a completely different look, direction of gaze, depending on where the dark brown/plum coloured sections are.
I do like the whiskers, especially the bottom one that is going in a different direction.
Do you ever play around with fabrics in photoshop? I can imagine Koko looking great on lots of different backgrounds.
Sorry, I seem to be going on alot!
Penny.xx

miss*R said...

this is sooo sweet! I hate sewing checked fabric, it makes my eyes go kinda weird!

joanna said...

Oh, she's beautiful, Gretel; she looks squidgeable, even with the pin. Love her eyes, and the cute little fish pull-along - adorable.

Excellent Walker said...

Love the checks and the pink girl. But much sympathy for what must be your tired eyes after painting the checks!

Connie and Rob said...

I know the checks were tedious for you but they look wonderful!! This is a delightful painting.

Take care,
Connie

Jackie said...

I love the painting! I'm sure the checks were a nightmare to paint. I've sewn checkerboards and it's no fun! Yours are lovely and I love the colors!

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Oh, it was so worth all the effort!
The pale blue and brown is beautiful together.

Niki.

Lisa (oceandreamer) said...

I think I am somewhat odd but I like the fact that when painting a checkerboard the corner bits may not precisely match. I think that's part of the whimsy. I ADORE this entire drawing!!!!!

Rosa said...

How sweet. I hear you about the checks. I don't know how you did it...bet you are a bit bug eyed too! Koko looks lovely in that Chanel pink. Who wouldn't? xo

Sara Garrard said...

Just last weekend i painted our beedroom that blue and the chimney breast brown - i just love those colours together!

Lovely Painting Gretel!

Joanna said...

I love checks. Koko is lovely and they are such nice colours all together.

Sue said...

Strangely, I enjoy painting checks, I find it soothing. I love gingham and want gingham blinds in my refurbished kitchen. When I was little mt mum made me some gingham dresses for school, one red and one green. I loved those dresses, I think my love of checks comes from that.
Lovely Koko, lovely colours, clever you! :-)

lettuce said...

thats such an appealing picture! and a gorgeous shade of pink.
(not generally a pink person)

btw, the angels-on-the-head of a pin discussion was actually quite an interesting issue about whether angels - as spiritual beings - have bodies - and if so, how would they be like/unlike our bodies....

sorry, I'll get my coat

John Nez said...

Yet another gorgeous painting... somehow it's kind of hypnotic staring at those checkerboards. I could never paint anything like that... just great!

Also I luv that City Mouse and Country mouse card a few posts back... that's really gorgeous too. I hope they're well received.

jn

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Oh My, these are absolutley gorgeous. The christmas ones are fabulous too. Loving your work.