Friday, March 20, 2015

Jane Wallis Marker Drawings

Jane Wallis..... someone I have painted portraits next to for years in our small group.  She, and her husband Mel, taught art at one of our local colleges but have left formal teaching to do their own thing.  Their website is HERE.

We were at the PAWA (Plein Air Painters of Washington) winter event together.  She had left out her little sketchbook and I opened it to find these wonderful marker drawings.  Off handedly she said, "Oh, those.  Yeah, I've done them for years."

I said "So why didn't you write a book?  These are great!  I'm impressed!"

"Well....(she's from Oklahoma so drawl that out a bit)....because you've already written one."

"Aw, shucks, you betcha'."  (I'm from Minnesota.)

So she let me photo some of them with my iPhone.  I think they are about 4x5 inches.  I haven't talked to her about them yet but they obviously seem like studies in advance of paintings which would explain the grid work.  I begin with a black ink pen.  It appears she uses a light marker and then sculpts in, over and around her initial marks to pull out the form with darker tones.

I find them very painterly expressions which allow for soft edges and lots of textural elements.

You can see those initial marks pretty easily in this one, especially behind the large tree.

Of course, her strong drawing skills show through in each of them.   Knowing that little flicks of light and dark marks can make the illusion of a group of diners sitting at tables takes a bit of know-how.

There is some paint on the upper corner of this one so the grid must be for transferring the drawing to canvas.  I think I'm going to have to make a trip over to their place to get the real low-down on all this.

When I marker draw I begin with a fine tipped felt pen because I'm fascinated by line and how lost I can get in the flow of it going on the paper.  It also provides extra detail for later.  Jane's go the other direction, emphasizing form with less delineation.  Her paintings are soft expressions of exuberant but closely related color and evoke a lot of feeling when I see them.  I've never seen any of these drawings done as paintings.

I'll be reporting back.  In the meantime you might find her technique of interest.

Thanks for looking.

1 comment:

  1. Darrell,
    Thanks for sharing Jane's work. It's interesting to see how she handles the marker drawings compared to how you do. I love both!


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