I previously posted about my struggle to loosen up and throw paint around. It seems like I used to be able to go wild. Going through a stack of old work, I found these loose watercolour studies from an Art College assignment.
At the time the college was spread out all over Johannesburg in different buildings. The administrators bought a tract of land in an old residential turned industrial, then abandoned area of town. On this, they were getting ready to build a complete campus. In the meantime, all the Fine Art weirdos were relegated to an abandoned apartment block on this strangely barren, soon to be repurposed land.
One of our second year assignments was to stake out a square of ground in the wasteland behind the building as the subject of our artwork. You can see a corner stake and the string that marked my area in the painting on the left. Anyone who has seen an urban wasteland would agree that there is nothing beautiful about it. People have thrown their trash on it, weeds invade and tracks made by walkers criss-cross it like game trails in the bush. I think it is quite amazing that I manage to find so much grass.
It’s weird to think that the wild urban landscape I painted is now probably buried under a building or a road. The way it used to be is preserved in artworks rendered and kept by our small group of students. It makes you wonder how many millions of places only exist now in photos and paintings.