Through a chain of people I was put in touch with the locally based painter Norrie Harman, who offered to meet up for an artistic chat. I met him at Red Brick Mill in Dewsbury, where his studio and gallery space live...A really interesting character to talk to; aside from his tales of alcohol fueled antics and really quite mad stories, he doesnt mince his words and once I got to grips with his thick scottish accent I realised theres a lot I can learn from this guy. I have so much admiration for the way he paints, and I was really kind of surprised at how open he was when it came to answering my questions about how he starts a project, how he starts a particular piece, the timescales etc. He answered everything honestly and gave me some sound tips and advice which im eager to try.
While I was trying to describe some of the issues Im finding myself facing, Norrie offered me an unbelievable opportunity to come and watch him work...His next project is based around skinhead portraiture, and although this is very different from my current subject matter, I feel that I can still benefit immensely from seeing how he starts a piece and how it develops in the early stages (something i struggle with)
Iv never really been taught how to paint, and I dont know what other peoples experiances have been like in being shown techniques etc, but for me, through school you only really got told when you were doing it wrong, not how to correct it. Im very sheltered artistically and I think watching someone else paint could have unlimited benefits for me in not only seeing how someone applies paint, but how they hold the brush/applicator, how they mix paint and how the thing actually looks as an unfinished work in progress...We only ever see paintings as finished works, and I think seeing how something develops would really help me. I cant wait, and by Norries attitude, hes quite happy for me to go and harass him a fair bit, I feel very lucky and very excited.