Una Mullally

Society, life and culture on the edge

Watercolour Watercooler

Dublin artist Aine Macken has been running a new-school series of art lessons called Art Clash recently. I haven’t made it down to any yet, but considering the nights have started to sell out at an increasing pace, there’s clearly something going …

Thu, Jun 7, 2012, 19:21

   

Dublin artist Aine Macken has been running a new-school series of art lessons called Art Clash recently. I haven’t made it down to any yet, but considering the nights have started to sell out at an increasing pace, there’s clearly something going on. “It’s a series of night classes that combine with night life. Basically what that means is that we’ve taken out the stuffiness of an evening class and combined it with a pubby environment with DJs and that kind of thing. Every week we have a different tutor, so from street art to burlesque, to fashion to film,” Macken says, “These people wouldn’t have tutored before, but they’re all professional artists. It’s about getting together, having a few beers, and for people who are open to being creative but in a more social way.”

Art Clash has an exhibition coming up on the 21st of June in the Copper House Gallery. “It’s all the art that has been made in the past 10 weeks, so if people are interested in the kind of art being made, but don’t necessarily want to participate, that’s a showcase they can check out,” Macken says.

Until I went to some of Macken’s exhibitions, I kind of [ignorantly] thought watercolours were the preserve of a rather fuddy duddy side of painting. And then you see a piece by Macken such as this, which is what sort of changed my perception:

Another watercolour artist I’ve recently got into (after spotting her work on the unlikely watercolour source of Cool Hunter) is Marion Bolognesi, who like Macken, does some stunning up close and personal portraits that are extremely vivid.

I asked Macken to recommend a couple more of her watercolour favourites, so I could expand my knowledge of the discipline beyond daytime TV art shows, and also to share with whoever might be interested. “A lot of artists don’t commit fully to the genre, but use it as a study tool, so when you look at their sketches and so on, you find these really quite beautiful watercolours,” Macken says. “Watercolours were sort of stuck in the potted plant kind of vibe, but Dumas made it really cutting edge. She’s the big star of watercolour I suppose,” Macken says of Amsterdam-based artist Marlene Dumas. And Luc Tuymans “mostly does oil painting, but he does a lot of watercolour sketches that are quite beautiful.”

Not so fuddy duddy now, innit?

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