James Faure Walker: Blue Bowls

  • ©2002, James Faure Walker



    Blue Bowls



Creation Year:



    giclee iris print


    25 x 25 inches


Artist Statement:

    I have called this picture Blue Bowls for no better reason than it’s blue and because of the bowl-like forms. I started out wanting to do something in vivid greens and yellows. I have been making reliefs in cardboard, painting them, photographing them from odd angles, and recreating them digitally. I felt I should go easy on the tan color of the raw cardboard. In the end, I found myself using these dominant blues.

    Before it is anything else, this is a drawing, where the flow of the line and the rhythm of the design matter most. For some time (14 years), I have been working with paint programs and physical paint. By making drawing dominant, keeping it as the foreground layer, using the line like a language, I can play around with other shifts and contrasts. The drawn motif is the constant, whether drawn with brio, on a Wacom tablet, or photographed as a brush-mark. You can convey quite a lot in the character of a line. It’s visual and direct, a good way to keep on top of the technology.

Process Information:

    Having a sketchbook is practical too. While working on this project, I came across a fascinating dish in ochres and reds in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s English Decorative Arts section. It was, in fact, Slovakian, late 18th century, based on an Iznik design. The curves of the leaves fascinated me, so I did a quick sketch.

    I elaborated some ideas in doodles and realized I could link this theme with the cardboard structures. Instead of fixing these shapes to the studio wall, I left them on the floor. I found three cardboard reels discarded along the road (they are used to manufacture watchstraps). I painted six large-scale blue gouaches and realized how much better they would be if composited together digitally and reworked. I often make such drawings as source material for digital works, and vice versa.

    Part of the point of the relief series has been to play with lines that bend in 3D. The concavity of the bowl’s surface and the flow of the line led me to make further studies, both physical and digital. The lower layer derives from the photographed gouaches mixed with the painted relief, and with drawing in digital liquid ink. In the final picture, the scaffolding has fallen away, though one of the reels is restated in outline. The top layer of drawing was made in one rapid session using Painter 7’s pattern- brush feature. Having sampled the range of blues from the gouaches, I made some simple patterns, which I used in alternating phases as I drew. Having tested a number of printings, I then set about producing this giclee print edition.

Other Information: