Page 8 - Art First: Kate McCrickard: New Romantics
P. 8

kate mccrickard in conversation with clare cooper

               CC           Kate, you have been quoted as saying that you can only conceive
                       of constructing an artwork through drawing from life. Throughout the
                       time I have spent with you in Paris and London, I have never seen you
                       without a sketchbook. Would you describe your art as essentially graphic?
                       In the opening quote in the essay, you speak of an ‘animated line drawn
                       in paint’.

               KMcC    I learnt to draw at Edinburgh College of Art. I am still learning to paint—
                       a medium with endless possibility that I hope, will occupy me for life.
                       That graphic strength that I brought from Scotland remains—we had
                       weekly life classes that proved invaluable—but it was also through
                       necessity that kept the drawing going before plunging into painting;
                       drawing can be done quickly, at home, around a job, around children;
                       possible in snatched moments, whereas painting needs slow time.
                       That drawn line remains the armature of my paintings, but I’m trying
                       to wrestle away from it to become more of a ‘painter’s painter’. It’s the old
                       conversa tion of disegno e colore and I dream of being in the Venetian
                       camp. I recognise the obvious impor tance of the graphic line, both drawn
                       and printed, in my favourite masters: Lautrec, Manet, Goya, Callot,
                       Beckmann, and Velazquez—of such genius that he drew directly onto
                       the canvas. Yes, I feel naked without a sketch book on hand in case I miss
                       a moment. These drawings, as you commented long ago, now provide
                       an invaluable database of form and memory.

               CC           Your compositions are busy and there are three reproduced here that
                       that I would love to ask you about in particular: Knight and the Devil at the
                       Bar, Table of Ghosts, and Feasting. Not only are they rich with  art historical
                       references, but they also seem to touch on both family  members, and
                       those unknown strangers whom you observe in your Parisian environs.
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