FCSA logo

Home ProgrammeExhibition Gallery Contacts & Outside Events

WINT's COURSE - "Larger than Life"
10th May 1996 for 4 weeks (on & off)

Back to History Page - Back to Wint's main page

They say "size is not important" but Wint would have us believe otherwise. When I first started to paint I imagined that if I ever became good at anything, miniatures would be my forte: in particular that I would start small and then grow. How wrong I was! My first tutor, Graham Sproston, told me to paint with big brushes on large sheets of paper: "If you are feeling really hard up you might use something as small as Quarter Imperial or A3"; "When you can paint competently big then you might think about getting smaller". Tightness is often the virgin painter's biggest problem.

The day before I started on Wint's course Belinda and I had been at an art market in Amsterdam. We were very impressed by a full Imperial (maybe larger) watercolour of flower heads against an abstract leafy background - eight-inch daisies, geraniums etc.

When you walked into one of these four evenings of Wint's you did not find everyone working on large sheets of paper. You might have puzzled at the dead plants, the dead bits of root, the dead fly, the magnifying glasses, the little flowers, the cauliflower florets and broccoli bits, the baby fir cones etc. scattered around the studio. The brief was to produce drawings or paintings much larger than their real life subjects - perhaps a cut tomato, a dandelion bud or a single daisy filling an A4 or A3 sheet.
However abstract our tastes, Wint wanted us to realise the importance of looking hard and long at our subjects. When you have enough experience you may be able to work from memory but it is unlikely that you will then create really convincing work. Can you confidently visualise, for example, the shadows in a twisted chain or rope?

Looking hard at details that one does not normally see, and putting them big on paper, introduces a certain sense of mystery, perhaps even surrealism. As if, perhaps, one is looking into a fantasy world.
One of Wint's ideas, exploited by no-one (as far as I saw), was to build on the possibility of fantasy by mixing different scales within one painting. What might have happened? Tom Thumb figures, perhaps, on a Venus fly trap? Giant fruit pulling small trees down? Fish catching fishing boats? Something more abstract?

That your subject is small does not mean that your style of painting has to change. If you normally work loose you still can (and I think Wint might say "should") stay loose - "Larger than Life" is just a new opportunity. One painter I knew taught that one should avoid painting things bigger than they really are because they never look real! Wint has again opened our eyes to the interesting possibilities of exploiting this unreality - of being unconventional. Perhaps he has introduced a new avenue for some of us to explore. Thank you, Wint
Sam Dauncey

Back to History Page - Back to Wint's main page

Top of Page - Home - Programme of Events - Gallery - Contacts - FCSA Site Map