Hands drawing themselves. An infinite stairway. Those may be the most well known pieces by the Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) whose work is currently on display in the Max-Ernst-Museum in Brühl.
At the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts, Escher first studied architecture before switching to decorative arts. There he met Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita who greatly influenced and encouraged him to pursue art. Escher began his artistic career by studying animals and nature, especially the landscapes of Italy and Spain. There, his fascination with intricate decorative designs took root.
When I was in London (read about it here), I bought some art utensils, among them two Moleskine sketch books (one for graphite, one for water colours), a small brush-set suitable for travelling and a “sketchers pocket box” of water colours by Winsor & Newton. Even though I’d had art class in high school, I somehow never really took any time to create art ever since I started attending Uni. Of course, there were times when I’d feel the urge to draw something, so I did. I also journeyed into photography, and that’s something I really enjoy now. But it’s been more than 10 years since I really sat down and painted something.
So yesterday, while watching Batman Begins and then Spiderman 2 on TV, I took out my sketch book and started colouring one of the sketches I had made in London. Let me tell you this: water colours are tricky! I’ve only painted with water colours once before, in high school. Thus, yesterday was my first clumsy try at colouring after a very long time. I’m actually not unhappy with how it turned out. It’s not perfect and I am aware of that. Still, it’s a start. It took me about 4 hours to colour my sketch. I have no idea how long other people need for their water-colour paintings.
I will try to paint more in the future. Need to practice painting with water colours. At least now, I have the utensils to do that.