“Pilar came to sit for me some years ago. She comes two mornings a week. For the first two or three years i drew from her. Then I started to paint her. Painting consists of working over the whole board quickly, trying to relate what was happening on the board to what i thought i was seeing. The paint is mixed before starting – there is always more than one board around to start another version. The process goes on a long time, sometimes a year or two. Though other things are happening in my life which affect me, the image that i might leave appears moments after scraping, as a response to a slight change of movement or light. Similarly with the landscape paintings. The subject is visited many times and lots of drawings are made, mostly very quickly. The work is begun in the studio where each new drawing means a new start until, one day, a drawing appears which opens up the subject in a new way, so i work from the drawing as i do from the sitter. It’s the process i am engaged in that is important”. ~ Leon Kossoff, page 78-79, The Shape of a Pocket by John Berger.
An excerpt from a correspondence with John Berger, where Kossoff relates his process and it’s importance.
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