Tag Archives: pencil

The Art of Trust

I recently attended the ChangeBoard Future Talent conference. This was my third or fourth year at the event – and for what it’s worth, I found it the most interesting and enjoyable one so far. A really interesting, artful day – I’ll cover the event content in a little more detail on the Stop Doing Dumb Things blog soon.

The central theme for the day was ‘How we can evolve as individuals and organisations to meet the challenges of the future workplace?’ The word trust hung heavy in the air beforehand, and as part of my preparation for the event I asked people the question, ‘When you see and hear the word ‘trust’, what images come to mind, please?’

The answers were plentiful and varied. Several folk commented on trapeze artists, mountaineers and the like. I drew something similar to represent trust for a client back in 2016, though now I look again – you could just as easily title this piece ‘foolish’, depending on your point of view!Trusting

A particular idea which caught my imagination was the connection between trust and risk, and of the need to give trust.

Tim Casswell wrote: ‘Trust and risk are interrelated. Trust is the most efficient form of human relationship. Trust is something you dare. Something you choose. It changes everything about the way you relate to someone else. It tends to be transformative. People who are trusted find it very hard to break that trust. We are taught to fear and we learn to fear. So most relationships are based on fear and caution. “Trust is a pure transparent sea too deep to fathom cautiously” Trust isn’t something earned. It is something given. One of the most wonderful affirmations in the world. Once upon a time it was how we all lived. Trust is a revolutionary act. And as for images? Some words are worth a thousand images. Maybe trapeze artists?’

Usha Chadha responded:I relate to this strongly Tim. You give trust to strangers as much as you do to people close to you. Every time I buckle up on a jet plane my life is entrusted in a complete stranger to get me to my destination safely, but I trust in the system that the pilot will have been through training and passed his/her qualifications. We all have to blindly trust and depend upon societal elements to function, and when there’s a problem we get frustrated (or die if in a plane!!!), because our trust & faith in them gets broken. So the image of being blind-folded is one I see when we talk of trust.’

Usha was not the only person to offer the idea of being blind-folded, and I found this really struck a chord, and stuck with me. I made several sketches – and as you can see, I struggled to illustrate the idea of being blind-folded as a positive/trusting thing!

Sitting in the auditorium on the day, the following sketch emerged. It signifies trust as a symbol, in this case I was thinking of my own wedding ring.

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Part of what interests me about this trust work, is how people respond to an invitation to think in pictures. I never cease to be impressed with the diversity and richness of responses people kindly offer to seemingly simple requests. More to follow, soon…

Egyptian Goose

Recently I’ve begun tuning the free art project to more closely reflect what is going on around me, both locally and seasonally. I had a couple of failed attempts drawing some blossom related pictures this week, and with time running out, I started to panic a little. What to draw? Then I remembered – there is a family of Egyptian Geese in Beddington Park, two adults and four young.

This small group of birds has attracted a good deal of attention among people in the community, with regular photos appearing on Facebook. I’m not very good at drawing – it’s something I need to practice much more, so as part of that practice, and in a departure from my usual style of work – this week I’ve drawn an Egyptian Goose.

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I started using a very muted palette of pencils, and the drawing was just too feint. I’ve worked in some ink (fineliners) and some heavier pencil work. Is it any good? I’m not sure. It was a challenge, that I do know, and that’s part of what this project is about, the challenge.

The Free Art Project : Week 52. Anniversary

This week marks the one year anniversary of the free art project, I’ve been making and hiding art in the local area, every week for a whole year. Time flies when you’re having fun. This week I’ll give away the 76th art work, and this is what it looks like.

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The work is titled ‘Anniversary’. The painting represents a Chinese red envelope – traditionally used to contain money as a gift for a celebration. We’re looking down onto a carp fish, a symbol which represents abundance, and the characters on the left hand side of the painting represent the word anniversary.

Thank you to everyone who supports this project. I appreciate your ideas, feedback, participation and encouragement more than you know. I’m grateful to Carole and Keira for the many good ideas they share with me, and most recently, thank you to the poet Adrian Thirkell who has started writing verse to accompany some of the recent art works. I’d love to experience more collaborations as the project continues to develop.

I’m really excited to confirm that the free art project has recently been awarded a grant from Arts Network Sutton. This grant will help me develop and extend the project through some community events. Watch this space!

 

Morning Coffee

The past week has been really tiring. Preparing for, and delivering the Art of Resilience took quite a bit out of me, and in addition, work’s been tough this week. We’ve been analysing the fallout of an unexpected, and pretty toxic resignation from a partnership I work with. More of that another time on my other blog.

I arrived at the end of the week feeling drained, yet needing to make art for the free art drop. Inspiration had I none. In conversation with one of my colleagues, I said I needed more coffee, and Jenny suggested that maybe, the coffee pot should be my subject this week.

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I took a few minutes to look at the pot in situ, before bringing it to my desk, and drawing it.

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I was concentrating on my observation skills – I took my time over the drawing. On reflection – it’s a bit tight. I was trying too hard to capture the detail of the pot, and you can see this in some of the lines – they lack confidence and directness in places. I’ve also drawn the pot taller and narrower than it is. This observation stuff is hard work!

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I added some silver leaf to give the effect of age, and added in some fineliner to make one or two elements stand out a little more (this photo was taken before the fineliner was applied. This art has since been hidden and found as part of the We Are All Artists free art project.

It’s not my usual style of work – but I like it, I might make another to hang in our kitchen!

 

Passing Strangers : Revisited

A few months ago I painted a small sketch titled Passing Strangers. The picture was intended to represent the fleeting, impermanent nature of the many relationships we experience as we pass by each other. Maybe there is eye contact, maybe a smile and a greeting, maybe just the tiny, shared disturbance of atmosphere.

Since first painting Passing Strangers, I’ve thought more and more about transition and impermanence and as I’ve continued to think, I have made more versions of this work.

Passing Strangers II : I made this and left it in my local town. It has since disappeared. Maybe it has a new home, maybe it ended up in the bin? I don’t know, and it has transitioned.

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Passing Strangers III, IV, V, and VI : I made these using pages from an old book, a marker pen and some chalk paints. The book pages have some fragility about them and the chalk paints are easily smudged. There is impermanence in these works. Number 3 is sold and now resides somewhere in the UK, numbers 4, 5, and 6 have also been sold and are together in the USA.

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Passing Strangers VII, VIII, IX, and X : These four pieces are made using acrylic paint, pencil, ink, and gold leaf. Numbers 7 and 8 were left in my local town, numbers 9 and 10 are currently available to buy in my Etsy shop.

More to follow?

Passing Strangers

I recently ran a creative workshop titled ‘The Art of Wellbeing’ at the Wellcome Collection in London. It was an interesting experiment, made even more so by the fact that the event is promoted only on the day, and whoever turns up, turns up. So there we were, around 20 strangers, gathered together for a creative inquiry. I’ve made some notes and taken some pictures of our work which you can find by clicking on this lovely sketch of the workshop, made by a participant.

Workshop Sketch

After the session – I kept thinking about the idea of passing strangers, and how we had come together, talked and shared openly. I made a few sketches before settling on this one. To me, the image represents an exchange between persons unknown, to us, and to each other.

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This piece of art is sold.

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I wanted to experiment further with the abstract ‘river’ patterns I’ve been playing with recently. My intention is to try different colours and materials too. I was curious to see how gold leaf would sit alongside acrylic paint, so I mixed up some reds and yellows and painted them randomly onto a pencil grid I marked out on this canvas board.

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Once the paint had dried, I applied some gold leaf to a few of the coloured panels.

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Here is a close up and another view with the canvas board titled so you can see the gold leaf more easily.

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This painting has been sold in my Etsy shop, and a donation will be made to the Arts Emergency charity from the proceeds.

Update : March 7th 2016. I have received a photograph of the finished piece, safely in its new Californian home. Here it is.

Warmth - in situ