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.
I took a few minutes to look at the pot in situ, before bringing it to my desk, and drawing it.
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!
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!
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.
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.
This piece of art is sold.
I was out with a group of lovely people yesterday, February 29th 2016. Towards the end of our Leap Day 2016 adventures, we found ourselves in the foyer of The National Theatre. Those who felt like it, made some art. The intention is to give the art away, leaving behind a trace of Leap Day for others to discover. I’ve given some away and so have others, and I have a few more pieces to distribute around London very soon.
In addition to the art we made, I painted an extra piece, reflecting a sense of calm in the way we worked together. My recent river pictures have been very calming to make too, and I expect there is something of that in this painting too.
This work is now sold.
A few days ago I shared a sketch I made during a drawing workshop. The sketch was of a bookcase and was drawn ‘blind’, which is to say that I only looked at the subject while drawing, not at the paper. The drawing was completed using a single line, and as luck would have it – the finished work fits nicely into a postcard sized mount.
I enjoyed drawing this and wanted to play with the shape some more, so I traced the outline onto some card using ink this time instead of pencil. Next I added some watercolour and more ink to the picture before mounting it.
Here they are side by side.
Update : This artwork is now sold.
This week I visited Cass Art in Islington for a drawing workshop with Jake Spicer. Jake’s a friendly guy and an accomplished artist. He spoke briefly about what he thinks the important basics are to help you draw and in time, draw better. I didn’t take notes at the time and here’s what I recall of his suggestions.
Time : Find some, it doesn’t always have to be a lot, but enough to practice regularly
Subjects : Don’t get hung up on what to draw, choose something and draw it
Materials : Keep a small sketch book and pencil to hand, don’t let the absence of stuff to draw with be the excuse for not drawing
Confidence : Grows with time and practice, and part of the process is about making bad drawings and seeing what you learn from them
We then tried drawing something using a continuous line while looking at the subject all the time, not at the drawing. I found this process really enjoyable – here is a sketch of a bookcase.
I had no way of knowing what the final picture would look like until it was finished and I’m really pleased it ended up being a good size to fit one of my small mounts. I’m tempted to trace the basic shape a few times before adding some small details – I might make another small series of images in a similar way that I recently created Stained Glass.
Jake showed us the basics of how to draw a head in profile before inviting us to find a partner and draw them. I’d never made a life drawing of someone else before…there’s a first time for everything.
I can clearly see areas for improvement and at the same time I am happy with this as a first attempt. I really enjoyed Jake’s class – it helped me realise I need to make more drawings, and the basic process is simpler than I thought.
We recently spent some time on the Ile D’Oleron on the Atlantic coast of France. It’s a big, flat island covered in cycle ways, mussel and oyster beds, and dotted with small towns and villages. It also has kilometre after kilometre of clean, uncrowded sandy beaches.
While enjoying the island, I experimented with a couple of ideas – first a pencil and water colour sketch of mackerel, then a canvas of acrylic paint representing the sea.
I had an idea that I might combine the two, even going as far as to experiment with painting mackerel stripes.
I shared my work as I went along, receiving useful feedback and support. I ended up adding a couple of ghost like shapes to the sea canvas, and felt this was enough.
The finished piece is available to buy from my Etsy shop.
We recently spent a day in Brighton, seagulls everywhere!
I photographed a seagull as it flew overhead, then later at dinner, I drew this one in pen and pencil, added a water colour sky (bit of a mess), mounted the picture and handed it to Carole. Art on the move.