Tag Archives: sketch

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.

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

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.

A Sense of Calm

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.

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This work is now sold.

Bookcases

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.

Blind Drawing Bookcase

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.

Traced Bookcase

Here they are side by side.

Pair of Bookcases

Update : This artwork is now sold.

#DrawTour

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.

Woman in Profile

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.