Friday, 13 July 2007
I've spent some of this evening mounting and framing three pictures which my dad, Bill of Ballaugh, wants to take back to Eire with him next week. I'm surprised by his choice of the painting of the torso, as it's not what I'd have imagined in a million years that he'd have chosen. And though the other two are of grandchildren, I'm happy that they're of my 'better' drawings.
The support and encouragement and gentle shoving my family have shown me this year in my art has been awesome. It was lovely to show my father round my studio yesterday, and he was full of ideas for organised storage. Not full of offers to build stuff, I noticed, but full of ideas none the less.
Oh and he kindly bought me some more canvases, a metal ruler, and went on to hint strongly that he'd love a painting of Penshaw Monument, a local landmark.
Our destination in London was Greenwich, and inbetween work stuff, I had the chance to get out and sketch.
I saw the Millenium Dome for the first time (now called something else) and I drew the palace on the river which is now the National Maritime Museum. The drawing of The Tower of London was done from a postcard, as I only saw it looming as the coach drove past in the morning.
Whilst waiting on the coach to drive back to Kings Cross, I sketched the spires across the green. It was lovely to get out of my usual routine for the day, and though a bit tired, I feel refreshed.
Thursday, 12 July 2007
Yesterday, through work, I travelled down to London, and back, just for the day. Looking out of the window these are some of the things I saw, heading down south, and then heading back north again.
It was a productive day on the sketching side, and I also won about £2.00 at three card brag.
Saturday, 7 July 2007
During June I pledged not to buy anything new, except food & drink, just to cut down on my consumer habit to help save the planet etc...Anyway, it's started to change the way I do things, and I've made myself two sketch books from scrap paper. One is all watercolour paper, which I've cut square and glued inside a stiff card cover for protection in my bag and held closed with a bulldog clip my dad must have got me from his old school years ago (thanks dad).
The other is just oddments of paper which I've punched holes in, and secured with a modified old A4 ring binder which was in the bin. In WH Smiths a small sketch book is anything from £3 to £6, so I've saved some money (which will be spent instead on either oil paints or red wine) and I've also helped to save the planet in a small way.
I intend to keep at least one of these sketch books in my bag at all times, along with half a dozen pencil stubs, which again nearly got binned. Hopefully I'll start sketching on the bus, at my desk, and at other odd moments while other things in my life give me a chance to pause for a few minutes.
Today I spent the morning with my little girl, while hubby & son went to the Barbers. I took my scrap sketch book, and drew our house whilst waiting for the bus, and the park on the way home while she had a snooze in a friend's buggy (thanks mate). I suppose sketching is like practicing a musical instrument. The piece isn't like a polished performance in itself, but each time I'm concentrating on a different aspect of drawing, or playing. Unlike practicing playing, when I sketch I can look back at what I've done, what I've learnt & how I've progressed.
Thursday, 5 July 2007
I just love having my own studio now. It's nothing grand, but it's all mine. I share the rest of the house with all my family, but my studio is all mine. I must say that the kids and hubby have quickly picked up on this, and respect my space and the time I get to spend there. Here's some of the treasures it holds: There's a big easel which my dad (bless you) collected for me from his old school, along with a quickly diminishing stack of A2 cartridge paper obtained in a similar way. My hubby pout up the shelves which were again ex-school property. The hard concrete floor is a patchwork of our carpet off cuts from over the years, and there are old chairs and benches from my art student days. There's also a fantastic low chair which my auntie gave me recently. It will make a great setting for future life studies, if anyone is mad enough to brave the elements. Old scraps of plywood are now stacked against the wall, primed with gesso and begging to be painted on, and there's a ceramic head which is a self portrait which my mum encouraged me to make.
The walls of the garage are made from some kind of industrial brick, and though they would probably survive a nuclear blast, they're a bugger to drill or nail into, so any time I want to make structural amendments, or even hang the mirror I got from a charity shop three weeks ago, I have to be very nice to my hubby so that he'll spend the required hour finding drill bits and extension leads.......Not to worry!
There's even a sink in there, and lots of electrical points for my homemade light-box (an empty crisp box, with a low wattage clip-lamp inside, and a transparent plastic storage-box lid on top) my tape player, various lamps, and eventually kettle. I only have to pop back into the house when nature calls, or when my get so numb that I can no longer dance round to Sheryl Crowe whilst painting.
Eventually I'll clear the rest of the stuff from the bottom end of the garage to use as a photo-life drawing area. I want to hang a huge rug on the wall, and set up a sofa with more rugs. But for the time being, it's a heavenly haven. And it's all mine.
Sunday, 1 July 2007
Some years ago my husband & I got the chance to visit New Orleans. Repeatedly. In fact we went 4 times in 3 years.
Anyway, I took some great photos, some in colour & some in black & white. I cam across them this morning while sorting through an old box, and was struck by the blues & pinks & greens.
So here's the start of a new painting. It'll probably end up quite impressionistic, but I don't want it to be too pretty. Actually, I have no idea how it'll turn out, as it already seems to have a life of it's own. I like the way the view is obscured, with trees, and shadows from trees. I wonder how it'll turn out?