A drawing a day – New Year resolution!

potato print drawing

Potato print with feathers

So…I decided in 2016 I would start by drawing every day…good discipline, improve my observational skills, blah blah, and I am proud to tell you that so far I haven’t done a single drawing!!  So already I am carrying guilt about failing so abysmally!  Why do we do it to ourselves?

potato print drawing

potato print with feathers – he looks so cross!

Apart from that I have a good feeling about 2016.  I am resolved to do some new stuff, broaden my horizons, take some risks.

Apart from not-drawing I have been fiddling around with making cards – it is fun and lightweight and provides me with bread and butter to finance the more serious stuff.  Looking in my accounts for last year I find that I sold as much in cards as I did in paintings and the cards have minimal outlay compared to framing and materials costs.  A bit of an eyeopener!  So I have just put together a new range of potato prints of birds which I think are quite cute – I have certainly had fun making them so now I must take them round a few outlets and see if I can widen my reach.

Last year I also started teaching and found, much to my surprise, that I really enjoyed it.  I gave lino printing workshops for small groups, and on an individual basis and people produced some great work.  I will get together a specific post and put some pics of their work once I have checked my students are happy for me to do so.

Meantime, Happy New Year to all.  Let’s make it a good one!

 

Back at work!

monoprint with drawing

monoprint with drawing

More-autumn-fruits

Monoprint with drawing

Finally I have got back into my studio and started printing – feels great to be back.  So I thought I would update with a couple of examples that I am working on.  I have been looking at Ben Nicholson among others and really enjoy the way he uses line, and different viewpoints so have been experimenting with that.  They are, I suppose, monotypes rather than monoprints but that is quite a technical difference.  We have quite a crop of apples, and gourds from the garden this year and autumn feels like an appropriate time for these sorts of colours.

What else has been going on?  Well, if you subscribe to ‘Artists and Illustrators’ then check me out as I wrote the ‘star letter’ which resulted in a lovely voucher for £50 for art materials.  Decided that maybe I should abandon art as a career and just write letters to magazines!  I have nothing booked up in the way of exhibitions till next May when we do Artweeks but that always requires a lot of new work, and, in addition, publicity photos need to be in before Christmas!  I have another biggish exhibition in October 2015 in New Brewery Arts Cirencester, which feels like a long way off but, again, will require all new work, so I really do need to start getting serious.

 

Blog from Venice

Venice in February, I can report with authority, is very wet. It hasn’t stopped raining since I got here and it has also flooded every day with the tides.  On the up side, there aren’t too many tourists so you can get about.  And, amazingly, it is still beautiful.  I am living here for a fortnight staying with a girlfriend who is a writer, which makes for a very peaceful co-existence.

What to say about Venice that hasn’t already been said?  Similar dilemma to ‘what to draw of Venice that hasn’t already been drawn?’  Some disconnected impressions then: my room is in the eaves above a narrow calle or street and, because there is no traffic noise, I can hear people’s footsteps and neighbourly chat, and the pigeons murmuring on the roof tiles. Most evocative, I can hear church bells which chime the hour and call dwindling congregations to worship.  The sound has a melancholy about it, just slightly out of tune.f

There are churches around every corner, over every bridge and they are large, once imposing spaces, some restored, some quite crumbly.  I went in to our local one on my way home yesterday and it is almost entirely decorated with amazing trompe l’oeil by Veronese.  Names that are hugely protected and cherished at home are just going mouldy on walls in damp buildings here.

More prosaically, apart from around St Marks, there are very few signs and the place really is like a maze so finding your way is quite challenging.  Yesterday’s visit was to the Guggenheim which had some wonderful Brancusi, and a magnificent Jean Arp which has provided me with great inspiration for some carving.

if there is anybody out there of a praying nature, could you please put one up for at least one fine day so I can go and visit some of the islands…

PS I will put some photos up when I get home as I can’t work out how to do it on my iPad.

 

 

Life drawing classes start next week in Cirencester

Really looking forward to starting classes again; being taught adds a real stimulus to one’s work as it forces you out of your own patterns.  Why is the human form so hard to draw I wonder; maybe because we are looking at people all the time and are less forgiving if the image doesnt match up.  Anyway, always challenging, but also inspiring.  Starting Tuesday; can’t wait!

Drawing Class

I attended a really interesting drawing class this morning led by Celestino Valentino at New Brewery Arts, Cirencester.  There was a vast assembly of very differing objects in the centre of the floor and we were stationed at easels all around.  Every 45 mins we had to move to a different position and draw a fresh drawing on top of the previous one.  I have put my effort in as it explains better what I mean.  Exhausting because of the sustained concentration but really good practice in observation.  I am always amazed at the difference in people’s drawing styles, especially when you are ‘in theory’ all drawing the same thing!