Summer is here with a vengeance

I have just spent a dispiriting hour trying to remember how to add images etc to my website!  Serves me right for not having posted anything for so long – use it or lose it!

We had a fortnight’s holiday in France at the end of June when it rained and was chilly and cloudy and have come home to this heat wave so I am feeling a little cheated!  Still, I am endeavouring not to complain…

…I spent last Monday in Rabley Drawing Centre helping with the admin for the Sketch2013 competition which Meryl Ainslie runs.  I was lucky enough to be in the same room as the judging panel so could eavesdrop on their conversations as they poured over the 200+ entries and was impressed with how seriously they undertook their examinations of each sketchbook, and the discussions they provoked.  It is a very narrow line between a Sketchbook and an Artist’s Book and quite difficult to agree when/if one slips into the other.  As I have put work in the past into various national competitions, it was quite reassuring to see how closely they scrutinised each entry, because you do sometimes have the suspicion that this may not always be the case!  It does feel this is the season for big art competitions as I keep getting notifications through the post of another irresistible opportunity!  I do find putting work in is quite a good discipline as it makes me complete a piece rather than putting it to one side, with a view to coming back to it later.  But it is a bit of a lottery, and hard not to get your hopes up, only to be dashed when the ‘loser’ letter comes flying on to the doormat!

Currently, I am carving like mad – soapstone, so working with rasps rather than chisels. It is interesting to try 3D for a change; when painting you are producing the illusion of 3D, but it is a very different thing when you are actually trying to reproduce something in the round – there is no place to hide! You find your memory about the shape of things is nothing like as good as you think it is.  I am trying to copy a rubber duck from the bathroom at the moment – real fine art! – and its beak looks decidedly unconvincing…more practice needed!

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