Due to a cash flow issue, I am currently temping at the University of Essex. I only have 30 minutes for lunch but have managed to do a few sketches so far.
This one I did the week before...
With a couple more weeks there, I wonder what I can do next.
The railway viaduct at Chappel has been on my "to-sketch" list for many years, so on Friday I arranged for the Essex & Suffolk Sketchers to meet at the Swan pub. With quickly failing light and the temperature dropping, I sat on a bench in the Swan's car park and quickly tried to paint it. It was difficult to tell the colours I was applying as the light changed and dropped. Above is as far as my first sketch got.
Heading into the pub to warm up, I think the guys having bar snacks got drawn by everyone. As usual, I spent more time chatting than drawing, so these two were all I did. Plus, Degas got bored and decided when it was time to go home.
I was sketching in an A4 Monologue sketchbook with Winsor & Newton watercolours & Inktense pencils.
Instead of posting yesterday, I sketched of my neighbours' apple tree from the conservatory. I'm trying out a Canson A5 sketchbook, whilst the paper initially struggled with the amount of water, and took ages to dry due to the cold weather, the paper hasn't degraded and there's little cockling.
This weekend is Heritage Weekend in UK with many interesting places open for free. Yesterday, taking advantage of the lack of entrance fee, I went to the Museum of Power, Langford.
The sound and sight of The 'Simpson' Belt Driven Workshop attracted my attention, so I decided to sketch there. With so many machines, belts, and interesting things I chose a small section to focus on and the above sketch is the result. Here is the in-situ photo. This sketch was done with a sepia Derwent pencil in A4 Monologue sketchbook. Whilst the afternoon sketch was Winsor & newton watercolours, Staedtlar Pigment liner in Daler A5 sketchbook.
After lunch, Degas and I went to Goldhanger for their Gala Weekend. With a karate demo going on in the churchyard, I took Degas down the road and walked her around the sea wall before heading into the village. As musicians were setting up in the Salty Dogs Tea Room, we headed there. It was the perfect afternoon: What's better than drinking tea (and eating carrot cake), in a beautiful garden, listening to live music, with your dog lying at your feet as you sketch?
It was a lovely day. What would make your perfect day?
As a person, I think Christmas should not be thought about, advertised, nor shopped for until at least the end of October. However, as an artist the illustrations for Christmas cards need to be started (if not finished) now. One of my personal goals was to "Produce a series of illustrations to be sold as greeting cards" as stated in my Review & Resolutions post.
Consequently, here is the first one, which is available now in my print-on-demand store on Redbubble (www.redbubble.com/people/suepownallartis)
and will be available elsewhere soon.
It's a funny thing, being an urban sketcher I'm used to drawing in public, out on the streets, but yesterday I was due to give a demonstration of my pen & ink work in front of a local art suppliers and beforehand I was very, very nervous. Whilst I have taught pen and ink, I have never worked up a drawing in front of people, and was very worried about the ugly duckling stage that it would go through.
Luckily, everyone who stopped by was lovely. Some had come deliberately to see me, others by happenstance and we talked about my art, art in general, sketching, equipment, and Oman. Two people had been there, one for work and the other on holiday - small world.
There was only one character who stayed for ages and was being purposely provocative including saying "You could be a brilliant artist, but you won't be". He felt my work was too safe and not experiemental enough. Maybe it isn't very experimental, I may think on that, but as he has never shown his work nor would he give his name, I shall not worry. With the exception of him everyone was very complimentary.
The worry about the ugly duckling stage was needless. I had put down the outline beforehand and expected to reach it at some point in the day. However, I spent so much time chatting to all the lovely people, that in six hours I only completed less than an hour's drawing. You can see the progress below (sorry about the green tinge, it's from the gazebo).
Whilst my sketching mojo has made a small comeback this week, I seem to have lost my words, hence the non-title of this post.
On Monday, I had 20 minutes to have a cuppa before a meeting in Somerset House. I sat on the terrace and had to sketch my view of the London Eye.
On Wednesday, I had to go to Maldon and with a spare half hour started to sketch an amazing garden-covered barge.
I didn't have time to add colour, so I did it at home later.
Thursday I was stuck in the hairdresser's for ages, so grabbed my A6 Laloran sketchbook.
I'm a bit concerned as I don't recognise that old lady in the mirror.
I sketched myself in the same position in 2010. I remember that I didn't wear my glasses and had to squint at the book.
Then yesterday, I joined the Essex & Suffolk Sketchers at Henny fete, where I visited a local garden, which happened to be serving cream teas. Using a Daler A5 sketchbook, I sketched it to justify eating it despite my ever expanding waistline.
Finally, I did a very quick sketch trying to capture a feeling of the quintessential English fete, whilst my assistant dug herself a hole.
As it was so colourful, I used a rainbow pencil by Lyra in my A5 Daler sketchbook.
So that was my sketching week. Now if I could only think of a title...
Still struggling with a missing drawing mojo, amongst other things, I started #DrawAugust which is a twitter hashtag challenge.
Back in January, for Liz Steel's Sketching Foundation course, I sketched the fence which divides the house from the neighbours. Now, in summer I resketched it as part of a changing story and as a record of my parents' garden.
Following that, I did another sketch from the garden. This time the ripening apples on the neighbour's overhanging apple tree.
A very quick sketch of the birdbath was done on the 3rd.
Whilst today I have sketched Degas sunbathing in it. I aim to do more garden drawings over the month, which I'll share here. What are you doing this week?
... talking and playing.
On Friday night, I had arranged for the Essex and Suffolk sketchers to have a 3rd DrinkDraw evening. These evenings are proving to be very successful and we had a good turn out again.
We went to the Rose and Crown in Wivenhoe, which has this great quayside beer garden. The above photo shows us hard at work sketching the estuary, boats, pub and more.
I spent most of my time chatting and/or playing with my assistant, who likes the drinkdraw evenings out, than painting. oh well there's always next month.
More talking than sketching occurred last Saturday too. It was the #48th Worldwide Sketchcrawl day, so I arranged to join the Drawing London on Location group at the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton. Unfortunately, my sketching mojo didn't come too. I was ready to sketch on the train but... it was packed as the Norwich train had been offloaded onto the train I caught. I found a seat, got sketchbook and glasses out and... the man next to me proceeded to tell me all about his life as a cruise ship pianist. Arriving at the museum, it was one of those days that the scale of the building was intimidating and the gardens stunning but... nothing grabbed my attention. I decided a cup of tea was the solution, which it was as I loved the organic lamps and was lucky enough to have the people I was drawing stay as long as I sketched.
After another wander around looking at the exhibits, I chatted to a few other sketchers, then decided to head off to look for my sketching mojo elsewhere. As my lack of results on Friday show, it hadn't come back by then. Fingers crossed I relocate it this week.
As mentioned in my previous post, we were down in Devon to sketch the new Tavistock Edge event. My assistant was an absolute star, so we spent virtually all day at the event.
First up was a flash choir in the Pannier Market. Naturally, I knew where and when this was occurring and found a bench to sit on, although hadn't planned on the huge crowd blocking my view. The sound was lovely and Degas was happy as long as she had her pig's ear and no-one stood on her paws or tail.
Next up, we wandered to the Buskstop, and sketched The Diggurz, who list the genre as roots/redneck/celtic. Degas was fantastic even having a little dance at one point.
From the Buskstop, we wandered down the road to see the Lodestone Border Morris group. Degas found the stick bashing a problem, yet still stayed for a couple of dances. I'm really pleased with the sketch as I tried to focus on the colour and movement. What do you think?
Finally, we wandered to St Eustachius' churchyard where there was a whole afternoon of entertainment. My favourite was Miss Von Trapp who describes herself as "Murderously Quirky Dark Cello Cabaret: Morbidly Vaudeville Songs, Cabaret Numb...ers and Performance Poetry to revolt and entertain..." and I thought she was brilliant.
I certainly hope the festival will continue next year as we had a great time. What do you think of my sketches? Please leave a comment as I love to receive them.
I am a nomadic artist travelling the world for inspiration. Here, I publish my sketchbook work alongside my new finished pieces.