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?
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?
Last Friday, 5th June, I attended a workshop on monoprinting with stencils. The photo above shows the stages of my print starting with sketching in an allotment to adding the cutout pieces as collage.
The workshop was run by Essex artist and printmaker Karenza Jackson (www.karenzajackson.com) and I would recommend attending a course with her. With just 5 of us attending we all got lots of attention and help.
Starting in an allotment we spent some time sketching. I started with lupins and moved on to sketch the scarecrow, onions, nettle patch and more. I would have been quite happy to stay there all day, so may plan a return trip. Back inside it was those first lupins that I decide to make a stencil of as well as some poppies. I enjoyed the whole process of monoprinting with stencils and found it quite liberating. Now, I need to get back to etching.
Have you tried monoprinting? Why not tell me about it in a comment below and you are welcome to link to your own prints too.
It's been a busy couple of weeks. I had a weekend away and my poor assistant has been in Queen's Veterinary School Hospital, Cambridge for surgery on her elbows. She now needs lots of love and cuddles to help her recover.
I have mainly been creative in a photographic way, apart from a couple of sketches. The above one was drawn at my friend's house in Cheltenham. We have had surprisingly clear blue skies, which has made the UK spring look prettier. Here's a few examples... and a fire as the nights are still cold.
What have you done this week?
As I mentioned in my 1st May post, I'm participating in the Everyday in May (EDiM) daily challenge, which I first did in 2010. As we are halfway through, and I've only skipped 3 challenges so far, I thought I'd post the drawings to date.
Day 8, something with a mirror image, is one of my favourites so far. Degas often sits on the bed and plans mischief with her evil twin. Yesterday's mischief included chewing on the palm tree in the garden. Ink & watercolour from photo reference in A5 sketchbook.
Day 15, painted today, is another personal favourite. The prompt was "cookie", which in British English is biscuit. The only biscuits in my house are Degas' and I am pleased with the looseness of this pen & watercolour sketch.
Although Degas is a terrible scavenger - dead fish, fish bones, and chicken being her favourites - she takes her time eating her biscuits. She has a terrible habit of getting a mouthful, carrying them to the lounge and dropping them on the mat. I think she prefers to eat in the same room as me, even though she can see me from the kitchen.
Below are my other drawings to date. As you can see, I've have been experimenting with techniques and materials from the very precise to loose with ink, pencils and/or paint.
I issued an invitation to some of my friends to a little art event at my home. Although it was a garden party, as this year is incredibly hot already, we were inside.
My lovely friend Elena is a choreographer and former ballerina and I asked her if she would model for us. Over the afternoon we sketched a series of short poses 1, 5 and 10 minutes, which really made us focus.
My assistant was very keen to help and checked drawings, equipment, stopped Elena getting bored, and even did some modeling. Unfortunately she couldn't hold a pose for more than 5 seconds.
I used Inktense pencils in an A4 Daler Ebony sketchbook and Elena is so flexible that some poses she struck seemed impossible, and looked very strange in the drawings, even when accurate.
My fundraiser in aid of UNICEF's #childrenofsyria appeal is this Saturday!
Full details are here: SketchMuscatforCharity
See you there or you can donate here on my UNICEF Fundraiser page:
What do you do when you find potentially poisonous funghi in the garden?
Carefully pull them up, then paint them of course.
Thank you Alex for identifying them as Leucocoprinus birnbaumii: non-poisonous to pets or children unless eaten :?
Have you entered my competition? Check out this post for details:
woo hoo it's back giveaway
I am a nomadic artist travelling the world for inspiration. Here, I publish my sketchbook work alongside my new finished pieces.