It has been a busy time: two of the art courses that I have been tutoring concluded; I've run a workshop as part of the Harwich Festival of the Arts; I have had drawings being exhibited at Old Bank Studios (the exhibition closes today); and the garden project continues.
Finally, I have managed to do some sketching. This is the latest and the model was fantastic sitting very still.
I was recently commissioned to paint someone's old dog. He is a real character and at 14 years old still loves a good roll in the grass and saying hello to his friends up the park. He is called Harley, but everyone calls him Brown Dog. I delivered the painting yesterday and right is him checking it out.
Below are the WIP stages. The eyes were tweeked after the last photo to create the final painting above.
This year I've been entering a few exhibitions, and have been quiet successful.
Last month, I entered and was juried into the Braintree Open AND I won the Braintree Chamber prize.
Also, in Braintree, I was chosen to have a painting in the Art Trail.
Finally, I had a painting juried into the Harwich Open.
So that's where you could find me in June. What were you up to? You can tell me in a comment to this post.
To celebrate the start of the Chinese year of the Ram, here is a watercolour of a ram I photographed in New Zealand.
This year is refered to the year of the sheep or goat or ram as the BBC explains in this video Chinese New Year confusion over sheep and where I got this slide:
Before Christmas, I taught Sketching Fun in Sanctus, a charity for the homeless and vulnerable, and they were so pleased that on the 9th I heard that they had requested I teach them a mixed media course, starting just 10 days later.
Now, as you know, I work in 2D and specialise in pen & ink, so I put a plea for help on facebook and twitter to gather ideas and plan a 7 week course with a buget of just $2 per person for the whole course. After reading several online articles, I started my first project. Below are the discovery stages and final result. (Don't forget you can click on images to enlarge)
Next up, collage, which I last did to cover my paper art folder in school... or was that decoupage? Help! Luckily, the start has been delayed a week and I have until Wednesday 28th to work this all out.
Any mixed media tips or ideas you'd like to share? Links to your mixed media work welcome! Just leave them in the comments. Thanks.
I am NOT a portrait painter, but I'm starting the year with an experiment, working on something different, purely for me. I know this is not very good, but portrait painting is an area I'm exploring this year. I've lost the likeness, but like the advice I got from Jana Bouc to "not worry about likeness so much, go with the feeling and making it a "painting" rather than a "portrait"." It's supposed to be one of the homeless people I met recently. I did one session of sketches with her and took some photos. She didn't reappear for the next session, so I worked with what I had.
Here are the WIP shots:
The final painting:
Are you trying anything new this year? How's it going? Let me know in a comment below please.
A while ago I received an email from Monologue asking if I would like to review their sketchbooks. Naturally I said yes and a little while later a courier delivered this lovely parcel.
They are designed to be used with a variety of mediums listed on the wrap: charcoal, chalk, graphite, pencil, pastel, oil pastel, wax crayon, red chalk, acrylic, collage, oil, marker, spray, tempera... Everything except ink, my prefered medium. As I am part way through the A5 Seawhite sketchbook, I decide I would test drive the soft cover A4, with holding elastic. It has a handy niche on the edge keeping it both in place and away from the pages - neat!
Pete Scully had arranged a sketchcrawl of Wren's buildings, so I thought that was a good time to testdrive the sketchbook. Aren't new ones scary? At the meeting point lots of peeps were busy sketching the buildings or craning their necks to draw the top of Monument. Eek. I drew 2 construction workers on their break at the bottom. The sketchbook liked my pen, so that was a relief.
Getting my map of locations, & sticker for my sketchbook, I drew the church clock and spire of St. Magnus the Martyr listening to the chimes of the bells. I added the watercolour, which the page handled well I am very lazy, mixing colours direct on the drawing with quite a bit of water. It crinkled a little, but not much at all.
Next it was St Marys Abchurch and I loved its poor green, damp covered, neglected side. I spent a long time on this sketch as I built up the watercolour glazes to emulate what I saw. I'm pleased with the result and the way the Monologue sketchbook took the paint.
I'm not so pleased with my last sketch of St Mary le Bow Church as the church is soooo vast, my initial marks were way off. The café shot is the best way to view it. I then had to head home to walk my lovely assistant and missed the final meet up at St Paul's.
I had a lovely day, thanks to Pete's planning, and look forward to using the sketchbook more as so far I think it's really good. They certainly should add ink to the list of mediums that it's good for. Now, I must try something other than watercolour or ink for a thorough test.
It's May 31st and the end of another Everyday in May daily challenge. I've completed 26 out of the 31 prompts. I've struggled with some especially as I've wanted to do locational drawings for some of them, but the daytime temperatures here have soared to a massive 50°C (122°F).
Day 19, above, is one of my favourites. It is incomplete as I had almost finished this old, unloved, rope tug, when Degas decided it was the ONLY toy she had to play with.
Here is Degas chewing HER rope.
This Chinese cloisonné vase came from a weekend in Beijing. The prompt was something bought on a trip, but I didn't actually buy it, as it was a gift at the factory we visited on the way to The Great Wall by a lovely American lady, who said I couldn't leave without it.
Finally, this is day 29's something in my favourite colour. It is easy to guess my favourite colour just by looking at the work over this month. This blue glass is part of a set I received as a secret santa present and is filled with blue & white sea glass collected from the beach near my house. I had fun with this using Inktense pencils and watercolour.
Which of my challenge results do you like the best? Why not leave a comment below to tell me?
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.
First, 23rd April and trying to paint the stormy sunset with Degas on the lead on Qantab beach looking west to the mountains.
Next, 24th April, Sultan Qaboos Highway & Ministries District from NTI building in Al Khuwair. It is unfinished, there are buildings missing in the background, as I had to go to a meeting. Then that evening, I drew the peel of an Egyptian clementine.
Finally, today 1st May, and the first of the EDiM (Everyday in May) challenges: a window. This is my kitchen window through the kitchen door.
All in my Stillman & Birn, Gamma series, A5 sketchbook. A free gift at last year's USk Symposium.
If you want to join in EDiM, the facebook group is here.
The flickr group is here.
I am a nomadic artist travelling the world for inspiration. Here, I publish my sketchbook work alongside my new finished pieces.