Monday, March 11, 2019

Drawing the model like a still life

 Having spent the last few days making lots of little still life drawings, directly, I wanted to think of the model as a still life today and see what that frame of mind would do to the drawings. I moved around the paper looking for shapes and colours, tones and light - swapping pastels, adding ink, beginning with ink, Using a big fat brush, working small, smaller, bigger - trying to hold the pastel gently, to use both the end and the side, to keep it dry and to work into wet and to think about the edges. This is the order of the poses. The first was 15 minutes then Sue decided we needed some quickies - 3 minutes, then back to two fifteens and finishing with a thirty.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Highs and Lows of early 2019

Since mid Feb I have sold these ten pieces.  I sold at Thorpe Morieux Creation,  the Cocobelle event at Boxted Hall, a private sale from Instagram, and Suffolk Open Studios 2019 Showcase Exhibition at the Apex, Bury St Edmunds. That's a high!

Here are some facts:

  • all of the exhibitions have been local
  • I showed a total of 22 pieces at the exhibitions
  • I showed 1 portrait
  • I showed 13 stilllifes
  • I showed 3 landscapes
  • I showed 6 'opened books'
  • I showed 3 egg temperas
  • I showed 13 pastels on paper or board
  • 1 monotype miniprint from the browser was sold.  I think there were about 12 things in the browser.
  • prices ranged from £150 - 340, framed.

Meanwhile, although I had a piece preselected for the Royal Portrait, ultimately I was unsuccessful. This was an egg tempera of Figgy. I submitted just below the maximum for the New English Art Club annual open exhibition, and had nothing preselected.  I sold three things as a drawing scholar last year at that event. I continue to submit for shows outside my local area but it's tough to get noticed. It's all 'art tax' but my success rate in early 2019 is certainly a low!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The sketchbook project will depart for Brooklyn soon!

I finished my sketchbook for the Sketchbook project today. You can see the whole thing here: Eventually it will be scanned and posted to the sketchbook project archive and if it arrives in time, it will travel too.

It's always brilliant to work on something with lots of smaller parts over a sustained period of time and when it's compete it feels much greater than the parts.  This sketchbook is full of quick direct drawing about the objects I collect and arrangements that allow me to make colour studies.

I made the final two drawings this morning and then bound the pages, cleaned them up and will post it on Monday. Here are a few of the drawings that have kernals of ideas which I have either already responded to again or hope to later. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

While it rages outside, I create my own little worlds indoors

African Palette, pastel on prepared mount board 23x22

Today it rained and gales raged, rattling the windows of the studio. I barely noticed as I was immersed in my African Palette, finding the depth of the colour.  It was another one of those drawings that didn't paint itself. I could match the colour but every piece needed layers to get the excitement that the colour had in REAL life. 

On Tuesdays I often call in at the Mind charity shop in Hadleigh after pilates. I often buy something.  In this still life, objects from that charity shop are: the purple tablecloth that is the bottom rectangle and the jug above the orange. It took me at least three weeks to succumb to the jug, though. I planted the primroses in another jug from the Woolpit car boot.  
sketchbook project page - African Palette
I often set up my still life the night before.  That way I can sketch it quickly first and then sleep on it. 

House of Cacti, egg tempera on panel
This is the third of that bright object egg tempera series.  It is a smaller panel and the objects were arranged in a very convoluted way.  In the back is one of my old faves - a Cacti I drew years ago after visiting the Botanic gardens in NYC with my dad. The cacti soldiers marching East are from Woolpit but they are IKEA, apparently. Can you find the real cactus?
sketchbook project page - Mexican Table

Andrew, charcoal on paper, A4, RA live life drawing
And last night I tried something new… I projected the RA  live life drawing on the studio wall and had a life drawing session.

Monday, March 4, 2019

a few quick poses

Sadie 14x13cm, pastel on paper

Sadie, 12x15cm, pastel on paper

Sadie, 22x20cm, pastel on paper
Back at life drawing but only for 1 1/2 hours as had to sit an exhibition. These are 3/7 drawings I made in the session. My goal today was to be direct.  

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Risk Taking and Quick Sketches

Some people freeze at a blank page.  That doesn't happen to me but I do work more intuitively and feel liberated to move things around, change colour and make compositions in a different way when I work (quickly) in a sketchbook.  At 58, even knowing that I sending a book somewhere to potentially have an audience doesn't make me too tight.  I look forward to the time each day when I will draw without intending to do anything beyond draw. Obviously I am scanning the drawings - there will be 32 in the end that I'll send in the sketchbook to the Sketchbok project I'm not sure if I will ever use the drawings I'm making for anything else but I believe that just recording all these arrangements is making it easier for me to use those intuitive muscles in the future!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

What Comes Next in a Series?

Car Boot Oranges, egg tempera on panel 23 x 16cm, 
A few weeks ago I made a still-life  Jugs where I was exploring how to balance light using layers of pigment vs white mixed with pigment. The egg tempera class I'd taken with Mick Kirkbride was focused on using layers of pure pigment mixed with egg to create luminosity. Ruth Stage uses milky/eggy colours.  I had the idea that by using both kinds of painting you might be able to create light in a particular way.

I set up a new  still life up a few days ago but it wasn't until yesterday that I had time to work. The still life was made up of objects I have bought at the car boot or from local charity shops as well as a few of my brighted spined art books. My goal was to create a companion piece for Jugs.

What you can't necessarily understand is that in Jugs the light is coming from behind and the pattern at the back is a kantha folded on a radiator under a window.  This time the light is primarily natural  but I also pointed lights from both sides.  I chose similarly coloured objects to  Jugs  and this painting was made working from life.