Friday, September 28, 2018

Inspired by Objects and Garden

Partisan Day, pastel on board, 27 x 27 cm
I've been drawing in pastel regularly over the past few weeks, taking inspiration from the objects I find and what is growing in the garden. I have tried new corners of the studio to set things up and although I intend not to use flowers in every drawing it turns out they are w ay for me to put colours together that make sense that it's hard to do any other way.  There's also the thing of not wanting the flowers to die before I have captured them.

The image above began as a matching exercise: I decided I was going to begin with Matisse's colour scheme, colours I might not gravitate to myself. 
Henri Matisse, The Piano Lesson
I moved around looking for objects and colour to compose something that would have my sensibility and evoke the Matisse. 
Cold Incessant Rain, pastel on board, 27 x 27 cm

Wednesday Carboot, pastel on paper, 17 x 18 cm

Tangerine Zinnia and Tie, pastel on paper, 16 x 16 cm

Monday, September 24, 2018

Seeing the model through the material

ink and pastel on pastel ground on paper 16 x 16 cm
I was describing to my friend, Jo, today about how when I draw I feel I am struggling against the materials. It is as if through the struggle I make sense of what I am seeing. It seems like the material I use results in a different way of seeing the subject. 

Today at life drawing in Sudbury as I prepared my materials for a three hour session, I decided on ink and pastels.  Jason Bowyer held a workshop in the summer and I found mixing those materials was an exciting lens to look through.  I think tonally and about the shapes and as I work and layer marks, colours and tones on top.
ink and pastel on pastel ground on paper 16 x 16 cm

ink and pastel on pastel ground on paper 17 x 25 cm

ink and pastel on pastel ground on paper 16 x 16 cm

ink and pastel on pastel ground on paper 14 x 13 cm

On Friday I went back to the NEAC life drawing class with Mick Kirkbride.  I thought we would be working in one of the gallery spaces and so did Mick so when it was changed back tot he usual space which is smaller, we had a bit of a squeeze to fit and I opted to sit in a chair to help out. I was looking up at the model.  The lights had been taken down but I liked my view and the lighting was fine for me. I began in charcoal and moved onto pastel.

charcoal on paper 20 x 30 cm 
Mary, the booked model, had goofed and was not in the country so we had a stand-in model at the last second. Roberta had modeled years ago but had not modeled in ten years - she was fabulous on Friday. Someone said she was like a statue and that's why I decided to do the second drawing, from the same place in my London altered sketchbook: The Silent Traveller in London' on the page about statues.
Since making the scans below I have recalibrated my colour profile so the images below are not very good… Still they show monotypes made last week in life drawing where I struggle the most to amek the material become the model.
montype 10 x 20 cm

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Drawing on a Blustery Day

Curry Night, 27 x 27cm, pastel on card
I've been in a school this week; in the preparation phase I made an enormous mess.  Add that to the car full of untidy boxes (after three classes of children) and I spent the first few hours today cleaning up.  Before lunch I assembled a still life at the other end of the room from where I usually work, the end with more light.  It was darkish and windy today. I usually find it difficult to get going after I do a stint in a school.  I was determined not to let that happen today.

I decided to work on a piece of acid free mount board that I prepared by masking around an area of 27 x 27cm.  In the square, I did a few coats of pastel ground mixed with some pinky orange gouache. 

When it was time to name the piece I thought I'd try a new naming technique: using something from my day as a title, ignoring the image itself. It was curry night tonight.

As I was getting ready I wondered whether I should move all my tables to the other end of the studio so that I would have a bigger space with good light as the days get shorter and darker...

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Different sketchbooks for different motifs

For some reason I like to keep my sketchbooks of a theme.  Earlier this year I piloted a sketchbook where I put everything in time order.  It was interesting and I could find everything but somehow if everything that is thought of in a particular way stays together, even if they each inhabit a page and don't 'talk to each other', I just like it that way better.

Yesterday I put little pieces of yarn (colour coordinated) through my spiral sketchbooks to indicate if they were Maine, still life, life drawing/portrait or landscape. I was tired of pulling all the sketchbooks off the shelf to find the one I wanted to look through or work in. I should have been getting ready for the school workshop I am doing next week but hey ho.

When I went to maine this summer I made three altered sketchbooks.  The drawings here are from the one titled, 'The Friendly Road'.  I put the drawings about people and places in Maine in that one and carried it around with me wherever I went. The other two are: "Gardens" and "Lady with the Lamp". Gardens is self-explanatory and focued mostly on my mother's garden.  I put one still life in it and one in the Friendly Road.  Lady with the Lamp is about night light. Unfortunately I didn't have time to do much night drawing this summer.

It makes we wonder how other people use their sketchbooks. I asked the NEAC members I met.  For me my drawings are personal and immediate and fix time right then and there.  I am not so keen on thinking about the past, maybe that's why I like to organise them in some other way.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Domestic Bliss

Nectarine and Dahlia 15 x 17cm
So I am back in the studio! The garden is full of flowers and before I went to Maine i reorganised the place and can remember where I put everything! That means I can find my stuff and have the time to arrange things and draw them.  My objects speak about domestic bliss, perhaps? 

Life drawing group began again today so the morning was devoted to that but yesterday and today I made these two pastel drawings. I used some prepared paper that I found in a sketchbook and a box of Jaxell and Rembrandt pastels.  Nectarine and Dahlia was made after e next few weeks I hope to make a series of drawings with the aim that I will find a few to submit to the Pastel Society exhibition. 
Echinacea Autumn Tea 15 x 17cm

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Drawing Rye Harbour

Seaside England
Before heading to Sussex for Mick Kirkbride's drawing weekend, I prepared an old book to draw in. (you willknow that I remove pages, glue pages together with PVA and gesso the pages before masking off an area and painting on a coloured ground) I might have painted, but as ever it has been whirlwind speed around here and I found myself barely getting packed in time, making the decision that drawing in the little book would have to do. We set off before 6am and I was standing in the salt flats making sense of the pier and the boat shapes in the baking heat by 10:00.  Louise, Mick's wife, organised the weekend, including a room in their rental for Patrick and me.  All I had to do was draw and draw, and that's what I did.
Standing on the Seashore
We drew until lunch time and I looked one way and then directly into the light at the boat and boat shed.  The cafe allowed me to take a mug of tea to the salt flats.  It was very civilised. The pub filled.  The water rose and mud flats turned to reflections.
Excellent Cold Bath

The Bather's Name
After lunch we walked out to the jetty and the nature reserve. As I stood drawing the shed, which was so stark that I found myself struggling to get beyond a childish drawing.  Still, it felt important to capture the structure as it is a iconic part of the view.  The man who owns the shed arrived half way through the afternoon and began to paint the black sides.  
A Golden Shark
 I turned to the mud flats, again, looking into the light. 

Mrs Beale's Umbrella
The next morning Patrick and I went for a walk and on our way back from the nature reserve I saw the town and knew that I wanted to record that too. I had to climb down the bank of the jetty into the salt flats again. I started with the sky and its one little cloud.
Bathing Machine
 I walked a little further out the jetty and stood next to Anne.  There wasn't enough time to find anything different so I looked and tried to find something that interested me in the sparse landscape. I began tonally, with ink and then looked for the colour.
Merely Bathing
 On the final afternoon I was back with the people and the colour and seaside feel. Astrid was doing a beautiful painting of the paint-peeling boat.  Most people spent the last day working up a final piece. everything I did was in the pages of the Seaside book. I stood behind Astrid, part of a rambling drawing group. Then, a family made its way down the pier and looked for seals. 
Saline Effluvia
The titles are taken from the words on pages in the book.  I will need to look for my next seaside village to draw! I have 15 pages left in the book