Friday, 10 June 2011

Sketching the De Havilland Philharmonic with James Mayhew

I went sketching last night with my very good friend James Mayhew. James has been doing these fantastic concerts with the De Havilland Orchestra - where he drawings as the music is playing. Its extraordinary! Last night though was just a chance to keep him company and draw the orchestra rehearsing for the concert they have this weekend - Sunday the 12th June, Debussy and Beethoven.

I have to say -it was a whole new experience. Its really hard of course, as the musicians are moving at quite a pace, so its difficult to really capture the shapes clearly or for that matter see them clearly. So I just attempted to get the feel of the shapes and try and sketch a couple of the musicians. To draw and hear such gorgeous music though, was simply marvellous. It was very concentrated. And the images and the experience of making them are now hot wired into my brain!

Monday, 6 June 2011

My sketchbooks - drawing at the heart of my work..

Having seen a few paper cut artists recently that work solely from photos, I thought I would post a few posts to show you how I work. We all work in our own way, drawing for me is a very important part of my process. Ideas occur to me at all sorts of times. In the bath, shopping, walking about Letchworth or wherever I am. They kind of bubble up from the deep! And I make little sketches in my sketchbooks. They are often rough. Sometimes I use a camera to record something and then chop and paste the bits I like and then re-draw the whole thing. Drawing is at the very heart of what I do. I use little technology. No photoshop, apart from getting the images ready for my website.

Here are a few pictures of pages from a sketchbook that I finished about three months ago. It took me aboput a year to fill and its a book that I am very attached to.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

A lovely blog - Mangle Prints and Amanda Colville's lovely work.....

A lovely blog - have a look at Mangle Prints. Amanda's work is really gorgeous, and its an interesting read HERE to have a look

On not being able to draw...

I have always felt I was a bit rubbish at drawing. This goes back a fair old way, to when I was on my Foundation course at Salisbury College of Art (now Wiltshire College) and to drawing at school. I remember being asked on Foundation to draw the life model walking back and forth along a catwalk. I felt hopeless and helpless and had no idea where to start. So, frustration rising - I cried. My drawing experience at school had been limited to still life and non -moving objects! I managed something, but it was the experience that was formative, not the drawing. More of the baggage was added at college, when a tutor told me I had limited skills at college and wouldn't ever really progress. It was a stupid thing to say and not uncommon in the environment of college crits.
The problem was that that little comment stuck with me for years. It was a demon that sat on my shoulders and smirked at me, whispered in my ear that I was fooling myself. It was debilitating and stopped me trying to draw for years, it was just too scary.

I am 44 now though and I have moved on. Grown up a bit I suppose. Life experiences happened . I had children. My personal life was turbulent because of un-dealt with grief over my mother's early death and a father diagnosed with Parkinson's. Somehow drawing in a little book wasn't so scary, it was a nice place to be away from the pain.
And so a few years back, I started to draw in a sketchbook. A sample from Seawhite's. Small enough to pack with the spare clothes for the kids on seaside holidays and big enough to feel I wasn't cramped, along with an old artist watercolour set I was given a very long time ago from a treasured friend. They were snatched moments when I drew and I knew they were just for me.
And here in another little leap of faith, they are for you to look at and enjoy. They aren't brilliant, but when I look at them I remember the exact time and place and how I felt at the time. In essence they are a bit of captured time.

Maybe I can draw, a bit, after all.

From the top:

Gravely Church, Hertfordshire
Winterslow churchyard, Wiltshire - where my mother is buried.
Walcott beach, North Norfolk - in the rains, so its s bit splodgy.
My son crabbing at Wells-next-the-sea, North Norfolk.
Ashwell Springs, Hertfordshire.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

A naked woman in the window - new work at Norton Way Gallery, Letchworth Garden City

The drawing I started a few weeks ago of a naked woman talking to a fish of times past and times to come is now made into a paper cut and on exhibition at Norton Way Gallery, Letchworth Garden City for the summer exhibition.

Its always a thrill to see my work in the window.... and there are the three new pieces I have made in the window for you to see. Do come along and see the summer show. There is a beautiful mix of artists work on show in the small, but perfectly formed gallery run by Collette Hoefkens.