Here's another sketchbook spread that, until now, had remained unposted. I made this some time last summer at my friend, and drawing companion, Lynne Chapman's
house. Lynne was planning a workshop that she was giving at last year's Urban Sketcher's Symposium
and used some of our Sketchcrawl group as guinea pigs.
I've made no secret that I've been finding it difficult to get into drawing for some time. Jeez, I've been banging on about it for months. It's funny though, it's only when I am out drawing with other people that it's not an issue. I actually enjoy that more than when I'm sat at home drawing, doing my own thing. Perhaps it's because I'm stretching myself. I dunno. But, I do know this; the little drawing of a typewriter, and the bike actually, have pleased me more than anything else I've drawn in quite some time. They were drawn in a totally alien way to how I would normally draw (water colour pencil was put on the page before I drew the shapes in) and that's exciting.
Maybe it's time for a change.
When I began my first travel themed journal
I filled it with the souvenirs I'd brought from my trips. Because back then I would never draw in front of people, and so I could draw the souvenirs from the privacy of my own home. In fact, when I made my second little zine
I wrote inside "I am a reluctant public sketcher. Actually, that is a big fat understatement. The thought of drawing in public fills me with horror". That was about three years ago.
And, here I am today. drawing on planes, and in airports, cafes, parks and streets. I made the sketches, above, on the way back from France. I was sat with a really nice French guy who watched me draw through the whole flight. He commented on my sketches and even suggested the passengers who I should draw. The guy who is asleep in the middle of the page was looking over my shoulder at what I was doing (when he'd woken up, obviously!) and the flight attendant came over to take a look. I didn't mind. At all.
I don't know what has changed in a relatively short space of time. I'm certain it's not one thing. Sure, my confidence has grown and I worry less that people will think my work is rubbish. When I reflect on how far I've come it inspires me to keep on going. And, to keep pushing myself in directions that I never thought I'd go. Roads I never thought I'd travel down. Learning as much as I can to become the best illustrator that I can be. 'Cos, I love drawing. It's as simple as that really; I just love drawing.
Why do I find a broken bench so moving? Yes, because I'm a bit odd. And, yes, I'm a hyper-sensitive fool. But, apart from that, why is it so moving?
And, one more thing; whatever happened to Gomez? They were amazing.
I'm playing catch up at the moment. Not on the drawing front (I have NOT stopped drawing recently) but on all the other things that go along with that. Like blogging. These are a couple more drawings from last weekends sketch crawl in Buxton. And very shortly I'll post the drawings from this weekends sketch crawl in Chesterfield. Our group seems to have a very busy schedule because there's more planned for next weekend. Phew. Exhausting, but great too.
I did this little one in the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery where I held my exhibition last year. This is of the mantelpiece in the Victorian room. At least I think it's the Victorian room. But don't listen to me I seem to think everything old is Victorian. I have no idea why.
For one reason or another I have found myself spending quite some time in various cafes and tea rooms over the last couple of weeks. It, of course, is no hardship. I am not complaining. In fact, it's passion of mine. I love food. Good quality food, that is. I just don't usually get enough of an opportunity to eat out being a poor artist.
I like to think I have high standards when it comes to these types of eateries. For me a good cafe, or tea room, must have good homemade fare, locally sourced ingredients (wherever possible), good coffee and a laid back vibe. These drawings are from a couple of the local cafes I've been hanging out in recently. As you can see, for one reason or another, some experiences have been better than others.
click on drawing to view
On Saturday our sketchcrawl group attended an open day for a park in Sheffield. It was an afternoon choc full of all sorts of drawing opportunitiess. There was music, dancing, food all the kind of stuff you'd expect to find at such an event. I managed to make a few drawings which I'll post shortly, but for now, I'll leave you with a drawing from my favourite part of the day; the dog show. And, specifically the 'waggiest tail' round.
Now, I don't know if you've ever tried to draw the waggiest tail round of a dog show? Well, if not, I can tell you, it's not easy. There's a whole lot of wagging going on.
Here's a quickie. I did it quite some time ago. Probably, er, around the beginning of the year (yeah, the clue is in the drawing). It's another of those upside down portraits. Where you turn the portrait, you are copying from, upside down. As opposed to turning yourself upside down. That would be silly.
I copied from the cover of Rufus Wainwright's Poses album cover. Again, all the clues are all in the drawing.
I think he looks a bit girlie in it. And a bit younger. But I'm sure he wouldn't mind.
Yesterday the weather was crazy. The rain was chucking it down and the wind was wild. Not the best day for a sketchcrawl. Or so you'd think. But we are hardcore Up North. We weren't going to let a little stormy weather stop us. No siree. So we went to the pub and drew there instead.
Do you ever have those drawings which, you feel, spoil your sketchbook? I do. I always view my sketchbook as a whole, as opposed to a series of individual drawings, and so when one of the drawings goes wrong it really depresses me (I know, I know, I should get out more). This is what happened with the drawing above. I did say, in a previous post
, that there was no way I was going to show it on my blog, but what the hell. Plus, I've heard that sharing the work that didn't work out helps you grow as an artist (not that THIS artist needs to grow anymore; I no longer fit into any of my jeans).
Anyway, I made this drawing at the Imperial War Museum on one of our recent sketchcrawls. Now despite somebody
telling me that 'it was the best drawing of a flame thrower that they'd ever seen' (I think (I know, rather) that that somebody was taking the Michael) I just couldn't stand it being in my book.
So, armed with a Prit stick, a page I tore out of my Moleskine diary, a rather blurry photo of the wall of suitcases (yes, a wall of old suitcases. How amazing is that?), memories and buckets full of inspiration from the museum I set to work. I'm really pleased with the outcome. But, you know, why stop there? While I had the Prit stick to hand I thought I'd go the whole hog and make a secret foldy flap thingy that hides yet more suitcases. In colour. And why not?
I can now live with my sketchbook again, and am safe in the knowledge that nobody will ever know about the awful drawing hidden behind a wall of suitcases.