Go Sober For October, in support of the amazing MacMillan Cancer Support.
The drawing was made with graphite and colour pencil. The donation was made with ease. And gratitude.
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Go Sober For October, in support of the amazing MacMillan Cancer Support.
This is an X-ray of my head right now. That's exactly what's going on in there at the moment. I get on into a project and I live and breathe it.
I was hoping to post this drawing over the weekend but it took far longer than I'd anticipated. I reckon there's, at a guess, around 16-20 hours work in this spread. I suppose in the grand old scheme of things that's not so long. When you think of how long people take making books or albums then it's a drop in the ocean.
I often think about the making of an album when, late at night when the rest of the world is dreaming, I'm scribbling away creating this crazy stuff. I suppose it's a way of comforting myself. Have you ever seen the film about the making of a Springsteen album ('The Promise; The Making of the Darkness at the Edge of Town')? It's all about that crazy obsessive manic compulsive demanding compelling destructive beautiful creative drive. I bloody love that film, mainly because it reminds me that I'm not alone.
I also think that if I were making an album I would not want to listen to it for at least a year after it's completion. I'm just putting this sketchbook away for a couple of days.
The chutney, above, is one of the delicacies I took to our Mad Hatter's Tea and Sketching Party back in January. Inspired by, my drawing buddy, Lynne Chapman's work it was created with colour pencil alone. I'm amazed by the way she uses this medium, from the depth of colour to textures she achieves. Now I often use colour pencil but it's always with other media, whether that be ink pens or ballpoints. But, here, I thought I'd challenge myself to make a drawing purely with colour pencil. As the great Judge Judy says everyday should be a learning experience. I'm quite happy with it but I'm not sure colour pencil (alone) is for me. I just love the impact and intensity you get with inks. So, I guess that's what I learnt; I love ink!
And, as promised, below is the recipe for Eyeball Chutney. I'm kind of kicking myself because I intended to add a spoon to the jar in the drawing. I felt that would have completed the composition. Who knows I might try to worm one in there yet.
This was a nice little surprise in my mail box today. I sold this drawing earlier in the year. It was destined for a little girl's bedroom wall on the other side of the world to me. How great does it look all mounted and framed? I would never have considered such vibrant colours or patterned mounts ('matts' in the US?). I probably would have gone with white. These photos make me totally reconsider how I'll frame my drawings in the future. I think it looks fabulous.
Do you have any of photos of my drawings in your homes? I'd love to gather some together for a future post.
Thanks, Oli, for these lovely pics.
I promised an exciting update on a project in my last post. This is not it. Although, personally, I am excited to be working in my travel themed Moleskine again. It's been too long. And, I only have a few pages to complete before it's finished and becomes my second completely filled jam packed Moleskine.
This is my favourite of my Moleskines to date. I love that it's bursting full of colour. And memories. See it all, so far, HERE.
A few posts ago I told you about how I'd swapped the childish purse I'd been carrying around for the ever so grown up owl purse on the left. The childish purse in question was the cat one on the right. When my friend saw my new purse she said "so now you've had an owl and a pussycat". Then we both looked at each other and said "now, THAT would be a good drawing".
I don't know if it's any good, but I do know that these pair are the most delicious of subjects to draw. I love all the patterns and textures. And, I'm not sure that I've finished with them yet.
This drawing is for sale HERE.Display Comments Add a Comment
There's always something, isn't there? You feel like you are just catching up, you are getting somewhere, then BAM! something else breaks down or leaks or cracks and you have another bill to fork out for. Today a tyre on my car went. It's irreparable so I have to scratch around for more pennies, and as I've already retrieved all the money down the back of the sofa it's back to the drawing box.
Whilst rummaging through the box I found these two drawings. I made them about three or four years ago. Oh, er, yep, that would be September 2007 to be precise (yeah, funnily enough, I am blonde). Back then I hadn't yet found my drawing 'voice'. I was still looking. I hadn't worked out how to get the most out of my tools, in this case colour pencils and ballpoints. I didn't know how to achieve the textures that I now can. So seeing these drawings again, with time between us, I could not resist playing around with them; touching them up and giving them the AJ 2011 treatment.
This is the first time in ages that I have not had some kind of deadline looming on the horizon. And, after the stress of some of those deadlines I cannot believe I'm actually going to complain about that - but I am. I'm suddenly feeling so restless. I want something to work toward. Some project. I don't know what sort of project but I'll figure it out. I'll make something happen.
In the meantime, here's a new drawing. A few months ago my coin purse fell apart and I temporarily replaced it with an old purse that had belonged to my niece - when she was about five. It was ridiculously childish purse for 'a lady of a certain age' so, I decided I must replace it and went out to buy a new one. And, yep, you've guessed it; I came home with this much more grown up cloth owl.
This little guy is available for sale (the original drawing, not the purse) HERE.
I was going to say that this is the finished version of the drawing I posted part of a little while back. But now looking at it on the screen I think it could do with more shading; a little sepia to give it an antique feel. That's how I had seen it in my head before I began. Also, I always intended adding a handle because it is supposed to be a drawer full of souvenirs. Or, the handle could have made it look like a suitcase. And, I love that ambiguity.
I'm often asked how long my drawings take. Well, at a guess, this one took a mere fifty hours. To appreciate the obsessive attention to detail click on the drawing and stick your conk in. Please do; FIFTY chuffing hours.
Oh dear, it seems that some of you have having trouble enlarging this image. I'll try to fix it, until then you can see the bigger version HERE.Display Comments Add a Comment
So I started this drawing about two or three weeks ago but unfortunately it's going to have to be put on the back burner for the next few days as a new, more pressing deadline has emerged from nowhere.
This is one of the most ambitious drawings that I've undertaken yet. It's on A3 paper which is double the size I normally use. Plus it's full colour. Thus far it has taken approximately 20 hours.
Anyway, I thought I'd take this opportunity to show you how I make these big mad drawings as it is a question I'm asked often. In the past I've been asked if I set up the compositions or whether I draw from a photo. The answer to both of those questions is no. I almost always draw from life.
What I do do is start with a couple objects (in this case the tram ticket, the Mary and baby Jesus and the seahorse) and then add the rest around them. I place the other objects on the paper, mapping it out piece by piece. It's almost as though the composition works itself out. I love drawings like this. I love the way they reveal themselves to me, the way they unfold in front of my eyes.
Not content with just drawing on air mail envelopes I've actually take to drawing the little buggers too.
I was going to take this opportunity to have a right old rant about the Royal Mail. I am seriously fecked off with them right now. There's been a much higher percentage of people not getting their mail from me this time round. Specifically the stuff I posted before Christmas. I'm not sure how they can justify this. Or how they expect small businesses, in a difficult time, to soak up the extra costs of resending orders. Plus, when I think of all the time I've put into getting this stuff out it just makes me furious. And, that's not the half of it. It's, perhaps, not so bad when you actually have the stuff to resend but when an original drawing goes missing then that really hurts. To anyone who has not yet received their order (if you ordered over a couple of weeks ago that is) then please get in touch and I'll put it right. Big apologies, once again.
So, I'll save that rant for another time.
And, 'feck' isn't a swear word. No. How can it be when priests use it all the time?
I still haven't started the tax returns.
Now that I'm getting back into the swing of things I also want to get back to updating my children's book on a blog too. Unfortunately that's one of those things that gets pushed down the old priority list when time is short. That's OK though. I've been living with this book for the best part of two decades, so it's not like I'm in any rush to get it finished. And, anyway, I kind of like it that way. It's having plenty of time to simmer whilst waiting for the right publishing deal to come along.
So, if you want an explanation for the rather strange drawing above then you'll have to tootle on over there. Enter the weird and, frankly, worrying world that's in my head by clicking HERE.
Ooops. Apparently gold pencil does not look anything like it should when you scan it.
I've had a kind of impromptu holiday that has involved a huge amount of walking. Walking in unsuitable shoes. It seems, I, without fail, always wear totally unsuitable shoes for every occasion. Over my weekend break this has included wearing the tiniest little ballet pumps, with an ever increasing hole in the sole, for eight hours around a theme park in the rain and a pair of mini kitten heels around a cobbled street village. Ouch.
So, as I said, some brand spanking new drawings from my travel Moleskine. Ah, I just love those sketch books so much. That beautiful smooth cream paper. Plus, of course, it's a heavyweight paper which means it can just about withstand all my obsessive cross hatching. I don't think there is anyway you can improve the Moleskine product - although I'd love them to add a bigger size paper size, and perhaps a nice bright white paper to their range. Not that I'm complaining. I just love these books.
A couple more spreads from my travel themed Moleskine. It's a tale of two drawings. A game of two halves. Or something like that. The drawing above is of some bouquet garni I bought in Lyon. Now, I know some twigs and sticks wrapped in leaves isn't going to float every bodies boat, but it does mine.
I enjoyed this drawing, loved the subject, colours and the textures and I like to think it shows.
In contrast, the sea anemones, below, turned out to be quite the opposite. Although, the subject is very beautiful I couldn't get a handle on it. It really should have been lovely - gorgeous shapes, amazing textures, patterns and colours - but I just couldn't make it work. I end up getting so frustrated when I cannot achieve on paper what I see in my head. I didn't enjoy this one, at all.
And, I think that shows too.
Anyway, enough moaning. You can see the rest of my travel moleskine HERE.
Here's a spread from my travel Moleskine. I know. I know what you are thinking. You don't spell recieved like that.
Well, hello dolly.
There certainly seems to be a theme running through my work at the moment. The drawing, above, was another that I really enjoyed doing. I love having so many different textures to tackle, and each of the dolls had a texture and character of it's own. I'm leaving them there, for now, though. I'm all dolled out.