And now for something completely different. My sketching habits have slipped by the wayside recently, so I’ve decided to take part in InkTober, an initiative to encourage regular sketching. The idea is to create a sketch a day or one a week. I find challenging myself helps with motivation. So I’ll share my sketches here as I do them. I still plan to post my regular new work posts, so this will be something extra. Please note, these will be sketches and not fully worked up drawings. In other words, there will be errors, but that’s the beauty of sketches, they are raw and spontaeous, and not always accurate. I fully intended to start Inkober on day 1, but stuff happened, so I’m a little behind. Here is my first ink sketch, done during my son’s Japanese lesson this morning. We meet the tutor in Costa, so I tend to have a coffee and a read or sketch while I’m waiting… It’s a hard life innit? If you fancy joining me you can find out more about InkTober here. Or maybe you’ve set yourself another challenge?
Commissions can be daunting When I was first approached to create a painting to commemorate the 600 year Centenary of the Royal Latin School in Buckingham I was simultaneously excited and nervous. 600 years is a significant number You have to get it right and produce something the customer wants as well as meeting your own artistic criteria. The remit was to produce a painting which showed as much of the school as possible, Including the new science block, or Discovery Centre, which was scheduled to be built. Tricky for such a large expanse of buildings. At the time, I had included very few figures into my paintings but I felt it was essential to show the school in action. So figures were required. I was invited to take photos one summer day before the new building work had started. It was lunchtime, so there were lots of students and by the end I had a few good images of students in action as well as the architecture. Work began to create a few composition layouts, Playing around with photo montage and panoramic views, a created a few options which were sent to the school for approval. Eventually we agreed […]
Don’t you just love surprises? I had a lovely one this week. The wonderful people at Empty Easel have included me as a featured artist with an article written by Cassie Rief. As an artist you tend to speak in a visual language As a result, reflecting your thoughts in words can be more difficult. It’s always an interesting exercise to see how others describe your work. Sometimes it can be harsh and humbling. So it comes as a joy to see others enthuse about your work. I love the section “When you walk the same streets every day, they can become redundant. You stop observing the sights, and instead, turn your focus on each cement block in the sidewalk as you pass them by. Catching a Tram from the Library take this seemingly routine moment and makes it an adventure again!” Attempting to convey your ideas verbally can sometimes be an uphill struggle, so to see another accurately describing the features you laboured over in a way that conveys your intention precisely is a huge bonus. There’s an overwhelming feeling of “Yeah, she gets my work!” Other people can hit on something, you’re aware of at a conscious or […]
Ever take a photograph of someone where a tree in the background seems to grow through their head? My Manchester Decades Apart is a bit like that, Beetham’s tower rising up through Manchester Central Both these buildings fascinate me for very different reasons. The fore building was Manchester Central Railway station… closed in the 1960’s with Mr Beeching’s reforms and left to rot for over a decade. Eventually it was renovated, transforming into the Gmex now Manchester Central. The building in the background is Beetham Tower, a building that attracts attention. Personally I think it looks ready to topple, especially when you look at it end on. Obviously, the architects and engineers knew what they were doing because it hasn’t and it has been there a while now. Seeing these two buildings adjacent to one another like this I cannot help but draw comparisons. One was a product of 19th Century engineering and the other of their 21st Century counterparts. Literally Decades apart, yet they could both have been built now. This painting is for sale in my shop.
Dreams are how things happen! Every construction starts with a vision. Be it big or small, an initial idea is needed to direct what becomes reality. To celebrate the year 2000 many monuments were planned and erected. This London Eye Painting is about dreams The London Eye or Millennium Wheel is my favourite. I’m drawn to circles. Simple but strong, they are the heart of all engineering projects. They allow movement. The Millennium wheel’s construction is a seemingly impossible structure more air than substance. Identical components in a repetitive pattern, without ending or beginning, relentless like the passage of time. Laws of physics make it possible but the complexity required to create such a structure amazes me. The wheel itself has been around for millennia… so what better way to mark the turning of one than by constructing a wheel? A symbol of turning as the passage of time is marked on the clock. My London Eye Painting needed to be an abstract element with a hint of the full circle. Looking up, seems the right direction for dreams. A segment of time looking clockwise to an unknown future. An arc that will continue beyond the page but only exists […]
Battersea and Chelsea combined. Being from Manchester, I had no idea how close Battersea Power station was to Chelsea Bridge. In my mind the two have very different images. One a clean, flash symbol of luxury life and the other with the daily grind of the power plant. True Battersea Power station was decommissioned in 1983 but it’s image is synonymous with industry and productivity. There may now be far more glamourous plans afoot for it but it was not always so. I first saw a picture of Battersea on the Animals Album by Pink Floyd. An image of neglect but a symbol of everyday resiliance. It has intrigued me ever since. Natually it was high on my list of industrial buildings to paint. So when I knew I’d be heading nearby for the Affordable Art Fair, I armed myself with camera and set of. As I say, the proximity to the “posh” end of town was surprising. It’s a lot cleaner than I was expecting too. But otherwise, it was worth the effort. I’ve a confession with this one, I have shared it when I submitted it to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, they didn’t like it […]