So, what have you been up to this summer?
Often walking down the street on my way somewhere, I glance in shop windows and see beautiful things then wistfully wish I was at home so I could draw something like it. Then later on, I get home, start doing tasks and forget about the wistful moment. But not a couple of days ago. I saw some lovely vases in a window and wished I could try and draw something like them but I was busy…No, I actually wasn’t. I had a day off. I could just go home, pull out the paints and do something. So I did. A couple of vases…not at all like the ones I was looking at but a nice surprise anyway. Reminds me of roman glass.
“Vases”, watercolour, pencil crayon, pen and ink, approx. 30 x 21cm
Working on a new set of illustrations, studying birds – specifically, starlings. At the Art Gallery Outdoor Cafe a few weeks ago a friend of mine and I were inundated by them (and a few crows). I think they must have heard I was illustrating a children’s book about starlings so they came to model. I took 40 pictures, all great for reference. I got a few lucky shots as well:
Kind of an existential moment. What deep starling thoughts are going through your mind…?
Finally, our little children’s book is done. I worked with my author friend and former co-worker Kat Beaulieu on this project for the past, well, for quite a while. Just before Christmas, we put it on Amazon. Here’s the link: http://newest-stories-in-verse-childrens-books.aoiservices.com/hello-hello-said-craigellachie-crow. Kat has written another charming kids book and I get to illustrate this one too. Stay tuned. It’s about an opera loving starling…
Life has been pretty chaotic but I’ve managed to do a bit of artwork. During the Christmas break in 2015 I did a couple of monoprints. I recently pulled one of them off the wall and added some drawing.
“Alley near Main”, 22.5 cm x 30 cm, oil monoprint with charcoal drawing on paper
A third painting based on my meanderings around Caulfeild Park has finally made an appearance on a much-worked canvas. There are probably 3 or 4 (or more) painting attempts beneath the final image. I don’t think painters are supposed to admit this (Painting Rules Manual, Item #467: ‘Painting over old paintings is Bad’) but I have a thing about waste and having endless canvases around with bad paintings on them. I rather like the texture that resulted from my do-over process anyway.
Caulfeild 3, acrylic, 24″ x 12″
Went out with the Urban Sketchers today – finally! The destination was the Sun Yat Sen Gardens and surrounding area. I sat at a bus stop and drew what was across the street. After two hours, my drawing didn’t seem finished so I added a few things later.
Today’s work is evidence that I have much practice to do. I think that I don’t know really how to organize or plan my drawing. I kind of see something, try to do a pencil draft then get caught up in too much detail and get frustrated. In the end, I may have a sketch but it’s not very…powerful, I guess. The composition isn’t thought out, there’s no real focus – my attention wanders from thing to thing… But it’s still fun. It’s challenging and there’s always a next time. And if I keep at it, maybe I’ll get better.
Here’s a link to today’s group work – worth taking a look: http://www.meetup.com/Vancouver-Urban-Sketchers/photos/27107002/
I really need to practice drawing cars.