Thursday, May 31, 2012

it's all too beautiful

Last Saturday Sketchcrawl North went sketching in Chesterfiled. In complete contrast to the week before, when we were sketching in a wintery Buxton, the day was hot and sunny and perfect for drawing outdoors. I've always wanted to visit Chesterfield. That may not sound that ambitious, or difficult, as I do live in Derbyshire but I've only ever passed through it. Every time, though, I become distracted and mesmerised by it's famous crooked spired church - which is a concern as I'm usually driving. The crooked spire is a thing of beauty. It really is. There are various theories to how it became twisted, from untreated wood to the lead they used, however it happened the results are quite stunning.

Inside the church I came across this notice board and stopped for a while to draw it. I'm really kicking myself now that I didn't go up into the spire. I have no idea why. It's apparently as crazy a structure from the inside as the out. I'm also kicking myself that I didn't go into the church gift shop. I can only imagine the array of spire souvenirs I could have laid my hands on. Actually, it was probably a good thing that I didn't.

Finally, I squeezed this little sketch in, below, before we all met up at the pub. It was literally a five minute sketch which is probably a record for me. I kinda like it though. These three drawings were made in my tiny Moleskine sketchbook I also made a couple of larger sketches from various places in the town but I'll pimp them up before posting them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

come gather round people

This weekend sees the Derbyshire Open Arts annual event. Throughout the county artists open their homes and studios to the public. This is the first time I've participated and I was kindly invited to exhibit alongside some really great local artists; Rob Wilson, Sandra Orme, Catriona Hall and photographer Lynne McPeake. Our exhibition will be held at Catriona's barn and we will be there from Friday 2nd - Monday 4th, 11am-5pm. We're a real diverse bunch which should make for an interesting show.

Anyone in the area please pop along for some coffee, cake and lovely art. You can also have a flick through my sketchbooks while you're there. And, just so you don't get lost Catriona made this little map. Cheers!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

and if the flowers are in bloom

 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.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

i'm glad i spent it with you

Another little sketch, in my mini Moleskine, from last Saturday's sketchcrawl in Buxton. While most of the sensible sketchers sat in he warm botanical garden drawing I, like a fool, stood outside and drew this ice cream van. It was such a cold day and drawing an ice cream van just made me feel even more chilly. At least, I guess, Diane our visiting sketcher from Australia got the full Sketchcrawl North experience. Brrrrrr.

This sketch is okay, I suppose. I tackled one of those subjects that I find quite intimidating; vehicles. It's nothing special. If you'd like to see some REALLY good drawings from the day then hop on over to Lynne Chapman's blog. She is the dog's bollocks. And, to those not familiar with that term, who may think I've just been very insulting, it means quite the opposite. Perhaps, to avoid any confusion, I should have just said she's great. Anyway, go and have a look for yourself HERE.

Monday, May 21, 2012

fame is but a fruit tree

Fame is but a fruit tree. Isn't that a great line by the beautiful Nick Drake? I'd like to have known him.

Anyway, here's another of the backdrops I am illustrating for the Buxton Festival's production of James and the Giant Peach. I'm pretty happy with this one and though I might still add a little background I also liked it against the white.

Right, I'm off to do some more drawing whilst day dreaming about knowing Nick Drake. Sounds like a perfect afternoon. If only I didn't have to go to work. Ah well, you can't have it all.

Lots more on it's way this week.

in those cold cold moments

Yesterday we were in Buxton for a little sketching and a lot of sitting in a cafe (it seemed). It was a lovely day, despite it being freeeezing, and I got quite a few sketches done. I'm desperate to get my (cross hatching) hands on them but this week I'll be drawing nothing but peaches.

In the meantime you could visit the Sketchcrawl North group on Facebook for lots of gorgeous drawings from the day and news on our future get-togethers HERE.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

kings of the mountains

 Since I got less scared about drawing outdoors a whole new world of subject matter has opened up to me. It was bad enough when I was having my attention caught by all the indoor potential drawings, but Holy Smoke, there's now drawing opportunities EVERYWHERE I look.

Here's some of the chimney pots on our row of houses. I love chimney pots, they have so much character. Plus, with houses as old as ours, the pots have been added and replaced over the decades (centuries even) so that every chimney is different from it's neighbour.

 These aren't the greatest drawings or journal spreads that I've made but I was just getting to grips with this subject matter. I was just getting my pen around chimney pots. To be honest too, I actually made these drawings from the comfort of my armchair. They are a selections of the chimneys that I can see from my window. Well, it was VERY windy.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

something for the weekend

I dug this out the other day. It's a roll of paper that I took to the very first Dr. Sketchy event I attended. Unfortunately, because it's a roll, it's really difficult to both scan and photograph which is a shame as there are some quite nice moments on it. I like this one which I made as the stunning Scarlett Daggers performed her routine. It was more than the guys at the front had bargained for on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Sheffield. Dr. Sketchy really is life drawing with a difference.

Now, everyone, join in.....
Da na na na, da na na na...
da na na na na naaaaaa......
Da Na da NA DA na da NA........
....doodoodoodoooo doodoodoodooooooooo.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

it was set in a different life

 Here are another couple of drawings that I have been working on for Buxton Festival's production of James and the Giant Peach. This has been an interesting project to work on. It's quite different to what I'd normally do in that usually my work is all about the detail. This brief is almost opposite to that. These images will be the backdrops to the production and therefore should not distract from everything that is going on on the stage. So, with that in mind, I've tried to create them through colour and atmosphere.

Anyone interested in attending the production can find the details here. I'll be there on for the Monday afternoon (9th of July) performance and the original drawings will be displayed in the foyer throughout. I'll linger in that area before the show so come and say hello.

Monday, May 07, 2012

just to get close to

I've often been asked about how I choose the things that I draw. The answer is I'm really not sure, I sometimes think that they choose me. Somebody once asked me if I see everything around me as a possible drawing. Well, I think I see the things that have potential. I have this huge mental list of subject matter; the things I see and think 'now that would make a good drawing' but I reckon about 95% will never make it onto paper.

Then there are things that persist. They make it difficult to say no. Like this telegraph pole. It just kept standing in front of me. Standing there, where I park, tempting me every time I got in or out of the car. Yesterday, I gave in. I'm not sure how I feel about the result but I'm sure it's not the only telegraph pole that will catch my eye.

It takes all sorts.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

close my eyes and drift away

Here's another little spread from last Sunday's sketchcrawl in Sheffield. The weather was a bit on the wild side so we ended up drawing in a couple of pubs. A perfect way to spend a wet and windy Sunday afternoon.

I can't quite decide whether to add some colour to this. The Delerium Tremens sign was purple with a pink elephant which could work. But you never know.

This drawing was made in the little mini Moleskine sketchbook. This book had sat unused, on my shelves, for at least a couple of years. I never thought I'd like using it. I thought it was too small. But it's really grown on me. And whilst I always take the larger sketchbook with me, on my travels, I love having the option of this little one too. It's just really cute.

If you are interested you can take a peak at the drawings I've made in this book so far HERE.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

i drag my feet like everyone

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.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

all our yesterdays

 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 Pritt 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 Pritt 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.