Saturday, September 29, 2012

wish i knew you well

A big thanks, guys, for the response to my last post. It's been a difficult couple of weeks - which I will blog about, shortly. I've been struggling with desperately wanting to draw but not being able to pick up a pen. I'm not sure that I'm out of the drawing funk wilderness quite yet but earlier in the week I sat down with my sketchbook to put something down on paper. I wanted to draw something without thinking too much. Something from deep down. And this is what happened! Actually, I don' think it's anywhere near finished yet but I just wanted to post something.
You may know that I have many sketchbooks on the go at one time. At a rough guess, I reckon I currently have about ten that I dip in and out of. And, I theme them. Yes, yes, I know it's sad. For this drawing I reached for a Moleskine sketchbook that holds the idea for a graphic novel I'm working on. I think it's an amazing idea. My next step is to find a publisher who feels the same. So, if you should know of any publishers just waiting for a graphic novel crammed with obsessively detailed drawings, as well as joy, pain, beauty, rage, sadness, courage and love then please send them THIS LINK. Ta!

Monday, September 17, 2012

but something real to me

 A while back I did this project for Buxton Festival's production of James and the Giant Peach. I produced a number of drawings that were used as backdrops to the performance. It was a great experience all round, especially seeing the final production and my drawings so BIG.

For some time now I've sat drawing. And drawing. For around about seven years in fact. Since I picked up my pens, back then, I've never stopped. I've always felt that, because I haven't been drawing for a huge amount of time (relatively speaking), I need to squeeze as much of it into my day, into my life, as possible. This has meant that other areas in my life have suffered and been neglected whilst I just draw draw draw.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Drawing has become everything to me. It's taken over my life. I feel it might be time to think about redressing the balance. But just thinking about it has thrown me into a bit of a funk. Wondering how I do that - because I still love drawing so much. If anyone has all the answers please let me know. 'Cos, I'm struggling.
Photographs courtesy of Buxton Festival.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

a nice cup of tea and a sit down

Last Saturday our sketch crawling group met at Sheaf Valley park in Sheffield. The event was an open day to celebrate how this piece of wasteland has been developed into a park with amphitheatre. Our sketchcrawl group had a stall/stand at the open day so that we could share the drawings that we have made of the city over the last couple of years. We were also pomoting sketchcrawling and signing up new members. I made the drawing above, of the said amphitheatre, whilst taking my turn in manning the stall.

An open day is brilliant for sketch crawling with all sorts of different events going on; live music, dancing, dog show, etc. There was an a amazing traditional Mexican dance group, Son de America, who brought colour, sunshine and big smiles to the day. They were a little reminder of all the fabulous and diverse things that people are doing througout our cities to bring some joy into our own and other people's lives. A bit like sketchcrawling, really.

Just across from our stall was a vintage 1950s tea and cake stand which was a gift for us sketchers. I could have spent the whole day just drawing that alone; lovely ladies and girls serving proper tea in china cups from proper tea pots whilst looking gorgeous. Oh, and homemade cakes. I didn't really make the most of that drawing opportunity because I got so distracted by everything else going on. I did however, at the end of the day, as things were winding down, make this little drawing of one of the girls sitting down for a well deserved cuppa.

Another great day with my sketchcrawling buddies.

Monday, September 10, 2012

a shaggy dog's tale

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, here's 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.

Monday, September 03, 2012

turns my whole world misty blue

An update on this commissioned drawing here. I started step-by-stepping it a little while back (you can see the first stage in this post) but due to some urgent deadlines it has progressed very slowly.
On a personal level this really is one of the most important drawings I've ever made. Probably THE most important. The commissioner (is that even a word?) gave me free reign over everything - subject, size, materials.
Whilst that's the best kind of commission it does present you with a different kind of pressure from working to a brief. But, it also shows an amount of trust that touches me deeply. This image just came into my head as I drove home the day it was commissioned. I have no idea where from. And, I LOVE that.
I've not only been step-by-stepping it here, but also with the person who I am painting it for. I take it to show him at various stages and we talk about it and what it means to both of us. He said it reminded him of Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott (which again touches me no end). Not only do I love that poem but my all time favourite painting is Waterhouse's version - SEE.
When this image popped into my head it came fully formed. I knew exactly how I wanted it to look. I wanted to create a piece of work that paid the same kind of attention to detail that the Pre Raphaelite's would have. It's a big piece too; over A2 in size. Which is why it's difficult for me to share with you - excuse the rubbish photographs.
The deadline for this piece is the 17th of September, when it needs to be finished and framed. So, basically what I'm looking at is two weeks, whilst working the day job and other illustration jobs, to create my Pre Raphaelite masterpiece.

No, need really. I'll say it to myself; good luck with that!