Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Drawing Breath

What with a sulky computer, a weekend away learning about moss identification and manic final preparations for Kew's 250th Anniversary Scientific Conference next week, there's not been a lot of opportunities to blog. I'm only doing it now while waiting for 3 different people to return my calls It felt rather odd being back at Flatford Mill - I used to go for watercolour courses but haven't been back in several years. 'Willy Lotts Cottage' above is almost unchanged since Constable painted the 'Haywain' and features on many tours and walks in the area. Whenever I lifted my head from the microscope there would be someone passing by, staring in. I now prefer more rugged terrain as inspiration for my artwork but I took lots of photos of the reflections in the mill race The fun contines in my drawing class - this time using pen and ink, experimenting first with different inks and effects before spending some time doing observational drawings
I chose the shell I drew in pencil the week before - it may be difficult but its absorbing and I'm getting the hang of it now. Unfortunately I found out the effect of bleach on quink the hard way when my work was displayed under someones wet work that dribbled onto mine! I had some bamboo pens but they didn't give the variation in line I was expecting - scribbling with a school dip pen was much more effective.

I ran out of time to try out further experiments with different pens and acrylic inks so Sandra let me take the shell home with me! I tried some watercolour washes too as that's a technique I use a lot when travelling. The quick sketch in the upper left was done with a Pentel brush pen - I'd forgotten how satisfying the variation in line could be. I'd like to say it's less messy with a cartridge than dipping a pen into a pot of ink but.... This weeks lesson is with charcoal. I've used the opportunity of having the shell at home to take some photos in better light - I'll be reluctant to give it back.
I managed one day to work on my 'breakthrough' piece and I'm looking forward to taking a few days off after the conference is over to work on it (nothing like a deadline!) I'm treating myself to a day out at the Knit and Stitch show at Ally Pally on Saturday - well I NEED some more supplies, especially textiles paints so I can get stuck into some lino-cutting and printing.


Anonymous said...

Enjoy the Knit & Stitch Show - I hope you obtain just the items you most want, or need. I have to wait until next month for the shows at the NEC in Birmingham - Art Materials Live is a part of three shows in one and I always spend far too much!

Aussie Jo said...

The colours and markings on the shell are very inspiring.
It would make a lovely 3D fibre piece.