Saturday, 28 September 2013

Inside my sketchbook - free to invent

Over the summer I have revisited places that I know really well and I have drawn and redrawn them a number of times. Sometimes this is quite meditative, its usually relaxing, and often provides surprisingly varied results.

 By standing in a different place, or drawing at a different time of the day the place can appear quite different.

Taking a different starting point or looking at the place with a different focus can also lead to an interesting drawing.

I had pondered on this process, and then heard a talk given at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath on Henry Moore. The speaker quoted Moore:

"The vital thing for an artist is to have a subject that allows him to try out all kinds of formal ideas - things that he doesn't yet know about for certain but wants to experiment with ... within the subject that you've done a dozen times before you are free to invent a completely new form or idea."

What a wonderful justification, and how true. I can now enjoy going back to certain places time after time knowing that when I am there I am 'free to invent'

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Weather beaten track

I've been working on keeping things loose as the scale of the print develops. Working from photographs can impose too much detail, so this print is made by working only from sketches completed on location.

There's something immensely satisfying in seeing a number of prints lined up
 - the magic of multiples 
'Weather beaten track' etching 40 x 20cm
I made my sketches of this track back in March when the weather was changeable. This section is quite exposed and I got hailed on one day as I sat there, and then caught a snow flurry the next time I drew. It was always late in the day as I took the dog for his afternoon walk and it seemed a bleak place. Hence the blackness of the trees in the distance, the rough bare track and the title of the etching.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Charcoal puddles

When I previously posted about the fascinating puddles that I found in a local lane I decided to rework a similar view to see if I could get closer to my ideal of this place. I also wanted to deal with the foreground more effectively.

I was much happier with this reworking, the looser foreground brings the viewer into the image and I feel happier with the contrast of tonal values between foreground and background.

Cropping images makes for interesting results, this brings the focal point to the centre, and visually gives us more background. So should I tear the original down, or use the crop as a starting point for an etching?

Sunday, 1 September 2013

New shoots

An update on a man initiated/natural process which has fascinated me -
The 2000 year old coppiced lime tree at Westonbirt Arboretum has begun to show very positive signs of life again. It seemed as though the cutting back of this tree last year was done with an edge of nervousness, but here it is bursting forth with luscious lime green shoots:

The tree is now a number of small offshoots from the original trunk, sprouting into what look like shrubs, protected at the moment from the deer that roam the arboretum. Rising amongst these shoots is the land sculpture to celebrate the coppicing.