Tag Archives: Grayson Perry

Follow The Line

9 Nov

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Husb and I went up to London yesterday for a day of art. First stop, the National Portrait Gallery for the Grayson Perry exhibition, ‘Who Are You?‘. Fantastic show; the works are dispersed throughout the permanent collection of 19th and 20th century portraits so you get to see lots of other work as well. And it’s free! We were on a tight schedule so no time to sketch before hurrying down The Strand to The Courtauld and the Egon Schiele show. £7.50 each but that includes entry to the entire collection, which is stupendous.

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I couldn’t pass up a chance to study from such a great artist and although the place was packed to the rafters, I stopped and drew from two of his earlier male nudes. I concentrated on his line, which is paradoxically exaggerated and very accurate.  I used graphite into an A5 sketchbook.

A Long, Hard Day

10 Mar

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Had a very long day, travelling to Birmingham and leaving at 6am. Arrived back home 14 hours later. First stop was at the visa office to submit my paperwork for a very exciting trip I’m planning for next month – more to come on that. We had enough time to drive into the city centre to visit the most excellent Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, or BMAG. We saw one of the best collections of Pre-Raphaelites anywhere; Grayson Perry’s ‘The Vanity Of Small Differences‘ and a lovely collection of Japanese antique woodcuts, netsukes and laquerwork. All for FREE! The museum is huge and we only saw a fraction of their collections. We took half an hour for tea and scones in the magnificent Edwardian tea room where I did this very quick scribble, using a 2B pencil into my little A6 spotty sketchbook.

An Assyrian Kneecap

5 Mar

Ink sketch: An Assyrian Kneecap.

 

So this is my last sketch from my trip to London last week. When I’m in the British Museum I like to wander around and just happen on stuff. I was having a good look around the Egyptian section and turned a corner and discovered The Assyrian stone friezes. Totally mind-blowing. Such beautiful and perfect carvings from, what – about 3,000 years ago? How did they achieve such remarkable beauty without all our mod cons, workshops, power tools etc… It bears out what Grayson Perry goes on about, extolling the extraordinary virtues of craftspeople throughout the ages.

At each end of every section of the frieze stood a guardian eagle spirit, with an eagle’s head, wings and human torso. However, although they had human legs, most of them has an eagle’s claw instead of a kneecap and a couple had a human fist in place of a patella. I drew one of these – I wonder what it signifies? The hand has only three fingers alongside the thumb, which is a convention used by modern cartoonists.

 

Cat Goddess At The Old Museum

24 Feb

Ink sketch: Head of Bastet.

Babysitting again today so took my young nephew to Swansea Museum, the one that the poet Dylan Thomas described as ‘the museum that should be in a museum’ because it’s such a quintessentially Victorian museum, so very typical of its era. We went up to the Egyptology exhibit, because small children seem to be fascinated by mummies – I can remember feeling the same when we had primary school trips to visit the museum. While the young sprog drew the massive sarcophagus, I scribbled away at a small head of the cat goddess Bastet, dating from about 400 BCE. When you look at it, the unassuming little sculpture seems very simple but when you try to draw it, you realise just how complicated and beautifully made it is. It’s a lovely example of craft in art and the craft of art. I’m a big fan of Grayson Perry and this little sculpture reminded me of his exhibition at the British Museum, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, which venerates all those long-dead craftsmen who made great, wonderful art. My quick little scribble doesn’t do it justice.

The Final Proof [female nude]

1 Feb

Full colour drypoint.

 

Today I went back to Swansea Print Workshop for the final session of drypoint training. Yesterday I managed to pull a first proof [on the left] and this morning I used it to guide me while I did a lot more mark-making into the paper drypoint plates. I added a lot more cross hatching and some patterning along with some lively linework on the figure and then repeated the technique of inking up and printing the three separate plates [I explained this in yesterday’s post]. I’m pleased with the result [on the right]. I’m not sure if I’m pleased enough to edition this particular print – it should be possible to get an edition of 15-20 prints from these paper plates. I’ll sleep on it and decide whether to edition them on Saturday. But I really like the technique and I have some paper drypoint plates in my studio, so that’s what I’ll be doing for the next couple of days. I’ll see if I can get a series of four prints in this technique over the next couple of weeks and see what I think then about doing some more.

It’s easy to get carried away talking about the technical stuff and forget to say what good fun it is to go on these courses. There’s a good mix of professional and hobby artists and the standard of tuition is very high. I was in with a great group of people this week and we had loads of interesting and stimulating discussions ranging from the government’s failure to recognise the worth of the extended family in modern child-rearing to whether Grayson Perry is one of our greatest living artists. [Probably] 🙂

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