Tag Archives: Van Gogh

Shadowbeach

12 Jun

shadowbeach

 

I’m lucky to live near one of the loveliest beaches anywhere, Swansea Bay, and Husb and I often wander down for a stroll. I used to sketch it a lot but haven’t done for ages because it got boring; I couldn’t find anything new to draw. I had recently been thinking about the drawings of van Gogh and his wonderful expressive mark-making and so today I decided to take a different approach. Instead of trying to find something different about the subject, I concentrated on mark-making, on the way I put the drawing down on the paper. That took my attention away from what I was drawing and onto how I was drawing and in a roundabout way the subject emerged more or less on its own. The mark making took in the lengthy shadows on the beach cast by an evening summer sun, the pier, the smoke from the Port Talbot chimneys in the distance, the tiny figures strolling near the water’s edge.

 

I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Up The Mynydd

29 Jun

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Husb and I went up Mynydd Betws (Betws Mountain) today to get our regular supply of farmyard manure for the allotment. We had young nephew with us so we stopped a while to look at the gorgeous view and the sheep and lambs. There are a lot of black faced sheep up there.

I had a quick scribble into my little A6 spotty sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size S. The landscape is so enormous it’s hard to know where to start and how to approach it, but the main thing is to focus on making marks and not try to get in too much detail. I think of van Gogh’s landscape drawings when I’m doing them.

Done Before.

20 Aug

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Paris is fabulous but I’m shattered because we’ve been walking everywhere and it’s Hot! It’s also difficult to decide what to scribble because in a city full of artists, it’s all been done before. Husb and I visited Notre Dame yesterday; it was jam packed but I found this statue in a dark, quiet corner and stood at the bottom, sketching. I like the drama of the foreshortening and the way it loomed out of the darkness.

Today we traipsed all over Montmartre and I had quite an emotional moment in front of Theo vanGogh’s house, where Vincent lived for a while. Marvellous. Tonight we went for a stroll under the full moon in the delightful Parc Bercy, which was packed with locals picnicking, playing sports and enjoying the gardens.

Seagull Poo And Nettle Brew

17 Jun

Today was one of the rare sunny days this summer, so Husb was up and out early getting a run along the promenade. Then a seagull spotted him. Literally. All over his head. I couldn’t stop laughing :D. Luckily he doesn’t have the thick verdant growth of his youth and he was able to scrape most of the gull droppings off his pate and carried on with his run.

After he cleaned up, we took advantage of the respite from the storms and headed off to the allotment – weeds thrive on persistent rain. I embarked on a war of attrition on the buttercups, hogweed, dock, speedwell, rosebay willowherb and scarlet pimpernel and before anyone complains that they’re just flowers in the wrong place – WRONG! They’re EVIL! And they’re trying to kill our allotment. I showed ’em no mercy!

We had a break to sup some of our recently made elderflower cordial [we’re lucky to have a sambucus nigra overhanging the plot] and we crushed some fresh mint leaves into it – delicious. I took a few minutes out to scribble this view from where we were sitting in front of our shed, looking through the lush growth of the Kiwi fruit plant ‘Jenny’, a self-fertile variety which is producing flower buds for the first time this year. Just under it is a large bin full of nettle compost; steep as many nettles as you can cram into a bin in water for a couple of weeks and the resulting evil-smelling brew is a highly nutritious liquid compost that can be applied with a watering can. Makes me smell awful though. But never mind, not as bad as seagull poo on the head, eh?

It’s hard to draw nature so I’ve been looking at how Van Gogh did it. He developed his own shorthand of marks to interpret what he saw and seems to have drawn very quickly. I’ve a long way to go, but that’s how I’m approaching the great outdoors. Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size S, into an A6 leather-bound, recycled sketchpad, used double.

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