I found some interesting dried seaweeds at St.Bees beach on my recent visit there and decided to have a go responding to it through thread on fabric, and pen on paper. I had previously thought it would be a good visual resource for such responses and was glad I remembered to collect some whilst on the beach. The abstract shapes lend themselves to linear responses whatever medium you may use!
I created this small oil painting on canvas board as a commission for a friend. It was fun doing it. My initial photos of the iconic hill did not fit the brief and I was grateful for the feedback from the commissioner. She then hunted down her own image and sent it over to me which was much better as I understood what she really wanted. A ,more brooding and atmospheric Pendle. I made a little sketch which she liked and proceeded with the commission. It was an enjoyable journey completed when I gave it to her daughter in person. Communication is so important throughout this process so the resulting piece is in line with what is looked for.
I should add that I found it really quite hard doing the initial sketch which was a mix of looking at the photo provided and the view of Pendle from my little studio window. I think it was because you have to be in a certain frame of mind to draw atall I think. I was struggling with the lockdown due to Covid, but in retrospect was really grateful fo this work for moving me along and ultimately doing something for someone else that will hopefully give pleasure. My friend’s daughter is returning to Australia where she lives soon, and the view of Pendle will remind her of home I hope.
Here is a drawing I found made way back in the 1970s when I was at Leeds Uni studying Fine Art. Can’t remember exactly what year, but know it was from that time. I was missing my old village and especially the beach. I thought you might like to see it as it connects with my recent St.Bees revisited posts.
Went to Grasmere in the Lake-district last week and had a lovely time sketching. I went on a little walk round the village and environs whilst my son and his wife and my partner did a much more ambitious hike. I had brought my sketching stuff and found a little bench near the millenium bridge on my little walk and settled myself there. I thought at first that really the fell and little garden folly weren’t really that interesting, but as I started to sketch and paint I saw more and more. Sketching really does help you see better. The photo didn’t capture the experience of the fell and garden atall really.
I have just done this little embroidery using the theme ‘edges’ as inspiration. I’ve been looking at paintings of street scenes by the masters and also by inspiring local artists who have painted Manchester. The contrast to the natural world appeals I think though am not really sure where the impetus came from really as is often the case with me! I am enjoying softening the edges I have created with colours and a mix of stitches. Click to enlarge as per usual!
Here are some more drawings from the same garden that I visit to help tidy a bit and draw for me! I love to see what pulls me towards it. The lakeside was the natural focus this time and in particular the jetty. It was very cold in the morning but we lit a fire on the beach which helped. The primal activity of burning wood next to the clear water was very satisfying. I decided to draw the jetty and reflection which you can see here and warmed up stood on there when the sun moved onto it. The fire itself was another motif that fascinated and looking down the lake to the trees and hills. A great day where we felt we made a difference unlike the first time which was more like a recce.