Throughout July it has been hard to deny the beauty of nature. We have had a glorious summer in Snowdonia filled with sunshine and warmth, not to mention lots of insects flying around and making the most out of the flowering plants. For these sketchbook pages I took inspiration from another artist as well as my own photography. The waterlily comes from a walk in Treborth Botanic Gardens (Bangor, North Wales), whereas the insect drawings are influenced by the meticulously detailed investigations of Joe MacGown. With these stunning images as starters, I was able to play with a variety of patterns and shapes in order to create my compositions.
Well it took a while to get this post up but that mostly has to do with marking and getting side tracked with work to do lists rather than seeking inspiration. As soon as I saw Lauren's book I knew that I would pick up on the silhouette image. Working with silhouettes is so familiar to me since I have previously worked with them extensively in my orchid paintings. However, I did feel the need for colour and I definitely couldn't contain it, hopefully this won't shock Lauren when she receives it! This is a bit over the top, even for such a lover of colour.
Inspired by overlapping silhouettes and the psychedelic shapes and colour I have created two pages for this sketchbook. One started directly from the silhouette and looking for the shapes created by the interaction between silhouettes; while the other bounced in to thinking about non-western patterns and bold colour, like something that might be found in an African textile print. Combine with this a little bit of materials exploration through sewing and felt and voilà - off it went in the post today. Now I need to tackle my own delicious little book that has been returned from Eve with a splendid sequence of pages, texture and shape.
It's April, and this month I am back to my own little sketchbook. I like the quaint size of this book but it is falling apart! Not sure this was the right book for the job but no turning back now. Binding pages has now become part of the aesthetics. Following on from Lauren's pages of geese flying through patterned spaces I started by filling in some white space on one of her pages. Then, I had this nostalgic dream of cattails. Reminiscing of my cottage or the lakes in Canada, maybe a bit of both. This was followed by some inspiration from my walk around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and my desire to play with some pattern paper. The catfish (cattails to catfish!) drew on the work and techniques of Mark Hearld. He produces these intricately collaged pieces and prints, one of which was shown at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the print display. Much better in life than on the web, the sign of a good piece.
This sketchbook is now heading off to Eve for the month of May!
My March sketchbook session was a couple of page spreads inspired by receiving Eve's sketchbook. A large square spiral sketchbook with black paper it provided a refreshing change to my little pocket size sketchbook. Her drawings, mainly in black and white, reminded me of my days living in Bristol. The seafront near Nailsea maybe or event he docks in town. My initial response was to provide some colour but to capture elements of Eve's style like the landscape and the text. Inspired by the mountains in my area (Snowdonia) and the blossoming cherry tree in my backyard I produced the images above. So nice to see spring arriving after a gloomy, wet and grey winter.
These are my three initial pages for the TEA sketchbook circle. It was soo nice just to spend a few hours drawing and experimenting with things that I have recently been inspired by. For example, a friend sent me this link to these beautiful quilt patterns made out of envelope paper by Stephen Sollins and I thought that this would be an excellent way to put down pattern on to paper and get started with my new sketchbook. To complement this, I drew images that are part of my everyday environment since I prefer to draw from observation (my dog, the orchids on my window sill, and some recently spun yarn). The stitching from one drawing provided the initial line to inspire the next drawing. All of the work is mixed media (pencil, coloured pencil, pen, watercolour, thread, collage). Next I am looking forward to responding to someone else's imagery!