Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sketchbook Challenge - the story continues

Another page for the Sketchbook Challenge. This represents Tuesday afternoon painting classes and the friends with whom I paint...especially those who sit with me in the naughty corner. I am so lucky a) to be able to attend these classes and b) to share the time with such jolly good friends. We paint, chatter, drink coffee and generally enjoy ourselves. Most of the people in this class have been painting together for a number of years. It is a very "comfortable" group. Above all, no one "judges" what any one else does. We share ideas, advice and so on and any criticism is constructive. And we are lucky enough to have a very good teacher, Penny, who is also a very good friend.
Without going into too much detail Penny, painting classes and my "naughty corner" friends have been such an important part of my life in the past 7 years, picking me up from the depression I had sunk into and giving my life a purpose and meaning. And they are always there with a helping hand and kind words when needed. I love them dearly. Bless you, girls!

Monday, 10 January 2011

January Sketchbook Challenge - Episode 1

At last after a week of procrastination I have finally done my first sketchbook page for January. If I could draw as well as I procrastinate I could be up there with Signor da Vinci!

This sketch represents the opportunities I have had to travel, often to places off the usual travel track. This sketch amply illustrates that. It is part of a silver cruet from Iraq. In 1949, when I was a lot younger than I am now, we moved to Iraq where my father, who was in the RAF, was posted. This cruet was bought by my parents whilst there. I remember my mother telling me it was made by a silversmith who called himself John the Baptist.....either my mother or the silversmith or both were having a joke.

Since then I have travelled widely, both with my parents and on my own. With my parents we went to Australia and Germany as well as around the UK. By myself I have been to the Middles East, North Africa, Nepal and Thailand. Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to sail across the Atlantic and up the Amazon with my painting teacher and friend, Penny Wilton when she was teaching on a Swan Hellenic Cruise. I have also done a couple of trips to Menorca with Penny and some friends who also attend her classes.

I have a stack of photos of these travels but, more importantly to me, a wealth of memories. I just wish I had had a sketch book for some of my earlier travels. You can capture so much more in a sketch book, bot in words and pictures than you can with a camera, no matter how good a camera is. My sketch book do not just have sketches but a lot of notes to describe the environment where I am sketching. When I look at those pages now such descriptions transport me back to the day I made the sketches.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

January Sketchbook Challenge

The theme for the January Sketchbook Challenge is "Highly Prized", what is highly prized to me.....where do I start. Well, with a mind map. I know some people do lists and the like when they are trying to organise thoughts and get down ideas but I find mind maps more effective, for me, anyway. Above is my mind map for January. I began by splitting it into tangible, eg friends and family, wildlife, books etc and intangible eg the 5 senses, life and so on.

It seems a lot of things are highly prized in my world so I think I am going to have to narrow it down. I am going to start with the 5 senses first and see where I go from there.
Although I am going to use separate pages and form them into an accordion book, one for each month, for this month, at least I am going to work in a sketch book and take the pages out to make up into the book.
The cover of each book will be decorated to reflect book the theme and the month. As I plan to do each cover in a different colour I thought I would take the birthstone for each month and use that colour. The birthstone for January is a garnet so the cover will be a darkish red-brown colour.
I have also collected together a basic set of drawing equipment which I will keep in a pencil case. Graphite pencil, watercolour pencils and a wash brush, drawing pens and some coloured felt tip pens. I can add to this as and when.I can keep that and the sketch book plus a notebook together so I can work at odd moments as I get ideas and, hopefully, inspiration.
I think I am ready to go.