Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fish completed

 On Monday November 1st I will be opening a Seasonal page on my blog.  I wanted to have some art related gift ideas available early enough in the season to enable shipping in plenty of time for Christmas.  On the page I'll be making available a 2010 Holiday card as well as a number of other seasonal art designs for cards.  The 2009 Merry Christmas Hares card from 2009 will also be available.

In addition, there will be some unique boxes that I have created.  These come stuffed with lovely treasures already, but can be used for your own treasures as well - or those of someone else if you want to part company with it. 

I'll also have gift certificates available that can be used to purchase art or to reserve a place at my workshop in March.  More details on the workshop will be made available on Monday through my mailing list and here.

Meanwhile, I've been printing fish madly and catching up on work.  I took awhile this afternoon to finish off this coloured pencil piece.  I can't for the life of me think of a suitable name for it.  I am a total blank for inspiration for this one. The original sketch for it was done late at night in bed.  Heaven knows what goes around in my head at that hour! I'm sure something will come to be sooner or later or perhaps it will become a 'Name that Painting' contest in a future newsletter.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The trials and tribulations of communication

I have provided newsletters and updates to my mailing list contacts and initial introductions to others who I have connected with and felt may be interested in the information or special offers that I have provided.  It seems not everyone wants to take part and that's quite fine with me.  The option to join or unsubscribe is there at the click of a button.  Unfortunately one individual decided that wasn't sufficient and decided to report the email as spam. 

As to not be seen as spamming, and wanting to ensure that I will continue to I have now removed all names of those who have not subscribed or confirmed and these individuals will no longer receive my emails.  If you have previously received my emails, and wish to continue to receive them please subscribe to my mailing list through the form on the right of this blog or through the link on my Facebook page.   You may subscribe or unsubscribe at any time simply by clicking on the link at the bottom of the email page. 

The next mailing will be on November 1st and include a registration deal for my gyotaku workshop in March 2011.  On November 15th, the newsletter will be published and Twelve Questions will be answered by Casey Klahn, The Colorist.

But for now, I am getting in some practice prints with a lovely rosy ocean perch.  I lucked into some today as they're difficult to find at times so now the freezer has some in store for later in the year.  They make great fish to print with as they have prominent scale and gill patterning.  Just mind the sharp bits!   I'll make sure one of these will come to the gyotaku workshop with me for printing practice

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


After a period of painting and printing, I crave the feel of graphite on paper and the minute detail of something complex. This little birch leaf from a tree in the garden, now nearly denuded of leaves kept me company on the sofa over the last couple of nights while the news played in the background.

Its funny how much of my training sits so deep within me and becomes a comfort zone.  My training and mentors emphasized drawing skills and it was where I cut my teeth in art.  Hour after hour of technique, life classes, drawing everything and anything until it raced through my head even as I slept, I swear.

While I enjoy painting and printing, it is when I can hold a pencil and see something appear on paper that I am most content.  Leaving tiny amounts of graphite on paper and seeing it build into an image always amazes me.  I strongly believe in keeping drawing alive and that it truly is the backbone of all art.  This was drummed into me from day one and I keep that mantra going.

Funny, a  number of years ago I sold a drawing to a well known artist locally and he was running a painting course while we spoke.  I had mentioned getting back into painting and he looked at me and said 'You don't need to paint, you know how to draw." 

The remembering of my beginnings in art made me dig out a drawing that I did during a life class.  This is a glimpse of one of my life drawing sessions so many years ago in a studio, on a farm in Devon.  I can still see the room in my mind and almost remember the people, the sounds...  This was probably close to 30 years ago. Drawing still lives.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Update - untitled still

I did a little more on this fish piece.  I used a blender pen on the red ring to blend the colours a little more as I wasn't happy with them.  Still not sure if I am, but perhaps I can rework it a bit later.  I so rarely blend anything when I work with coloured pencil. I don't know why I thought this would be a quick fix.  I should know better by now.

This is a scan of the piece.  Artificial light creates all sorts of issues with photographing a piece.  Then again scans of coloured pencil never seem that great at times either.  This is the photographed piece; the top of the post is the scanned piece.  I don't seem to get the editing just right, so the reality is somewhere between the two.

Anyway, its slowly building and I'll chip away at it a few minutes here and there.  I like the graininess of cp on paper mostly but need to be careful with the strokes to ensure its a consistent even surface.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I had designed this piece as a sketch some time ago then started it as a watercolour which got laid aside.  I rediscovered it the other day and thought I'd try my hand at it again, this time in coloured pencil.  I had considered using this piece as a Christmas card but its not very seasonal, so I don't think it will make the cut.  However, if it turns out, it can, like all of my work, be used as a note card.

I transferred the sketch onto some Stonehenge paper today and cocooned myself on the sofa under a blanket with the wood stove going and worked on it to this point. 

Size?  Its about 8 or 9 inches in diameter and I'm using Prismacolour pencils.  A name for the piece hasn't come to me yet.  Sometimes the name is there before I even start a piece, or comes partially through the drawing.  This time - nothing.   All suggestions are welcome.