Saturday, April 22, 2006

Beach huts

Its is a cold, wet, windy day here - a full week of RDF (rain, drizzle and fog) which always seems to herald spring at some point in April in Newfoundland. But today, I brought summer into my life.

I browsed through images in the Weekend Drawing Event at Wet Canvas and found a picture of some beach huts. I had forgotten completely about beach huts and how common they were on the coast in England. This image reminded me of hot summer days, salt sea breeze, sand in every nook and cranny, hot, tired children, hotter, more tired parents, ice cream, seaside stalls selling brightly coloured buckets and spades and inflatables. And beach huts.

Beach huts have moved upscale it seems. With celebrities snapping them up in select areas, a 12' x 12' beach hut can sell for 125,000 up to 160,000 pounds. More than the average house costs to purchase!

Technorati tags: , , , , , ,

Friday, April 21, 2006

Art in Newfoundland

Living on a island has benefits and drawbacks artistically. One of the challenges is searching out Newfoundland artists flung throughout the province in every nook and cranny who are creating the most beautiful art.

I have searched out a few blogs and links to art and artists in the province, both as a reference for myself and for those who may be on a similar search.

Gone to the Dogs was my first stop and provided more information that made my research easier. The next no brainer was to head to the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador who act as a reference point for many of the craft and art movement across the province.

After a bit more digging around I found Newfoundland Blogroll, a collection of links to Newfoundland blogs of all types. I've browsed a few and picked out some of artists and some that just interested me.

Artistic Microphage
Painting the Surface
The Truth About Dogs in Black and White
Art in Newfoundland
The Association of Disaffiliated Artists
The Art of Scott Keeping
The Art of Dave Sheppard

A fine art program is taught at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook on the west coast of the province.
The Pouch Cove Residency program Since 1990, has provided live/work space to visiting artists from around the world. Their program provides artists with a calendar month's residency either on the edge of the North Atlantic in Pouch Cove or overlooking the Bay of Islands in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada.

Eastern Edge Gallery
St. Michael's Printshop
Gerry Squires, Artist, art activist and teacher, much of Squires' large body of work finds its inspiration in the landscape and culture of Newfoundland.
Christopher Pratt
Mary Pratt, one of my favourite artists

I'll end here, but I know this list will branch out to a much longer list as the artist community in the province is prospering and this is very much just the tip of the iceberg.

Technorati tags: , ,

Catching up

I've been absent for a couple of days in posting. I always feel a little cheated when days are missed when I read other people's blog. Its rather like having missing pages in a book.

Work and meetings have taken my full attention and have taken me away from drawing too. So I'm playing catch up today and through the weekend.

I did have time on Wednesday night to finish a sketch from Mending the Nets by Winslow Homer. I started with a pencil sketch then moved on to watercolour and some ink later. I'm not completely pleased with it because the faces are more ghoulish than those of young women, and also I cropped the image. I think I will redo it in full and see what comes out of it. I love watercolour but am certainly no master of it. When it does work it is indeed a 'happy accident'.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It's here

At last my Moleskine sketchbook has arrived! I have searched endlessly to find one within Canada with little luck. I finally tracked one down on Ebay of all places and had it shipped from California. It has a story to tell before its even been opened.

Canada's inability to keep up with my needs is frustrating sometimes! I did find some Moleskines in Newfoundland but the store didn't have the sketchbooks and the price was about 50% more than I paid for the book I bought on Ebay.

So it is here and I sit and look at it and touch it and am almost scared to make a mark in it. I want every page filled with perfection. Why? I really don't know. But I do and that means giving some thought to what I put inside. I have lots of sketchbooks filled with all sorts of trivia, good and bad and I like to be able to riffle through them from time to time and see what I did and why and how.

I will finish a final drawing before I start in virgin Moleskine. It is an imaage I started as a line drawing and then completed in ink and coloured pencil.

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Monday, April 17, 2006

Looking to the past

We seem to measure so many things by what has happened in the past, from music to clothing, to art. The masters of the craft are the teachers of technique and form and colour. I love to explore museums filled with old paintings and be amazed each time at how they were crafted in a time before cameras could freeze a moment in time and let you finish it in your studio.

Art Renewal Centre is one of my favourite sites to explore fine art. Reproducing master paintings or drawings is something many like to do for pleasure and to learn. Most reproductions are based on museum pieces and often completed in situ. For those concerned about forgery, the work of copyists is not forgery. For one thing, art enters the public domain if the artist has been dead for more than 75 years. For another, the work of a copyist must be at least one-fifth larger or smaller than the original work. Copyists who work in museums also receive an official museum stamp on the back of their canvases that certifies the work as a copy. Moreover, a forger would have to take great pains to make a copy that is indistinguishable from an original. He would have to paint on authentic old canvas, stretch the canvas on an authentic old frame and use authentic paint from the era to fool the experts. A different profession altogether! This site will provide further details into the art of copying a master painting.

This week the weekly drawing thread is based on a master painting. It can reproduced as a graphite drawing or further pushed into a painting. Mending the Nets, by Winslow Homer. Homer (1836 - 1910) was an American landscape, marine and genre painter. He was born in Boston, where he worked as a lithographer and illustrator. In 1861 he was sent to the Civil War battlefront as correspondent, his work winning international acclaim. After the war, he worked as both a painter and illustrator. In 1876, Homer abandoned illustration altogether to devote himself to painting. His chief inspirations were the American rural scene and the sea. His paintings are in leading museums throughout the United States.

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Sunday, April 16, 2006


There are traditions regarding holidays no matter what the religion. Some are steeped in history others in imagination. Easter in the western world is a mix of both. Just how the Easter Bunny got into the mix I'm not sure. Its more a symbol of spring than of religious significance, just as the egg is. That of course morphed into the current multimillion dollar manufacturer's bonanza of chocolate eggs. And rabbits and chickens and every mutation onwards.

I think of Easter as the harbinger of spring. Colour reflected in flowers and clothes all make me think of spring.

Here on the farm, spring means cranky animals. The male geese are territorial and agressive. The horses are contrary and argumentative. The ducks argue amongst themselves. It seems everyone is having a bad day every day for about a month.

So what better to draw than something representative of Easter and spring? A goose egg and its producer, a goose. This is one of the brown Chinese geese who lay large white eggs that we either incubate for goslings or if infertile, use for craft sales. I used Derwent Drawing Pencils for the egg as I love the soft colours that remind me of sepia photos. They are thick pencils like a cross between a pastel and a pencil with a smooth buttery feel to them.

Technorati tags: , , , , , ,