Wednesday, October 07, 2015

RIP Polly 2000 - 2015

Time for a pause in blogging - for reflection on the life of Polly, my much loved Abyssinian cat.

Polly sunbathing in the doorway heard me behind her
and an ear twitched round - worked up from a 15 second sketch and my memory!
14" x 11" coloured pencil on black Stonehenge paper
She died this afternoon after becoming very sick with heart failure 10 days ago.

Losing Polly would be bad enough on its own but coming on top of the loss of Cosmo to cancer four months ago (see RIP Cosmo 2000 - 2015) - it's really knocked me for six.

Cosmo and Polly as kittens
Guess who was boss?
They came to me at three months old in 2000 and started out as cute and continued as cute!

Polly contributed cute kittens for drawing and took the matriarch role, while Cosmo did cuddles, played nursemaid to the kittens - and knew his place in the Polly pecking order.

Polly says "A girl can never have enough feeds"
Cosmo says "I want a feed too!"

Guess who's bottom looks big in this?
Polly in particular was a very pretty cat for fifteen years. Latterly people were amazed at how old she was. Here she is in 2013

Polly demonstrating the advantages of backlighting
She was however VERY difficult to draw - maybe because she was so petite, precise and neat! She was always much easier to do from behind than from head on!

Polly - Study#1
pen and sepia ink, 10" x 6.5"
Polly had a certain way of staring at you when she wanted her next meal
"Polly" in 2008
pen and ink and coloured pencils
I ended up drawing her kittens more than I drew her - until the last few days.

Meet the Kittens (her second litter)
This made it on to the front cover of the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Feline Artists
and into my book Sketching 365 (page 90)
Coloured Pencil on Paper, 11.5 x 7.5 ins 290 x 190 mm
Polly - true to form - looked cute and gorgeous right up to the end. This was her yesterday afternoon.

Polly on 6th October - she died 7th October 2015
Having sat with her and next to her for the last three days, watching over her as she went downhill very fast, I now need to take some time out. Blogging will be back next week.

Monday, October 05, 2015

ING Discerning Eye 2015 - Selected Artists

The names of the artists who have artwork selected for the ING Discerning Eye 2015 Exhibition were recently announced.  You can find them below, ordered by the number of works selected and with links to their websites in their names - where I can find them.

I'm very reliant on artists getting their  website on to the front page of Google and actually announcing their good news on their website - and the general look and content of the site. However if I've got any of the links wrong do please let me know (see side column) and I'll change it straight away.

Artists also have the opportunity to email me an image of the artwork which has been selected and I'll update this blog post with the image - if I like it! This has worked very well in past posts about selected artists (eg I had LOTS sent to me for the Sunday Times Watercolour selected artists) - so for everybody else you might want to bookmark this post and come back and check from time to time

Ing Discerning Eye 2015 - The Exhibition

The Exhibition is on display at the Mall Galleries from 12-22 November 2015. It's open from 10am to 5pm and admission is free.

Eligible work had to be handmade. Drawings, paintings, sculptures and photographs were all admissable.

Mountain Village by Sue Wales

Ing Discerning Eye Exhibition 2014 - Selected Artists

Below the list of selevcted artists is split by (1) the number of works and (2) alphabetically. The link in an artist's name is to his or her website. Links to a commercial gallery page or the website of an art society are noted separately.

Some of the websites reminded me of the imperative to say what you do succinctly in your about page - in one line. Some did do that while with others, I read through several and was none the wiser when I got to the end.

Six works

Five works

Four works

  • Day Bowman - previous exhibitor
  • Chris Bushe - (gallery) a landscale painter and a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW)
  • Michele Griffiths - weird website - I'm not seeing any images 
  • Richard Heys - an abstract painter and sculptor

Three works

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser

...which is why you really need to practice drawing in pen and ink!

10 reasons to draw in pen and ink

When you draw in pen and ink you'll learn...

1. How to observe

When you can't erase, you'll find you learn to become much more observant and practice looking more carefully on a routine basis when you're drawing.

Drawing with a pen and without an eraser means you slow down at first and pay more attention to how and where you make marks

2. How to become develop motor control and become confident in your drawing

After you learned how to observe and practised and trained both your eye and your hand, you also become much more confident when drawing.

I now frequently draw using a pen without looking at the page - it's the drawing equivalent of touch typing!

This is a video of me drawing trees at Chartwell with a pen - it's not speeded up.

3. How to hatch

.....because that's how you create tone when drawing with a line

A head with absolutely no contour lines
drawn entirely from observation
using hatching lines

pen and ink
Katherine Tyrrell

4. How to make marks in different ways

.....because it's fun and effective to draw in ways which don't involve lines.

Plus you also need to learn ways to resolve those mistakes you made....

This drawing of a garden with flowers by Vincent van Gogh
uses all sort of different marks - lines, hatching, dots, circles, - to create the overall effect

5. How many implements can be used to draw with when using ink

I've got a number of favourite and very different pens - and I've also very much enjoyed trying new ways of drawing with ink.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Examples of Artists' Statements

Have you ever wondered what the artist statement of famous artists look like?

Jeff Koons, Artist, New York City,
Studio Portrait by Chris Fanning
I've been developing a page devoted to Examples of Artists Statements on Art Business Info for Artists. Or should that be "Artist Statements by Artists"?

Anyway, I think it's a great idea to see examples of what famous and successful artists have to say about their art - it can be very instructive.  It's also very interesting how websites and what artists have to say about their work changes as their careers progress and they become more and more successful.

So I sat down and did an exercise of looking and looking at the websites of various artists. It was fascinating and had some unexpected results.

Famous Artists

These include artists in the USA and UK and one from Germany.
  • Jeff Koons
  • Cindy Sherman
  • David Hockney
  • Anish Kapoor
  • Gerhard Richter
    Fotograf: Hans Peter Schaefe
  • Peter Doig
  • Richard Long
  • Damien Hirst
  • Banksy
  • Tracy Emin
  • Gerhard Richter

Professional Artists

I then started to take a look at the artist statements of various well known and successful professional artists including:
  • Duane Keiser 
  • David Leffel 
  • Kevin McPherson
  • Albert Handell 
  • Ken Howard
  • June Berry 
  • David Curtis

I intend to keep developing these lists - not least because how artists write about their intentions and their work is absolutely fascinating!

To that end I'm now looking for
  • any recommendations of artist statements on the websites of famous and/or successful professional artists you like - and 
  • great artist statements for artists outside the USA and UK

If you've got one that you'd like to recommend please highlight it in a comment below

READ MORE about artist statements on my website: HOW TO WRITE AN ARTIST'S STATEMENT

Monday, September 28, 2015

Urban Sketchers: Gabi Campanario steps down

A major announcement by Gabi Campanario today - he's stepping down from the Board of Urban Sketchers.
Dear fellow urban sketchers,

Since setting up the Urban Sketchers nonprofit in 2009, I've been quite involved with most operational aspects of the organization, from filing government forms and dealing with bank accounts to setting up blogs, organizing events and recruiting volunteers.

As Urban Sketchers has grown and thrived, many others have contributed their time and efforts, and we've built a solid and sustainable nonprofit. That level of shared commitment and belief in our mission is why I feel comfortable that we've reached the point in our natural evolution for the founder to take the back seat. After my term expires in December, I'll no longer be part of the Executive Board.

But I'm not wandering off too far. I have offered to serve on the Advisory Board and plan to continue contributing as a blog editor and correspondent.

I'm very proud of the work we do as a nonprofit, organizing an exhilarating international Symposium every year, promoting workshops and publishing blogs.

It makes a difference in the way people see the world and connect with each other.

I hear it all the time: "Urban Sketchers has changed my life!" people tell me. And I reply the same way: "It has changed mine, too!"

Gratefully and respectfully yours,

Gabi Campanario has given so very much in terms of time and effort to Urban Sketchers that it seems remiss not to try and mark this change in some way.

Below I've got a timeline - and a few images and links - which those of you who came to Urban Sketchers late in the day may well find interesting, while the rest of us reflect on just how long it has been since Gabi had a very good idea!

Urban Sketchers Timeline - a Gabi perspective

  • 2007: Gabi begins the Urban Sketchers story - and creates a Flickr group for those interested in urban sketching.  This is the original group.
In 2007, a global community of urban sketchers began to form when Seattle-based journalist and illustrator Gabriel Campanario created an online forum “for all sketchers out there who love to draw the cities where they live and visit, from the window of their homes, from a cafe, at a park, standing by a street corner... always on location, not from photos or memory.”  Our history
  •  2008: The Urban Sketchers blog was set up by Gabi - who invited others to join. I feel very privileged to say I was one of the original 100 who joined Urban Sketchers in the very early days. Here's a link to Gabi's introduction as a correspondent - Meet the correspondents: SEATTLE > Gabi Campanario - dated 29th October 2008. (The following day I was introducing myself!)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...