Sunday, February 17, 2008

17th February 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

Images of wateriness in Laurelines
copyright Laura Frankstone

I'm trying something a bit different with this week's post - it's got three major topics and a few other items as well.

Topic #1: A Blog with a Theme

Laura (Laurelines) has had a number of us with furrowed brows trying to guess what she had chosen for her theme for her blog this year. She's had some really interesting projects and approaches to blogging in the past so I was intrigued - and started guessing along with other fans of her blog. Back at the beginning of january, she posed her challenge for us to guess it here and last Sunday gave us the solution here.

And the answer...? Well her home and garden in the USA are currently suffering from a drought and the theme for her artwork and blog this year is "In search of water". The images from her sketchbooks at the top of the post are, from top left in clockwise order:
Laura has some very interesting trips planned for this year in pursuit of her year of 'aqua mirabilis' - including Hawaii this week. It's certainly going to be fascinating to see how much she finds for her theme of watery places and all things associated with water - and maybe also with the lack of it. What's also fascinating are the stories which people are leaving as comments on her blog about their own experiences of water and rain - and the lack of it. It looks like there's lots of people suffering from water shortages this year. I think that probably explains why we in the UK had an exceptionally wet summer in 2007 - it all came to us instead.

It's certainly a very green theme for this year - or as I suggested to Laura, maybe that's green tinted with a touch of aqua.

Topic #2: Art Class - Life Drawing

There seem to be an awful lot more people doing life drawing class this year - so to encourage others, here are some links to (mainly very recent) posts about life and/or figure drawing classes and the work produced. That means drawings of people with no clothes on - so you don't need to look if you don't want to.
  • Starting with the person who was the very first blogger I watched bring back his drawings from life class - and that's the inestimable Wally (Crackskull Bob) who, of course, has all his life classes tagged as nekkid people. He's also one of the few people who does his life drawing with a tablet. That's one of those computery tablets not one of those small white tablets. Note that it is not a requirement that all those attending life class get down on their hands and knees!
  • Will Stevens has a very nice blog about a life drawing class in Bristol (Sarah - please note!) called The Human Form, a Life Drawing Blog. It's a little unusual insofar as he posts about the work of individual artists in the class, has round-ups of work done each term and also has a wonderfully informative post about one of the iconic figures of life drawing and huge influence on English art education - Sir William Coldstream.
  • Simon Collins lives in Sydney Australia. His blog Simon Collins - Life Drawing/Painting mainly features his life drawings/paintings from his weekly group. Scroll down to some more of his nice loose style using colour. You can also other life drawings on his website.
  • Casey Toussaint (Rue Manuel Bis - life drawing) has joined a life drawing co-op
  • Dee Farnsworth (Dee Farnsworth) - has lots of great drawings in her blog's life drawing category
  • Felicity Grace (Felicity's Philosophies and Other Curiosities and Sketches by Fiz)- has a number of posts about life drawing. She's recently been experimenting with using coloured pencils in life class
  • Eliane Dukevot lives in Canada but is Dutch and belongs to Clogwork (a collective of Dutch and Belgian artists) - she also goes to life drawing class.
  • Dan Szilagyi (Hungry Hungarian's blog) is a graduate from Vancouver film school's classical animation program and has some interesting life drawings from two classes back to back in this post More life drawings
  • The Turnbull Group met every Thursday evening for a life class in Wellington New Zealand between April -August 2007.
  • Alessandra Sorrentino seems to only have one page on her blog (Aleina - Life Drawings) but it does demonstrate very nicely what can be done with pastel and shaping with value rather than contour.
  • and this is a bit of a variation on life drawing - Ariana Page Russell as featured on Kirsty Hall's blog, Up All Night Again, - ouch!
I did life drawing for years before opting for drawing a head each week. Maggie has suggested that I do a blog post for all those apprehensive about trying life class so I'll be doing that in this next week - and hope that lots of those already attending will also chip in with comments 'to encourage the others'.

Topic #3: Pastels

Here's some highlights of blog posts concerned with pastels
Art Blogs
Art Exhibitions
Art Materials and Supplies
and finally.....

Last week's "and finally....." 'bombed' so I won't be trying another one of those in a hurry! ;)

However what I will be doing next week is starting to recount, on my Travels with a Sketchbook in..... blog a trip I made nearly 11 years ago to New South Wales in Australia. I didn't sketch then as much as I do now but I still have the sketchbook from the trip plus all my notes. Any fans of Australia out there?

And's wishing a Very Happy 3rd Birthday to Julian Merrow Smith's Postcard from Provence which started on 16th February 2005. There are very few who have had as much success as Julian has had with daily paintings. It's still a blog which has much to teach people about why some people are good at producing a daily painting which sells.


  1. Thanks for noticing Katherine, I didn't :-)

  2. You're welcome - and I did wonder! ;)

  3. Thank you for the links. What a great thing to pool the figure/life drawing people on a post.

  4. Katherine, I've just been through this article and clicked every single link you provided--- there's so much fabulous information and lots of interesting artists I was not familiar with. I've added some links to my already-teeming Bloglines subscription list!
    Thank you very much for featuring my In Search of Water quest! I, too, love reading the stories of my commenters on this topic. I hope they continue.
    If there were a celestial Who's Made a Mark this Lifetime blog, I am sure you'd be a major honoree!

  5. what a lot of really interesting links - I'm like Laureline adding to an overflowing list! thank heavens for bloglines.

  6. I just read Laura's post and had to come and see for myself. You have such fabulous links that I have been here way too long :)

    Thanks for talking about Laura, she is such a special person and wonderful artist.

  7. Katherine!
    Thank you so much for the shout out!
    I'm surprised for myself and also grateful for the other life drawing links. Thank you so much for your constant sharing of art info.

  8. way are the girl K, I am hoping to go to a life drawing class on FridAY, and...I was taught by Sir great is that? (how old am I!!)
    Having a Cornish visit at the mo...very lovely, daffs and sea. Great post as usual. xx

  9. Glad you're all enjoying the links!

    Sarah - that's got to be worth a blog post - and I've never met anybody taught by Coldstream before!

  10. Oh my! I'm feeling very humble to be included in such a wonderful group of artists. Thank you so much for the mention, and for all the wonderful links.

  11. Hello Katherine,

    thank you very much for including me in your post, i have put up more life drawings as i update fairly often.
    So once again thank you for visiting my blog and adding me to your list


  12. Hi Katherine,
    I've just got back from holiday and noticed that you'd included me in your round up of life drawing blogs. Thank you very much! I feel very encouraged to know that there are people like yourself out there reading it.
    best wishes

  13. To all the comments from artists thanking me for their inclusion - THANK YOU for including your life drawings on your blogs. It's always great to see people drawing from life.

    It triggered a bit of a life drawing/drawing people week for me and even had me drafting notes on what to expect a life class - see Monday's post.......


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