I decided to scale back on exhibition activity this year. I had begun to feel that I was working only to deadlines rather than exploring and developing my work. I’d decided to have a break for a year or so, but then got involved in some fun activities in my local area. So glad I did.
In the summer I took part in an urban sketching exhibition with a difference. The Cardboard Collective exhibition started at the Courtyard Gallery in Solihull and then toured various venues in Birmingham throughout the summer. All works in the exhibition were drawn and painted onto cardboard to highlight recycling issues.
I also took part in the Newhampton Arts Centre’s ‘Paint the Day’, a Paint-out en plein air, followed by an exhibition of all works in the MUNI Gallery.
These were both sketching opportunities, and it was great to do some direct work and get involved with local artists.
I also had an oil painting accepted for the Shropshire Open 2019, currently showing at the Gateway in Shrewsbury. A lovely exhibition and venue on the River Severn.
A cool May here, but the combination of fresh air, intense colour in the landscape and the ever-changing light is not to be missed. Sketching outside is at the same time challenging and rewarding, frustrating and calming, intense and relaxing. There’s no middle way. The sketchbook work lingers in the mind long afterwards.
I’m also trying to remember to take photos of my sketches with the subject, urban-sketcher-style. Today I forgot, and then went back, this time with camera…
I’ve not been able to get out very much this winter, but I have still managed to do some sketching, using my house as a ‘hide’.
I live on a fairly busy bus route; a long road that connects different parts of the city. There are houses, schools, shops, dentists, doctors, churches, parks etc nearby. So there is a steady stream of people walking up and down the road, all absorbed in their own business.
I’ve become fascinated by the body shapes, the apparel, the differing gait, the concentration and energy, the purpose. All drawings are sketched using pastel pencils and watercolour.