October - a dry month

No ... I haven't given up red wine yet but it does seem like my artistic inspiration dried up after Nicaragua! A month off the project didn't really help ... I started again on 5 October and have been trying to get back into it. I've just started a new book - my third so far - which is fun, but have to confess there are a number of blank pages in the last one that I'm going to have to get back to! At least starting a new book isn't as scary as it used to be and all those white pages are just a bit of a challenge now ... and I don't care so much that I'll make a mess of them or whatever I draw won't be good enough! So that's something positive to come out of this little venture :)

October 30, 2009 at 6:38pm | 0 Comments

A strange thing happened on the way to Masaya ...

I'm not going to go into detail about the 'Nicaragua Incident' (as we now like to call it!) ... Michael has written a blog post that describes what happened better than I could. It was the scariest travel experience I've ever had and it put an end to my drawing for a while, partly because they took my pencil case along with everything else and partly because I was shaking like a leaf for the next week and drawing wasn't high on my list of priorities!!

So ... I've given myself a month's leave from the project, which means I'll have to add another month on at the end. I'm due to start again this week and I think it will be hard getting back on the horse! I have to confess, it's been quite nice not having to worry about what I'm going to draw and when I'm going to fit it in, and then feeling guilty if I miss a day :) That said, I do really enjoy it as well, and there's a certain sense of achievement looking back over a couple of full sketch books ... even if it doesn't really 'mean' anything in the long run. So I guess I'll be back in October!

Hand painted tiles at the Colonial Hotel in Granada, Nicaragua ... before 4 September

September 27, 2009 at 2:45pm | 0 Comments

Costa Riiiicaaaa

I've just returned from 5 weeks travel to Central America and the US and - as predicted - it was really difficult to keep up the sketching. The first part of August was hard enough with all the pre-travel organising that needs to be done and getting things at work up to speed, but once we left on 16 August it became much harder. Planes aren't the most inspirational of environments and being jammed into those micro seats for 20 hours doesn't do much for my drawing enthusiasm ... and then there's the jetlag at the other end. So the first few days were a bit of a blur and then we headed down to Central America.

Four guest appearances in my sketch book from the Hancock-Ayvazian family ....

You'd think that without the daily work grind I'd have heaps of time to be inspired and creative, but for the first two weeks in Costa Rica we were travelling with my brother Boze, his wife Suzy and my two nieces Sam (11) and Ani (8) and it turned out to be fairly action packed. We hiked, we kayaked, we walked ... and walked ... and walked, we ate, we drank and we fell into bed at the end of the day after a couple of rounds of 'I Bid' with the gang. There wasn't a lot of lying on a beach staring up at the palm trees and sketching in between but I did manage to get them all to make some guest appearances and fill in some of the blank pages in my sketch book - thanks guys!!!

With their help I managed to stay fairly much on track until they went home to the States at the end of August. Michael and I kept travelling and went on to Nicaragua ... where we had lots of excitement that put an end to my sketching until now ... but I'll save that for the next post.

September 27, 2009 at 1:02pm | 1 Comment

With my eyes shut

Well, due to an astounding lack of artistic inspiration over the past month I've resorted to starting some of my drawings with my eyes shut .... just to see what happens .... and filling in the detail once I've got something on the page. It's quite fun and takes some of the pressure off if you're not staring at a blank page wondering what to do with it.

I'm not sure where it's all going but I'm committed to seeing the year out ... and July has been a case of whatever gets me through!

I'm going overseas in 2 weeks time for 5 weeks, which might make it easier or harder - depending on how rough the travel gets. Wet season in Central America so I might end up with some interesting mould patterns on soggy sketch book ... which fits with my current theme!

August 2, 2009 at 6:44pm | 0 Comments

One book down!

I've finished my first book ... that's quite exciting as I have a room full of sketch books I've started, determined to keep a visual diary, and they've all ended up with a few random images in them and a lot of white paper.

So, I'm still at it. Haven't done this since art school, and even then it was a bit hit and miss. It's hard going after a long day at work and by Friday night my inspiration is usually at an all time low, but I'm exploring a theme I find really interesting so that's keeping me going. It's basically to do with human impact on the land and how we seem to spread across the planet in patterns that reflect nature. I keep coming back to the similarities between aerial patterns on the land created by humans (and animals) and microscopic patterns of human and plant tissues; neurons, leaf veins, bacteria multiplying ...

I'm exploring some different media now too ... I've been out with the stencils and spray can which in itself is an interesting combination of attention to detail - cutting the stencils - and then random spraying from above, where you don't have that much control over how the paint is applied.

Next mission is to dig out all my old art materials; the Dr Martins inks, gouache and pastels and see what I can do with them :)

June 26, 2009 at 5:29pm | 0 Comments

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