27 Jan 2013

Reasons for keeping a sketchbook

I plan to structure some time between commissions to develop my landscape painting and work on my individual style. Notes and drawings from my sketchbooks will provide the inspiration and information for future studio work. I have spent many years working on commissions, producing very detailed pictures over lengthy periods of time largely from photographs – sketching quickly from life to capture a fleeting moment of light or movement doesn’t come easy to me at all. This is probably why I have struggled to maintain a sketchbook – I try to capture every detail, a quick sketch being beyond me and finding enough time even more difficult !
I can take a decent picture with my camera, but it never quite captures what it is that I can see with my eyes. So if I’m not going to get down all the detail I need to capture just the essence of what I see. I’ve thought long and hard about what that is and why the camera doesn’t always see it – I think it’s simply pattern and tone, light & contrast attracts me first and colour is secondary. Some mornings this week I’ve sketched the view from the croft – trying different methods and trying to ignore the detail!

20 Jan 2013

Horny Hamish leads the way

The lack of mod cons at home means that we have to drive a mile up the road to communicate with the outside world. On one such occasion this week we were joined by a few of our neighbours, the Highland Cattle (or Horny Hamishes as I call them). I’m not sure whether they were just being inquisitive or whether they thought we had come to feed them. Either way, they were well behaved and when it was time to go they lead the way home! It’s been pretty cold this week and the landscape has changed once again. The light is incredible and I now carry my camera with me where ever I go. In fact, I’ve had to swap the handbag for a rucksack, the neat cloche hat for a warm-but-loopy one and not bothered to unpack any skirts! I’ve been thinking about how best to capture the landscape in my sketchbook – everywhere I look there’s a painting. Time for a confession – I didn’t complete my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project, and further more, I’ve not been very committed to any sketchbooks to date other than my picture diary. So this New Year’s resolution is to change that!

13 Jan 2013

Moving Northwards

Last year we decided that we would like to live by the sea, perhaps the Scottish Highlands. After trawling the internet, flying about on Google Earth and some serious research we found our ideal spot – all we need to do now is build a house on it! For now we are renting a charming little croft – the charm of perhaps the 1950’s with no mod cons. Connection to the internet involves a drive up the road and warmth comes from a peat fire. We must look very trendy (but less than sexy) in our padded builder’s “onesies” and furry boots! Once unpacked I’ll be out painting again, the colours of the landscape are stunning and we have some shaggy Highland Cattle for neighbours, who are just waiting to be photographed in the low winter sun. I may have relocated but my business remains the same, online and posting artwork anywhere in the world!

6 Jan 2013

A big Adventure

Our nomadic existence continues, we have spent time with friends and family, been woken up early by those younger than us, eaten many Christmas puddings and have now started on a new adventure which began on google earth………