Thursday, 28 January 2016

Taking a line for a walk.

Experimentation is something crutial to develop the way we work and taking us out of our comfort zone.

In the last few months, I've been learning to sew. I love it! Creating something three dimensional and usable out of flat material is very exciting. I'll continue to make things.

But, the purpose of my learning was to learn free sewing and finally, this week was the moment - on a background  of watercolour, a vase of flowers sketched last week.

The freedom of free stitching is exhilarating, there is control but the line takes precedent, it just goes on on a walk, comes back to and fro and goes over the previous path.
It is something i normally do with a pen, or pencil, but in the beauty of the sewn line is that it is constant, but wobbly.  The thread was multicolour so i was not able to control the colour of line that much and it produced contrasts with the painted surface that were unexpected but enjoyable.

 I also tackled a simpler drawing over an orange satsuma drawing with repeated lines to create the shadows. It made me worry about the strength of the paper and whether it would desintegrate under the needle - new methods, new worries...
 And where will I go next?

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Watercolours - testing various paints

I paint and sketch in watercolour since the 1990s and I love the quality and immediacy that watercolours give.
Through the years I've used some various makes of watercolour and always love trying new makes.  However, I tend to revert to W&N and I wanted to explore why.
I've done a little test of painting the same view (a tree in the cemetery near my house) in various makes that I've currently have on stock and on the same paper, following the same process (colour first,  a few w/colour pencil marks and at least two other watercolour paint layers. The makes : Kreme Pigmente,  Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith (colour chart), Vallejo (liquid watercolour).
Here is what I've found :
More pigmented.
Less translucent and therefore less layers, less subtlety possible.
Grainy and some interesting unexpected effects.
Some colour mixing (off paper) but opacity does not allow clean mixing.
Good earthy colours to use straight off palette.
This is what I am used to.
Translucent and good mixing possibilities off paper (I mix my greens).
Multiple layering retains freshness
Little graininess on most colours
Good reaction with w/c pencils
Clean colours with little graininess
It takes longer to dry so got quite a bit of wet on wet effect on paper.
I did not mixed the colours ad limited supply of  paint (sample palette of 238 colours).
Multiple layers retain freshness
Liquid watercolour applied with water brush (the others were with normal brushes)
Vibrant colours (not light fast so not archival) very punchy!
More chaotic mixing on paper only - but fun.
Mixing before painting possible.
Less layers possible - as freshness and vibrancy would disappear.

My favourites:
I will stick to W&N for painting but may add the odd colour from other makes for effect, specific colours.
On the road, and on my sketchbook  I'll keep using Vallejo amazing bright colours - their light and vibrancy appeal to me.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

2015 a good sketching year

2015 has been an intense year, busy in many ways and very enjoyable on the sketching front. Through the Pushing Your Sketching Boundaries courses that I organised with Swasky, with guest tutors from UK, Simone Ridyard, and Spain, Miguel Herranz and Mercedes Carmona.  We enjoyed teaching in Coventry, Oxford and Segovia and shared our passion for drawing and painting on location with many of you. Thanks!

To me it has been a great positive highlight to 2015 and one that I am looking forward to continue in 2016.

Personally, I feel fired up recording what happens around me and sharing it with others.
Here I've chosen a drawing for each month in 2015, a great exercise to remember where I was throughout the year. Enjoy!
January 2015 - St Martins in the Fields, London, 10 minutes, waiting for Alex and Karen at the door of the National Portrait Gallery
February 2015 - Aurelia, 30 minutes, she sells the Big Issue in Newbury ans we chatted whilst I did this portrait of hers that formed part of an Exhibition in Newbury called Overlooked.

March 2015 - Chandelier V&A London, by Dale Chihuly, drawn at the USk London outing, 30 minutes
April 2015 - Newbury Parkway rooftops from St Nichs church, 45 minutes, part of Overlooked exhibition

May 2015 - sketching demo part of our Artists at the Chapel, Open Studios 2015 exhibition
June 2015 - Jurasic coast, Dorset,  20 minutes, amazing folded landscapes

July 2015 - Ukelele band, Cowley road festival, 20 minutes
August 2015 - Castellfollit de la Roca, 30 minutes, a one street town on volcanic rocks

September 2015 - Broughton Pl / Broughton Street, Edinburgh, 20 minutes, a great trip on search of good coffee, art and old buildings.
October 2015 - Newbury market place in the round - 45 minutes -  part of a one day Picture This event, free of charge, Newbury Style.

November 2015 - Borough Market, 30 minutes, during the USk London outing.
December 2015 - Stonehenge - 15 minutes - the power of stones and landscape, cold and sharp and amazing.

Wishing you all a great 2016!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Sutton Hoo, Suffolk uk

This is an old burial place where Saxon Kings are buried near criminals of possible a later age, called Sutton Hoo (which means Southern Dwelling High) and which was ordered to be excavated by Mrs Pretty who had heard spirit voices near the mounds. Some of the tombs (ship burials) where already ransacked but one of the larger ones was intact (except the body was not there only buckles and other goods left). 
Liquid watercolour sketch.

Sutton Hoo significa Domicilio Al Sur Alto. Este es un cementerio Anglo Saxon con tumbas barco que se encuentran al lado de otras tumbas de criminales más recientes pero también antiguas.
Algunas e las tmbas barco habían sido ya robadas cuando se excavaron en los años 30. Pero otra, principal, estaba intacta. Era una sepultura dentro de un barco y se encontraron la hebilla de un cinturón,  casco, escudo y otros bienes pero el cuerpo no estaba ya allí.
Dibujo con acuarela liquida.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Summer into Autumn

I've had a great summer teaching two urban sketching courses in Oxford and Segovia. It is exhilarating seeing people's confidence come alive and enjoying playing with watercolour and mark making.
He tenido un verano fructífero ensenando dos talleres de dibujo urbano en Oxford y Segovia. Recompensa ver como los participantes ganan confianza y aprenden a relajarse usando acuarelas y dibujando. 
Oxford 2015
Segovia 2015
Segovia 2015
On the trip going and coming back from Spain, I started and continued sketching non stop and recorded most of our stopovers from Angouleme to Sos del Rey Catolico, Zaragoza to Colliure, Carcassone to Millau and more. Here I show only a few from the begining and i will upload some more soon.
En el viaje de ida y vuelta de España, empece y seguí dibujando y recopile casi todos los lugares en los que paramos, de Angouleme a Sos del Rey Católico, de Zaragoza a Colluire, Carcassone a Millau y mas.  Aquí muestro solo algunos de los dibujos del principio pero ya ire subiendo mas.
Angouleme cathedral rear
Angouleme cathedral front
Sos del Rey Catolico

Happy 2015! - Feliz Año Nuevo 2015!

2014 has been a year full of activity for me - art forms are a greater part of my life and have made loads of new plans for 2015. I will continue to teach sketching workshops and working hard at making City Arts a great art hub in Newbury. Also I have a few architecture projects also  in progress.
A few sketches from my Portugal trip with Dean in September, a very busy M1 (part of the Cover to Cover sketchbook exchange) and a sketch in Madrid in December to say - Happy New Year!
2014 ha sido un año muy activo y el arte forma una parte mayor de mi vida. El 2015 traerá más talleres de dibujo, y continuaré trabajando en la creación de un centro de arte, City Arts, en Newbury. También sigo teniendo algún proyecto arquitectónico que otro. 
Os dejo unos dibujos de Portugal, la M1 en Inglaterra y uno de Madrid arriba para desearos ¡Feliz Año 2015!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Primavera - Verano 2014 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Highlights

Soy consciente que no he estado publicando mucho asi que voy a resumir lo que ha estado pasando desde Abril Mayo hasta Agosto.
En Mayo participo en Open Studios en Newbury y en 2014 lo hice con dos artistas amigas - Kate Steele y Christine Lack; utilizamos el mismo local que use yo en 2013, la capilla del cementerio que esta en frente de mi casa.
Expusimos trabajos de cada una y tambien una pieza en colaboracion de las tres llamada Embrace en la que cada una experimentamos con las tecnicas de las otras dos.
I am aware that I've not published for a while so i am going to sumarise what has been happening since April/May till August here.
In May I took part in Open Studios en Newbury, this year with two other artist friends - Kate Steele and Christine Lack; we used the same venue I used in 2013, the chapel of the cemetery opposite my house.
We exhibited our own work but also a collaborative piece, Embrace, where we each experimented in each others media.
Tambien parte de Open Studios fue el proyecto Cover to Cover que organice con Arlington Arts en el que 30 artistas utilizaron sketchbooks para mostrar su forma de trabajo y expusimos los libros junto con piezas que estaban relacionadas con los sketchbooks. El proyecto era un concurso y tuvimos un juez de lujo - el presidente del New English Art Club - Richard Pikesley.
Also part of Open Studios was the project Cover to Cover that i organised with Arlington Arts where 30 artists used sketchbooks to show theire way of working and we exhibited the books together with artwork related to the sketchbooks. The project was a competition an we had an excellent judge - Richard Pikesley, the president of the New English Art Club

Junio  fue un mes de preparacion para el taller que organice en Oxford con Swasky y Miguel Herranz, urban sketchers, que tuvo lugar en Julio - el resultado del taller se puede ver aqui
En resumen muy resumido, tuvimos 30 participantes internacionales y conseguimos atraer a la prensa local al centro de arte donde expusimos los resultados del curso, la exposicion crecia de dia a dia.
June was a month of preparation for the workshop i organised in Oxford with Swasky and Miguel Herranz, urban sketchers, that took place in July - the outcome of the workshop can be seen here.  A very short summary would be that we had 30  international participants and we managed to attrat the local press to the art centre where we exhibited the course work in an exhibition that grew everyday.

Photo de David Fleming para el Oxford Mail
Fue una experiencia exhilarante que espero se repetira muy pronto.
It was an exhilarating experience i hope we repeat very soon.
El resto de Julio y Agosto lo he pasado trabajando en mis trabajos de arquitectura y entre otras cosas conseguimos el permiso para renovar una iglesia local como centro de arte y galeria que servira a la comunidad local.
The rest of July and Agust i have spent working on my architecture work and amongst other things we got planning permission to transform this old methodist chapel into an art gallery and workshop that will serve as a community art hub.

Y tambien fui seleccionada para la exposicion en el New Greeham Arts sobre retrato por mi libro de autoretratos. Podeis ver un video que compuse al respecto aqui.
And finally I got accepted for the New Greenham Arts Open Exhibition 2014 on the subject of portraits with a book of self portraits. You can see a video of some of them here.
Y ahora a ver que pasa el resto del 2014! And now let's see what happens the rest of 2014!