Monday, September 26, 2016
A pair of Egyptian geese had produced a family on the pond outside the house - last time my husband was here there were seven goslings, now reduced to three with a sighting of a rooikat (caracul or lynx) with a little feathered body clamped in its jaws reported! I sketched the survivors grazing on the lawn - their ruthless parents were now dive-bombing them to chase them off the premises - oh to be a bird!
I did try one little watercolour sketch of some indigenous watsonias against the fields, trees and mountains but my sketchbook paper and clumsy waterbrush conspired against the beauty I was trying to portray (well that's my excuse anyway).
Monday, August 22, 2016
It was a busy sketching weekend though, with a friend's wedding on Friday. I may post those sketches later as they need a bit of work. I've sketched at a few now, and it's hard to convey all the colour, ceremony, movement and emotional importance of weddings on the spot. I always hope for much better results than I get and I would like to give them something worth keeping!
On Saturday our group went to the Wits Art Museum where a Walter Battiss exhibition is on, and a children's printmaking workshop. I had already had a good look at the exhibition a couple of weeks ago, so I concentrated on the oblivious back views of the people looking at the art. We went to the coffee shop to find the children's workshop in full swing. There were a lot more kids and adults than I could fit into my sketch but it was great to see a museum space being used to stimulate children into actually making art themselves instead of being passive (and often bored) onlookers. The tall photographer did double duty as one of the few who could reach the drying lines.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Just a lot of little sketches from the tai chi class I've been taking since the beginning of the year today... My teacher Masako kindly allowed our sketching group to sit in on a lesson, and a masterclass in ryuku kobujutsu (using weaponry) she gave to a student practicing for his black belt. I foolishly thought by drawing the exercises I'd be able to remember them in future classes (my brain just won't, although Masako says my body eventually will!), but although it looks slow and meditative, I couldn't keep up with the constant seamless movements.
The first two sketch pages were warming up - the tai chi bodies and my sketching fingers both - and I tried out various pens and brushpens before settling on my trusty Pentel brushpen, which made appropriately calligraphic marks.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
The washing line outside my studio and its drapery and shadows have been grabbing my attention for some time now and I've been wondering if it could possibly become the subject for a painting or series of paintings. In a podcast I was listening to on Tuesday, from The Savvy Painter with Christopher Gallego, he talked about how certain unorthodox motifs around his home and studio grabbed and nagged at him to paint them, and that one should go with those urges... I've been thinking I must be crazy to want to paint the washing, but John Singer Sargent did it, and actually it has many associations for me as my children have grown over years and my husband and my lives are changing. Maybe I should have been painting it all this time. These are some sketches - a notan scribble in my studio sketchbook, a watercolour in which the laundry came out quite well but I badly messed up the shadow... and another where it's the other way around. Shall I do an oil painting, or am I crazy?
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
I thought perhaps there would be some repetitive practice movements that would give us a chance to capture postures, but those were few and far between as they flew, spun, stomped, twirled and leaped around the room, sometimes almost landing in our laps where we sat lined up on a bench at one end. So we had to do what we could... I drew with pencil as I couldn't find a gap in the action to even reach for my watercolours at the time, but added colour later to help define some of the frantic lines I put down - and to convey some of the energy of these beautiful dancers. Only 5-10 of them will go through into second year, and even fewer into third - heartbreaking I'm sure for the ones who don't make it, everyone is passionate and dedicated - how on earth do they choose?!
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
These sketches from a few weeks ago at the annual Rotary Arts Festival... I see this time last year I was thinking of having an Urban Sketchers display or stand there next time, which never happened.
We had fun though on the Greek-themed day, sketching the kids from the Saheti School playing bouzoukis, singing and dancing, as well as catching other scenes from around the shopping centre - over coffee in the bookshop, a life drawing session from the Figures & Form group, and a lone pianist who I hope realised his beautiful playing was appreciated even if he didn't draw the crowds. I stuck to simple contour line drawing after a brief attempt to take my watercolours out in a shifting, shuffling situation!