Monday, November 16, 2009

Testing times


I've been thinking I should try and focus this blog a bit and stick to watercolours and nature, but that's not where life is at the moment, or not all the time.... today was a(nother) trip to a traffic licensing centre to book a learner's test for our youngest child. Heavy traffic, bureaucracy, power outages, frustration, waiting, waiting, and therefore a chance to sketch, what would I do without it? So, some ugly buildings, an ice cream man who came, and went, and came back again, and a turnstile that kept on turning - and eventually a boy with a booking to to take his learner's, please, for the last time this time!!
Oh, but I did get out yesterday for a few minutes to the greenest, lushest most verdant Emmarentia Dam park. I started sketching and watercolouring, when I heard cries of "no, Oscar, nooo-o-oooo!!" and looked up to find the cutest Staffie puppy in mid-flight onto my sketchbook and lap. That was fine, I can incorporate muddy paw prints into a landscape, but then huge raindrops started plopping onto the page and the black clouds said they weren't going to stop, so I flapped the sketchbook closed - thus creating the masterful green reflections in the water - and trekked off home to finish it from memory. I know it looks ridiculously shrieking green - but it was!

13 comments:

Cheryl said...

I love seeing both. I thought about you the other day when I was eating lunch. I don't sketch people but I thought about your Urban Sketchercising post. I thought to myself- quick draw her. But I didn't. I just kept on with my swirly doodles. :)

Penny said...

I like to hear about the real you as well as see the sketches and paintings. I know some people dont like to put personal stuff but I think it means to me you are real! Sorry, not put very well.

Charlene Brown said...

I'm in awe of your ability to sketch your surroundingss with so many perfect details! I know you've said it's simply the result of years of practice, and being the junior graphic artist who had to be able to draw 'everything'... but I continue to be amazed. I'm pretty sure I'd need at least an hour just to do the bars on that turnstile!

Cathy Gatland said...

Cheryl it took me years to start sketching people on the spot, I usually do it from behind or side on. Maybe just start with an ear or a strand of hair... :)

Penny, thanks, it's always a dilemma to me how much personal stuff to put up here, but I guess being real is good!

Charlene, the turnstile caused me the most grief - this was my second attempt at it. I'm not great at mechanical details and perspective, as you can see in most of my buildings!

caseytoussaint said...

Your people sketches are masterful - and I love the landscape -don't you love the way chance can improve what we've put down on paper. It's lovely, and loaded with atmosphere.

Carol King said...

Enjoyed your post and I'm with Charlene on being in awe of your abilities. Beautiful landscape made more beautiful by puppy paws and raindrops.

Funny, the super duper secret word I have to type to prove I'm not a spam machine is "aterain". Ate rain?

RHCarpenter said...

Well, I think the ice cream man and the other one at the end are definitely potential paintings - such motion and energy in the figures you do! I am envious - but not enough to practice my own! haha
And yes, sometimes nature is that shrieking green :)
Love all your work and glad you take the time to sketch, paint, draw and share with us when you can. Sounds like life will always get in the way if we let it so keep pushing it back so you can make room for your art. I would soooo miss it if you didn't!

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Casey - I think dogs or children 'contributing' to your art are all part of the experience (unless its a commission!) and can help you to loosen up, sometimes improving matters, sometimes not!

Hi Carol, I wonder about those secret words... the landscape 'ate rain' to get so green... is there a Big Brother out there monitoring my posts ;)

Thank you Rhonda - I'm hoping next year will be quieter on the 'life' front and I can spend more time in the studio. I've done a couple of ice-cream man paintings - maybe a series one day.

Anonymous said...

Casey, Just great people hope someday I can do this when I'm out and about working on this. But I don't think I could do anything on a learners permit day:) Did you come back with any grey hairs?:)
Happy holidays my friend have a great day!
Linda

Anonymous said...
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Joan Sandford-Cook said...

As ever Cathy, wonderful urban sketches and particularly scholarly in monochrome. Love the story of the doggy pawed, rain spattered verdant landscape... what a brilliant way to create quick reflections!!

Art with Liz said...

Your sketches are such a lovely walk through our life and times. The icecream seller was a real memory jolter!

Cathy said...

This is a lesson on "how to adapt to whatever happens"!! Your sketches are great! I love (and I'm impressed at) the turnstile!!!