Monday, 29 August 2016

Sketchbook, Drop In And Draw, A Weekend In High Wycombe and more.......

Above is a reverse drawing I finished off last night with the addition of the little black dots, after I had added them I was happy with it.

Above is 'long dot' drawing I did last night with my new prussian blue Windsor and Newton Pro Marker. Whenever I think of Windsor & Newton I remember a series of events that happened maybe ten years ago now, when my wife Zoe Eaton spent a weekend painting in John Lewis in High Wycombe. They were having an in store art event, we were welcomed in store by the John Lewis family who helped everything run very smoothly, nearing the end of the Saturday a chap approached Zoe about the oil sticks she was using at the time and was interested in the techniques being applied. Obviously we thought he was a fellow artist but it turned out he was a director of W&N and invited us to join a tour of the factory. We booked in and what a fascinating tour it was too. The part that I remember and vividly was the 'Rose Madder Room'. Crates piled high of the rose madder root and the preparations to turn it into a pigment. The whole room had this gentle pink hue from the years that this process had been going on. The roots of the plant had been imported from Iraq and Afghanistan, I had no idea at the time. I remember also at the time it triggering another memory which was from my childhood.
I must have been on school holiday and on some days my dad would take me with him to work. He was a rep for Kodak and his area was THE NORTH WEST, basically Barrow-In-Furness to Holyhead. We lived just outside Manchester at the time at a place called Heald Green near the airport which was called Ringway at the time. On this particular day we went off to his destination through the northern mill towns and as we approached this on grimy town it wasn't a 'sooty' coloured town, it was a deep blue a gentle shade on the tress as we entered the town and as we got nearer the mill it got a deeper shade. My dad explained to me that this town was stained blue because its main factory was a dye works. Always stuck with me but as I was only about 7 or 8 I never knew what the town was called.

Above is another drawing from last nights session, another long dot drawing with a bleeding narative and the a change of pen and direction. I do tend to think of most of my drawings to be complete works be they in a sketchbook or on a small bit of sea pottery or my A1 size ones. Of course they are all experiments to which working from processes and rules they should be. Up until recently I have never considered my drawings of real things to be works more just learning. I do these once a week or so all driven on by attending and very occasionally tutoring the Drop In And Draw session at Barnoon Workshop on monday mornings. Recently I have received a lots of nice words about some of them so I am now brave enough to share them and am really enjoying the process especially using a continuous line approach.

Above is the first one I did this morning and a lovely morning to boot. This one is of the Palais De Dance down Barnoon Hill, although recently I have seen it on a map described as Barnawoon Hill. The Palais was a dance hall that was eventually to become and extension of Barbara Hepworth's studio.
MOre recently this building has been gifted to The Tate. I am interested in what the Tate will do with the space in future. I do realise that nothing will happen until the Tate St Ives extension is completed.

Above is the second drawing I did this morning from Barnoon Terrace, I then coloured it in using pastel pencils and compressed charcoal. I don't get to 'colour much in these days but I still enjoy it as much as when I was a child.

I enjoyed the drawing class so much today that I carried on, above is our view before lunch in The Queens Hotel, just a quick sketch really but I like its freedom and minimal vibe.

After the afternoon workshop we went and sat at Godrevy taking in the view and I did another.


  1. Really enjoyed this blog - the Windsor and Newton stories, the minimalist drawings, the colouring-in, the Northern blue-dyed town - a pleasure to read and to view. We are just off to a Greek island for recharging but today I met Leo as I sat on the harbour front passing the time before encountering the dentist's drill. I am keen to make an audio version of 'The Road to Corbyn' and Leo is going to have a word with you about equipment. If you can help ... brilliant!

    1. Rob, thank you very much for your comment. Let us talk recording when you are recharged, see you when you get back.