Friday, May 30, 2008

Inside Story - FP Sketchbook Exchange

I sent off my handmade FlyingPictures concertina sketchbook, Different Strokes on Monday. It's now arrived safely in Casey's studio in France.

This has been the most beautiful Spring for wildflowers since we moved to Tuscany. I painted them in an olive grove outside the village, then added detail of the flowers.

I felt the painting turned out a bit too much like a chocolate box illustration but it's a weakness of mine, not knowing what to leave out. The bee was an attempt to show I'm not taking myself too seriously!

The book is 18 x 26 cm and I started it with 300gm HP watercolour paper. It is up to each artist in the exchange to choose the paper for the pages they add. The cover is a chocolate brown embossed paper. The bookmark lists the artists and their location.

Now it's over to Casey. I can't wait to see what she brings to Different Strokes.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sketching in Val di Chio

Lamy pen and wash with W&N Sepia ink

This week Sarah and I walked and sketched along the Old Mills Trail in the Val di Chio. Sarah has a post graduate interest in the ancient Etruscan waterways of the valley and her art is influenced by all things Etruscan.

Sarah sketching

Sadly we didn't find any old mills still standing but we did find grape vines growing in the traditional manner wrapped around the trunks of maples.

Lamy pen & watercolour - Canson 17.5 x 24 cm sketchbook

I'm still having trouble getting anything but very diluted colour with my waterbrush. Next time I think I 'll try the coloured pencil approach inspired by Katherine Tyrrell's lovely drawing in a vineyard not far from here.

Old stone structure in Val de Chio

I had to balance on a rock in the stream to take the photo above, so I didn't risk a sketch.

All sketches look a little drab here because I've had to scan the sketches because the light isn't great for photographs at the moment. Does anyone else have disappointing results with scans?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Flying Pictures Takes Off

Sketchbook Cover

Flying Pictures is a sketchbook exchange with a difference. Initiated by Lindsay Olson and inspired in part by the current wonderful Moleskine exchanges, Flying Pictures sketchbooks will be constructed as they fly around the world.

Mine left for Casey Toussaint in France today. It consists of a front cover and four pages of HP watercolour paper. It also has two and a half pages of my art. When it gets to Casey she will take the paper of her choice and hinge her pages of art into the book before sending it off to Nina Johansson in Sweden. When it finally flies back to me, I will attach the back cover and treasure it for the rest of my life.

Inspired isn't it? I believe Lindsay came up with that great name as well.

I couldn't settle on a theme for my book so I've called it Different Strokes because by the time it returns to me it will be full of beautiful, different strokes by Nina, Glen, Vivien, Ronell, Lindsay and Casey.

In all, there will be seven handmade books taking to the air. You can learn about the rest of the Fliers and follow the adventures of the books on the Flying Pictures blog HERE.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Painting Cherries - It Must Be May.

Watercolour in Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook

Our artist friend Sarah came to lunch yesterday and I made my first Salade Niçoise of the year. Apart from Baked Beans on Toast with Perfectly Poached Eggs, it's about the only dish HWEM concedes I do better than he. For dessert we bought the first perfect cherries of the season. Sarah was on to me immediately, I wanted to paint them! And I did.

I received a postcard today from Lindsay Non-Linear-Arts and I'm posting photos of it by way of a teaser. If you haven't heard of Flying Pictures yet, you will very soon and that's all I'm saying until Monday.

Lindsay Olson's hand printed postcard

And the message on the back

The leaf I coyly placed myself.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Collection of Old Doors

Moleskine watercolour sketchbook
Lamy pen with sepia ink and watercolour wash

A quick sketch. This one was done perched on my backpack stool. When a lady up the hill behind me emptied her mop bucket I made a hasty retreat.

And here are some more doors I strolled past on my way home.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Art Show Wrap-up.

I was very proud of those hand cut black arrows fastened to our posters to guide patrons to our Mostra (show). This chap doesn't look very interested. Probably not an art lover.

Since our exhibition coincided with Maggio Castiglionese, a month of music and cultural celebrations, we weren't the only show in town by a long shot.

Those who followed the arrows would have found us tucked away in a beautiful old 13th century restored convent in the middle of the Centro Storico (Historic Centre) of town.

The exhibition space is actually the studio where we meet every Wednesday afternoon to paint. Nails would not have been a good idea in these walls, so the paintings were displayed on easels and tables.

Above is our hostess and fellow artist, Miranda who has a very demanding day job, so the fact that she takes the time out each year to mount this show is greatly appreciated.

I showed five paintings, two oils and three watercolours. Amongst all the classical oil paintings, my dead fish was a bit of a show stopper!

And finally some of the artists. Yours Truly in the middle in need of Hair and Makeup.

The whole exercise was a lot of fun and a tremendous challenge for my Italian.

Two Americans who live across the valley read about the show on my blog and made a surprise visit. Thank you Martha & Benjamin.

My artist/writer friend Sally from Sydney happily happened to be visiting too, so all in all it was a wonderful memorable week but as far as art shows go, with such a lot of standing around waiting for someone to show up, I'd rather be painting!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Spring Beckons

Wildflowers in an Olive Grove - Nikon D40X

How can I justify sitting in my studio staring at my computer when it looks like this outside? Following a fine example by Making a Mark and Laurelines, this blog is going to take a short holiday - a week or two - hopefully to do some painting en plein air and some weeding in the garden.

Our art show is on for most of May and that is more demanding and tiring than I expected. A full report when it's all over.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...