Tuesday 30 July 2019

Door Textures

Door Textures
(mixed media on board, 30x30 cm)

Although I'm in the middle of several paintings that I'd like to get finished, I was attracted to last Friday's programme challenge at Gateshead Art Society: Surface Textures. 

For many years I've been fascinated by the effects of sun, rain and wind on doors, walls and ironwork and have made one or two paintings based on those effects. So rather than get on and finish an existing painting, I began work on a new picture of part of a weathered door, using as subject matter one of many photographs collected on my travels.

The hardboard panel was first covered in black gesso which I allowed to show through some of the layers of acrylic paint and gel applied (and sometimes scraped off) with palette knife, rags and fingers. There are several pieces of watercolour paper stuck on too, so that the end result is one of actual texture and implied texture. 

I like it and will do more, I think.

Saturday 20 July 2019

Sketch-Together : The Arches and the Hatton

The Boiler House, Newcastle University
(markers in A5 sketchbook)

To accommodate a visiting Luigi, who wouldn't be in Newcastle for any of our scheduled Sketch Crawls, Bob, Alan, Mark and I met up next to The Arches of Newcastle University. Waiting for Luigi to finish his breakfast, the rest of us started to draw, but he arrived soon after.

I know this view very well from my time at the University in the late 90s, but I've never drawn it, so I leaned against a convenient tree and made this drawing. Just as I finished, the heavens opened and we were forced to escape the rivers running across the pavement by sheltering under a tent left over from the recent Degree Congregations.

Even the tent began to leak and we ran round the corner to try for better shelter under a building overhang, though the spray still reached us.

Taking advantage of a brief lull in the rain, we trotted across to the Hatton Gallery. Although I could barely drag the others away from my two astounding artworks hanging in the Friends of the Hatton Summer Exhibition in the Long Gallery (see previous post), some of us did eventually settle down to draw the giant pots that Andrew Burton had previously shown at Gibside

While we drew, the "Gogmagog" sound installation by Matt Stokes filled the room with bells, voices and a brass band. 

I'm afraid either the giant pots or the sound installation had proven too much for the guest of honour, because by the time we were finished sketching and were ready for coffee, we couldn't find Luigi. I learned later he'd failed to find us and had gone off to watch the city's Pride Parade.

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Friends of the Hatton Summer Exhibition.

Jelly Shoes 
and Hats and Bags

Guarding the Friends of the Hatton Summer Exhibition today, I get to look at my two pictures all afternoon. Only half a dozen visitors during my three hour stint, including one woman who rushed in asking to see "the painting of carrots", looked at it, then rushed out without a word.

I think the show could do with better advertising to draw in the punters - tell your friends! It's on until Friday 2 August in the Long Gallery at the Hatton.

Saturday 6 July 2019

Sketch Crawl - Return to Durham City

St Mary the Less, Durham City
(markers in A5 sketchbook)

I was looking forward to the sketch crawl last Saturday, organised by Richard of the Urban Sketchers Tyne and Wear, because for one reason or another, I'd not been able to go to any sketch crawls since February. I had my usual reservations about the venue as I don't have too much interest in drawing the Cathedral or the Castle and it being a very busy city, it's often difficult to find a quiet space to stand (or sit) and draw. 

The Market Square, our original meeting place, turned out to be given over to a giant screen showing the Cricket World Cup from nearby Chester-le-Street. Imagine then, my dismay, to round the corner and see an enormous set of marquees on the Cathedral Green, set up for the University's Convocation Circus.

Urban Sketchers were lying on the grassopposite and some had evidently found things to draw, but I decided to take a walk down another lane, passing Allan who'd discovered a sheltered spot, until I came across a small church celebrating the unsurprisingly little known St Mary the Less. Sitting on a step to avoid the very hot sun, I found I had no view of the church itself, but straight opposite was an old gravestone and a large tree. A gravestone seemed an appropriate subject for the very last page in my sketchbook and the tree challenged me to find new marks for foliage. A broad black marker and a Tombow grey marker supplemented my usual 0.5 marker and really, I came away quite satisfied.

It was great to catch up with Anita, Kim and Bethan in the coffee shop, but disappointing to discover that half the group, including many new members I've yet to meet, were settled in another coffee shop across the river.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Wooden Bridge at Trogir

Wooden Bridge at Trogir 
(markers in A5 Holidays Sketchbook)

I drew this on our lasr day in Trogir. A late flight gave me the opportunity to sit in the park and draw this wooden bridge, while slowly cooking in the sun.

It's many years since I've allowed myself to burn in the sun, but all the creams and stuff were packed away and when I began to draw I was sitting on a bench in the shade. The sun, however, did what it always does, and slowly moved round until my legs, arms and face were fully exposed. I was still peeling two weeks later.

Tuesday 2 July 2019

On the Riva - outside Diocletian's Palace in Split.

On the Riva - outside Diocletian's Palace in Split.
 (Markers in A5 sketchbook)

A hot day in Split, although we did find ourselves in a ten minute downpour. But before the rain, I sat and drew this view of Diocletian's Palace in my Holidays Sketchbook.

Monday 1 July 2019

On the roof of Villa Ruzica.

On the roof of Villa Ruzica. 
(Markers in A5 sketchbook)

At the beginning of June, Pat and I went off to Croatia for a week. It was purely a chance to get away from what was seeming like an endless Winter, and we stayed in Trogir, a lovely little town we've been to before. 

The weather wasn't quite as we'd hoped and there were days when we realised that Trogir is very much an outdoors town, with most of the bars and restaurants having little or no indoor seating. Nevertheless, overall it was warm and sunny and I made good on my promise to myself to get some work done in my Holidays Sketchbook.

This drawing is a view from a comfy chair on the roof terrace of Villa Ruzica, the little hotel where we stayed and were made very welcome.