Sunday, 1 January 2017

My painting year 2016

2016 was an eventful year indeed, as I set myself to prepare for the International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Manchester, my artistic efforts have been somewhat skewed towards sketching on location, and generally developing my skills in that direction as much as possible!

What better than to sit down and collect some thoughts on New Year's Day! I'll try to be brief and just pick out highlights! 
Here's Jamie, our two-year-old bouncy rescue Working Cocker Spaniel - now perhaps showing signs of maturing a bit, so it's time I got around to drawing him! This study was made from a photograph, as I very much feel the need for practice!

A pub sketch of a very patient and well behaved dog by the opposite table was made in Hebden Bridge, as we found ourselves twiddling our thumbs for weeks as we waited for a replacement ignition van part while camping in a friend's drive!

A frequent activity of Urban Sketchers, while sticking as closely as possible to the Manifesto, is to draw and paint their sketch kit!  While being really good drawing practice per se, it's also an excellent opportunity to experiment with new and unfamiliar materials.  In the drawing below I was  finalising my kit for Manchester, making it as efficient and brief as possible, while allowing as much scope for experimentation as necessary.

Being my first Urban Sketching Symposium, I really didn't know what to

New this year for me are forays into the extended use of fountain pens and aquarelle crayons, as well as widening my sketchbook range to include tinted paper.

June found me enjoying the Handmade Parade workshops once again, this time creating a Mudskipper, of all things! My fibromyalgia forces me to protect my skin from touching the withies, so a long sleeved shirt, and experimenting with various gloves became 'de rigeur'!  Latex gloves are usually perfect for most jobs, but here they were a nightmare, continually getting stuck to tape and caught in my clippers! Wet hands would be even more of a problem, so I eventually hit on the idea of cotton gloves on top of the latex ones - BUT how to get hold of some at such short notice? Fortunately the local Boots came up trumps, after I'd been searching the internet for ages.  Phew!Eureka!

 Then of course there was the Symposium in Manchester in July, one of the surprise highlights for me being invited by the excellent Simone Ridyard to join in on one of the wonderful workshops run by Suhita Shirodkar, no less!

Staffin Post Office, Skye
Finished paintings have not had much of a look-in this year, as I've had to fit my painting around our various renovating/moving/decluttering/downsizing operations, as well as creating a website and Facebook page, but I did manage this one of Staffin Post Office, Skye, after an interesting experience battling with the elements while trying to sketch it!

Still, this one is on the shortlist for a new panoramic postcard, and I've had requests for more Skye designs, so I'd better get cracking!
Then there was InkTober, and the wonderful World Watercolour Month in July.......I could go on and on, but I won't bore you further just now!

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