03 August 2021

Drawing Tuesday - collage

Today's topic is that old favourite, "collage" -- "Art that results from an assemblage of different forms" - to which I would add "from a variety of sources" (eg prints, painted papers, that sort of thing).  Drawing with scissors, you might call it! Or, using scraps!

Here's a 2019 Scottish exhibition website with videos as well as blog resources - https://www.nationalgalleries.org/exhibition/cut-and-paste-400-years-collage. The "collage before modernism" video is a good use of 4 minutes of your time! And the "Coldwar Steve" video is only a little longer, and quite touching I thought.

If art history and theory float your boat, or if you've ever wondered, What does collage DO?, https://courtauld.ac.uk/whats-on/events/what-collages-do/ is an hour-long zoom lecture from the Courtauld. Might be nice to listen to while you're working on your own piece. "While collage initially emerged as a way to break the rules of traditional painting and monolithic sculpture, the term itself soon became the subject of debate and controversy, raising questions about its role as mediator between popular visual culture and high art". It starts with this charming bit of collage done by Picasso in 1908, drawing on a bit of cardboard that included a pasted label -

From Ann two collages created whilst on an online abstract course St Ives recently.The underlying subject is the view of London from Allypally.

From Gill - Decided to pimp up one of my prints with collaged flowers.

From Sue K -  my collage began with an empty coffee bean bag - l liked the colours - sliced it up & assembled new shapes after juggling around with the pieces. 

From Judith - Not sure what this is called, certainly not collage but involves building up in paper layers. An 18th and 70th birthday card from earlier this year.

From Najlaa - My collage with randomly Arabic letters. 

From Joyce -  I’ve been looking at Matisse’s “drawing with scissors” and have created these from drawings of leaves in my garden. The paper was painted with gouache first, then the shapes cut directly without drawing first. Sometimes I had to work back to front,taxing the brain!

From me - Using images from the previous week's Weekend magazine, I cobbled together these two monstrosities. 

27 July 2021

Drawing Tuesday - blue sky thinking

This is definitely a chance to use the colour blue - in any of its shades, though indigo comes first to mind, followed in the stream of conscious by the boro mended items that are now so popular. 

But what does the phrase actually mean? Some definitions -
Blue-sky thinking involves a group of people looking at an opportunity with fresh eyes.
Blue sky thinking refers to brainstorming with no limits. With this approach to idea generation, ideas don't need to be grounded in reality.

No limits, no judgments, no consequences.

Or ... you could be literal and, if there happens to be a cloud around in the blue sky we've been treated to for the past few days, you could use it as a starting point for something extra-ordinary...

Nancy Holt's "Sun Tunnels" come to mind - a way of looking at the (blue; sunny...) sky. And James Turrell's Skyspaces - "specifically proportioned chambers with an aperture in the ceiling open to the sky". .

Another way of looking at the sky - or rather, of bringing it, or anything under it, indoors - is with a camera obscura. Chris Drury has made some stone "huts" with a hole in the roof, so that the stars can be seen in a dish of water on the floor - https://chrisdrury.co.uk/category/works_outside/cloud_chambers/ He calls them cloud chambers; my favourite is the wave chamber beside Kielder Water, in which mirrors bring the waves indoors. Or rather, the light (and sky) reflected from the waves. https://chrisdrury.co.uk/wave-chamber/ shows how it works 

Ah yes, the sky's the limit!

From Joyce I just started with black lines drawn with a twig and then harmonious colours painted followed by other marks , just playing and seeing where it goes. Inspired by evakalien on Instagram 

From Ann - A photo that I took a few years ago whilst on holiday in New Mexico. It's an area called White Sands in the Tularosa Basin and is quite a beautiful place despite the fact that it's surrounded by a missile range!

The brightness of the sky, the children playing and the cool white duney sands always give me a blue sky feeling! 

From Gill - Well,…. I thought of a blue sky.

From Sue K - Here’s my take on this. It’s actually a blue shadow of fatsia leaves on a white wall - it’s rather like sky & clouds in reverse. 

From Carol - Some blue sky thinking about my seedlings:-

a)      Hopeful that they will not be eaten by snails (like the last batch)

b)      Anticipating lots of healthy soups and smoothies from them

c)       Positive that my husband will finish the promised raised veg bed for them (anyone’s guess).


From Janet K - A sky blue thought.

From Mags - A Blue Sky Thinking  Cap. Motivational phrases using inks and Posca  Pens on used Colour Catchers. 

From Judith - Too hot for ‘Blue sky thinking’ today so a very literal response! 

From Sue B - a watercolour of Camber Sands , from a photo sent to me , which I did last year

From me - On a blue-sky morning the sun shone through a tree and through old windowglass onto my book lying open on the table. I drew around the bright bits with a felt pen, then got out the watercolours and tried the various shades of blue. The paper was flimsy and buckled like billy-o, but settled down again when it dried.

Next day, same process, except that one of the pen was a bit watersoluble, and instead of paints I used inktense pencils.

Instead of a clear blue sky, a changing sky is reflected on somewhat turbulent water. 

Both are on the same page - the calmer, clearer sky above, the murky flood below.

20 July 2021

Drawing Tuesday - vehicles

   Today's topic is "a vehicle". Here's one dictionary definition

any means in or by which someone travels or something is carried or conveyed; a means of conveyance or transport: a motor vehicle; space vehicles. a conveyance moving on wheels, runners, tracks, or the like, as a cart, sled, automobile, or tractor.

But do consider this line of thinking 
a thing used to express, embody, or fulfil something.
"I use paint as a vehicle for my ideas"

Just for fun, here's Andy Warhol painting an art car in 1979 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-B6tYPVDHQ&ab_channel=BMWGeniusVideos - it's a 10-minute video, and it's a racing car.

And here's a more typical Warhol

Not sure if this is a metaphorical use of the word...

From Mags - This time last year I was putting together collaged 'maps' of my bikes submitted for ' Livingmaps: Dreaming of a post-Covid World ' ( later exhibited at Creek Creative). I had lots of bits leftover so I've been having a lovely time this morning trying different combinations. These are my 3 favourites but not yet decided which to stick in the sketchbook...

From Ann - An old jalopy against bushes..rust and all....a rare sighting...created in mixed media. 

From Sue K - Here’s my offering - caught in our path on a bicycle ride by the river in Dusseldorf - an army of tourists on segues - they blocked the path awaiting a late-comer. Rather surreal.

From Janet K - My father-in-law made this wooden truck for our kids. It must be about 30 years old. The neighbourhood kids now play with it.

From Carol - A vehicle used for a different purpose, drawn yesterday.  Helen should know where this is.

From Judith - Triumph car seen in Greenwich. Charcoal not the best medium to illustrate this beautiful car! 

From Janet B - I’m still in Blue Peter "here’s some I did earlier" mode but I hope to have time to do some new stuff soon. 
Here are two vehicles from the amazing Riverside Museum in Glasgow: a motorbike with a sidecar and a 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II. 

From Gill - I was very impressed by everyone’s drawings this week which made me feel rather inadequate!
So I thought I’d draw like a five year old just having fun. This is the view from my bedroom window.

From Joyce - Here is the smallest ice cream kiosk I have ever seen!
It came to our campsite last week in St.Ives, Cambridgeshire. The vendor was Italian and we were told the ice cream came from Italy. It was delicious! 

From Najlaa-

From me - Pigment pen; from a snap of a traffic snarl, Seven Sisters Road, amid a cacophony of toots from impatient drivers. 
Most of the cars were black, and it was a gloomy day, so the photo didn't show the details well - and I haven't paid attention, up to now, to what cars actually look like. 

Then I had a good look at my son's beloved car  -

Attachments areaPreview YouTube video BMW - Andy Warhol 'PAINTING' his BMW M1 Art Car - HD

13 July 2021

This week's topic is "something intricate or miniature". You may want your reading specs, or a magnifying glass, for this one! 

I find the phone camera is a useful aid - you can zoom in on details in the photo, and it can be surprising what you see! 

A strong light - summer sunshine, if we're lucky - is another useful aid. A lamp has the advantage of being able to manipulate the shadows, should you be after shadows as well - instead of - the "pure" object.

From Judith - Dictionary describes intricate as perplexingly detailed which fits this carburettor for a chain saw engine! 

From Janet K - My attempt to draw the workings of a can opener.

From Ann - Grandson Noah produced the tiniest shell and asked me to paint it for him.  A little daunted by this but with the aid of a magnifying glass painted in watercolours and gave the shell a bigger look!

From Joyce - Here are a pair of earrings, in real life they are the same size!

From Mags - Drawings of earrings bought on my travels on tea dyed used Colour Catchers.

From Gill - Tried different media to draw delicate plant parts. [Spot the one using chunky graphite stick!]

From Carol - here is my miniature

From Sue K - Here’s my intimate view of a Peony lacking petals. Lots of interesting marks in the calyx .

From Najlaa - mini nail polish

From me - the view of medieval Rome was copied from a pamphlet produced by the tourist board in 1995, full of interesting images, with no info on their sources. I think this was an engraving, about 4cm diameter. I doubled the size, sketched in a pencil draft, and "just copied" - it took a few hours. The border remains untouched by the pen.

 Good practice for noticing tiny details.