Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I can't take credit for this idea. I read it somewhere. Someone suggested it and for some reason it stuck. Partly, perhaps, because I'm keen to declutter and simplify my life. Also because it is full of potential excitement, innovation and craziness. It's this:

Before I buy any new art materials, I'm going to use up all the stuff I have.

A few days ago I filled the last page of my sketchbook. Here it is: three water containers all made of glass. I was house sitting for a friend and these were on her kitchen bench. 

But I digress.
So, end of sketchbook. I don't keep a stash of sketchbooks. I like the choosing part - the 'what kind of book will I get this time?' thrill. So at the end of this book, I looked around at my options. 

Aha! A nice little blank Moleskine cahier. Creamy paper, but thin, designed more for writing than drawing  Still, it works ok and it is thin enough to live unobtrusively in my everyday bag. It even quite graciously, accepts some watercolour, 

Something else I found was a box of system cards. Large ones. Mostly blank. I don't have a system that they can be useful in - indeed I really only bought them because they were such tidy and inviting white surfaces... so I've started drawing on them. My plan is to get a box that they can all be put in.

I have some other ideas for sketchbook alternatives - I'll keep you posted. So far I still have watercolours, though I'm running out of Naples Yellow and my lovely orange is all used up. 
I'm weirdly excited to see what will come of this. Will I end up drawing in my least favourite colours until they have all been used? Or will I mix media - watercolour plus crayons?
Stay tuned!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Communing with Everyday Objects

Cup, mug, teapot, milk jug.
I'm here. It is there.
It has a history of existence before we met in this place.
Me too.
And now here we are, together for a short time.

Never before
in all my life
have I sat before this cup, this mug, this teapot, this milk jug in just this way. 
With this scent of spring in the air, 
this boy asking me if I'd prefer to sit outside, 
this feeling of not wanting to go to work today...

Here we are, together as never before.
I turn to a new page, pick up - mmm - a brush pen. 
I want the responsiveness of it.
And begin.

The lovely shape of the hole in the spout, 
the belly of the jug, how full it is; 
the line of the handle, 
the shape of the shadows, 
the changes in colour. 

There is the architecture. 
The delight in sensing design,
feeling the weight of the curves in my mind, 
sensing them as if I'm holding them, 
As if we are holding each other.

Drawing is not a one-sided thing,
It is a communion,
where we - milk jug, teapot, cup or mug and I,
become greater
than the sum of all our parts.