Tuesday, 5 December 2017

My Immersion Into My Art Continues.......

Wow, so much has happened since my last post! Last year I was taking control of my art by expanding and exploring my techniques and materials. This year, my sketching has evolved and I’ve now left my coloured pencils rather lonely on the shelf in favour of watercolours, sketching pens and graphite pencils 

I am my gentle father's daughter, although I confess to owning a headstrong nature courtesy of my mother.  
I’ve always admired Dad's innate talent and dedication – he even managed to take his artistry to work, by decorating huge cakes for special occasions. When art is in your blood, it tends to arise at every opportunity! Luckily for me, that started at school, where I was top in art and won awards. Life often gets in the way of pursuing your passions, however, and so I’m extremely grateful to be focusing on it again right now.

I saw a delightful watercolour sketch in National Geographic back in 2012 and it stirred something in me. I realised I needed to get back into art and attempt watercolours. I didn’t know then who the artist was, and only saw the seemingly simple style that reminded me of one of my favourite childhood books, "Caroline and Her Friends" written and illustrated by Pierre Probst (which I also mentioned in an earlier blog post), and its delightful ink outlines filled in with watercolour, almost diaphanous in places. It was and still is that quality about watercolour that I find so appealing, quite magical and ethereal, I can lose myself in it's quality and dream.

Candace Rose Rardon was the artist and her website is definitely ‘a must’ to thoroughly devour with invaluable information about sketching and travel. She also has quite a following on Instagram and other social media with #momentsketchers. She started this hashtag at the beginning of 2017, inviting all her 'Friends' from over the world to sketch something on the first weekend of each month, of an outdoor scene, while physically sketching outside, then post it on Instagram. Anyone can take part! So naturally I have been participating when I can. 

There is something absolutely magical and supportive about this 'Family' of artists around the world. I get so excited at the beginning of every month to get outside and draw, but more so because I can't wait to see what everyone has sketched, plus I get to learn so much about countries and also towns and cities that quite frankly, I’ve never heard about. It’s so much fun!

Please go to Candace's website or Instagram page and have a look. Better still, come join us, we are a very supportive community and love sharing our art and information, everyone is welcome. Do not worry if you think you can't draw. Just lift a pencil and try, you'll be so surprised.

Art also has an amazing effect on the way you view life. The more I create, the more the creative landscape becomes all consuming for me, and even controls my thoughts. Moving from fashion back into my first love of art, and now writing, has forced me to re-evaluate myself and learn patience. Learn to take it slowly and observe. How people move, how buildings are constructed, the thought process and desire behind a designers' depiction of his/her work, even how waves at the beach constantly redesign the sand. Nature is magic, just look at up at the wondrous sky at night.

So I guess it’s no surprise that my artistic mind has expressed itself in the form of animals this year, because I of course have an absolute obsession with animals, predominantly cats, to the point of fanaticism. Working with cheetahs and baby lions in Africa in 2010 was one of the highlights of my life. It is fascinating to hear a cheetah purr so loudly and to watch how their mannerisms compare to house cats – they are very similar, just with bigger claws!

As a result, I now have a series of designer cat sketches, of quirky characters with unusual backgrounds, which I have started selling on Etsy. Seraphina is one such character, being a famous fashion designer with discerning feline tastes. Her handsome boyfriend Sebastian and best friend Sophronia often accompany her on adventures. They have a delightful little friend called Marlene Mouse. When you have a moment, I’d love you to pop over there and have a look – perhaps you know someone who’d love an original sketch as a gift?
If you like what you see, I can also sketch your own pet, or the pet of a friend of relative, on commission. I love getting to know other people’s pets! Our pets are our babies, they are an integral part of our family and loved as such. It is absolutely paramount to get the expression in their eyes perfect, and I enjoy the thrill of perfecting that in particular. It depends on my time availability of course, as it often takes six to seven weeks to complete an original artwork of this nature. So please get in touch if you’re interested! 

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