Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Nudes on show

Naked in the Birdcage
I haven't done much drawing since the disappointment of the Take 5 cancellation. However I have been going to the monthly life drawing session at the Birdcage Pub in Norwich. This is a fun setting with good music, lovely beer and a keen crowd. Hollie, who runs the pub and the class has kindly allowed me to show a dozen pictures in the pub during the month of September. The clientele are easy going youngsters so I hope they'll enjoy the naked bodies that have suddenly appeared! I'll be running this month's life drawing session and offering tuition, which they don't normally get at the Birdcage. This class will be on 18th September, 7pm to 9pm and costs only £5.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Exhibition cancelled

Our exhibition "The Beautiful and the Damned" has been cancelled. It was booked in November with Take 5 in Norwich and due to run from Sunday 3rd to Sunday 10th June. Perfect timing for the Jubilee, half term and Open Studios. On Friday 1st Nic Granda-Barton at Take 5 called to tell me he'd decided not to open on Sundays anymore and he was also going to close for the two bank holidays. Our well planned show was reduced to 4 quiet days. He had no excuse. Just wanted the time off. Three days earlier he had said everything was fine and ready to go. He had no idea of the time and money he was costing us and didn't want to hear. His apologies soon turned to annoyance and scorn as I pressed him for a solution. He even refused to display this poster to apologize to disappointed callers. Nic Granda-Barton is a selfish fool and we've abandoned what was left of our show.

Friday, 25 May 2012

A Naked Evening

Evening shadows
We hadn't met up for quite a while and I expected us to struggle with our drawings. Far from it. Naked Two was in brilliant form and fired out a series of A2 charcoals like a child scribbling in wild abandon! The light was perfect with the setting sun picking out lovely shapes of light across our bodies. I hadn't seen her draw so well before and my own confidence was quite challenged. I'd forgotten though how pleasing she is to draw and when it was my turn inspiration drove away the nerves. This watercolour captures the exciting vitality of that evening's life drawing.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Naked Body

Faraway eyes
I keep having long breaks between drawing sessions. This makes drawing feel quite difficult but it also refreshes the pleasure of drawing the naked body. The secret to drawing well is making the effort to see what you're looking at. It's well worth this effort when you discover the beauty of a lovely body in front of you! I began with lots of contour drawings to try and get my eyes working and after a bit did a slow, careful, watercolour painting, which came out okay. Before we finished I tried a few fast, brush drawings of more challenging poses and began to feel like I was getting somewhere. But when will I draw again?

Saturday, 7 April 2012

The model and the artist

Finally had a chance to draw again and enjoyed being inspired by someone unfamiliar. My pictures are very much a reaction to the model I work with and the mood of the drawing session. This lady is new to modelling and enjoys the posing and showing off, which is perfect for me. I can just sit back, enjoy the view and try to capture some of the fun and loveliness! I was a bit rusty from lack of practice so not very quick and made lots of mistakes. But this one has some charm about it and the simple, direct finish that I aim for. I must sort out more regular drawing sessions...

Sunday, 18 March 2012

How to paint nudes

Thigh View
I did quite a bit of exploring this weekend. Trying out different approaches to painting the nude. Trying to convey a different mood in the pictures. Something not so pretty and comfortable. Something that thrills the senses fires the imagination! Something direct and honest that acknowledges the animal beauty of the human body. I tried lots of paint. I tried very little paint. I tried washes and daubs and splashes and strokes. I tried clashes of colour and gentle harmonies. Somehow none of it did the trick. Eventually I came back to the approach that I've developed over the years that pleases me most. I know it's not quite there yet but once again I feel it does actually have some integrity.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Drawing simply

All about Form
My head is full of ideas and influences this year. I keep coming across artists and people who prompt me to move in a different direction. By March I no longer know what I want to do! Looking at Lucian Freud has encouraged me to slow down and allow myself to indulge in the pleasure of the looking and drawing with the model. Suggestions from John Cleese have made me realize the importance of defining the space for the creative mind to come out and play in. A space shut away from the everyday world. Hard to find! Looking at Robert Mapplethorpe has encouraged me to have faith in honesty and to keep things simple. I've heard lots of enthusiasm for my pictures this year but people like them for all sorts of reasons. I suppose that's good but it's also confusing! However I managed to draw this the other day and I feel it's the beginning of some new, exciting work...