Sunday, 18 December 2011

Struggles with my sketchbook

Over the last couple of weeks I have been struggling with my sketchbook.  I've worked through what I had to say (or portray) about Dad and Australian plants, and have been wondering what inspires me now.  I have completed my first sketchbook, the moleskine, given to me by Lisa, before I left the UK.  I found it difficult to work in something as small as A5, but have come to the conclusion that this is definitely the best size if I want to carry it with me virtually all the time.  I have also struggled with having the confidence to take it out and sketch things at unconventional times, but I'm getting used to just ignoring the strange looks. 

I've been looking at my moleskine sketchbook, and can clearly remember the times, when I sat down and drew things, felt awkward and unsure about why I was choosing to draw the things I did, and whether they were good enough sketches.  But despite being unsure about the validity of what I did, I kept going - that's determination for you.  I was not sure whether the constant black and white sketches were enough.  I often did not have colour with me (too heavy/bulky) so there are lots of line sketches in b/w.  I added notes on colour when I wished I had brought the coloured pencils.

I've been watching the pomegranates flourish on Richard's tree.  I've sketched some in colour - I love the Inktense pencils, because when you add a wash of water, the colours flood in.  I've also been thinking a lot about layering, and I've been obsessed about furnishing fabrics. 

Yesterday, I was sitting at the bus stop, thinking about pomegranates (again!).  I had been in the Perth Art Gallery, looking at Indigeneous art, and wondering about how to utilise the inspiration, without copying their art or using their work without due reference.  (I'm hoping my Indigeneous studies will touch on this).  I sat at the bus stop, took out my sketchbook, and started line drawings of pomegranates.  I managed to ignore the people looking over my shoulder!  I then added linear filling shapes.  Then I started drawing the pomegranate seeds in concentric shapes.  This morning I reviewed my new sketchbook (Strathmore mixed media Visual Diary) with the two sketchs I have completed since returning from our roadtrip. (Two!  In a fortnight!  What a bad student!) Then wondered about applying the b/w linear drawings over the top.  What about different line patterns/drawings on top?  But how many colour versions do I have to draw.  It all takes time.  What about colour photocopies of the pomegranates, with b/w overlays?  What about using the line drawings I've been collecting from the previous sketchbook over the top?  Oh, actually all the stuff I've been observing and drawing can be applied to what I'm doing now!! 

And finally it's all come together.  I've not been drawing in vain.  And I can use the photos that Jim and I took during the roadtrip as well.

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