As far as I can remember I have always seen drawing, doodling and painting as my ‘happy place’ from drawing little soldiers and armoured cars as a little boy on the streets of Belfast, to wives and girlfriends portraits for my homesick shipmates while in the Royal Navy and more recently to plein air sketching while out with my Labradoodle.
We live in Norway now but we have lived in South Africa and The Netherlands as well as in Hampshire, England. For my birthday last year my wife bought me a plein air box and tripod – I love it and used it loads in the Netherlands and was lucky enough to sell some work on the spot to passers by (that felt gooooood).
I’ve seen and admired lots of urban sketchers and plein air artists videos on You Tube although I’m not quite sure where I got the idea from….. so… I just completed a challenge I set myself- to complete at least one sketch a day for 30 days and make it public too! It was a little daunting in terms of it being a commitment, stretching my artistic ability and testing my internet & blogging skills to the limit. Some sketches work okay, some are terrible, some people asked to buy my work (wow) and there were a few problems along the way as well as masses of pleasure and satisfaction. Unfortunately tech stuff wasn’t my strong point (it still isn’t) but I’m finding the learning process enjoyable and managed to get lots done. I’m hoping to include videos as this was something I really didn’t get off the ground although there were plenty of photos.
It was my intention to blog about all of the stuff I’ve mentioned and not to censor my disasters and share the work that went well, I’m kinda hoping it wasn’t a disappointment. I’m constantly learning and trying to improve on learning how to share photos and videos here so please bear with me, I really don’t mind you sharing your comments good or bad and I’d be even more pleased if you tried some sketching too and shared your stuff… perhaps as a guest blogger! It doesn’t matter how or where you make your images as long as you get your gear and give it a go….and… enjoy it.
Now that the 30 day challenge is over there are so many other things I’d like to do, paint outdoors alone and with others (we had fun didn’t we Marilyn?) use sketches to make actual large scale paintings, feature different materials, techniques and styles from pencil to oils, pastels to impasto acrylic. Still life to life drawing, landscape to buildings and cityscapes. One thing that emerged was more interest in experimenting with things I’d not normally take on like cars, boats and people. Sketching is a process where a design is made and it doesn’t always come out right. I can reflect (I think so anyway) on my work and do a better job each time. So, put your iPhone camera away, get out your little sketchbook and paint tin, don’t just click a screen…..make memories!