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Friday, June 28, 2013

T2 adventures at Hornsby

I had an essential chore to do today so thought I might make a little excursion and go up to Hornsby and check out the T2 teahouse there (which will operate till next year some time) and the shop (where the manager of the Macquarie teahouse now works)

I really had a little too much on my mind to do a slow relaxing sketch(so was a little rushed)… but it was quite surreal to see the same features in a different setting. I was sitting in the darkest corner of the teahouse and couldn't really see what I was doing. It is not as special as the Macquarie Centre one was, but still better than most coffee shops. It was lovely to see of the staff again… and meet new staff (both of whom know about me and my work! tragic!) Very sad that it was Andrew's last day… he worked at Macq for the whole time it was open and has been very good to me over the years. Today I let him choose a crazy tea for me! Ayurvedic chai - I can't find a description of it but it was a herbal chai with coconut! Wow!

Hornsby is too far for regular visits so I used that as some crazy reason to buy a new tea cup… also having a birthday coming up is another pathetic excuse…and what about the fact that I haven't bought one for 18 months…. After reviewing all the options in the shop and reducing them to 3 we then decided that this one was the best- and it has a lovely BCN flavour to it - like mosaic tiles…and I can get to use my cobalt teal blue (even though it is more a jade) It is a challenging cup pattern so something that will need a few attempts.

Trip Prep- Sketchbook thinking

Ok… you all think I am a little nuts… but composition of my pages is a HUGE thing for me and my travel sketchbooks are the best opportunity to dedicate myself to sketching and layout…so tonight I did some serious reviewing and planning.

I have decided to use the A4 size moleskine again and in preparation bought 4 of them. Since I filled over 2 of them in 2 weeks visiting Singapore…I am thinking that this years 4 week trip plus some extra events beforehand that I want to record will need 4 sketchbooks. So I had to do my usual calculation (which is always light on!) to confirm that I need 4. Aagh! the weight!

I am also thinking about layout. I approach my sketchbooks like a graphic designer and the larger page size has more possibilities that I haven't fully explored yet.  I spent this evening's cuppa analysing my layouts for both the SG trip and the Melbourne trip (marking up in different coloured pens the areas of text vs image vs maps. I feel the Melbourne sketchbook's layout was a little ho hum so trying to work out what pages I like from the SG book….and what the feel I want for this years books.

The long and short of it is that I am going to attempt to fill my sketchbooks according to a 3 column grid (well as a starting point)  This might prove to be a silly undertaking but I have always wanted to approach a sketchbook with a 'book design' type approach.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Getting my travelling social media strategy in place???

As the countdown begins for departure for BCN I am thinking about mydaily updates along the way...

This year I thought that I would not bombard my blog with lots of individual posts while I am travelling - I haven't found a good workflow that enables me to easily post to Facebook, Flickr and my blog at the one time and achieve nice large blog images. I am also trying to get my head around Instagram and Twitter... yes spreading Borromini across all forms of social media!

So I am thinking that I will post to the other places but not this blog - instead I will leave a slideshow up like this of my recent postings to flickr- so you can come back and check it out at your leisure...or wait till I get back and scan all my sketches.

Feel free to befriend or follow me on facebook ( my profile Liz-Borromini Steel  is purely for sharing my art adventures) or on twitter or instagram

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sketching Class Week 8 Play!

Today was the last of my 8 week sketching course in Manly and it was another wonderful day!

We were looking at "play" - some fun and experimental techniques (a number of which I picked up in Singapore and have been playing with myself this year)
The most important concepts from today were
- although we have to do the hard yards to improve our sketching, improve out hand and eye coordination, sketching should be FUN and shouldn't be taken too seriously.
- find a couple of (crazy) techniques that enable you to loosen up and have fun
- try to work out what conditions will get you into a 'state of play' which will help to develop your own personal expression. Disclaimer: your 'sweet spot' might be more a more contemplative mode (eg. slow and meticulous cross hatching) rather than a 'let your hair down' type of approach.

After my usual introduction we did a few exercises and a few quick demos from me (this one was the splashing scraping demo) we wimped out of going on on the streets due to the unpredictable weather this week (it was actually fine for us all day!) and ended up at a mexican joint with lots of interesting things to sketch. Once again I was so impressed by the work of everyone in the class and how many of them took risks and really got into a 'state of play' And look at those juicy rich colours - so exciting to see them all together at the end of lunch. Thanks to everyone that has been in my class over the last 8 weeks - you have been amazing!

And special thanks to Erin Hill, not only for the use of her wonderful studio but also for making these classes a reality rather than an just an idea I would like to do one day. She has also been very generous with sharing her local knowledge. Manly is a really wonderful and varied suburb of Sydney and if you are looking for regular sketching classes I recommend you check hers out here.

Of course I am thinking of what is next…. if you are in Sydney and interested in joining a future class please email me at lizsteel {at} gmail {dot} com and I can let you know via email when future classes or workshops will be happening.

Now it is time to really focus on my upcoming trip to BCN, London etc!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Pen Holder Version 3

The result of my sewing on Saturday is a very rough new prototype for my 'ultimate pen holder'. Apart for the appalling top stitching (too lazy to change to denim needle or the walking foot - for you sewers out there) I am VERY happy with how this has turned out. Not sure that you can work out what it is actually like from this sketch. My brain wave was a side flap- means that it holds everything together in the closed position but can still get to most of my stuff (all of it I think) An adjustable strap would be great… but I intend just to put it over my head so pens are really handy.

It is so nice to get back into the mode of squeezing in a wee trip prep type sketch each night… although I have a lot of work and should really be doing other stuff. Such as deciding what pens I am going to be taking!!!

BTW ...Here is my version of the google celebration of a certain BCN architect's 161st birthday. It was just a warm up for doing some skies and illustration work…..
I love granulating colours and also doing things you are not supposed to do ie. drawing over paint with water colour pencils…. why not? I am just playing. Getting ready for my last class in Manly tomorrow which will be on "play" (have really enjoyed preparing for it!

Monday, June 24, 2013

London sketches and BCN colours

Understanding the buildings of London through drawing…
my instinctive way to understand a building is to draw it as I am observing it. I think it is part of my architectural background of design sketching that I draw to think…. rather than observing first and drawing second. Anyway here are a few scribbles of some iconic buildings of London.
If I haven't said before I am having a few days in London after BCN and so one might think that this is a bit of trip prep.
BTW I am loving seeing Alissa Duke's trip prep on her blog (she is also going to London as well as BCN)
However…this sketching is actually work - how cool is that… I have an exciting illustration project that I am working on at the moment and this is preparation for that. 

I have been feeling a little tense that it is less than 2 weeks till I leave on a big overseas trip and I don't know what colours are going to be in my palette. Well tonight I made the final decisions. The shocking thing is that I am not taking Quin Burnt Orange or Cobalt Deep Blue …well not as separate colours. They will be there in my mixed "steel's grey". This means that I am taking Transparent Red Oxide instead..the big battle between TRO and QBO had a surprising result. I um-ed and ah-ed about the greens and in the end Jadeite won…even though it has some fun granulating effects.(can always buy a pan of W&N if it doesn't work out) I just love Indanthrone BLue and use it often to mix my it took the place of the second green. Also I have a hankering for a mixed purple in my palette.

 Whilst there is little merit in sharing these messy mixing pages with you all as such, I hope that you can understand the process that I am going through. I am testing the colours and my standard mixes to see what are the most versatile.

I am very excited about my radical palette change in recent weeks - the colours I am getting on my page (on the rare occasions when I get a chance to sketch) feel so vibrant and fresh and new… and hoping they will lead to a new step in my painting when my holiday (vacation) begins next week.
 Now my only decision is how many pans of each to take....

Saturday, June 22, 2013

T2 teahouse no more

I have had a funny feeling all day….

of course I am sad that the T2 teahouse has closed, I will miss the wonderful staff and the great cups of tea and scones…but I can still see many of the staff and have this treat up at Hornsby T2 teahouse for the next number of months if I go out of my way.

It has been a total extravagance having so many treats on a regular basis and to be honest, I really can do without so many…

… but the thing that has REALLY struck me today… that keeps coming back to my mind is the surreal feeling that the PLACE is no longer there. I know that I have mostly drawn my tea and scones… but a HUGE charm of the teahouse was the 'magical' space that was created... A dark Aladdin's cave. There were so many different spots to sit each with their own character and views. There are really so few places like that …let alone one in my local suburban shopping 'mall'. It was unique.

That place that I have sketched many times is no more (well an empty shell)… the fact that I have sketched it makes it so much more real and yet it has gone.

I am very ok with moving on… but it is just this strange feeling that something I have sketched SO MUCH only exists now in my sketches, a few peoples photos and many peoples memories. It was also fun yesterday, taking my T2 book(first year of visits) to show the staff how much has changed over the years ("I remember that pot!") and how my sketches are now a documentary of the history of the place.

This humble (or not so humble) teahouse will become a legend and I feel so privileged to have been able to be part of it!

Random Stuff

Another one of my random 'at home' pages….trying to get enough energy to sew and do a whole lot of trip prep today…not sure my action list will get completed today but it has been nice sewing my summer dress on a wet wintery day whilst listening to some inspiring Spanish music!

No matter what the situation in my life, I always seem to leave sewing a new dress to the 3 week mark (ie. 3 weeks before I leave)… this year I am still sewing at the 2 week, well the less than 2 week mark to be exact!
And yes, another BCN architecture doodle...


from yesterday
Friday ...My warmup sketch for the day... not surprising the image I choose was from a BCN book that is lying around... not long to go now!
You can see that I am playing with my colours....trying to make my final decisions. It is SO out of character to be still deciding!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

The end of an era

Bit of a crazy visit to T2 today - very busy with customers, lots of old staff visiting (so great to seem them again) manager from Melbourne and trying to catch up with my own very good friend, signing cards (I printed out some of my sketches for the staff) … and somehow trying to do a sketch which is the start of my BCN sketchbook.

Once again such a special thankyou to these wonderful people who have served me tea over the years and done SO much to make every visit special. Just loved that place and those people! thanks !!!

It is sad that it is closing but glad that Hornsby T2 Teahouse is still open for a little longer so I still have somewhere to go on special occasions. Some many wonderful things have happened to my art through coming here and sketching regularly… it has been my remote office and studio. I don't think it has sunk in yet what I am losing… but as this is a big year of change for me, I can and will move on (and save myself a lot of money and calories!!) I know that my love and attachment to this place is felt by MANY other regular customers who have been there many more times than me. I did a quick guessimate from my flickr set and think that I have been and sketched there 130 times in 5 years..and only on one occasion did I not sketch anything (the recent BCN catchup with Alissa and Chris). That is a lot less visits than most coffee drinkers visiting their favourite cafe!

And just for the record I didn't cry this afternoon… though I am just a wee bit teary writing this!

Thank you to all those that left a comment or sent me an email. Sorry if I haven't replied but your messages were wonderful. I printed them out with my sketches down the side… very special gift to be able to pass on- thankyou!

Here is the link to my Flickr set

I will post my last sketch from T2 Teahouse at Macquarie Centre later....

Time to make BCN palette decisions!!!!

Well here it is - kinda…. - this is my final test palette for BCN. I have never been so disorganised before a major trip… the fact that my paint colours are still floating around is incredible (normally at this stage the pans are poured and the set is waiting to go)

There are still a few minor tweaks I am exploring… but as per previous posts I have decided that since BCN is such a colourful city ( all those mosaics of Gaudi and others) I have decided to include a few more convenience mixes in there- 2 greens again. Wow.

The most important colour in there is Steel's grey. The concept of this is from Jane Blundell who has her own "jane's grey" (and has also been wonderful in suggesting new ideas to me!) Mine is a mixture of WN Cobalt Deep Blue with a little bit of DS Quin Burnt Orange. Having it pre-mixed is wonderful and it seems to separate and granulate as well premixed as it does mixed freshly… plus I have mixed it up in the shade I like best.

Just hoping I get a chance to play with it and make the final decisions in the next week or so. SO close now.

Ok… time to get a days work done this morning!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Last Scones from T2 teahouse Macquarie Centre!!!!!

Historic sketch… my last scones from T2 teahouse at Macquarie Centre (quick visit on the way home from my class). Although I plan to visit on the last day tomorrow, I am quite sconed out at the moment so will have something else. There is no doubt that I am going to be even more 'somewhat' teary tomorrow - especially if they are so crowded that there is no chairs or food left. Maybe I should bring my sketching stool??? I plan to be there in the afternoon

Today: Here is the  finished spread from a rushed sketch this afternoon... without my paints! I was wondering why my bag was so light!!! The paintwork of the house is a lovely blue but I didn't have my blue WCP either... so I did it green which is a more standard colour for this vintage building. After this weeks class, I am thinking about how I compose the page more- rather than just doing it instinctively.... balance, white space, connection....
The scones are from a fake photo shoot at t2 yesterday (sigh! tomorrow is the last visit!!)

BTW something from the past....

December 2008 - my first visit to the T2 teahouse... wow! so much has happened since then!
And to think that it took me a whole year to get around to have the courage to go inside... it looked so dark and intriguing. Before I entered the amazing world of the teahouse, I used to go to Macquarie Centre simply for functional shopping... never dreaming that it would become my most special sketching opportunities. Thanks again to all the wonderful staff that has made it so!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Manly Sketch Class - Week 7 Composition

What can I say… I was REALLY looking forward to today's class - doing composition and basing ourselves in a wonderful cafe Foundry 53…. but it was way  more fun than I expected (which is saying a LOT).

The first 6 weeks have been what I consider foundational… I have heaped on my class loads of information and what I believe are the essential concepts behind how I approach urban sketching. I  have been giving them very directed exercises to try to explain these concepts so that they can take them away and apply to their own work.  Today doing composition and in particular focusing on sketchbooking- journal type pages,  the best way to show how it works was to get them to do their own stuff. (though I did give them a individual composition challenge as warmup in the studio first!)

Composition is a HUGE part of my design work as an architect so drawing on this background and my very strong interest in graphic design for the past decade I introduced the key concepts that I use in designing my pages -  balance, white space and connecting objects.

It was so unbelievably pleasant to be sitting around a table like this, sketching and eating and drinking and working together on everyones unique compositional challenges - even more so because we had a cold biting wet day outside! Once again I am totally blown away by the work done today and how much we learnt from sharing everyones adventures on the page. Sadly missing two of the regulars today- but it was lovely to have Shantele from Lismore with us (who is also going to the USK symposium in BCN)

Hard to believe that next week is the last week - the theme is PLAY! There are a few causal spots available if anyone is interested.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Symposium Preparations

To get into the mood with had a lovely dinner chatting about sketching and then drew each other after the meal (very important symposium training- which yet again I have neglected this year)
We also have Eza, honourary Sydneysider from Edinburgh at the symposium and Emily who also will be in BCN for the public events.

Earlier in the afternoon...
A very rushed sketch and scan… but I am excited to have made 'the perfect' (well not quite perfect) skirt for travelling and sketching!
Making my decision about my palette on the other hand is another matter. The square tin that I am currently using is a little heavy and the extra width made it a bit awkward tonight.

Sewing notes:
Using the skirt part of the dress pattern I have used many many times… hidden pocket for passport and credit cards etc, pockets for pens, loose fitting but smart (for a denim skirt that is) and enough fulness for sitting cross legged on the streets. Of course everyone will want to check out my crazy zip detail now...I realise that! Oops!

Monday, June 17, 2013

How to draw teacups (and other ellipses)

This rambling text relates to these 3 images but they are not necessarily posted in order… I am not sure that you will all (or any of you!)  be able to make sense of it …but here goes

I have recently seen a few explanations of how to draw ellipses  by enclosing it in a square that is in perspective. I discovered that setup trick quite a few years back but it never really helped me draw teacups because I never setup a perspective for my tea cup sketches and it is hard to work out where the square is anyway. At one stage I had a little sheet of plastic I would put over the top of the cup to help me see the square…but that was SILLY (kept the tea warm though while I was draw the cup!)

Coincidentally around the time of those other explanations appeared, I happened to be doing my own crazy analysis of circles and centre-points. This was in preparation for the start of my class (way back in late April) I took some photos of a lid with  centre-points marked and tried to get a grip on how the  centre-point varied and with very inaccurate photos I did some crazily accurate measurement on my CAD programme. This was a true left brain moment!

I then had a total brain switch (to the right hand side) and thought.."the shape I am looking at is a true ellipse which is bounded by a rectangle and the centrepoint is in the centre. My head went into a spin and I need an emergency call to the perspective guru - Gerard. Anyway, he set me straight. But I didn't get around to putting it all together…or how to find a way to explain my dilemma about how the circle can have a different centre-point from the ellipse… but it normally does! (Gerard agrees!)

The long and the short of all this rambling is that totally regardless of my analysis…
to draw a tea cup all I do is
1. establish a vertical axis that will pass through the centre of cup rim, base and saucer
2. 'measure' the height and the width of the cup. And draw a cross-hair with these distances meeting at the centre-point.
3. Draw an ellipse connecting these points… if you need more set up- think of a squashed circle in a rectangle and use the 'little less than 3/4 rule for the diagonal)
4. do this for each of the edges of the cup/saucer
5. accept that they might be wonky… colour and pattern will make up for it!
Especially wonky to be expected if one draws slower than normal speed like I did here

Ok… have I confused everyone???

My best advise: go and make yourself a cup of tea and draw what you see!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Working from Home

Forgot to post this yesterday...

I guess most of you realise that I am not working as an architect at the moment. I left my wonderful job of many years at the end of last year and have had a break for 6 months to see what would happen. Lots of things ARE happening - obviously I am now teaching once a week but I am also doing some exciting architectural illustration work.
Working from home is such a different thing - this week I have been 'under the pump' - working till nearly midnight so in sync with London time…but also having the chance to have a morning T2 cuppa or sit in the sun for a little while. And the flexibility to mix it up so that I can get my creative juices pumping when I need to is nice- I did this page to warm up for a challenging painting!
Also, it is fun trying to work out how to dress for working at home as well. I used to like to dress for work- wearing a suit made me feel professional…but also being able to dress causally in the office was nice too. At home, I want to dress for work…but still be very comfy. Today I found an old dress that is perfect- I think it is going to be my uniform! Plus I wore my CTL cardi to make me smile (tragic that I refer to my clothes by paint abbreviations...ok I could call them pigments numbers that would be worse!)

Chilli kiss and Lemon Drizzle (going wild at T2)

Going a bit wild today at T2.

Don't forget, I am collecting best wishes for the wonderful staff from my readers - to let them know where their tea has been seen and enjoyed.

Please leave a comment here or email me lizsteel {at} gmail {dot} com. thanks!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New chair at T2????

My sketch from this mornings brief visit to T2 teahouse. They might be closing in a week ...but new things all the time. A new (newly upholstered) orange chair (they are only red and green) and new cup - well actually it is one of the style of cups that they had when I first started coming to the tearoom.

Still collecting any messages/ best wishes to the wonderful wonderful staff at T2... would love them to know how many places in the world their tea has virtually gone!

So please leave a message!!!!! .... even if it is just "best wishes from (where you are)"
Thanks to all those that have left messages.... very special - thanks!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Manly Sketch Class - Week 6

Another great day sketching in Manly. This week we were looking at Context vs Object- how to create a sense of space, scale and life. Last week we drew St Matthew's as an object - this week we wanted to draw a space and fill it with people, cars and trees.

We started with the importance of creating space - measuring the distance between you and the building and how to use the eyeline to 'hang' people from it and create depth. I have been doing this for years but a recent trick I picked up from James Richards is to draw the people first. While I do my overall setup of the building, space in front before I add the people, I have found it helps to draw the people very early on - especially if the focus of the sketch is the life of the urban space.

We looked at the importance of doing the 'hard yards' of research when it comes to drawing people (something that I am in the middle of) but that including people as 'entourage' doesn't need to be totally dependant on this. Developing a personal style of simplified shapes that are drawn with confidence can get you drawing and including people more regularly in your work. The more you draw, the more you observe and the 'better' your people become. Go for it- draw with confidence and live with the wonkiness. Another very important thing, which was advice that Melanie Reim gave me last year, was to draw closed shapes. And as always - practice practice practice!

After a nice fun warmup of mixing greens and drawing trees, and practicing drawing simple shapes of people from a photo sheet we hit the streets! It was a cold and wet day… but once again my class stuck it out and did some amazing work down at Manly Wharf. It is so exciting to see them all really develop a working understanding of the power of the eyeline as framework for adding space, scale and life to a sketch.

Only 2 weeks to go … and I am really looking forward to them. Next week composing the page and cafe sketching (I had to include this somehow didn't I?)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Will you miss T2 teahouse too

(I want to collect some comments on...)

I was back again this morning… and here is my sketch from my favourite (but very dark) corner and the wonderful staff that were on today (pity it is blurry!). As I said the other day- it is the staff that make this place so special!!! So I want to share with you their faces.

Was lovely to have a brief chat to the family that I sketched today…they will miss the place very much as well!
As for this sketch - I am having fun with my new paints - using Daniel Smith moonglow… not sure that this is a must have for me but I am having enjoying using it!

Anyway, important point for this post:

I want to collect as many comments / greetings/ best wishes from my followers around the world to let them know how many people enjoy seeing my visual captures of their hard work serving tea. I feel that my sketches often do not do the place justice… but at the same time they are often the most colourful sketches in my sketchbook!

So I would love you to leave a message for them or email me at lizsteel {at} gmail {dot} com with a few words and also let them know where you are from.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Actually using my new paints!

For the first time in weeks, I sat down and did a random sketch just for me (no challenge, or prep for my class or sketch for a  a project) and ah! it was just so good!  I have been playing with colour a lot lately - mixing paints to make recommendations to my class and playing with new colours thanks to the special colour masterclass I had with Jane Blundell.

I made myself a new everyday palette but I have been thinking about an expanded palette to take to BCN. It is such a colourful city and I really want to MIX LESS so my washes and pigment interaction is more exciting on the page. Been looking through my BCN books and checking out the colours of the stones and all the amazing colours of the tiles/ mosaics…wow! We are going to have fun! So… I have been thinking about adding a few colours. Ha ha!

Some of you might have seen the white palette I had at T2 yesterday - it was a Ken Bromley palette that can hold 12 full pan and 8 half pans. I just did not like it at all- so much prefer a metal palette and the angled wells didn't work so good. So I transferred my paints into my square schminke tin and will trial that. It is heavier however…sigh!

Tonight this painting felt so good because I am using new colours. I have felt in a little bit of a rut with my paint last year… so these new pigments feel like a new lease of life. Also I can't recommend more highly the ramped paint in the pan - it is working wonderfully!!!

 I don't want anyone to go and buy any new paints as a result of this palette as it is a testing one but for those as nutty as me…. this is what am I exploring (all Daniel Smith these days)
- goethite instead of natural sienna. Amazing granulation
- I mixed my own grey and put it in a pan (Jane's brilliant idea) Made it of my own beloved mixture of Quin Burnt Orange and Cobalt Blue Deep. It would have been better to have been a little bluer but I am excited by how granulating and separating it is despite being mixed together in the pan.
- Testing transparent Red Oxide in place of QBO (it was a tight decision to go with BQO when I did significant testing a few years ago)
- 2 greens …shock horror! I am not against greens in my palette, though have managed to survive without any for the last year or so. Jadelite and Green Apatite are amazing greens!
- Moonglow… we will see…
- Quin Purple - just testing this out. I am thinking a half pan of imperial purple might be more useful (when I want a mixed purple)
- Ultramarine  (not French) is in there along with CBD… I want to wean myself off CBD as it is series 4 $$ and a little insipid. If I mix up my grey maybe I don't need it all.
- DS Cerulean Blue Chromium PB36. Stronger than the usual PB35 version.
- Loving Transparent Pyrrol Orange and Raw Umber.

Anyway- it was lovely to be able to paint with my paints rather than just mix colour. And WOW! look at the tea in the colour- that is just plain goethite! It is stunning!

Revisiting my Singapore sketchbooks

If you haven't noticed… I have done very little daily sketching in my own sketchbook lately….so many things going on that I just don't have the time at the moment. I am averaging one sketch (or sketching session) a week! Unbelievable I know!

As for my normal 'trip prep' - that is just not going to happen. I have been working all day (Saturday) and tonight am still doing some research for 2 projects… but very nicely it ties in to a little bit of trip prep, and that is thinking about how I will be filling my sketchbook for my upcoming planned trip to BCN and the UK.

I absolutely love the options of working in a larger size book- so I have ordered 4 A4 watercolour moleskine (think I will only take 3…but my calculations of previous efforts seem to indicate that I might need a 4th!). Tonight I was looking through my Singapore pages along the theme of composition and collected these journal type pages as examples of how great it is to have a larger size book.

Interestingly enough, my recent trip to Melbourne was less varied from a compositional point of view- more single page images that didn't connect. I love the freedom of being able to work larger or to thread a story together of smaller moments.

Hmmm, got to start thinking about my BCN trip…..and try to squeeze in a wee sketch!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sad News - T2 Teahouse Macquaire Centre is closing down!

Very sad news!!! T2 teahouse in my local shopping mall is closing down REALLY soon. I love this place, the tea, and cups, and chairs, and scones, and atmosphere etc etc...but mostly I love the staff. Over the years they have made my visits even more special.

I hope to be able to visit a few more times before they close and hope to make it there on the last I won't go on about how important this place has been to me over the years ....yet!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Talk and Demo at Ku Ring Gai Art Society

On Tuesday night I gave a talk and a (quick) demo at the monthly meeting of Ku ring gai Art Society. It was a little introduction to a workshop that I will be running in November "Capturing the moment- the art of travel sketching"

I had a 'little' slideshow (of about 40 minutes) followed by a '5 minute' demo. It was a very fancy demo setup with an overhead camera- which enabled me to work in my normal sketchbook!

The talk summarised the adventures that I have over the past 6.5 years as I have travelled with my sketchbook at home and abroad. I shared some of the aspects that are important to me when I travel - making sure that you have a plan of how you want to sketch,  looking for and seizing any opportunity, how sketching can not only capture but also create moments and how the journey continues when you get home. Of course the online art community - the inspiration of Danny Gregory, Kate Johnson and Urban Sketchers - featured strongly throughout.

The idea of the demo was that I was pretending to be in Rome with a non sketching travelling friend who kindly went to get me some gelato while I sketched a baroque facade.  Due to the time constraint I sketched at furious pace using watercolour pencils and then splashed a little watercolour over the top. Then, as my friend would return holding my gelato, I demonstrated how I would have been strategizing to do a very quick ink gestural sketch and take a photo so I colour later.

In cooking show style, I then showed them how the finished spread would look at the end of the day.

I also showed what I would have done if I had only 2 minutes (ie. would not have attempted the whole facade- just part of it!)

I did have another demo prepared but due to important society business at the beginning of the meeting I didn't get a chance to do. This photo is of a part of it. (the original seems to have gone missing- when it re-appears I will post it) of another Baroque facade which I actually did sketch when in Rome, standing in a doorway, looking up and working in my standard ink and wash style.

Here are a few photos afterwards -  me explaining the brand my ink pen and ink , water brushes and water colour pencils. Artists ARE obsessed with discovering new toys!

I finished my slideshow with this image of my sketchbooks ready for the next adventure! What a fun night. I DO love sharing my love of sketching!