Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Out and about with Zeta

This weekend was the 42nd Worldwide Sketchcrawl. Sketchers met on Saturday morning - I was unable to join them so on Sunday, Australia Day I did some solo sketching. I found some interesting subjects in Racecourse Road, Ascot.

Racecourse entrance from Baguette Bistrot & Bar 
ink and watercolour in Zeta Sketchbook
© 2014 Carol Lee Beckx

The morning was made even more enjoyable by being able to enjoy delicious coffee and a snack at Baguette Bistrot & Bar. The staff members were lovely too - and because it was quiet with few people around, they were happy for me to colonise a table for a while. (Well quite a long while…)

View from Baguette Bistrot & Bar ink and watercolour in Zeta Sketchbook
© 2014 Carol Lee Beckx

I loved using the ultra-smooth Zeta Sketchbook by Stillman & Birn - the ink lines flow so easily and I love the way watercolour does its own thing.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Taking time to think about painting

I took some photographs in the park across the road from me before leaving for my overseas holiday. I did some drawings and started a painting - just some colour on the canvas and then a quick drawing with charcoal and carbon block. This wasn’t the usual “preparation for a painting” but rather drawing for its own sake. On impulse I added some silver foil in a few areas.
Then I left for my holiday.

While I was away, this painting was on my mind. I could see the painting. I thought about the colours I would use and how I would approach the work.

Five weeks later, give or take a few days jet lag….and I was back to painting. I think I really surprised myself because a week or so later the painting was done.

Here’s a preview, a detail from the painting. I’ll post the complete painting together with some progress photos in another post.
Detail: Glimmering Fragments of the Mist - oil & charcoal on canvas ©2014 Carol Lee Beckx

Friday, 3 January 2014

Creativity and inspiration

As some of you know, I held a one day workshop the first week I was in Durban, so I came armed with sketchbooks, drawing materials and watercolours. Now I have a confession to make: this holiday I have done very little drawing or painting. For once I have NOT followed the advice I give my students - draw while on holiday - do something small every day.

My holiday in South Africa is drawing to a close. I fly back to Australia on Monday. These five weeks have been a time for family and friends. It's been a time of returning to familiar places, but also a time of discovering that familiar places no longer look so familiar - change happens everywhere.

Over numerous cups of coffee and delicious meals, I have been fortunate to reconnect with a number of my artist friends. It's been wonderful to be welcomed back and to catch up on all their news. I've been to a couple of the galleries that haven't taken a holiday over this festive time to see the work currently on show.

It's also been a time for reading. I have borrowed a number of books and it's been good to relax, to be with my grandchildren, to watch them swim; simultaneously satisfying my love of reading.

I've also been thinking which for a creative mind is often as important as making art. Our lives are usually so busy we don't make time to day dream or make plans, but the fresh year is a good place to do just that.

At the beginning of the New Year there's always a rash of motivational posts. There are tips on making resolutions; tips on not making resolutions; how to get fit and loose weight; how to run; how not to run (I translate that into "don't run" I will be walking though...) become rich; become famous etc.etc.etc.

I look forward to the weekly updates from Maria Popova's Brian Pickings, there is always something both stimulating and inspirational. So when I found this post on her Facebook page How to Master your Creative Routine and Pace of Productivity it seemed to be directed at me. http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/05/22/manage-your-day-to-day-99u/

(sorry for the clumsy link but Blogsy isn't playing nice today - it keeps want to post a link to a "How to" video LOL !!)

Popova draws from a number of inspirational writers and Gretchen Rubin in particular. There are a number of quotes that spoke to me but I decided this one needed a little more attention:

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