'The place where inspiration hits the page running... A sketchbook to fail and reflect on my work and my process'

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Pendennis and the Summer Solstice

I saw the sunset last night over the estuary where I live, with wine in hand and the boys by my side. I saw the sun rise this morning over the headland, on the beach with friends. A good start to the mid summer. I went sketching in the day and found a couple of new spots I hadn't seen before. Basked in sunshine I stopped and did these sketches. I loved it and will be doing more while the weather lasts. This is definitely the kind of work that represents me most, so maybe enough of the 'trying to find a style for commercial work' and sticking to what comes very naturally and see what comes of it. Watch this space!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

New bits in progress

This is my Mum as a little girl

Some new bits in progress for a project I am working on in Falmouth. More details to follow when I have a stronger idea of how it's going to end up. At the moment my children's book head is getting in the way, mainly because I am sketching my family when they were younger, so the work is lending itself to a softer gaze. I will go with it and work through it,so watch this space for more soon.

This is me as a little girl. The photo I used was feeding a jackdaw that used to visit us all the time at home.

..and another variation

Monday, 9 June 2014

Work in Progress with some of my favourite things

Sketchbook pages

Sketchbook page

Sketchbook pages

 Although I am very proud of the books I have created and really enjoy the whole process when I am given the time to relax and enjoy painting, but I am constantly thinking, looking and working hard on creating a style for my commercial illustration that I can earn money from, that is not such a huge compromise when under pressure from tight deadlines.

My natural style of working is painterly and quick, with as few brushstrokes as possible, using the right colours, tones and textures first off, rather than building loads of layers, and work with minimal, translucent layers.
From the beginning of my career I have been pushed into styles by time pressures and by my previous portfolio of commercial work. So everything tightening up, painting with my shoulders raised around my ears and my strokes stiff and laboured. This is not enjoyable, and although (after 16 years on the job) I know compromises have to be made, but not at this level, not any more, so I have working hard behind the scenes on a daily basis, where I can, to find somewhere in the middle.

Some of my favourite things around the house

I love my garden
I love lots of space and have realised I like graphic work, where there is contrast between painterly free strokes or a lighter painted touch, with graphic structures and composition.
I wanted to build a library of images of all sorts of different items, objects and things I had in my life that I liked, so this is something along that idea, a feeling of what I want to achieve with my children's books, more development of a new stream of work that could be for prints, retail, cards etc etc..

All in progress but I definitely enjoyed doing them all. I started with my favourite things around the house, something I have a connection with and enjoy. I then thought they looked too real and stiff, so I did them from memory and composed them into the Home Sweet Home image. I'm beginning to love my house and the feeling of satisfaction that I get from 'my things' and that satisfaction in my mind is coming out in the work.

An attempt at putting them in to context

Again just work in progress but it feels nice to lighten the load a little.