"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Monday, 31 July 2017

Back to The Spinney

While working on other projects and having a bit of a holiday in Bilbao ( very nice) I continue to cycle up through the fragment of ancient woodland that is Savages Spinney. Heavy leafy branches now arch over the path which is patterned with the slanting rays of sunshine and dappled shadows. 

I hope to be working on some bigger prints next week and so yesterday I decided to do some more sketches from my favourite spot for some reference material to work from.

treeo

There is a particular tree on the path which often catches the light. This little sketch to record the basic shapes and the lights and darks.

IMG_0361
My sketch by a fallen tree in my favourite spot.

Then more, to simplify things and look for shapes and ideas, making a rough record of what I am seeing now, in summer. It is so much busier and complicated,  so different from the stark tree shapes of the winter I had sketched before in November.

tree-2

This one above just line and a few details then the following sketches with more tone, to record the dappled light, the path, butterflies, branches knitted together with lichen, seed pods, spotted leaves, bees and leaf canopies, puddles and the water of the reservoir etc etc.  I made written notes about sounds and wildlife as well as notes of shapes that I might add.
There is nothing like working on site. You can eliminate so much of the muddle and focus just on what you want.

tree-1tree2tree3tree4tree5tree6tree7tree8tree9t10

A4 Sketchbook pages, pen and brush and inks.

 sbk


The more abstract the sketches become the more possibilities present themselves and the more they represent to me the essence of what I see in the wood. I hope to get some small paintings done later this week to explore some of these in colour.

It will be very interesting to see how these carry forward into prints!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Creating Characters: The Anxious Young Man

I am currently working on a rather complicated set of prints and hopefully an accompanying box. There is a sort of narrative to the prints and a main character. It is many years since I created characters and never before in lino. So it is an interesting challenge.

It made me think about what creating a character means. As soon as you make a drawing of something there comes along with it a potential for life, a  potential for character. Who is this, what sort of outlook do they have on life?  What is their story? My character, my anxious young man, existed in a different visual medium before. I am just taking him and giving him more life, rounding him out a bit. I suppose it’s rather like a novelist working with a real historical figure.

young-man
Lino cut 1

He has a companion too.. a dog. Dogs too have lots of personality, emotions and reactions. These two have just 8 encounters in this project. Some good some bad. How will they react to each situation and to each other?.

dog1
Lino cut 2

I also feel this curious responsibility because I am putting them in these situations. As I work with them an affection grows, to their weaknesses and shortcomings particularly. In the case of this young man I have, rather than created him, adopted him, but the responsibility is no less. In fact when I first saw him I thought he really needed a break.. so I am going to give him one..after a few setbacks of course, as is often the case in a good story.

They may well encounter a few of these as well.

Untitled-5
Lino cut 3

sketches
Initial rough sketches.

Keep tuned for more of this project and and its origins.:)