I have never written a blog, so this will be a steep learning curve!
My journey since January 2013 has been to re discover my confidence in my Art and Design skills and it has been a difficult and confusing journey too. It hasn’t finished, but my path is now a little clearer.
I qualified as a secondary school teacher in 2008, taught full time until December 2014. I loved teaching the students, but began to resent the education system and the constraints put upon Design Technology and Art.
My specialism was textiles, but I taught across the whole spectrum of D & T. Teaching was successful, but the success came at a huge price to my health and wellbeing. I decided to leave full time teaching and take up a part time teaching post so that I could have time to paint, draw and hopefully re discover my creative self and hopefully design again professionally.
Funnily enough it corresponded with Christmas and my new part time teaching post started in January 2013, but my creative journey did not really start until the Spring of 2013. I found starting a new teaching post took until May to settle in to a new school and to get used to their routines. I also discovered that despite only being part time, the job demanded much extra work.
Looking at my first sketchbook and the first pages of paintings and sketches it must have been May as the Campions and Aquilegias were flowering in the garden.
My first attempts are here, watercolour, pencil and pen:
I was very nervous actually making the first mark, the fear of failure!
These few sketches are very tentative and quite tight in feel. I drew the flowers first in pencil as I felt very unconfident in actually putting paint onto paper. However, once I had begun then each mark became a little easier. I had to keep telling myself that these were just practice and therefore the more I did it the better hopefully the results would be.
The campions were painted first and evaluating them now I can see that this study appears quite loose, but it also shows that the apparent loose painting tries to hide the lack of observation. This is more apparent as I had to use the pen to give more structure and definition. I do like the mix of greens and I feel that the colour looks fresh and has a Springlike feel. It also like the mix of pink tones which helps to give the flowers more depth:
My next attempts were of Aquilegias, again picked from my cottage garden. I painted two pages of Aquilegias and the third was a five minute drawing using a fine black pen. My first page again relied on black pen to add form to the studies, but once again I like the colours and some of the tonal work. I was very pleased with the pen drawing as I had set myself a target of completing a drawing in five minutes. Observationally it could be better, but I like the spontaneous quality of the line and I feel that this gives the drawing lively feel. The third study was still tentative and relied on under drawing first, but i like the colours and the textures of the layered paint. Watercolour can be quick, but to prevent muddiness you have to be patient and sometimes let the painting dry before layering on more detail:
My last drawing was an Avocet, this was a very quick drawing and as usual I used the scale of the sketch pad which has the disadvantage that often my subject matter is either tight squeeze or only part of it fits!!! Reflecting on this drawing I actually still like it. I feel that I captured the form and shape, but wish I had used a variety of pencils and varied the rendering. However I am delighted that it actually looks like an Avocet:
Confidence in ones work is easily lost and actually deciding to write this blog was a huge challenge as one normally likes to show ones best work and these examples were just the first tentative steps in a journey that will have no end as once a piece of work is finished you look at it and see how to improve, vary and change what has been done. It also gives more ideas of different things to try, new techniques, new subject matter………….