Monday, October 02, 2006
For an artist to interpret the world around them with a heartfelt passion , they must first see it, feel it and breath it in.
My sincere apologies for the huge intermission in my updates, I have been making use of what good weather we have left here in the UK and taking my sketch books on little art trips or sketch crawls. Each of my sketches take no longer than around 15-20 mins, some less, and I use these pages to master my skills and play with various mediums.
One of my most recent trips took place this week and started at my home here in the Fens. From the comfort of my sofa I sketched the view before me while consuming my first coffee of the day.
I then drove through Wimblington and into Manea, a small village I haven't visited very often in my 14 years living here. I soon came across the jewel in it's crown, St. Nicolas Church, and decided to produce a cropped sketch of an area my eyes kept resting upon. Moving up slightly, I realised the beautiful house next door to the church was in fact a residential care home for the elderly.
I remember wondering to myself if that had a negative effect on the residents, being so close to their local graveyard at such a vulnerable time in their lives or if they in fact found it comforting? Cathyrn House stands strong, has a warm glow about it, welcoming, inviting, pretty and the shadows cast from the gravestones in the churchyard next door do not hamper it at all.
Back in the truck, I drove through Manea, stopping occasionally to photograph isolated barns sat like scarecrows in the vast landscape. My journey brought me round into Chatteris, an area I am more familiar with and where my dear friend Rob Morris lives, whose studio I shared for our recent Fenland Visual Arts Collective Open Studios project.
I left the truck outside Robs studio and my sketch bag and I soaked up the sunshine while strolling together. It wasn't long before we came across the Old Bakery Cafe, a quaint little place on the corner of the street offering old fashioned food and hospitality. The sight of the tables outside mingled with the smell of fresh coffee were too much to resist so I grabbed myself a seat and tucked into a slice of homemade almond cake with my latte.
I sketched the corner of the street opposite me and sat for a while watching the traffic go by. Mature figures manoeuvring their empty trolleys through the streets, a prop providing them the excuse to be among people and escape the lonlieness. A regular ritual, offering friendship and conversation.
A visit to Tesco took me into March, a small Town, where I took a moment to sketch the ever growing industrial additions to the Fenland landscape.
Daily routine took over until later that evening when I managed to finish my sketch crawl with a quick watercolour sketch of the fading sun falling behind the distant barns from the comfort of my dining room window seat.