Sunday, 30 December 2012

Happy New Year!

Here's to a Happy & Creative New Year!

 A unique tree from my window - scrubby willow & it's lost it's leader but I just love the shape. Surprised it hasn't blown over in this wind. I've been waiting for a high tide & the stripes are a bonus. A friend will be borrowing the boat soon to 'take the lines' of it for a school project so I may take the pic again, get more water at the bottom. He's the one who refurbished the boat for the owner before us & as it'll be a labor of love, while teaching kids, he's the one to do it. I'll use this image for a transfer.

 In my stocking I found a daylight bulb. I've been bemoaning our useless task lighting while watching tv in front of the fire to do a little bit of stitching with - you never quite get the lights right when you build a house. So the next best thing is a lamp on the table full of books behind the couch reaching over just where I need it. To find space for that we moved some books around & came across this, above.

  Tunnicliffe sketched for paintings but also just for the love of it leaving 50 sketchbooks from 1935 for 40 yrs. I'm so excited because I really haven't got very far at all with learning to draw birds. I mean, I've been watching them closely for a year now & they just won't keep still! All I've managed is a scribble or 2 & being taught where the bend is in a pair of bird's legs, by my arty buddy.

 I will still take a class of some sort, but if I practise by copying these lovely simple lines, by that I mean I can actually see where the line is meant to be & possibly how to do it, it's a start.

I know observation is the way to go but I need to get a feel for it & this way I can actually see the little bu I mean blighters!

 I'm not a representationalist but I remember from my year of art classes in 1978..... that before you go off on a tangent first learn a perfect ellipse. Do it 'properly' before you rearrange it ;) See, '78 was a long time ago, this is why I'm struggling!

I've never had the honor of seeing an owl close enough to focus let alone to sketch! & now I can try. 

So, birds have been on my mind, as has the 'theme' for my next body of work. It's been there under my nose for years, in my dreams before that, it's all around me when I step out from inside four walls, it's around the bay. Simple really. I don't have any big words for 'Around the Bay', I don't feel I need any tho I'm sure I could find some. My textile buddy thinks 'Around the Bay' is a cop out;  I told her of course, but it's a life time of work!

So, mid December I'm walking the dog on the shore just as the light is going. I can hear the heron has been disturbed & look to see where he's gone & he flies under the new moon in front of the sunset over the birch trees   ( I sound a little like the Bernstein Bears - under over thru!)

  I sketched the piece of white paper, 2 above left, before drying the dog even, desperate to not  forget this simple arrangement. Quick washes of color - I've written the colors down, too - Indanthrene Blue is my favorite blue,  it's reminiscent of Indigo or Denim, wonderful. How to find a silhouette of a heron, it wasn't exactly right in that lovely book I found - of course, good old google. The DH was impressed with my cut out drawing. I'll be making a strong one to use as a resist.

& blow me if he didn't fly back again! 

It was a worry before we moved up here (just parental concern ;) that I would do no more than 'commune with Nature' I had no idea then what a joy that would be, that I would become someone who could & probably consider that & all that goes with it my greatest achievement. So. the start of my sketchbook, so exciting, I only hope I do it justice. Happy New Year!


ju-north said...

Happy New Year to you too! and happy twitching and sketching. Who knows where it might lead!

Jacky said...

looking forward to seeing your birds Emma...and those stripes in the sea are a beautiful backdrop for the tree.

Happy sketching in 2013.

Jacky xox

Anonymous said...


Beverley Baird said...

Loved your post and the lovely watercolour of the heron. They are one of my favourites and I so seldom see them.
Sounds like a wonderful choice for a new body of work. Can't wait to see what you create.
Happy New Year!

Cate Rose said...

Have a lovely New Year, Emma! Re: lighting -- it's absolutely impossible to build-in task lighting. And all overhead lighting does is throw shadows where you don't want them. I've got task lights EVERYWHERE in my home/studio.

Julie said...

Happy New Year Emma. Have fun with your sketchbook. It's looking good so far! xx

Heloise said...

Happy New Year Emma. Wishing you everything that you wish for. Happy creating! x

Jill said...

We have a Tunnicliffe and there is no better master. You have made a great start with your heron. Looking forward to following your progress.
All the very best for 2013.

Laura said...

beautiful Emma! May this New Year be one of realized dreams… even those we did not realize we were dreaming!

sue said...

wishing you a wonderful, creative New Year Emma. looking forward to joining you on all your making adventures!

Linda Stokes said...

Wishing you all the good things for 2013 with lots of creative time. The new project you have in mind will be a great way to start the year - hope it goes well!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Emma, love the heron. We see them every day even in winter they are still around. Marvelous work, can't wait to see your birding series in 2013, and how you continue with your fiber work. xox

Robin Mac said...

What a lovely post. I love herons, we see them often here. Your sketches are good already, so I shall watch your progress through the year with interest - have fun, and a very happy and creative 2013. Cheers

mano said...

happy new year, dear emma! I wish you all the best for 2013!
I'm looking forward to your sketchbook - the first pages are beautiful!
:-) mano