Friday, 14 November 2014

Watercolour Sketching with Purpose

Sketching has become a routine in my life now.  Each sketch serves a purpose.  Be it to capture a memory, to practice a technique, to test out paper, tone, texture or colour, to plan a composition, to capture an atmospheric mood, etc, or purely to have fun and improve the skill at the same time. 

Here are some sketches I have done over the past few months.  Each has a purpose in my artistic development.  

Toronto Waterfront
A place that nearly became my second home. 

Mull 1
Visited this summer.

Mull III

Grey Birches

View from my window

Tulip Pen & Wash

Baa Sheep

Bald Eagle
Seen in Alaska three years ago 
and revisited the subject yesterday.  

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Mudlarks - A very worthy venue to exhibit in.

Being an exhibiting artist in my local community means that one of my regular tasks is to keep an eye on my calendar to check the dates of the upcoming year’s local Art Shows. Exhibiting is something I find I need to do regularly because it pulls me out of my comfort zone of me doodling in my sketchbooks.  It makes me use my artistic capabilities to the full and stretches me to keep the standard high as best I can.   This means that my painting year is pretty much mapped out for me most of the time.  Though I generally try not to over commit myself too much with all the art shows and art venues available in my area.   

 Birches 2

This and other of my paintings will be exhibiting at 
Mudlarks, Railway Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire 
for a month over December 2014 and January 2015.

The way I select where to exhibit my art is to assess how much fulfilment and joy my taking part will bring to me and the community I live in.  Most local exhibitions have an entry fee and this is sometimes put towards either the up keep of a building or towards a charity.  I regularly hear of people attending my Art Society’s Easter Exhibition and them saying how much they enjoyed the event.  It has become part of some people’s Easter outing every year.  It is also a big fixture on my calendar as I help out on most of the four days.  For me the joy is knowing that the artwork we local artists display on walls in the local exhibitions actually brings a little joy to others who view it too.   

This year I have decided to add yet another fixture to my already busy art calendar.  In December/January I will be having a solo exhibition on Mudlarks Cafe wall. A wall that is generously reserved for promoting local artists. 

Mudlarks Community Gardening Charity  Website Link

Mudlarks is a registered charity which helps to integrate people with learning difficulties and mental health issues back into the community.  They mainly run a garden site which helps its members to develop skills and confidence that gardening and interacting with others could potentially bring out.  A really worthy cause that I know is helping people come out of their shells to join the community in a more fulfilling and satisfying way.

Through a volunteer friend I hear of the touching stories of the huge difference this fabulous charity makes to people.  Not only do its members benefit but also their carers too, with a few hours respite.  This charity touches lives in a big way on many levels.  Mental health and learning difficulties are two issues that have touched my life too through close family and friends coping with both.  So for me to attend events run by this charity such as quiz nights, music events in town, or stopping for a coffee in their cafe when I am in the area, or even displaying my art on their wall, is a very small way for me to show my support for the wonderful work they do. 

Mudlarks Garden Cafe  Link

The charity has recently opened a Cafe in the heart of Hertford town.  A place that is working hard to raise money for the Mudlarks Charity.  So please if any of you local people reading this ever find yourselves in Hertford wanting a coffee to warm yourselves up, or some lunch or a cake to fill a hole, remember Mudlarks Cafe on Railway Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire.    

A cup of coffee at Mudlarks means you are warming and brightening up someone else’s life too.