Starting with a ceramic head I made in the 1980s at a pottery class. It has lasted through many years and many plants. This year its just planted up with lobelia, but the fuschia that was in it in 2017 was spectacular.
The second photo is part of a Chinese bridge at Biddulph Grange gardens. A wonderful garden owned by the National Trust at Biddulph, North Staffordshire. The garden is split into different areas including one based on Egyptian architecture, a Swiss cottage, an ancient grotto, and the Chinese pagoda garden. It’s a fascinating and beautiful place to visit.
One of the odd things they have there is in picture number three. This is an upturned tree root that is covered in moss, there is a whole section of them lining the steps down to the grotto, the trees must have been huge before they were hewn.
The fourth photo is a phone error. Probably because I had too many images on my phone, so two photos of daliahs are grouped with the hedges of the daliah walk at Biddulph. The picture is totally random, and the colours just happened.
Imagine a website where you can only draw in a small oblong in portrait mode. Imagine you only have a thick and thin black pen and a thick and thin white eraser. Then imagine drawing complicated images with only these tools.
That’s Youdraw, I don’t go on it anymore because my old computer is defunct and my tablet does not let me use a proper stylus pen.
The images above are my drawings, taken from the site and then changed in Photoshop so that I could colour them.
I found it captivating to be able to use the site to draw so many ideas. The shape was better suited to portraiture, but you could fit landscapes in, abstract ideas, botanical images, anything black and white. Some of the artists there could draw incredibly detailed pictures, one person at least built up a huge interconnected picture of 100 images, maybe more.
If you go and have a look at Youdraw.com you can see what is there now. I’m not sure if its still taking images. The plan was to collect 500,000 drawings to publicise the population explosion on Earth.
Hopefully I will go back and draw there again one day.
I miss talking to people sometimes. I have a tenancy to isolate myself as I have said in the past. But today was a good day, I saw an old artist friend who has an idea for a travelling exhibition, and my work fits with it. It’s great to get some positive vibes. Also, a painting that I did a couple of years ago was bought at my exhibition. Someone really admired it and decided to buy it. I feel like a parent seeing a child move into the world. It’s amazing how attached you can get to things, and to see something you love go to a good home gives me a glad feeling inside.
In fact what started out as a quiet weekend has turned out very well. People were interested in my exhibition and some of the new things I have went down really well. I have to thank a friend for creating necklaces for me from some fused glass I made in a workshop earlier in the year. Also a photographer who turned some of my paintings into cards. Again they sold well.
I have not made a fortune, but it has boosted my confidence. Even the chap that came in and said my art was not his cup of tea was not rude, just honest.
The only bad thing is that I seem to have caught a cold! Maybe talking to all those people meant I picked up a bug. We will see….
This is a digital drawing that I did of a cave painting, ancient and modern in one picture.
The urge to make marks and create images seems to have been with humans since the stone age. I do wonder if Neanderthals were artists too? Perhaps someone out there knows if they were. Art seems to be intrinsic to humans , a way of visualising the external environment. Whether it was animals they hunted, or eventually farmed, they created images of them that are beautifully depicted.
As the millennia moved forward art continued, but also turned into pictographs, such as hieroglyphs, or other ancient languages. The words I am writing now have there roots in ancient art.
Of course painting continued, and people also created sculpture and invented ink and printing. We are the mark making hominids. Without art and language we would not have science, mathematics, map making, books. Art evolved into design, photography, architecture. Art and culture, I wonder if music emerged at the same time as art. Possibly earlier as spoken language was probably used in parts of the ape family before home sapiens appeared. But to point at a cave painting and use a word for cattle, or hunt, or flock. Thats interesting …I’m sure there is a lot more information out there.
Whatever happened I feel there must be an “art” or “creativity” gene. I know I cannot do without mark making.