Black bird, June 2014 — ink and watercolour, 240 x 180 mm, 2014
I’m on a mission to add a few ink and watercolour drawings/paintings to my Etsy shop ― hence the reworking of old favourites such as this bird silhouette (which is now for sale). The original black bird appeared a couple of years ago (click here to see the post). He was my second Shoot it, Sketch it and he was also the subject of my first haiku.
And that brings me to my question. Which of the following would you like to see me draw again? Feel free to vote for more than one : )
British artist Aubrey Hammond (1894–1940) is responsible some of my favourite1920s London Underground posters. He also illustrated several books and taught commercial and theatrical design. I think his cover for Metropolis, Thea von Harbou’s novel designed to complement the movie (co-written with husband Fritz Lang), is simply stunning.
In the style of… appears occasionally instead of my regular Shoot it, Sketch it posts. Using my own photographs as a starting point, I’m drawing inspiration from some of the world’s greatest illustrators. It’s not about slavishly copying someone else’s art; it’s an experiment in seeing things differently.
This week’s Shoot it, Sketch it revisited is a little different. Rather than painting Black bird on a grey day again (which I was just about to do), I’ve used it as the inspiration for a haiku (prompted by blogger Digital Granny who thought the image would make a nice background for a poem). It’s my first ever haiku. It’s such a fascinating art form — I’ve been meaning to write one for ages. Thanks, DG.
Am I the only one who finds it impossible to predict what people are going to like?
I certainly didn’t think anyone would like Black bird on a grey day. I was wrong.
The sketch is based on a photograph. I thought I would create a pattern out of the branches (something much less organic than what you see here)… but my idea didn’t make it onto the page. Instead, the sketch took off in a different direction (as they sometimes do) and when I stood back and looked at it, I didn’t think it was good enough to put on the blog. The only reason I decided to post it was because my very encouraging husband liked it a lot.
And the reaction to it… the reaction was a gift. It received lots of likes and lots of positive feedback. Family, friends, complete strangers ― everyone seemed to like it! I did not see that coming.
That was back in November 2012. Since then, and largely because of that one little black bird, all my paintings and drawings get posted on this blog whether I’m happy with them or not. Dunedin, my most recent painting, also took off in an unexpected direction (and I wasn’t sure I liked the end result) and it’s another one that has been surprisingly well received. So I’m still no closer to figuring out what other people are going to like… and I’m okay with that. More than okay. It’s one of the things I really enjoy about blogging — it’s all part of the big art experiment that is my life.
Thanks for reading. And thanks for letting me know what you like (even when I don’t understand why).
P.S. I quite like the black bird now but I’m still undecided about Dunedin…
One evening last October I noticed a strange light coming in through the window. When I went outside to investigate, I was met with this beautiful sight: a double rainbow over the neighbouring rooftops. These are my three favourite shots.
I drew the houses and trees with an Indian ink brush pen and the rainbows and sky were painted with my trusty Neocolor II watercolour pastels to give the rainbows a naïve, childlike quality. I really like the way they’ve picked up the corrugated texture of the watercolour paper.