Defeated yet emboldened: times and events cry out for us to do more …
This election has pitted a positive optimistic vision from Labour against the miserable inward looking austere negative Conservatives. It’s an uphill battle: hope is frightening, always with the risk of disappointment whereas the Conservatives offer the narrow comfort of savage certainty.
And there really was a double rainbow.
I shamelessly nicked the idea of working in oil pastel and graphite from outsideauthority. OA’s recent pictures have a real sense of place and character and I liked OA’s looseness of working pencil into the layered colour.
My drawing started with shading blocked in from a graphite stick. When I applied the pastel, the graphite was taken up, creating satisfying textures and tones. However, the resulting image seemed lacking in freedom. I scrawled over it in blocks of colour obscuring much of the detail, rubbed into it with tissue and scraped back in with a penknife and hard graphite. I spent a little time later making minor adjustments to the composition so the structures of the lock stood out against the background.
The Secret Garden is a 3 1/2 acre site, a haven amid dense housing, implementing organic permaculture of plants and promoting wildlife. It is run by the charity Mind to provide people with an environment supporting mental health. My son has the great good fortune to be support worker there. He originally trained in 3D design and then horticulture. He is using these skills in a way that makes the garden accessible to individuals and which also reaches out to the community. Weekends during May, they are raising funds through plant sales. My wife, nephew and step-daughter have all been baking cakes for this enterprise.
The beds contain diverse growing frames, some simple and functional, others spiralling out of the ground. I spent a few minutes yesterday sketching, in my smallest pad, first a willow growing frame and then a metallic sculpture turning gently in the wind, both set by the pond, home to newts.
Dr Sketchy’s was themed on characters from Quentin Tarantino films. That would be those films I have never watched. Even with months of notice, I never found time to work through the canon. So from tagging on facebook and a little searching online, I can tell you that these are (in no particular order) Santanico Pandemonium, Mia Wallace, Stuntman Mike, Mr Pink, Jules and Vince and these are played by Liberty Pink, Mysti Vine, Kitten von Mew and Trampy Holford.
I cut down my drawing kit to Ingres textured toned paper, graphite stick, conte crayons and black ink brush pen. Stuntman Mike was the last and most sparing of the images. Mr Pink (Liberty Pink in false beard) was the first.
I drew the two ten minute poses by Kitten von Mew side by side. After these I started working larger.
Mysti Vine (posing with her green companion “Sid”) gave me a challenge – skin reflects light with so many more hues than do clothes. I struggled to simplify this to two or three tones which would have been more effective on the dark blue paper.
The diminutive Liberty Pink posed as hired thug Vince (John Travolta in Pulp Fiction) and Mysti Vine as Jules declaimed from the Bible before shooting us with a banana.
I am not sure who was the gun toting bloke who warmed up before Liberty came on to sing at the start.
Dr Sketchy’s yesterday migrated unexpectedly and with an hour or so to spare up the road to CherryReds café. The food looks great: I’ll make a point of going back sometime. Despite this (and it must have been a real challenge to the organisers), as always the team put on a great act. I saw lots of interesting good sketches round the room.