At the north end of the illuminations, plenty of people stop here grab fish and chips and then walk through the tableaux section of the illuminations or into town and then grab a tram back. It can be a nice way to spend a crisp autumn’s evening, and something I did a few times with friends as a teenager, in the dark of October.
A4 watercolour painting drawn with yellow posca marker and lamy safari fountain pen.
If I don’t draw and paint every day I don’t know when I will. I started trying to teach myself to draw and paint properly in 2011, but it was a side project to help fill the walls of my pottery studio. And over 2011 and 2012 I would fill quite a few sketchbooks, especially at the start of 2012, when we had another had our second child due, but my eldest was at preschool, so when we went out together I would take a sketchbook and practice and practice from life.
My youngest was born in the summer of 2012 and I decided to professionalize my teaching skills, I had been teaching ceramics and that was the main earner but I wanted to get better at teaching. So I applied for a teaching qualification and got into the program and despite the fact I was teaching art at a sixth form I rarely picked up a brush, pen or pencil.
In fact between caring for my young family, and doing teaching prep and assignments for my university course, I was working in placement four days a week, and on the fifth day, I was at University in classes. I forgot how much I enjoyed it over that year and didn’t really pick up on drawing much at all till I had finished my Master’s degree which was a completely different course.
By this time it was 2016 and four years had escaped me, and I knew I was probably going to have to find work so ceramics was out of the way of finding the calming influence of the flow state, where you forget everything else apart from what is in your hands with a narrow focus and the world is blinkered without care.
As a teenager, my dream had been to be an artist and create spaceships for Lucas film and with my pottery, I was also looking at doing sgraffito through layers of slip on my pottery and loved drawing boats and bins, so threw myself into practising those days by day.
I quickly found my pace and I got up at 5 am every day so I would have some alone time without the children to paint. I also found a day job working in a school so then I was term time and school time so then I was around with my children and I did that until getting furloughed in early 2020 and then never went back after my furlough ended.
I also really enjoy drawing and painting every day it is the highlight, of my day. For me the drawing is the more challenging stage, laying down watercolour I can reach the flow state where you forget everything around you, and honestly it is so relaxing.
I honestly wish that all I had to do day by day was to paint, just relaxed not worry about everything that needs to be done from marketing to trying to sell all the work I am producing on a day-by-day basis. Eventually, I will find a way to be prolific and sell enough to remove the stress of selling.
Another reason I draw every day is because it helps me improve, I am always trying to push what I can draw, the quality of the marks that I make, and most importantly whether I focus on ceramics or painting it helps improve my fine motor skills which because I am very dyspraxic and clumsy by nature, and had Occupational Therapy as a teenager where I worked on my gross motor skills and learnt to finally catch by sitting on a chair and through a can of deodorant hundreds of times till I could throw it and catch it without landing on my head.
There was also a void without painting in my life and I don’t want that void back again. I always felt like I was missing something, which is why I am currently working on a secret project, make sure you are on the mailing list to be one of the first to here about the project when it gets launched soon!
I love how blocks of buildings can be so different in Blackpool, all built at different times to different specifications, and some going through a variety of transformations over the years. They don’t fit but that’s what adds to the charm for me. If everything was the same it would just be a massive boring block of Meh.
A3 watercolour drawing with Posca marker and Lamy Safari on white card
Shelters around the coastline of Britain can range from the Victorian, to mock Tudor to some that are more like post war municipal buildings in the style of what you would expect of a substation and not that of an idyllic spot to rest and shelter from the weather.
But whatever they look like we wouldn’t be without them on a rainy day or when the wind is blowing a gale. Being northern the weather is no excuse. And I used to walk home from the day job some times and the rain would start and I would end up drenched, but I would try and find a place to shelter the worst of it and then move on
Shelters are something that I plan to explore more as they really do mark some of the character of seaside towns.
Above Knott End Shelter
Below Shelter on the Isle of Bute
“Ooh, a storm is threatening my very life today.
If I don’t get some shelter ooh yeah I’m gonna fade away”
I am part of an online fair with Handmade Hour and Just a Card. This is part of trying to get my name out into the the world and be more visible of what I do. This particular event is The Visibility Fair 2022 and I keep getting distracted and going and making pottery instead as I have am exhibiting at the Green Loop Eco Makers Market as Red Fox Pottery, which is 30th April at Whitehaven Lake in St Annes.
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