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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More Blackpool architecture that overlooks the seafront.
I enjoy working quickly especially as this paper absorbs ink, especially if you hold the pen still even for a fraction of a second. It can be a fun challenge working fast enough whilst still retaining the readability of the sketch.
This drawing is of The Stone Grill, which overlooks the sea at the north end of Blackpool, away from the bright lights of Blackpool itself and much closer to the Norbreck Castle, which is unique in being nothing like a castle.
My wife is from East Ayrshire in Scotland so when we are visiting we often visit Largs seafront, visit the Viking Museum, go on the ferry, eat fish and chips followed by a round of ice cream. The scene itself is from Aitken St, Largs, North Ayrshire, Scotland.
Original A4 painting watercolour, posca markers and fountain pen
Or: How I am raising money for my Trinity Hospice Blackpool
So what I have done
At the start of 2021 I made a painting of the Ice Cream shop next to the Ferry in Fleetwood, I got 100 printed on A3 paper and one on a absolutely massive A1 paper. I have then drawn on the prints and added extra watercolour so each one of the prints is a unique piece of art, ready to be framed. They really are amazing work (if I say so myself) bright and colourful and making these has brought me some comfort a year after her passing.
Recently I have been playing with drawing digitally for some projects that I have in the back of my mind.
I have so many ideas that I want to put out there but I have to focus.so drawing digitally is one of the things I do in the evening in front of the television with my wife.
I have to admit it feels very different to drawing on paper and painting with watercolours so I have a long way to go to find my ideal workflow in the medium. Even with an apple pencil there is a big disconnect.
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!