Monday, March 31, 2014

Travel Sketches - 5

Another beach view

And a little fun with Picasa

Black-tip reef shark, Baros, Maldives

We love the sharks. So hard to photograph them, though. And they look bigger in the water. These guys are no more than a meter long. We must look really big to them.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Eagle Ray, Baros, Maldives

I think Eagle Rays are my favourites. This clip was filmed by Shuhaina (known by all as Sugar), the expert snorkeler from the Marine Center at Baros, Maldives. She took us on a day snorkel and two night snorkels. Wonderful memories! She's got a eye for spotting fish and other creatures that I would swim right past, and of course she takes great pictures!

The currents on the house reef were quite strong when we were there, so you would glide past at quite a speed without having to kick at all. And when we'd get to the end, Sugar would ask "Do you want to go again?" Yes!

Yoga on the beach

Well, not quite on the beach, but pretty close.

I enjoyed my yoga sessions with Abimanhyu, the yoga teacher at Baros, Maldives.

I'm not quite as flexible as I thought I was!

Travel Sketches - 4

Quality will only come after quantity - that's a lesson I learned from my current favourite book on drawing and sketching. In other words, practise practise practise. What you sketch may not be very good at first, but you will only get better if you keep practising!

So, yes, this one definitely falls in the category of quantity rather than quality.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hermit Crab

The Wildlife of the Maldives - Lizard

Isn't he a beauty?

Baros - panorama

A panoramic view of the sea and sky at Baros, Maldives :

Travel Sketches - 2

I was on a roll! Second sketch of the day - the plane's engine!

Travel sketches - 1

On this holiday, I finally found the secret to sketching regularly: it is to have a very small notebook that I could carry with me the whole time and whip up without being noticed. 

I'm not a confident sketcher - I would not be able to cope with people wanting to have a look at what I'm drawing. (I can hear you say "but you have no problem sharing these same sketches on the web" - I know; it makes no sense) So having a small Moleskine made a big difference for me. I carried it in my handbag or in my hand everywhere we went (except in the water, where a Lumix camera was my tool of choice) and I did little drawings of things that caught my eye. Like the light fixture and light patterns on the wall in the DAA lounge in Dublin airport.

Anemone and anemone fish

From Baros's coral nursery.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Copying is good

While I've been gelli-printing, I haven't abandoned my goal to draw more. This book I'm reading at the moment, Freehand Drawing and Discovery, is a real inspiration. 

For years Ive been struggling between drawing exactly what I see (which I find overwhelming) and oversimplifying (which ends up looking like the drawings I did when I was 8). This book is helping me find a happy medium.

Another thing I've been struggling with is this thing about finding your own style, and that style being good enough. Well, James Richards says, worry about quantity first - draw every day - and quality will come along the way.  I'm not quite there yet, but I do try!

And a third thing I was worried about was copying other artists. Well, he says, copy copy copy. You will learn a lot from it, and you will develop the "muscle memory" that will help you hone your skills. This little drawing wasn't quite a copy, but let's say it was heavily inspired by one of Mr. Richards' drawings.

Like all the other drawings I've done recently, this one was Made with Paper

Sea at Killiney III

I've never done by series of paintings before. I'm only at 3 of 15 in this Sea at Killiney theme, but I do find it's difficult to replicate the freshness and energy of the first print. Of course I didn't keep track of how I did it, and I can't seem to print/paint good waves again! I know I used an old credit card, but how exactly, I'm not sure. And that's when the left side of the brain kicks in, the little voice in my head that tells me I can't draw can't paint. But we'll soldier on. I'm determined to explore this theme to its bitter end! Surely I'll be able to produce something half good along the way!