27.8.10

A bit rubbish but fun

So last Sunday was a beautifully hot day and I strode forth laden with art equipment. Trip-trap, trip-trap across the troll bridge, plonking myself down near a favourite line of horse chestnuts.

I soon realised that having done naff all observational work for twenty odd years, I was, to put it mildly, out of practise.

But it was fun - and that was the point. I learned about what I was bad at and what I didn't know, which I will use next time.

After my first fumbling effort I bravely sought another sketching spot, walking a mile or so across the fields and up to the oak trees which straddle the top of this hill.

I had a messy little picnic of three boiled eggs, a somewhat melted chocolate bar and orange squash, then did some more scribbling. The sun had gone in and the colours flattened. I was even less impressed with my second attempt.

But, you know, I was out in the sun and air on my own for nearly five hours, walked over five miles round and round about, exercised artistic muscles which haven't been flexed for a long time and had a jolly good time doing it. I've also been incredibly touched and soothed by so many lovely, kind comments on my last post; thank you for making me feel a lot better than I did.



28 comments:

Erica-Jane said...

Hi Aunty Gretel,

You'll be totally au fait with the pastels in a week or too, I shink. Can't wait to see the results...just don't forget to bring your scratchy blades, some water and perhaps some bleach to 'sex it up' ??
Fab photos, as per usual :0)

Southern Lady said...

Oh how I wish that I could do half as well as you with art. I wouldn't even know where to start to use pastels. It sounds like a perfectly wonderful experience for you surrounded by such beauty. Carla

rachel said...

A bit rubbish?? I don't think so! Looks pretty good to me. Some of us would have deposited some chocolatey fingerprints, drawn some stick men, and given up, to have a nap in the sun.....

Yarrow said...

Hi Gretel, I'm glad you're back, I'be missed you sooo much. I don't know how I missed your earlier post. Family, sheesh, in the same spot as you my dear! I try avoidance as much as possible too!

I love your sketches and the pastel work too. It all looks so lovely to me, you're too hard on yourself.

Take care and I think your mojo is coming back with the fresh air.x

janet said...

Just experimenting and playing around is half the fun of being creative! It's all a learning process, but you already know that. I love the first photo of the horse chestnut trees...great sky. So happy to see you out and about with no looming deadline...just leisure time...Enjoy!

Your friend,
Janet xox

PS...and yes, we did borrow those red, white and blue's..thank you very much ;-)
They look good on both of us

Lyn said...

I do believe you have to just keep going, the more you sketch the better you feel about the results, keep going!
love
Lyn
xxx

Mike Woodcock said...

Ah! Well now we can look forward to stunning en plein air landscapes from your fair hand too. Glad you've vanquished the demon deadlines and a little sanity can return.

Shona said...

They're lovely and straight from the hand as they should be when you're sitting in a field and drinking it all in :)

Sweet Birdy Love said...

Hey Gretel, lovely photos, sounds like you had quite an enjoyable time, despite your frustration with your pictures, which i think look pretty darn good.

Like the sound of your picnic, 3 boiled eggs,what more do you need. It's the sort of picnic Enid Blyton would have written about in one of her stories.
Can't believe I actually missed your last post, but so glad your are back on track and feeling better. Hope you have a nice, sunny weekend and manage to drag the pastels out again.
Sunshine and blue sky as far as the eye can see, here, this morning.

Claire X

knutty knitter said...

I'm not much with colour in sketches. Mostly use a black aquarelle and a small notebook which live in my bag along with a rubber and a sharpener and a camera.

I adore colour in my work though - go figure :)

Your landscapes are just so different from ours too. Much softer and a different green (judging by the photos anyhow.

Those sketches look fine to me - especially if you are doing them after a long break. That always affects things.

viv in nz

Frances said...

PG, I am also very out of practice. In every medium that I used to feel fluent.

Also losing the ability to speak, write, understand French.

Same story line, I have just let go many practices that are dear to me. See...I said are dear, not were dear.

Let's see if each of us, and others who might just feel the same, might find some hours left in this year 2010, to get back in touch with lapsed loves and talents.

Oh...I do envy you those landscapes you can reach on foot or bike! No excuse for my own idleness, but I do envy you those beautiful landscapes.

Loved the photo of the edge of your hand getting that pastel coating. Memories....

Best wishes. xo

dowhatyoulove said...

Sounds like a most lovely day out enjoying nature and yourself! Love your work, I wish I could go plop down and do half as good as that in just a couple hours!

dowhatyoulove said...

Sounds like a most lovely day out enjoying nature and yourself! Love your work, I wish I could go plop down and do half as good as that in just a couple hours!

Joan said...

I think you are doing wonderfully .. I love the second with its layers of fields. I know all about trusting and letting go.

Soozcat said...

I'd be thrilled to be creating work as good as what you call "a bit rubbish," Gretel. There's always that great gulf for artists between what they first imagine and what they actually create. But for those of us who can't see what you imagined, the creative work looks very good.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Oh, not so bad, did they look bette the next day or so? Sounds like a good days "work", hope you get to do it again :)

frayedattheedge said...

You should have had lashings of ginger beer! Your work looks fabulous to me (I think I once sent you an example of mine!!)

Magia da Inês said...

♥♥ Olá, amiga!
Que lindo!
Que delicadeza!...
Seus trabalhos são encantadores.♥♥
Bom fim de semana!...
♥ ...com tudo de bom!
Beijinhos.
♥ Itabira
Brasil ♥♥

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Sounds like the perfect sort of day to me.
Especially the Orange Squash!

Kellie Dobbie said...

I have been longing to go on a sketching escapade like you did. I feel my living room is in dire need of framed artwork and I want it to be my own creation. If I can produce a bit of your "rubbish" by myself, I would happily frame it up and display on my living room. Best regards.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Sounds like a perfect day , unwinding and experimenting with those gorgeous pastels . I'm almost inspired to rush out and get a mini box and have a go .
I wouldn't manage anything like yours but it sounds really fun ..... and I'd do the picnic justice at least !
Sonata .

Elizabeth Rhiannon said...

I'll take that bit of rubbish any day! :) Looks great to me...just wanted to stop by and say hiya. Love your pics as always, take care.

Cathy Holtom said...

I can see why you chose the line of chestnuts, it's a lovely view pulling your eye right down the line. The main thing is to have fun!

Twiglet said...

So glad to see you blogging again - what a lovely chill out walk/ paint/picnic you had. I am sure it was really uplifting to be out and about in the sun in such lovely countryside. I love those little pictures!!!

Sue said...

Similar story here, but the more you do it, you'll relax into it and before you know it, you'll be fluent again. I spent an hour trying to sketch a piece of sea holly with skeleton leaves, on the beach, yesterday. The sketch is stiff and not what I wanted, but I learned something I think!LOL!

Mlle Miracle said...

Hi Gretel, I'm back!
As you have seen in my blog I'm in the middle of a big new adventure.
I'm glad that you managed yourself to take care of your needs. Stress and anxiety are my worst enemies too! That's why I'm making this change in my life. Live in the countryside (and near the sea :)) is what I need now.
I hope you will enjoy the end of the summer making long walks and all the stuff you want to do!

Frances Tyrrell said...

"Trip-trap, trip-trap across the troll bridge", I love it, we could almost be there.
And the enticing rainbow-in-a-box of soft smudging pastels, with those beautiful views - what a perfect way to spend an afternoon, and a well-deserved break after your stretch of work (and I am so looking forward to seeing what you have been doing, when the wraps are officially off).

Jackie said...

Your observations are getting off to a good start. I freeze when I look at a blank page. I'm better with the needle.