Today this scene in my bedroom...
... may have led to this sketch:
And I realised for the last few days I must have been inspired by the colours of my breakfast:
detail of another work-in-progress
Swans and light
Knitting for a tiny human
In the last few weeks I have taken a million pictures of the view from my window, after realising that I was -almost- taking my beautiful surroundings for granted. Now I have made it a habit to look out for and document the changing light and weather patterns across the bay, even if that means interrupting a guest mid-sentence and rushing outside to take a photo. I am using these for two different projects.
"When he draws, Ungerer never uses an eraser, preferring to redraw something as often as 30 times to get it right, but without losing the spontaneity. He is rarely satisfied, and hates to look back at his work."
I was delighted to read in this recent Guardian Review article that Phaidon Press is republishing Tomi Ungerer's books. He is an incredibly prolific author and illustrator.
The illustration below is from No Kiss For Mother (1973); since I have a penchant for grumpy cats, this book is on my wish list.
"Many artists have spoken of the lifelong search for the 'innocent eye' in their work. In other words, they are expressing a desire to unlearn, to cast off skills and mannerisms and learn to see the world through the eyes of a child. Such a common yearning reveals the subtle relationship between artistic vision and the means by which we articulate it - how facility or skill can begin to feel as if it is getting in the way of pure expression."
( Salisbury, Martin and Morag Styles: Children's Picturebooks. The Art of Visual Storytelling; Laurence King, London 2012, p.56)
A beautiful book on the history and the art of the picturebook with examples from various countries, interviews with illustrators and case studies.
_"Life doesn't last; art doesn't last. It doesn't matter." (Eva Hesse)
Eva Hesse (1936-1970) is best known as an innovative sculptor working with unusual (and fragile, perishable) materials such as latex. This book focuses on the importance of her drawings, both as preparation for her sculptural work and as finished pieces in their own right. I love her line and find her work very moving, especially the drawings incorporating circles. I have an obsession with circles (Patrick Scott's work comes to mind - we have some of his tapestries in the University's art collection.)
This book was a gift from a dear friend and artist and is one I keep revisiting.
_[De Zegher, Catherine (editor): Eva Hesse Drawing; The Drawing Centre, Yale University Press, 2006]
(Not sure why I am reading Rilke in translation when I could read him in the original, but I couldn't resist this beautiful edition.)
"If your everyday life seems to lack material, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to summon up its riches; for there is no lack for him who creates and no poor, trivial place." (p.8)
"[M]ost events are unsayable, occur in a space that no word has ever penetrated, and most unsayable of all are works of art, mysterious existences whose life endures alongside ours, which passes away" (p.6)
"Physical desire [...] is a great and endless feeling which is granted to us, a way of knowing the world, the fullness and the splendour of all knowledge." (p.24)
"What is needed is this, and this alone: solitude, great inner loneliness [...] Loneliness of the kind one knew as a child [...] Why wish to exchange a child's wise incomprehension for rejection and contempt, when incomprehension is solitude, whereas rejection and contempt are ways of participating in what, by precisely these means, you want to sever yourself from?" (pp.34f.)
Rilke, Rainer Maria: Letters to a Young Poet, Penguin Classics, London 2011
I haven't bought any art materials for myself in months. These days, it's the colours and texture of yarn that I'm drawn to - there is such a good selection available at the moment. The dark evenings seem more conducive to spending time on the couch knitting and listening to podcasts than standing in front of the easel with artificial light. Ok, that's an excuse - I do spend a big chunk of time each week in my house during the day.
I am drawing quite a bit, though - no photos yet -, and I remember last winter I got into a nice routine of working on illustrations every evening at my kitchen table, where it was warmer than in my studio, with TED talks as company. I must do that again.