Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas time!...

... is here again and with the holidays (2 weeks off work!) a good opportunity and more importantly NO EXCUSES for not doing some drawing! Here are some festive objects from around the house.

Firstly, a) some little wooden decorations off the tree...

... these are more recent additions to the Christmas tree decoration collection. While said collection has been updated by my mother a little over the years, I'm always glad to see year after year the hobby horses and shiny clip-on red birds. Although the fact that those still remain makes me wonder if anything has actually been culled to make way for the new ones?? Or does the tree just get busier and busier each year?

b) Mmmmmm. Okay so this wasn't exactly 'from around the house', rather taken from a tin put on a plate put in microwave until pop! It cracked. My very own home-made mince pies cooked with love and brought over from Dublin. I managed to last a good few minutes drawing this particular specimen until the smell of sugar, fruit and rum got the better of me and I had to eat it!

Click on the pictures for high-resolution versions!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The National Gallery

I finally made it to the National Gallery today, which I had been planning to visit since arriving in Dublin 6 weeks ago, and also which is only 5 minutes walk from my work! Actually I had been inside the building just to get some information - asked the nice lady on front desk what period the art was from - was told "Well they're all dead now"... and just remembered I'd planned to try and prove her wrong by finding something by a living artist! Ah well, next time. Anyway she's probably right. They seem to be in the middle of a long long refurbishment project so the majority of the works are in storage, but there's still a good collection of both Irish and international art.


Then moved onto some 1 - 3 minute timed sketches in the international wing. Old Caravaggio-type stuff plus a few sculptures.

La la la la last weekend!

Another sketch, another Dublin statue! This guy is hidden away singing his heart out in a corner of the rather lovely Iveagh Gardens in the city centre. World famous, apparently...

I also went along to the Chester Beatty library on Sunday with the Dublin Sketchers drawing group ( The place is a fantastic collection of all sorts of artistic treasures - illustrations, manuscripts, textiles, decorative items... ALL sorts. My personal favourites were a selection of 16th century Middle Eastern drawings with text of New World people, plants, buildings and animals, which the artist had based on some Italian writings... ok I'm not sure if these details are correct, but anyway, the artist had drawn an armadillo as a bird, and a blue anteater... great place to draw, if a little dark (to preserve all the ancient art!). The sketch on the right is taken from a Japanese print of some famous actor of his time. He should be holding a big yellow chair over his head but I ran out of time / space!

Monday, 9 June 2014

The Dead Zoo

Sketches from a visit to the Natural History Museum in Dublin.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

New country, new post!

Very very very long time no blogpost... but that will all be changing as I have a whole new city to serve as inspiration - having been relocated to Dublin, Ireland!

One of the first things I did upon arriving was look up drawing classes etc. I found a local sketching group and below are the results from my first outing with them. We met in a big busy cafe in the city centre, famous for its opulent art-nouveau style interior (not going to name and shame but if you've been to Dublin, you've probably been there), less famous for its impatient and unwelcoming staff, trying to move me on while only half-way through my coffee... and I hadn't even got my sketch book out at this stage! Needless to say when I did so, it didn't go down too well with the waiters. Hmm!! So this was all I managed in there...

So I decided to head to nearby St Stephen's Green as no-one would be kicking me out of there, not till sunset anyway (which incidentally is about 21:45 round here!), and found some nice sculptures to sketch. Firstly this bloke, who internet research tells me was a Bengali polymath, and also the only non-Irish person to have a statue on the green.

Secondly this bloke, who is quite famous round these parts.