Wednesday, January 04, 2012

For Ronald

The great Ronald Searle passed away last week - my correspondence with him will be sorely missed but his influence on my work will remain.  We didn't meet often enough that I would consider him a mentor but I was able to show him some of my drawings and get advice from this master of reportage. He was always encouraging and positive about my work-the fact that he was even interested was astounding to me!

Out and about over the holidays I managed to make some quick location sketches around Portland, Oregon.  These were done rapidly, on the hoof, as it was a lot colder and wetter up north!

Vignette views of downtown Portland

Free standing wall in the Pearl District
'The Steel Bridge'

'The old oak'

Native American lodge recreation at Ridgefield

Back in San Francisco I passed a couple of days in and around Chinatown where I was able to make longer studies.  I've learnt a lot from studying Searle's location sketch work and always have him in mind when I'm drawing.  The example he set of sheer discipline and prolific output keeps me going on the days when I think I suck or can't be bothered!

Grant Avenue

Fruit & veg market on Grant & Pacific

Washington & Grant

Cable car intersection at California & Powell

McTeagues on Polk St.


docnad said...

These are fine drawings, Matt. I think Searle would have loved to sit right beside you and draw that Portland theatre marquee, exaggerating its garish opulence into some baroque critique of America's material culture. But even where I can feel his influence in your drawings, these are definitely unique, individual compositions in your own bold style. Keep it up.

stefan marjoram said...

Terrific sketches - as always. I was very touched by your piece on Ronald on Cartoon Brew too. I recently read a biography and he sounded like a wonderful and very interesting person - you're very lucky to have known him however briefly. I'm sure he loved looking at your work - there's a lot to like. Are you ever tempted to have a go with some scratchy dip-pens?

Alan said...

Great shame about Ronald Searle, a consummate draughtsman and artist. By all accounts a lovely man. The drawings he did while a prisoner of war are a testament to his passion.
Your drawings are a fitting tribute: lovely. San Fran, especially Washington and Grant, is beautifully captured. The old oak is amazing: you've captured everything important about its beauty and character in such a simple way

Anonymous said...

Sad times for Mister Searle's passing. Thanks very much for making the tribute blog!

Jamie Iles said...

I was shocked when I heard about Ronald Searle. For some reason I always imagined he'd live forever.

Some very beautiful sketches as well! What sort of pens do you use out of curiousity?

Kendra Melton said...

It was so sad to hear of Searle passing, but what a full life he had. And thanks to your passion his legacy will live on.

On another note these are fantastic, absolutely love the china town sketches. You captured the architecture beautifully!

JP said...

Lovely swoop and flow, and the scratchy drybrushy bits. yum.

Kenji Ono said...

these are gorgeous drawings, Matt.

Drazen said...

Great stuff Matt!
You very fortunate to hang out with the great man.