Friday, May 29, 2009

Back to the Riviera

Visiting friends last weekend on the French Riviera I couldn't resist popping down to Cannes for the last day of the Film Festival. I didn't see any screenings -I just wanted to sit outside a cafe & sketch the colourful folk passing by.

Here's a view of the old town of Frejus where I stayed.

I made sure to find time to visit one of my favourite art galleries- the Musee Picasso at Antibes.
For years I had a print on the wall of Picasso's 'La Joie de vivre' at home in London. In Antibes they have the original!

Back in Cannes for lunch the day after the festival closed everything was back to normal & the crowds had evaporated.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Life drawing pt.5


Hopped over to Amsterdam last weekend to visit my good pal & awesome artist Gerby. It's a great city to explore on foot, strolling around the canals & skinny houses is very relaxing. With such a short visit I had to limit the cultural visits; we got to the Van Gogh Museum & Rembrandt's house, but had to leave the Rijksmuseum for another time.

Rembrandt's house was very impressive. To see where the master lived & worked, and the recreation of his studio & household really was remarkable.

It was fascinating to see the collection of 'reference' objects Rembrandt kept. Classical busts, animal skulls, stuffed crocodiles, tribal weaponry-there was even a sabre tooth tiger skull- how did he get that?!

Disappointingly there was not much of Rembrandt's work currently on display. There was however an exhibition on of the work of Rembrandt contemporary Jan Lievens. As a painter he didn't come close to Rembrandt but he was a fine draughtsman.

This drawing of a woodland copse was stunning-right in the far background you can see the artist at work.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life drawing pt.4

I tried a different approach this time, not quite gestural but more like contour drawing.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Bank Holiday

Over the long Bank Holiday weekend last week I headed to London to catch up with my old pals & absorb some culture.

First stop on the agenda was the Prints & Drawings dept. at the British Museum. Pete Weston & I donned the white gloves & dug through all the original Ronald Searle's in the collection. It was fascinating to view the drawings up close & see the details that are lost in the printed books.

Next day we had perfect weather for a fantastic afternoon in the Grillo's garden talking art & animation with Oscar, Patricia, Gerby & Crookie. We took a crash course in the South American version of the Famous Artists Drawing programme & marvelled at footage of Saul Steinberg's shorts.

Oscar had highly recommended the Kuniyoshi exhibition at the Royal Academy so I checked it out the next day. Kuniyoshi was a contemporary & rival of Hokusai. A couple of his sketchbooks were on display. The page above is courtesy of Oscar's blog He thought it bears remarkable similarity to some of Ronald Searle's sketches.

On the last day I caught a screening of CORALINE in 3-D. Breath-taking artistry & gorgeous designs on show. The 3-D effect is quite subtle giving it a view-master feeling. There are really inventive moments & it keeps springing delicious surprises. The fat naked lady, the scottie dogs, the garden & the insect furniture were stand-outs. I was impressed that LAIKA had managed to keep the material pretty dark & hope that they can continue to produce such outstanding films.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Life drawing pt.3

Last week was back to life class to start a 10 week course. I managed to coerce most of the art department & half the story crew of 'Arthur Christmas' into joining the class. We were all somewhat rusty but felt good afterwards having made the effort.

This was a terrific pose with interesting shapes but the fore-shortening was problematic. I really failed with that top knee cap & delineating the orientation of the pelvis & insertion of that near thigh.

This model had a natural elegance which I figured may make an interesting drawing but I got caught up in the tonal work & goofed it up.

This older model had a great silhouette in this pose. I was struck by the negative space formed by the love handle & the tension in that arm.

By this last one I was just loosening up but the class was over & we had to leave!