Amongst other happenings this summer – life seems to have taken a more creative turn.
In addition to designing (and completing) a few websites, I’ve been putting paintbrush to paper for the first time in several months.
At various points in my life, I’ve dabbled in most mediums; pastels, pencils, pens, watercolour, gouache, acrylic and oils, but I have two reasons (er some might say excuses) for the almost complete lack of results.
Step forward Erin Hill. Erin is a graphic designer, fine artist, watercolourist, gallery owner and International Sketch Tutor based in Sydney, Australia.
Erin is spending a lot of time based in France at the moment planning a Sketching Holiday for summer 2017. I’ve been lucky enough to work with her and learn the foundations of her technique – a system she devised so that anyone, with little or no artistic experience can get sketching straightaway, and still produce impressive results.
Erin’s approach to sketching appeals to me in more ways than one.
First of all, it’s literally ‘on the move’ so there’s no real need for table space, storage space and a bucket load of different pots and palettes. Her ‘kit’ fits in one neat petite bag.
Plus, the whole essence of the technique is to work quickly – so it doesn’t need to take weeks and weeks to finish (or often not finish in my case) a single painting.
Secondly, and perhaps just as important, is that it’s a lot of fun. There’s no pressure, no ‘wrong’ way to sketch, because it’s all about capturing an impression, the essence of the moment.
It’s kind of like sending an SMS with a paintbrush – or a sketchbook version of Twitter.
The Erin Hill technique is perfect for busy people, or someone that fears they cannot draw, but would really like to try. (If you think it’s something for you, workshops and regular courses will be taking place in Languedoc from January 2017, so sign-up via Erin’s website if you would like to know more …)
I digress. Back to the attic.
On one extremely hot day, Erin and I did a pencil sketch of the vines above the village. We returned to the house to rehydrate and it was an unexpected and unusual opportunity for our ‘resident’ artist to meet another from across the globe.
Libby and Erin spent quite some time chatting about venues, exhibitions, techniques and such. I think they’ll stay in touch :-)