Thursday, 21 April 2011

Throwing or keeping

All the creative people I talked to have very different opinions on the throwing or keeping of what doesn't entirely satisfy them. Do you paint over the same canvas ten times, do you hide the works that upset you at the bottom of a drawer, or do you rip them and recycle them into a collage? I tell myself that there are no mistakes in art, that everything is ultimately good. But this approach sometimes stops me from doing as much art as I would like to, lest I discover that I am wrong and that some drawings and paintings are just plain rubbish and should leave the planet quickly and quietly. So, this bycicle should have been my first sacrificial victim, but then it just broke my heart, and I couldn't get myself to kill it. Not just that, I am even sharing it with you! I drew it using my grandfather's old stack of wax crayons and coloured pencils from the 1950s. Ultimately, there is nothing right about this drawing, and yet, this poor bycicle, whose handles are so far away from the saddle that only a monkey could possibly ride it, is still somehow sweet looking, in its humble way, and begged me not to bin it. Next time, I will get tougher, though, I will learn to throw. Or not?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Flotsam and jetsam

The private beaches in Venice Lido open for the season in mid-May. During the rest of the year there is public access and there are only a handful of people dipping their feet into the water or walking up the piers. There are great amounts of driftwood and all sorts of things brought on shore by the sea during the winter months. I am fascinated by this kind of findings, sometimes mysterious treasures, other times, just plain rubbish. As I was rummaging through the debris, looking for bits of brick and glass pebbles, chips of boulders and other fun stuff to decorate my garden with, I saw a guy looking around the same area, even lifting and observing a broken buoy. I wondered what he was up to, but then he vanished and I continued my search on my own. About an hour later, I walked back to the main exit and saw more jetsam and flotsam, but when I stopped to look at it more carefully, I realised that it was an installation, a sculpture, a piece of artwork, and I had no doubt as to who the artist was.
A wonderful piece of land art made with debris from the sea

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Sketching in Southbank

I went to Southbank yesterday with a group of sketchers. The sun was out (sort of) and there were thousands of people. I hadn't done any outdoors sketching in a long time, and never in a group, and I really enjoyed it. I've also been doing a bit of street photography lately, and I'm amazed by how your relationship with the world changes, when you take the time to observe it. How many interesting things you can discover about places and people. It really is an adventure. I wonder why we open up to things only when we travel abroad and we seem to ignore what is around us in our everyday life.