Weekly Sketch – Cactus Collage – 26/03/2017

I’ve been playing around with painting textures and patterns on paper; then used them to make this cactus collage. The very bright green small cactus arm is one of those coffee cup cardboard holders; I used it to print the green zig-zags on the cactus arm behind it, then decided I quite liked it just as it was painted.

(© Catherine Cronin)

 

Weekly Sketch – After Paolozzi – 19/03/2017

I visited the Eduardo Paolozzi exhibition at the Whitechapel gallery yesterday, and it fair took my breath away, leaving me inspired and a bit overexcited! All I can say is go, go, go! I especially loved the lower ground floor which included work from the 1940s through to the 60s. His early drawings, prints and sculptures really spoke to me – they were intense, energetic and (his prints) full of amazing colour combinations. His print work is so interesting because up close it is full of lots of detail, but the prints still work from far away – clever stuff.

As usual the gallery have provided an amazing catalogue to accompany the exhibition, including great images of all the work displayed. I managed to get a very good discount (alomost £10 off rrp) on the paperback from Wordery (a few remaining at a discounted price).

Here is a pen drawing from me of Paolozzi’s brutalist concrete sculpture Seagull & Fish; and then I tried to emulate the lines in a drawing of a barn owl – which I like, thought it isn’t very brutal!

And here are two images from the exhibition to whet your appetite:

Fish, collage and ink, about 1946, Eduardo Paolozzi

https://art.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/38102/fish-about-1946?artists%5B20399%5D=20399&search_set_offset=30

 

Parrot from the portfolio As is When, screenprint, 1965, Eduardo Paolozzi

 

(© Catherine Cronin)

 

Weekly Sketch – Alhambra Garden 2 – 28/02/2017

I’m enjoying drawing with chisel tip marker pens at the moment; this is another drawing of a courtyard garden at the Alhambra.

Alhambra Garden 2 © Catherine Cronin

 

Alhambra Garden 2 © Catherine Cronin

(© Catherine Cronin)

 

Weekly Sketch – Alhambra Garden – 22/02/2017

Remembering sunnier days abroad; permanent marker pen drawing of a courtyard garden at the Alhambra, wish I was there now.

Alhambra Garden © Catherine Cronin

Alhambra Garden © Catherine Cronin

(© Catherine Cronin)

 

Weekly Sketch – Little Owl – 12/02/2017

I’m working on capturing the characteristics of a full set of five English owls. This is the last owl, the Little Owl, which was actually introduced here in the 19th century. I am still paying attention to pattern, colour and simple forms. I have in mind to work up all these owl images into final pen and watercolour pictures and printed editions. I took these photos today in the gloom so there are some shadows on them that I couldn’t fix.

 

Some facts about Little Owls are:

1) As the name suggests the little owl is the smallest owl to be found in Britain, it is only 22cm long and it weighs a third as much as a Tawny Owl.

2) Little Owls can live up to 16 years; but many do not reach maturity being killed by harsh winters, predators and road vehicles, so their average life span is only 3 years.

3) This is the owl that is closely associated with the Greek goddess Athena and the Roman goddess Minerva; representing wisdom and knowledge. The genus name Athene commemorates the goddess, whose original role as a goddess of the night might explain the link to an owl. The species name noctua has, in effect, the same meaning, being the Latin name of an owl sacred to Minerva, Athena’s Roman counterpart.

4) Little Owls feed mostly on insects and small rodents; and they love eating earthworms after it has rained. But they also prey on amphibians, birds and on occasion rabbits! As well as swooping down on prey from an elevated position these owls will also hunt on foot, running to capture their prey.

5) In the UK the Little Owl prefers lowland farmland with hedges and copses, parkland and orchards. Males are sedentary, remaining in their territory throughout the year.

(© Catherine Cronin)

 

Weekly Sketch – Short-eared Owl – 28/01/2017

I’m working towards a full set of five English owls. So far I have captured the characteristics of the Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, and Long-eared Owl. This week number four is the Short-eared Owl. I am still paying attention to pattern, colour and simple forms. Unfortunately I ran dry my favourite black markers, so I ended up using green and dark red markers instead.

Some facts about Short-eared Owls are:

1) Short-eared owls are one of the world’s most widely distributed owls, and among the most frequently seen in daylight; often seen hunting over open ground such as grassland. However they do most of their hunting at night; daylight hunting seems to coincide with periods of high-activity in their prey, voles.

2) Their habitats also include coastal grasslands, heathlands, meadows, shrubsteppe, savanna, tundra, marshes, dunes, and agricultural areas.

3) As suggested by their global distribution, these owls travel long distances including navigating oceans; it has been reported that these owls have been seen alighting on ships hundreds of miles from land.

4) These owls nest on the ground. The female will scrape a bowl out of the ground and line it with grasses and feathers; they will often build their nest atop the nest from the previous year. Nests are about 10 inches across and 2 inches tall. They will lay between 1-11 eggs.

5) The Latin name for this owl is Asio flammeus; Asio meaning a type of eared owl and flammeus meaning flame-coloured. This owl has short ear tufts which are hard to see and as in the Long-eared Owl have nothing to do with the owls’ ears!

(© Catherine Cronin)

 

Weekly Sketch – Oak Leaves & Acorn Collage – 01/12/2016

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog lately due to preparing for two Christmas Fairs. I’ll be at the Horniman Museum this weekend, it looks like it will be a very merry affair and it is free, you can find all the details here: http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/horniman-christmas-fair

I’ve been playing with drawn collage which is a good way of finding out how to balance different elements of your picture. I think this collage of oak leaves and acorn could make for a bold linocut print, what do you think?

englishoakacorncollageccronin_web

 

(© Catherine Cronin)