Artist’s Funk – Cacti Drawing

That feeling when you know you want to make, but you don’t know where to start, and you don’t ‘feel’ strongly enough about anything to make a start, and anything you touch just ends up looking like crap, which makes you feel frustrated and that you are rubbish. Then you are in a ‘funk’ about making in case you just make more terrible art. That’s how it has been for a while, on and off.

Ways to get out of a funk are just to keep drawing, you will draw your way out eventually. Also getting back to basics and keeping things simple can be helpful. I set myself a small exercise, draw 4 different views of a cactus in simple lines. Keeping to 3 colours for each drawing, use block colour and line to fill in. Aim is to practice observation and drawing without getting hung-up about ‘doing’ and the output. Happily for me I actually produced something in the these drawings that I think is worth exploring further.

 (© Catherine Cronin)

Flower Screenprint

I hadn’t done screenprinting in many years until recently when I signed up for a beginners class at City Lit. Here are the results of that short course, a multi-layered Flower print. The prints with the most colours were created by printing a rectangle of block colour (orange and blue);  using a paper stencil to create the green colour of leaf, stem and flower petals in part; and then the photo-stencil of my flower line drawing in red or black ink. For some of the prints I off-set the photo-stencil and printed it a second time which makes those prints a bit hard to look at! a bit psychedelic! I also printed the flower photo-stencil on its own and I intend to work into these prints with drawing inks. Fun times! I’m looking forward to making more screenprints.

(© Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – Centaurea Clementei – 04/07/2016

I haven’t been able to find the time to post my weekly sketches recently; here is one from May after a visit to Kew Gardens. ‘Centaurea Clementei’ a wildflower of Andalucia, it has lovely silvery velvet soft foliage and a fantastic spiky yellow flower head like a thistle. I’ve drawn it in marker pens for which I had limited colours, hence the difference in colour.

Centaurea Clementei

Centaurea-Clementei-2-CCroninweb Centaurea-Clementei-CCroninweb

(© Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – Blackberries – 15/05/2016

Blackberries in watercolour pencil; I don’t normally do drawings on the pale side, but I have to say I am pleased with this one.



(© Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – Cardoon Seedheads – 16/04/2016


Cardoon seedheads are wonderful to draw, globe shaped with tough outer spines and fluffy filaments.








(© Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – Japanese Anenome – 06/16/2015

I am working on a new design for a linocut print of a japanese anenome flower. I love growing colourful flowers on my balcony; I am fascinated by the variety of form, function and colours; the change from bud to bloom to seedhead. I am working towards doing a series of flower prints. I am cutting the lino currently for the first design I did for ‘Marigold’, which has set the tone to start the series, bold and graphic. I might try a few more variations before settling on the final design for the japanese anenome, but I am liking the bottom right image the best.


(© Catherine Cronin)


Weekly Sketch – Garden at the Alcazaba of Málaga 3 – 23/04/2015

A very different image of the garden at the Alcazaba of Málaga as compared to the previous weeks’ watercolour renditions; this one is a very considered line drawing in fountain pen on textured watercolour paper, inspired by Edward Bawden’s graphic work. I didn’t do an under-drawing, so I knew any mistakes would have to stay. Overall I am pleased with the image, I like the different mark making to describe texture and shape; I especially like the hedged rose beds and the tree forms, however I think the wall at the back is a bit weak – it looks more like a fence! In hindsight I should have continued the brick forms seen in the wall on the right. Oh well, it’s always a learning curve this game we play called making.





(© Catherine Cronin)