Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Art Nook

A while back I posted about reinstating the sideboard after a brief dabble with a desk. I now sit under the stairs in a little slope-ceilinged nook to blog, edit photos and so on. Not the most comfortable of places but I still like it. My sewing box lives here along with an anglepoise lamp and several portfolio cases with my drawings and prints inside.

I brought these two Mark Hearld birdies back from the Angie Lewin exhibition last week. They're actually greeting cards but I've hung them up on invisible thread. They move about in the breeze (draught). Joe likes them and so do I.

I purchased one or two other things too and will share later this week.

These little push pins are quite cute. I like the grungy font and were from Sainsburys of all places. They're holding all my bits and pieces up on my mood/noticeboard. Apologies for the grainy photos by the way. My Nook doesn't get much daylight, especially at this time of the year when the sun's so low in the sky.

Being super-organised is my Thing. So I got real pleasure from packing my bag on Thursday evening for my art class. Apron, pens, pencils - and a new sketchpad (Sainsburys again). I'm a sucker for stationery, what can I say?

My drawing board lives under the stairs too. And the above drawing... well, where to begin?

We started our course last week by making our own paper. Messy but fun. The we moved onto some drawing. It was at this point that I left my comfort zone well and truly behind.

My style of art, handwriting, even bed-making (it's a standing joke in our house) is very neat, precise and considered. So when our tutor Emily instructed us to draw the person opposite without a) looking down at the paper or b) taking our charcoals/graphite sticks/pens off it I had a moment of mild panic. It's a natural compulsion to look at what you're doing. And I'm continually rubbing out and re-starting my work. It was difficult.

This is the result. The lady opposite was far more attractive (and a couple of decades younger) than this depiction. The whole exercise was about 'letting go'. It may take some more practice - old habits die hard. I'm still looking forward to this week's class though.

And I've discovered a new love for graphite sticks. Must buy some.


  1. Your nook sounds cosy and inviting - ideal for a creative mind. I adore stationery too. I'd sooner have a packet of new pencils than a packet of biscuits, and I love biscuits!

    1. Me too! Although baking biscuits and buying pencils could be a good compromise ;)

  2. Those birds are so pretty and I can completely relate to neat and precise!

    1. It's terrible! I wouldn't class myself as obsessive compulsive but everything most definitely has its place and I can't relax unless everything's where it should be... handy when it comes to people coming to view the house though as it's never more than 5 minutes from tidiness!

  3. I like the sound of your nook. I blog and craft from the dining room table which is annoying as I'm forever clearing things away so that we can eat and my stuff is all over the house. I'd love a nook. And your sketch is very good, much better than anything I could create!

    I'm a big fan of Mark Hearld's work and recently saw a lovely book he's done for kids ("A Very First Book of Nature") which I want to buy them for Christmas, but really it will be for me, of course... x

  4. Thank you! We're going to be doing life drawing in a few weeks (luckily the model will be fully clothed) and I'm not looking forward to that particular challenge... it feels like I've got an exam looming or something! The art nook is nice but very cramped and if I want any real space I too have to decamp to the table (tiny as well - it only seats a few people). Sometimes when I'm drawing I just balance things on my knee. I would really love a room to work in.

    Funnily enough the Mark Hearld book is the first one I ever bought for Joe. I wanted to get something special and it really is lovely. I wrote a little message inside the front cover too. I've read it several times but it lives on a high shelf well out of reach of grubby little paws. So yes, it was a present for the both of us!

    I'd definitely recommend it 'for the children' x

  5. Your little nook sounds like a great place to work, I love the hanging birds. Your drawing looks great, I can remember doing that challenge of not looking when I did life drawing, its really quite tricky! xx

  6. I know! Never tried it before - everyone was laughing at me because I must have looked horrified! I assumed this course would be a breeze due to it's being a 'leisure' course but it isn't! I'm being dragged out of my cosy little rut x

  7. We love Mark Hearld in our house too - my little one has a MH bird hanging from her light (it does make some rather creepy shadows though...!)
    Your little nook sounds great - I've love a little corner like that. Your art class sounds good fun - I too would be terrified by the thought of drawing without looking - your sketch looks good though (if a little like an elderly cross-dresser....!!!) x

  8. That's true! A bit Dame Edna... I hate drawing people. I'm scared of causing offence. Which is probably why I've been watching the Portrait Artist of the Year thing on Sky Arts - the artists are awe-inspiring!

    I'm now thinking of a way to make those paper birds cast shadows on the wall... :)


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