Sunday 26 April 2015

Fun with Sktchy

Experimentation is a key to the creative process. This is exactly what I’ve been doing this week. An app for creating portraits called Sktchy provided the inspiration.

As the blurb on the app preview says:
When you share a photo on Sktchy, it’s not for likes it’s to inspire. So here are some of my first attempts and it’s been great fun.

Gazing into your soul watercolour and graphite © Carol Lee Beckx

When you view the art on the app, a swipe to the right reveals the source photograph so you can see the reference. I've combined both reference and artwork using another app called Diptic (sad, I know, but I do love to play with technology)   

Melanie - Ink © Carol Lee Beckx

Ice Cream - watercolour and graphite © Carol Lee Beckx

And it’s a lot of fun to collect “Wows” for your work – and don’t we all love a pat on the back? So why don't you join me?

Disclaimer: Since I love mostly free apps, I don't receive any commission...

Thursday 16 April 2015

Overcoming Handicaps as an artist

Making a Mark is one of my favourite art blogs.It's packed full of resources for artists.  A recent post introduced me to Sargy Mann, an artist who lived and worked in the UK. He died recently on the 5th April 2015. 

The remarkable and inspiring thing about Sargy Mann is that he continued to paint wonderful paintings after his poor eyesight had developed into total blindness. 

There are a number of videos about Sargy Mann and his paintings. These are really worth watching. I particularly enjoyed the video produced by his son, Peter filmed shortly before his blindness was total. It gives insight into some of the practical devices he used to execute the paintings. The above link is a preview. A link to the full film is on Peter Mann's website.

If ever you are feeling sorry for yourself or struggling with inspiration his attitude to his blindness is a reminder that others have it harder than you. He found ways to cope with his problems and create wonderful paintings. 

There are many afflictions that will hinder a visual artist - and the loss of one's eyesight is perhaps one of the hardest. When I lived in South Africa, I enjoyed a weekly painting session in Pascale Chandler's studio. One of the artists was my friend Molly Stiebel. As the years went by, her eyesight deteriorated but she persevered and continued to paint. Her paintings were loose and soft focus but so imbued with feeling and colour. I am the proud owner of two of her paintings.   

Raspberry Cream - oil on canvas - Mollie Stiebel 

Pears - oil on canvas - Mollie Stiebel


Saturday 4 April 2015

Betty Churcher RIP

Last year an interview introduced me to Betty Churcher who passed away this week. When Betty realised that her eyesight was failing she decided the best way to capture and remember her favourite paintings would be to draw them. During her long and illustrious career as curator of National Gallery of Australia she had the resources to travel and see some of the world's masterpieces.

Notebooks a collection of these drawings accompanied by her thoughts on the various art works. In most cases Betty has focussed on a section, a part of the whole - a small delight. By drawing one looks really closely and one's enjoyment is amplified so much. 

So often when visiting an art gallery, one is tempted to see everything. How much better it would be to rather take it slowly and enjoy a few selected pieces?

Betty Churcher's last book was a follow-up to the first - Australian Notebook. In this volume she looks at the paintings in Australian art museums. Again her recollections of her favourite pieces are enhanced by her wonderful drawings.

And today I have learned of one more book The Forgotten Notebook.  Sally Heath talks about working with Betty on this book. This last treasure will be published this year - I look forward to it.