I am one week away from flying off to Scotland to collect my lovely friend, Michelle Ives and then travel on to Ireland ato take a workshop at Ballinglen Arts Foundation. Michelle is not facilitating the workshop, but accompanying me as fellow painter and gin-swigger whilst we learn all we can from English painter, Andrew Wykes.
We have been planning this workshop since November last year and I had earmarked Andrew as a "one to watch" for workshops long time ago. Andrew has this wonderful style and he uses planes and allusions to draughting lines in his work that make s it so fresh and appealing...well, to me, that is. Michelle does not need to go on a workshop because she is just so damned good at anything she does anyway, but I like her company and she is the calmest person I have ever met, which put a nice brake on my frenetic style of being. Also, I begged her to come, so she said yes. Also, she drinks gin. Are you sensing a theme?
Whilst this is a workshop based on DRAWING the landscape, we are both taking our plein air pochades with us because i sense there may be opportunity to knock out a plein air painting every now and then. How could we not?!!
So this was me in Tasmania, painting amongst the snakes, wallabies and other feral and highly toxic beasties. Agreed, I saw none of the above but I sensed their beady little eyes watching me, looking for a gap to sink their fangs, claws and appendages into my butt as I sat trying to be in the zone and paint plein air . Trust me, I wielded that palettes knife in a knowing way and they left me alone but I look forward to Ireland's "No Fecking Snakes" policy, let me tell you. Not sure if Scotland has the same policy , but hopefully the only thing biting me in the butt will be a hangover.
Ok, all talk of carousing aside, I have high hopes for some good learning whilst I am away. I like drawing , I just don't do enough of it because I like paint better. Having said that, drawing underpins painting so maybe it means I am going to expand my horizons and really get into it. It's an 8 day workshop...I had BETTER get into it!
I promise to post photos on Instagram but I won't be blogging because I am not taking all my iPads etc with me...just my phone and blogging on the phone sucks harder than salt cured lemons on a snails arse ( yes, I made that up.)
Did y'all know I am on Instagram? I am. It's sort of my favourite social media platform at the moment. FB is a bit naff( those algorithms did us no favours) and this blog platform..well, I almost forgot about it myself so you know how that is going.
Back to Tasmania.
Tasmania is brilliant. The Tasmanians refer to the island as the " Mainland" and to Australia the continent as "The North Island" . That says it all. Tasmania and the nicest Australians I have met...laid back, friendly and sharing. Hobart is charming, the place is riddled with history and culture, a focus on good lifestyle and outdoor adventure and appreciation. The Museum of Old and New Art is one of the most amazing art galleries I have ever been to. Mad,mad,mad and quite wonderful.Go.
We spent 4 days in Hobart and then started to navigate our way up the east coast till we arrived at Cradle mountain and had to zoom back down the middle to catch a flight 8 days later. I painted whenever I could and brought home quite a few paintings wrapped in a stack, cork discs in the corners to keep them seperate as they dried(I had to search out wine that still used corks! The sacrifices I made!), bound with athletic strapping tape to ensure they did not move. Imagine seeing that Jenga-like construction my luggage on the X-ray machine at the airport!
Some photos and a painting of Tasmania
Anyway, here I am , off again, passport at the ready, more panels primed and packed, athletic tape at the ready...and this time I am also taking some new sketching tools. See you in July, darlings.
If you miss me, come say hi on Instagram
First person to spot me with a gin in hand gets a prize.