Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Its all happening this week!
First of all this Thursday (27th May) is the monthly ArtWalk at the Promenade. Come along and have a glass of wine and a snack while visiting all the studios full of great art -- including mine of course!
Then my studio will be closed while I have a few days in Santa Fe and then come back to decorate the studio and rehang to fill the space after Maureen leaves for Boston. We should re-open 12th June.
And then on the 15th June there will be a reception at the FineMark National Bank & Trust on Coconut Road here in Estero to show my drawings and sculptures. My work will be on show there through August. I will publish more details of this later.
Its all very exciting!
I just finished Relax! -- a graphite drawing of a group of four very large alligators cuddling together looking deceptively benign.
Also just finished is my latest wood carving in Basswood called "80-something". You will understand the title when you see it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I am at the finishing stage of my latest wood sculpture -- sandpaper to smooth the surface.
I would compare this to climbing a mountain in Scotland. Mountains there are not too craggy and you simply walk up the 3,500 feet to the summit. Problem is that you never know when you are at the top. You see a skyline above you and your legs ache and you say "at last!" But when you reach that skyline you see another one above. Then another, and another until there are none and you are there.
Well, smoothing your wood surface is like that. You scrub away with that sandpaper until you think its smooth enough. Then you turn the piece in the light and you see another little blemish. Smooth that one and then you see another, and then another. Some are so stubborn that the sandpaper doesn't cut it and a file or riffler is required, followed by sandpaper.
I am a perfectionist about a good smooth wood surface but if I wasn't I wouldn't be able to enter the carving for the woodcarvers shows. The judges there are merciless! They never miss a blemish!
So keep at it, Peter, keep at it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I promised pencil artist tips, didn't I?
Just finished a drawing using a charcoal pencil and it reminded me forcefully how careful you have to be with that beautifully black but touchy medium.
Unlike graphite your charcoal leaves loads of powder on the surface of your blacked-in area.
You blow it off and if you don't blow hard enough the powder just rests on the unused white paper and is the devil to get off. Even using your eraser can leave ugly streaks.
Of course you have to spray fixative when you have finished but be prepared to use a good few coats with a five-minute wait between. Boring but necessary. Test the blackest bit delicately with your finger and if it shows then do another coat until it doesn't!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Just finished a cute little dog drawing which will be delivered (unusually) unframed so that the owner can choose a frame to suit the decor. He has a black, curly coat which takes forever to draw but is rewarding to finish. Next commission will be started on Monday.
Come and see me at the Promenade where I work for five hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 10am to 3pm. I have all my best drawings up on the walls and several of my wood sculptures including the basswood piece I am currently working on -- provisional tentative title "Eighty-something". You will see why when you see it!