Intervention: Animation Idea

An animation idea. I have photographed and recorded the changing faces of the post tops for many years and, I admit, I am struggling to find a suitable way of presenting these portraits to illustrate their change over time.  So, as well as presenting collected images of individual post tops (shown here) I am now working on an animated series of images.

I start with a view of the sea splashing against the groyne (and my boots). It will be interesting to see where this goes, but, at the moment, I am enjoying exploring the process.



Responsive Line: #growJune

A new month, so a new theme is announced on Twitter.  June’s theme is `grow’.

The theme of my studio blog, Responsive Line refers both to the idea of a drawn line as the starting point for a visual conversation and also spoken line as a measurement of conversation such as a line of dialogue from a play or movie.

My initial interpretation of the `grow’ theme is to observe, record and draw plants growing next to the sea – wild flowers with a sea view.

The first series of images I subtitled: `Plants with a sea view’.  These wild flowers exist on the line marking the edge between the land and the sea and in the background is the horizon line showing the edge between the sea and the sky. These plants are hardy and resilient giving the sense that they are just managing to survive.

I respond to the initial subject with a photograph, an ink or graphite sketch or a digital reworking of the photograph or sketch.

Red Clover.  Photograph taken on Galley Hill, Bexhill on Sea, looking out to sea.  Tweeted on 1 June.

Red Clover

Seed head. Graphite sketch. Tweeted 8 June.

Seed Head

Thistles.  Photograph taken on Galley Hill, Bexhill on Sea. Images digitally manipulated to explore line quality and texture of the thistles. Tweeted 10 June.

Thistles (1)

Thistles (2)

Grasses. Photographed on Galley Hill, Bexhill on Sea.  Digital manipulation to explore the line quality and textures of the grass. Tweeted 11 June.

Grasses (1)

Grasses (2)

Windswept. The next series of images are combinations of painting, digital photography and digital manipulation and reduction to line or creating patterns by filtering and refining the line quality.






The original image was captured at Cuckmere, South Downs National Park,  and tweeted 22 and 23 June.

Elder in Flower. The line work resulted from digital manipulation and redrafting of a photograph.  The tonal image work was based upon my painting.





The original image was captured at Cuckmere, South Downs National Park, and the images tweeted 25 June.

Windswept Tree on the Edge of Landslip. This was a digital manipulation and reworking of an original gouache painting – there is no photographic input at all.  I used a netbook with stylus k and utilised the brush and smudge tools.




The original image was captured at Cuckmere, South Downs National Park, and images tweeted 28 June.

Responsive Line: #waterMay

On Twitter, a group of artists are having an on-going visual conversation, posting images relating to a theme which is changed each month. I joined the conversation on #waterMay by producing art work which responds to the theme and also to what others are posting.

So why is this studio blog called Responsive Line?  I want to propose two uses of the term line: firstly as a drawn mark used to produce visual material, and secondly as a line of discussion – a flow of interaction between people who add something to a conversation.

This is just a small selection of the images produced and `tweeted’ in #waterMay.

Hastings Pier, East Sussex – Black ink (Biro) on paper in my pocket sketchbook.  Posted on Twitter, 4 May. The simplicity of working with a black ink, a Biro pen in a pocket sketchbook.  A Biro has no pretensions of being an `artist’s material’ but it is ideal for sketching, producing a surprising range of line qualities.

Hastings Pier Sketch

Crashing waves was originally drawn in October 2014 using Biro on paper.  The sketch was digitally manipulated in May and posted on Twitter on 12 May. The line quality is on the cusp between abstraction and illustration.

Crashing waves

The Broken Groyne Posts.  Produced from a photograph which was then digitally drafted and posted on Twitter on 19 May.  I love the tension between the slow energy of the approaching wave that transfers to the faster kinetic energy of the wave twisting through the remnants of the groyne.

Broken groyne posts

After the Fire – Hastings Pier. A reworking of a sketch made in 2014 of Hastings Pier.  Ink wash and digital drafting. Posted on Twitter 26 May.  Looking through sketchbooks allows the rediscovery and reinterpretation of earlier work.  It’s like revisiting an earlier conversation and reflecting upon what was said.

Hastings Pier

View from Galley Hill, Bexhill, looking towards St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex. The original watercolour sketch was digitally drafted and both images were posted on Twitter on 26 May. The simplicity of the sketched watercolour is reduced to abstraction when manipulated digitally.  Is this abstraction or representation?

View from Galley Hill Watercolour

View from Galley Hill




Crows: drawing to see, a beginning.

Drawing crows; not for the drawings, not for a finished project, but for the `learning to see’ that comes from the process.

Drawing crows didn’t start as a project (an idea or a series of activities that will lead to a set of work based upon a theme). Crows started on a Monday morning, 1st December 2014, while I was sitting in one of my favourite places to watch the sunrise over the sea.  As the greys of the sky lightened and picked up subtle tints of colour, I was distracted by a family of crows. I took some photographs and later that day made some drawings using ink and ink wash on paper.

I `tweeted’ some of the ink and ink wash drawings, and then I started using the drawings as subject matter for code mediated line and tone drawings on my computer tablet. The quality of the line is defined and adapted using Processing 2 Code, but it is controlled and created using gestural lines and a stylus.

At this point `Crows’ was still not a project; it was an exploration of representing crows using different media, with no intent other than the process of learning to see, and represent, something that was in front of me.

So when did it become a project? That’s difficult to say.  It became a project long before I realised it had, and I will try to answer that question in my next `Crows’ blog.