Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Three more from the 2010 Sketchbook project

It's nice to look at these sketches again. That was an interesting project, and I might do another one with them, I only wish the sketchbooks were actually a lot bigger. 

While I like doing people, looking at what's in the hedgerows here is interesting. Anyone who grew up in the Ireland and in the Irish educational system was inflicted with WB Yeats; however, in later years I came to appreciate his genius. I'm not the only one, many musicians have gone and set his poems to music. Christy Moore, who is an Irish institution at this stage, did a wonderfully haunting song made from the exact poem on his album Ride On during the 1980s. I knew a band in the Netherlands called Fling that set Yeats' work The Fisherman to music, but I'm not sure how well that worked. The Fisherman is wonderful, but has a deceptively simple rhythm that is meant to be recited, I think, and not put to music.

The page below is a pencil drawing of a whitethorn branch with the autumnal berries. You can easily make out what the poem on the right is: The Song of Wandering Aonghus by William Butler Yeats. 

This image below is from a couple of months later. We were experiencing the worst winter in Ireland in many, many years. Because the climate in Ireland is pretty mild as a result of our location in the middle of the Gulf Stream, we don't generally get very cold and snowy winters. But 2010 - 2011 was the exception. I was housebound for three weeks, could not go anywhere. And our pipes froze, but thankfully the central heating continued to work. On the cold, bright days, it was lovely - I went out walking with my camera several times and got some pictures like the ones below, which I used as part of this Sketchbook Project.

The top photo has a layer of tracing paper over it and that shape and lines of the plant are simply traced in fine black pen. One of the things the whole sketchbook thing does is bring you back to the line, and what you can do with the line. That is one advantage of working in a small format. 

This piece is simply the very cropped photograph of a corrugated metal roof covered in snow printed out on ordinary cartridge paper, and then the text printed on it again from a Microsoft Word file. You can see the reference to where I got the text on the lower right-hand side. Not a sketch in the traditional sense, but it does everything a traditional sketch does, it outlines something, provides just enough information to get one started on something else. And it reflected the general mindset of the people living on the road where I live at the time, which, after the first couple of days of that weather, was basically 'how much longer is this going to last?'

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