Local Heart, Global Soul

June 24, 2016

Ringing This One Up For Later…

When visiting a friends home recently, I found some small decorative iron bells that she has in her garden. They caught my eye immediately and after taking photographs of the kids, I took a few photos of the bells for my drawing inspiration files. I tried to get as close as possible so that I could see the detail in every rough and smooth edge, every contour and shadow that I would want to capture when I come to draw this later.

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The texture of the stone wall it is sitting on…

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 (photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 30, 2014

Trying To Inspire Them To The Love Of The Flowing Line…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s the evening that Little Mr. is away from home for a sleepover.  As per yesterday’s post Himself, Kiwi Daughter and I availed ourselves of the opportunity of eating out without “the fussy one”  and later, meal enjoyed and back home, Kiwi Daughter wants to do a family activity with Himself and I.

More specifically she wants to have a drawing competition. She’s got a book that shows you the basic steps to draw cartoon style figures and wants too see which of the three of us can do it best.

My heart sinks: I’m a detail fanatic and whilst I studied graphic art, I hated the module we did on cartooning.

We used to be set the brief: the cartoon would be judged by our use of as few lines as possible. I could never resist adding a few extra line here, there and well …everywhere.

I ask Kiwi Daughter if we could maybe just draw an object in the room instead. “Later” came the reply, first a few cartoons.

I explain that if you want to gain confidence as an artist then learning to “see” an object and then to transfer the knowledge of what you are seeing onto the paper is something that only practice can perfect. Copying someone else’s work doesn’t teach you the skill of how to represent something yourself.  Kiwi Daughter imagines herself to be arty, but rarely practices drawing at all. ” Too much work” she says. I don’t understand this at all, if you love to draw then surely it’s not “work”, it’s pleasure isn’t it?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The cartoons to be copied are chosen and we have a time limit so set to work. The first cartoon is a lady based on the form of an “omgekeered druppel” (upside down droplet) and the second is of a man based on the form of a “boon” (bean).

I think that the results between us were very even, there were few lines and the instructions were easy.

Kiwi Daughter then insisted on one more cartoon from the book, but I could choose which one. I choose a complex one because I want to get her away from her comfort zone of the most simple drawings.

Kiwi Daughter quickly gives up saying that her effort looks like a robot and Himself says his looks like an angry old lady. Mine is less of a success too, I’ve made her too long in the face and not wide enough.

Now we proceed to drawing something in the room.

Complex items like furniture are swiftly vetoed by Himself and Kiwi Daughter who demand something really simple please… I have a box of drawing pencils, how about we each take one and draw that? In the end I’m designated as the winner, but it doesn’t really count because I studied practical art back in my school days.

More important were the squeals of exclamation as the attempts were made, the giggles and the fun of a little competitive spirit. Next time we will do it again with Little Mr. taking part too and maybe slowly but surely I can get them inspired to draw for the love of the flowing line…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself’s effort…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi’s effort…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi Daughter’s pencil…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then Himself’s…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then mine…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

December 22, 2012

I NEED a Giraffe …And You Have Less Than Five Minutes

Filed under: A sketching Journey,ART,Kids and Family — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

“CC”  a fellow blogger from “Slightly out of sync…”  inspired this post by showing me this one:

http://slightlyout.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/that-creative-bug/

I mean how often can it be is that someone posts a giraffe drawing,  just short while after you’ve been asked for a drawing of a Giraffe ?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Actually “ask” isn’t quite how it happened: it was more of a demand and Little Mr was in no mood to wait for patient studies and careful detail since for whatever reason, he “needed” his giraffe sketch quickly.

He hovered impatiently bouncing up and down from one foot to another whilst I used Google Images and typed in “giraffe” to remember what the spots looked like (and the face and the ears and the…)  and after a quick scan of the page a stubby finger went out with an order “That One!”.

I suggested  a different one (because it looked easier to draw since it was in profile)… Nope nothing doing,  here he was with  pen and paper and a totally expectant look on his face that his mother could surely deliver the goods. (sigh)

At least I know that Little Mr’s artistic standards are low enough that there will be no criticism. One good thing at least.

The rough sketch is barely taking shape when his small voice says “finish it quick because I need to colour it in”… and this is when the truth emerges that they are due to visit the zoo and he confesses that he’s supposed to have done a drawing in his book already himself.

He’s now annoyed that I did this on a piece of paper and not directly into the book. I tell him he may copy mine but that he needs to do is own homework. Himself appears and clarifies matters, it’s not homework apparently,  just extra decoration and the kids could have cut a picture out of a magazine if they had wanted to.

Strangely enough we do not happen to have magazines laying around containing images of giraffes. Ok, then no problem. I get arms flung around my neck in a spontaneous hug for my efforts with a muffled “Thanks Mama!” from the head buried in my shoulder.

He reluctantly lets me take a photo before he snatches it away and runs off to find a glue-stick.  I have a lot of admiration for CC’s artistic efforts: giraffe’s are  far harder to draw than they look.

May 20, 2011

Little Mr’s Comic Genius…

Filed under: ART,Funny,Kids and Family,LIFE,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Giving a kid a nice fat jotter pad of drawing paper is like giving a puppy a roll of toilet paper… there will be discarded sheets everywhere in no time as page after entire page is rejected for the slightest crumple or line out of place.

Feeling frustration and guilt  for the amount of trees being sacrificed on my children’s alter of creativity lead me to buy them each some cheap exercise books instead.

Instructions are that they have to be used wisely and that there is not an limitless, endless supply of them. Waste it? tough, wait until I’m ready to dish out the next one.

Somehow having staples in the middle to mark that you’ve crossed the half-way point and a set amount of tangible pages between the covers helps them to reign in the amount of reject pages considerably, and recently Himself was looking though one of Little Mr’s creative tomes and bought it to me chuckling.

I have used a few of Little Mr’s drawings in my parenting posts of the last week… these are some of the rest. Enjoy!

The first photo was taken on an angle because  Little Mr added his and my names to the top above the arrows… I’m drawn frowning because we have just come from the hospital and my foot hurts he says…  the fact the my feet are missing from the drawing, as is the plaster cast and crutches is irrelevant to a five year old (he’s had a birthday since but you get the idea).

He was more excited to tell me that his own self portrait shows him wearing his favourite red pants. They are long trousers in reality but those small details are what we call in the adult world “artistic license” .. and I learned something new too: fish apparently have noses!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

a small error in a moment of confusion mayhap? … no, here it is again… (no wonder he’s an unhappy fish, his nose has slipped under his mouth LOL)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself couldn’t read this… and was surprised that it took me about 15 seconds… it says ” I played with the train set” ( a Mother knows these things) I also see that his writing skills in English need to catch up with those of his in Dutch…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This one says “ my whole family” (spelt the Dutch way “familie”).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Is this really how he sees his big sister???

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another family group portrait : When I last counted we were a family of four, goodness knows where the 1.5 extras in this one came from?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself  is clearly identified as the one with the ultra long legs on the right… wait until you see a close up of his face!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Notice Himself’s face in the first family portrait…   notice also that my hair changes shape and length seemingly from one picture to the next, Regular Rapunzel …well I can at least wish that it grew that fast.

This last one of  Himself and I deserved a close up of it’s own… (let’s just say that if this were a police identikit picture, you couldn’t  pull us out of a line-up of one) ….priceless!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 13, 2011

Drawing on Experience and Wanting my Mojo back…

Filed under: ART,LIFE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ekkk! Firstly a HUGE apology for mixing up the month in the posting schedule and therefore giving some of yesterday’s early readers a blank page to look at. Duh duh duh!!!! … Do I have a red face on this one! Moi and technology are not always the best of friends. I can only apologise profusely and let you know that I’m always trying to do better.

I will warn you in advance that this post ended up as another “jot-the-dots” effort, I start at one point and get to the end point after a few seemingly unrelated detours (which aren’t quite detours) Please bare with me and all will become clear (I hope)…

When it became clear that I was going to be laid up for a while I had the best of intentions of doing those 101 things that you “need to get around to” but never have the time.

Stupidly I found that it doesn’t quite work like that. Painkillers do their job very well, but I then want to sleep a lot.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I am pushing myself to not totally waste my days so decided to try and fulfill one of my New Year’s resolutions: to get back to drawing more. I used to draw constantly, compulsively. We had a rule at school that if you scribbled on your exercise books then you had to re-cover them with paper. Sigh, very single  time it was just a new blank canvas just crying out to be filled in, and I couldn’t help myself.  It wasn’t unusual for me to be recovering my books several times a week.

Any subject that required illustration I excelled in, My brain likes pictures, Math did not therefore fare so terribly well. Eventually I majored in  Art and Design, and later specialised in Graphic Art, but for a multitude of reasons never followed it up into a career.

Despite that I sketched constantly. Little notebooks followed me on holiday and the creativity leaked out of my fingers as easily as water from under an old washer in a leaky tap…  and soaked itself into my sketchbooks as easily too.

Then I had my first child…. Kiwi Daughter was born without a suck reflex and feeding her was a two person job, we had boxes of syringes (with no needles) and I would express milk. The trick was to try and squirt milk into her mouth towards one cheek, rub where an adams apple might have been to get her to swallow before it all just leaked out the other side of her mouth.  It was hard work for all three of us and she ate little so was hungry all the time.

We tried to breastfeed every single feed before the syringe work as well. After six weeks of perseverance, and with a Lactation Specialist, Kiwi Daughter finally figured out what was required, but her general interest in food was still very low.  Himself and I spent the first weeks sleeping in blocks of 20 minutes and we both distinctly remember the day when the three of us slept for two hours the first time… We felt like new people and cried with sheer relief that there was light at the end of the tunnel. It was a milestone.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I learned that not all new mothers are happily wheeling prams around the park, some of them are behind closed doors, tired and struggling, crying their eyes out with sheer exhaustion.   You just don’t know about it because no one talks about this side of parenting. We worked like crazy to keep up, Kiwi Daughter was underweight, she had hospital scans for Rh blood complications, they had us weighing her daily at one point. She was waking 4-5 times a night for her first year and creativity became a foreign word waaaaaaay down my list of priorities.

Slowly I slipped into doing everything  for the family and less for myself, drawing was left behind as dirty nappies, work, pick ups from day care and school and other stuff took over. I was better prepared for Little Mr. as all parents of number Two generally are.  Still, Life got busier with two and he didn’t sleep though the night for the first year either.

By now I can’t even find my expensive fine(r)-tipped pens and any notebooks left out were later discovered, hiding in the bookshelf full of wild crayon scribbles that my wannabe artist daughter “contributed”. Some of the books got the same treatment too.

These days it’s been a nagging thought at the back of my mind that I should push myself to draw again. It’s been my intention whilst I’ve been laid up to follow though. I found one sketchbook that had a few salvageable pages and think that the rest have run away to the land-where-lost-things-go  as I searched high and low and can’t locate them anywhere.

So, scrap pages in hand I dived in with buckets of enthusiasm.  but some thing has happened,  and what used to be so easy is now hard… the pencils and pens don’t do what I want, lines are jerky and won’t flow. What’s in my brain isn’t leaking out to my fingers. I know I need to practice, practice, practice but it’s hard when it’s frustrating.

I can’t get out to a class as I’m not mobile right now and when I am mobile, I will be back at work with lots of catching up to do.

If anyone has  ideas on how to get my drawing mojo back I’d love to hear your advice.

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