The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life


Monday, 29 August 2011

Foul Play...

...And there has been plenty of that around here in the last week!

Having enjoyed a week of all things 'chickeny' it seemed my obvious choice of theme for today's post!
If I am to be completely honest with you all, I have a feeling it might be the theme of several posts over the next few weeks :0)

The girls have been SO well behaved! After just three nights of having to pick them up and put them on their perch, by night four, when we got to their chicken mansion to put them to bed, they were already there! They are such good chickens!

Anyway, having had some time to get to know them a little, they each have very different personalities. Babs has the most attitude, Frankie is the most curious and Marjorie is the most laid back.

This morning I thought that it might be nice to sketch one of our girls. However, whilst considering the best place to sit, I noticed that Marjorie had very kindly discarded one of her tail feathers, which was now drifting along the ground of their run in the breeze. So - I thought that I might sketch the feather instead - after all, it wouldn't move...

© Sandra Busby

... Or so I thought. But on two occasions, whilst drawing the feather I looked up to find that it had fluttered to the floor in the breeze from the open door!

I was almost disappointed to have completed the sketch as quickly as I did! However, whilst I had been happily scribbling away, Paul had made his way down to the Coop and retrieved a lovely fresh egg, still warm, from Frankie, who is firing out eggs like there is no tomorrow! She has given us seven eggs in seven days so far!

I decided that I would sketch the egg to go with the feather. I know that an egg is hardly a challenge, but it is SO easy to forget how much fun it is to just draw. There is no pressure involved, no worrying about the result, nor if people will like it, its just drawing - and I do SO love that, and I forget just how much until I actually do it!

© Sandra Busby

Aside from this, let's not forget just how important it is to keep drawing! Art is an illusive thing and it's all too easy to let other things get in the way and before you know it, it might have been a month since you picked up a pencil. And oddly, it's not like riding a bike - If you don't keep it up, you do go rusty!

A very talented Artist once said to me that there are plenty of artists out there who can paint, and yet they can not draw. Someone who doesn't practice art may not understand that, but those of us who do, will.
Recently, I have been so wrapped up in long-winded paintings, that I have been neglecting the very fundamentals of drawing and for this reason I am planning to be doing a lot more basic drawing over the next few months.

Sketching is one of the most important things an Artist can do and yet why is it that I will make every excuse not to do it? Just look at this charming sketch by John, at J.W.J. Arts . Aside from the hilarious narrative, I just LOVE looking at sketches like this - and yet I rarely do them myself! I need to change this and start to embrace the simple joy of sketching, just for fun.

Anyway - enough of my waffling! Time to enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday and get my pencils out :0)

Ta ta for now!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Exercising creativity in other areas, and visiting the Tate Britain...

Firstly, my apologies for neglecting my blog for the last couple of weeks!

I have been working all hours to cover my colleague whilst she is on holiday, and aside from this, my hubby Paul, my son Charlie and I have all been busy creating something else together and our little project has meant devoting every minute of every evening and weekend to our new creation!

Anyway, it is finally finished!

The chicken run...

We have been toying with the idea of keeping chickens for the last couple of years. There was an unused area of garden that seemed like the perfect spot, and work began soon after my last post!

And these are the three girls who now live in this luxury chicken palace...

We collected them on Sunday and they are all 15 weeks old.

The red one is called Frankie. She is the most confident and she is the first to do everything, including laying her first egg just 24 hours after we brought them home...

And here it is again, the freshest egg I have ever cooked, straight from butt to pan - though my son wasn't overjoyed to be reminded of this when he was eating it, lol!


The black one is called Babs. She is the one with the most attitude!
The white one is called Marjorie and she is the most docile and the most lazy too.
Babs and Marjorie haven't started laying yet but hopefully they will soon :0)

Anyway, it may not be art, but there was some painting involved and I have no doubt that it will lead to some chicken and egg sketches too ;0)

Anyway, during this time, there was one thing that I couldn't resist making some time for.
The Tate Britain in London were holding a two week watercolour exhibition and I just had to go! You can't keep me away from local galleries, but I had never been to a gallery in London before.

I invited Mum along and was surprised at how much she enjoyed the day too.

The exhibition was far bigger than I had expected and there was so much to see! There were some of Turners sketchbooks and paintings on view. The two of us felt quite privileged to see them for real.
The one I was most surprised about was the famous 'Scarlett Sunset' painting which has always been a favourite of mine...

...Though I had seen the painting so many times in books and in print, it was so small in reality! Much smaller than I had ever imagined it to be - about A5, I would say.

There were also items which belonged to Turner on display such as his wallet, his paintbox and palette.
Of course there were other inspiring ideas on show too used by some of the other great masters! There were some oyster and mussel shells which had been used as portable palettes - what a neat idea! And lots of experimental works dotted about - Most inspiring!

We were also delighted to see some of  John Singer-Sargents paintings which were also on display. It's so different to look at the paintings for real because you just can't see those all important brush-strokes when you see them in print.

When we had finished looking around the watercolour exhibition we didn't have a lot of time left, but we were determined to see some of the paintings in the rest of the gallery too.
It was just unfortunate that I had assumed that cameras were not allowed, because I realised late in the day that actually they were. If  I'd have known, I would have taken lots of photographs.

This painting is made up of the fewest brush-strokes and colours and yet it was so beautiful, proving that less really is more. The photograph I'm afraid doesn't do it justice at all...

And this is a beautiful painting of Claude Monet, painting by a river, by John Singer-Sargent...

And this Singer-Sergent was absolutely huge!

The day filled me with new ideas but I the main thing I learned is that, the greatest paintings are made with the least fuss!!!

I found the whole day to be so inspiring and the both of us had a lovely day.

My colleague is back to work on Tuesday and so I will be getting my usual day off to paint, so normal activities will resume on my blog from then onwards! And following our visit to The Tate, I am determined to come up with some sketches and paintings created with the minimum fuss!


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