Saturday, 12 August 2017

With black ink in Wales

Wales was wet when we went there, admittedly. We expected it to be, especially because we were staying under canvas. But I'm not sure it was quite as dark and forbidding as the drawings that I did there looked when viewed in my sketchbook now. I took a bottle of black ink, one waterbrush and one small sketchbook (one of three handmade by Daughter 2 and given to me for my birthday earlier in the year). It's easier to travel light, especially as the laptop with the unfinished dissertation was taking up space in the shoulder bag.

There's something about the landscape that seems to call for broader sweeps of ink than is possible even with a chunky marker pen. The feeling was the same when we visited the Brecon Beacons for New Year a while ago, except then I took green and blue inks as well.

The top two images here are from directly outside our bell tent (complete with woodburner) across the fields towards Cilgerran. This one, above, shows the contorted strata of the headland at Cemaes Head, which is on the cliff path that runs along the Pembrokeshire coast. It may not be the best way to judge a work, but of the three drawings it was the least liked when I posted it on Instagram, and yet it is the one I like most. It's a grim thing to be led by the hunt for "likes". The temptation is almost to try to post something that no one will like at all. I'm inclined to think it would lead to some interesting discoveries about your own work as you set about this task.