Several visits to Frantsila herb farm.
Anna was great. She does marketing and helps develop new concepts for Frantsila and was keen to tell me all about the company, how it grew, how it’s founding ethos remains intact at it’s heart. She’s allowing me to go anywhere and has told all the staff I’ll be around.
Drawing in the quiet polytunnel at Frantsila gave me headspace to think more about what I like (or don’t like) about making these works. It does appear true that I have city fatigue, being in nature just gives me such a happy contentment. I sense a mirroring between me drawing with ink on paper and them planting their seeds out by hand.
Janius talks about how growing things and being connected to the earth is important to him.
I feel that way about drawing I say.
Janius: Some people like to wear gloves. Me, when there’s no pesticides or chemicals, I like to feel the soil.
In preparation for the end of residency open studios I worked on captions for the pictures I have – particularly the ones I don’t really like. They look better.
This could all be intense research for future work. That is also OK.
2 things I’ve learned for now:
Language is important. It was a relief and so enjoyable to be able to chat with Anna, Valo and Janius at Frantsila.
Time scale. It would work better to pace several visits of longer time period.
So I’m learning things I can use back in UK.
Stifled imagination. These observational drawings.
On House of Illustration website I saw some images of process, featuring loads of photo reference. And I realized some of the artists here use photo reference all the time. And I’m sure heaps of other people I admire do. I should get over this block I have. I do like the life connection though.
Squeezed in a trip in the evening sunshine to see Timin Manty – the ancient Pagan tree. In the end I only had half and hour to draw, but this meant I worked quickly and roughly in ink, using broad brush strokes and washes to fill the page. Then completing it at home. In my mind, my reference was those vintage painted tourism posters. Could have done with slightly better layout… I seem to have less patience with work lately… wanting to do things quickly and instinctively and not to stress about it needing more effort / work. Because it’s hard to judge whether working more on an image will be good or bad. When to know if it’s finished. It’s easier to do something quickly and say ‘done!’ than to make a judgement call on what it needs, where. If I was using digital process I would be shifting and erasing and tweaking things continuously so maybe this is a response to that way of making. It makes it harder… to commit to something on paper takes distinct skill, knowledge, some clarity of intention surely. But you get that knowledge from the experience right. So I had to leave it overnight so I can see it again with fresh eyes, judge if it’s balanced and completed.