a creative year

I’m giving 2016 a theme: a creative year. My focus for the year is to: develop creative skills.

I’n recent months, I’ve posted the results of my night photography expeditions, and I plan to continue these, branching into experiments with light painting.  In addition to photography, I’m keen to extend my ukulele playing, and I’ve arranged to start in a community music workshop that meets on Saturday mornings in Duxford. I’m also looking at other creative skills: drawing, painting and coding.

Prompted by a post on the Trello blog, I’ve created a Trello board for specific goals and tasks to help me focus on developing these creative skills.

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Thursday, January 7th, 2016 coding, creativity, drawing, music, photography 1 Comment

sketching once more

Apart from a couple of sketches of the front of the British Museum in London about four weeks ago, I haven’t done any drawing for a long time. This morning I tried to resume by drawing some budding flowers in our back garden and the parasol as it flapped gently in the breeze.

The concentration involved in sketching seems to be like a muscle that requires practice and repetition, because I felt drained afterwards. The results are certainly not good enough for posting here.

Nonetheless I enjoyed the experience and am resolved to practice.

Thursday, June 18th, 2015 drawing No Comments

resuming normal service

A lot has happened in the long interval since my previous post, and I’m referring not just to my stroke- induced temporary paralysis or my permanent partial blindness, but to the continuing rise of Facebook that dented my once-confident conviction that blogging is a valuable and relevant platform.

Recently I attended a couple of drawing and painting workshops at The Art Barn in Gamlingay, the first on portraits and the second on flowers.  This follows my unsuccessful partaking in a Watercolours for Beginners class in my local village college.  It occurred to me that I wanted to share my thoughts and experiments in a longer and more permanent way than Facebook or Twitter. I’ve also recently ventured into the world of generative art, resuming my use of Processing, to create a mandala based on the turf maze at Saffron Walden. I suspect that this will be the subject of future posts so I won’t pre-empt those, only to say that it involves developing a path-following algorithm, which is a new one for me.

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Thursday, November 14th, 2013 drawing, generative art No Comments

drawing again

Last night I went to a fun evening called Artistic Adventures for Adults. It was run by Access Art, and showed us lots of drawing techniques that we could use in workshops. Most of that time we sat on the floor, making a mess with charcoal and crayons on huge sheets of paper. Great fun!

None of the exercises was longer than ten minutes, so we produced a huge amount of work in the three hours. I made all this and more:

Thursday, April 7th, 2011 drawing No Comments

drawing class

I’ve just been to the first life drawing class at The Exchange in Hanley. It was a small group, just the right size. We had lots of quick poses, which suits me fine, followed by one longer pose at the end.

We were encouraged to experiment, so I tried a cubist style for a couple of them. I’ll have a look at my sketches in the cold light of day before deciding whether or not to post any!

There are a few more classes planned there, at different times on different days, and I’m hoping to go back next Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 drawing 1 Comment

Back to the drawing board (again)

Normally I’m not keen on blogging about my work, but today has been encouraging in all sorts of different ways. Not only is this the first time I’ve posted on here for a long time, but it’s also the first time for several weeks that I’ve posted on the Leave No Trace blog.

But it’s wider than just blogging. Early this afternoon I felt inspired to get some paints out and be messy (though that will have to wait until the weekend), and decided on a particular technique that I want to explore.

Later on, I went to a meeting at the university where I discussed Bridget Woods‘ life drawing and saw some amazing stop-motion animation models which were inspiring, and afterwards went to a meeting with local digital artists which was also stimulating.

I hadn’t been sure about going back to the life drawing class but now I’ve decided that I will, though I need to be careful to get out of the rut I was finding myself in towards the end of last term. Perhaps Bridget Woods’ book would be a starting point.

Thursday, January 14th, 2010 creativity, drawing No Comments

Dr Scratchy

I went to another Dr Sketchy event in Nottingham on Saturday, not the best place to be given the street clashes between English Defence League marchers, anti-fascist demonstrators, police on horseback and in riot gear, and the unconnected but nearby parade by soldiers in desert camouflage celebrating a return home from a tour of duty.

Social unrest aside, the drawing event was less enjoyable than the previous one. The previous event was light-hearted, with good-humoured banter by the compere and performers, whereas Saturday’s event felt seedy, and I was embarrassed that I’d sat in the middle of the front row, as though determined to get as close to the flesh as possible. Nothing obscene took place – it just felt wrong. Titillating rather than bawdy.

I won’t claim that it was the result of my embarrassment, but my drawings were poor again, so I won’t be displaying them here.

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Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 drawing No Comments

more drawings

I really didn’t feel like going to drawing class last night, but I’m glad I did. Here are the results. I kept wanting to turn the first of these into the Channel 4 logo, but I restrained myself.



Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 drawing No Comments

another drawing

Here’s another of my recent drawings, from about a fortnight ago. I’ve been trying different techniques – continuous line and straight lines – but I’ve not been satisfied with the results, so I haven’t posted any of these.



Monday, November 23rd, 2009 drawing No Comments

this is how it was

Photographic evidence, albeit with camera shake, that I went to the recent Dr Sketchy event in Nottingham. (The wobble is presumably due to low light levels rather than an over-excited photographer.) I’d post my drawing of that pose if it merited public display, but it doesn’t.

UPDATE 09 Nov 2009: Lots of photos and some video of the event now available on Dr Sketchy’s Facebook page, including one of me looking rather concerned. Presumably I’m not happy with my drawing. I’m looking forward to the next one in December.


Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 drawing No Comments