Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cuba here I come!

The art equipment I'm taking, minus a roll of masking tape & my DSLR.
My Lonely Planet for Cuba is bookmarked. Paper, paints, pens and pencils are ready. Plus shorts, bikinis and hiking sandals are packed.

I'm off...See you in 3 weeks.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Out of the handbag III (UK)

Across the river. Ink in A6 sketchbook© Sue Pownall 2011
Here are a few sketches from my A6 handbag sketchbook drawn over the last couple of weeks. Last Saturday, my parents & I went up to the Royal Academy to see their Summer exhibition, so I sketched on the train up.
© Sue Pownall 2011
© Sue Pownall 2011
 We then went over to Sadler's Wells to see the amazing show Fela!. First I sketched the musicians on stage and then the audience listening to them before the show started.
© Sue Pownall 2011
Fela! Pen & ink and watercolour in A6 sketchbook.© Sue Pownall 2011
I didn't think the sketchbook took watercolour as the pages are thin, but couldn't resist adding colour to the stage of Fela! after I returned from watching the fabulous show. It took quite well, luckily.

© Sue Pownall 2011
Wednesday I went back up to London to see the Watercolour exhibition at Tate Britain. Fantastic exhibition and very inspirational! I drew the woman doing the crossword on the train up. After the exhibition, I caught the water taxi to the Tate Modern, where I went to my favourite cafe on the 7th floor and, inspired by the watercolour exhibition, drew the view across the river. (Posted at top of this post). It took 30 minutes, which for those who know me, is a long time for me on a single sketch.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sketchday II

Monks' garden. Pen & watercolour, A5 sketchbook. © Sue Pownall 2011
Last September, Sandra of Sandraws came up to Colchester for a sketchday and we arranged to do it again this year. Coincidently, last Saturday, John of JWJarts wrote about sketching in public and our sketchday:
"I have been inspired entirely by my blogger friends... The first urges to try it myself came from Sandra Busby's account of her day with Sue Pownall and I can imagine how wonderful that must have been."
That post is here if you missed what helped to inspire John.
Michelham Priory in the rain. © Sue Pownall 2011
Yesterday, I drove down to Sandra's in Sussex for our second sketchday and we were joined by the artist Kerry (her website). Despite the appalling English summer weather we had a fabulous time drawing at Michelham Priory, although we were disappointed we didn't see or feel any of the ghosts!
Entrance. Pen & ink, A5 sketchbook. © Sue Pownall 2011
After walking around the Priory, we scattered to draw different things. Kerry stopped in the Tudor extension whilst Sandra and I both chose the original entrance to the Priory as our first sketches. It was a challenge as people kept standing in front of us and blocked our view, which is when I quickly sketched the gardener.
Gardener. Pen & ink, A5 sketchbook. © Sue Pownall 2011
Next, I sketched in the old forge. The grounds of the priory were magnificent and it was frustrating to have to be inside due to the rain. Luckily, by 2.45pm it stopped enough so that our last drawing of the day was outside. I chose the wild flower monks garden, which was planted next to the oldest part of the building.
Old Forge, pen & Payne's grey, A5 sketchbook. © Sue Pownall 2011
All too soon it was time for me to leave, but it was a fabulous day and I can't wait for Sketchday III.

For all my sketches I used an A5 sketchbook, which I bought at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, but although the paper is smooth it soaked up my ink and didn't like watercolour. It's a shame as it has got a lovely cover.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The 6x6 Summer Blog Tour

I am excited to be taking part in the 6x6 Summer Blog Tour, which has been arranged by Baang and Burne Contemporary. As a nomadic artist the concept behind Baang & Bourne and their unique approach to exhibitions appeals to my senses. 
I asked the director Kesha Bruce, keshabrucestudio, some questions to find out more: 
    Kesha Bruce
  • On your website you ask the question “What if there were no more art galleries?” why do you feel this question needs to be asked?
Too many artists are stuck in the mindset that all they need to do is to find a gallery to represent them and then all their career problems will be solved. It’s an old art world myth that keeps getting perpetuated from generation to generation of artists.  In reality, it rarely works that way. Gallery’s come and go, sales slow to a crawl, or as we’ve seen recently, many galleries go out of business.  That leaves artists in a very vulnerable position if they don’t already have a solid marketing plan of their own in addition to working with galleries. It’s a dangerous thing to hand responsibility for your career over to someone else. If an artist wants to have a successful career over the long term they have to understand that they need to take charge of the marketing and selling of their work.
  • As part of 6x6, you are having a web-work marathon. I have never heard of this, so could you tell me what it is and how it can benefit artists such as myself?
One of the things artists still find most difficult is getting an effective website up and running.  For 6x6 we’ve teamed up with a company that gives website building workshops especially for artists.  You come with your laptop, images, and your artist statement, and you leave with a fully built and functioning website.  

In addition to the website we’re hosting a discussion panel and a workshop to help artists understand what exactly goes into building a website that not only displays their work, but one that functions in a way that can build relationships and ultimately their collector base. 

Charlie Grosso
  • Your upcoming event 6x6 is described as the art version of a music festival, what does that mean and why have you taken this approach?
My business partner, Charlie Grosso, and I have always believed that the art world should take a few pointers from the music industry in terms of bringing audiences and artists together in a relaxed, fun, and really enjoyable way.  At a rock musical festival people who love music come to see several different groups, take home all the sounds, and then go home with music dancing in their head. That’s exactly what we intend to do with 6x6.  Everyone who attends will get to see the work meet the artists and even take part in a workshop or attend a panel discussion.  It’s about being interactive and making the art viewing experience more personal and less passive.  Art should be more rock’n roll!

Baang + Burne website:
To read Kesha’s weekly articles on art, art marketing, and creativity and to download a free copy of her guide “The 5 Step Art Career Make-Over” visit