Lorna Hamilton's blog

Thursday, 11 July, 2019
The final dayThe final day of seabirds seemed to come so quickly. It had been a busy week of challenge and growth. However, Seabirds is not all about drawing, it’s also about community. This aspect is truly special. It was something I had longed for, yet I didn’t think was possible. I had visited an orchestra a few years ago and watched how they interacted with each other. I was so envious because as a musician they could practice and play individually or come together to perform something so beautiful. I thought that would never be possible for an artist to experience. But I was...
Saturday, 6 July, 2019
Day 4As a kid, I was the careful child, always sticking to the rules and pleasing people. In many ways my approach to art reflected these personality traits. I became a perfectionist in my work, with the end product being the most important thing. This type of art is more concerned with the response of others than the joy and wonder of creating. My perfectionist approach led me to hone my skills in the style I had developed. It was a safe place, I knew what I could achieve and that I had customers to buy all I produced. Yet in many ways it brought me to a place of emptiness and...
Friday, 5 July, 2019
Day 3We started the day with a visit to John Busby’s studio. John passed away 3 years ago and his studio has been left the same way as when he last used it. The studio is set in a beautiful Scottish estate with 16th century homes and outbuildings. It is certainly an environment that would inspire any artist!We entered into an old stable block, stalls laden with cobwebs and a collection of bits and bobs obviously collected over many years. We respectfully climbed the old wooden open tread stairs leading to the studio. I was aware of how many times John must have journeyed to this place...
Thursday, 4 July, 2019
Day 2The day started with me pondering the reason why I was attracted to my sketches but found my paintings boring and uninspiring. From doing the studies combining line and paint the previous day, I realised that this was not the direction I wanted to go. I was happy that I’d tried because it allowed me to look at my sketches in another way. Perhaps it wasn’t the multiple line drawing that I was attracted too but the strength and energy of the mark. I often draw holding my pencil with a fist like grasp. This allows me to powerfully sculpt marks on the page rather than...
Thursday, 4 July, 2019
Day 2The day started with me pondering the reason why I was attracted to my sketches but found my paintings boring and uninspiring. From doing the studies combining line and paint the previous day, I realised that this was not the direction I wanted to go. I was happy that I’d tried because it allowed me to look at my sketches in another way. Perhaps it wasn’t the multiple line drawing that I was attracted too but the strength and energy of the mark. I often draw holding my pencil with a fist like grasp. This allows me to powerfully sculpt marks on the page rather than...
Tuesday, 2 July, 2019
John Busby Seabird Drawing CourseOn the 21st June I joined 20 other artists from the UK, Japan and Germany to be part of an extraordinary open air wildlife drawing week in Dunbar,Scotland. Last year I was a bursary winner but found the course overwhelming and extremely challenging as I had been out of art for a few years and had never worked outside as part of my daily practice. This time I approached the course having had a year’s experience of plein air work and for me it was a week of fun, experimenting and growth.Because of this, I have decided to do a short blog as my Instagram...
Tuesday, 19 June, 2018
John Busby in Drawing Birds, 2014, said ‘To copy from nature without resolving our own thoughts is a barren process’. I copied from nature for many years and when I applied for the John Busby bursary, I had stopped painting altogether and had pretty much given up on my art. I knew the barrenness John had spoken off and it was not a nice place to be.  I was desperately looking for an answer because nature and art were something I had once loved.I came to the course expectant to receive the answer I needed and I was not disappointed. I was greeted with a warm, friendly...
Monday, 13 May, 2013
In May, 2013 I had the honour and pleasure of being part of a nine person team to the Cayman Islands. The 10 day expedition led by Jeff Whiting and Guy Harvey focused on scuba diving the stunning waters around the Cayman islands with particular attention on the endangered Green Turtle. It was certainly a trip of a lifetime. Having learned to scuba dive the previous year, I was excited to experience clear water diving with six other artists and two film makers.The sea of the Cayman Islands contrasted greatly with the Irish waters I had trained in. Having visibility of up to 30 metres gave a...