The 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 delicately draw. My next quest, how do I get energy into the paint marks…..I’d no idea?!
Today we visited St. Abbs, a dramatic cliff formation approximately 30 minutes from Dunbar, The weather was dismal with thick fog and torrential rain. But that didn’t stop us! No doubt had I of been on my own, it would have been a different story. As we arrived at St. Abbs the rain got heavier and fog thicker, at times we could barely see any birds, even those 15 metres away! However being in such conditions helped strengthen the group dynamics and our resolve to push through no matter what.
We stuck it out until 2 and then some of us went for a coffee break. We were all lacking a little energy and enthusiasm however by 3pm we were back on the cliff ready to have another go at the grey, murky landscape and shadowy grey silhouettes of Razorbills, Guillemots and Razorbills. Needless to say all the pictures that day were grey tonal drawings or stained white pages where watercolour used to be!
We met for dinner at 6.30 every night, showed our work and discussed our challenges and successes with each other. This for me was a real battle last year. I felt so exposed to show my faint, scratchy little drawings, however this year I had more confidence and found the sessions gave me direction and encouragement. They gave a chance to reflect and helped spring me into the next day’s challenge.
I still had not found the missing link between my drawings and paintings. That discovery was one for day 3!!!