Tag Archives: sketchbook

My Theme Park

As my 2012 Arthouse sketchbook tours America searching for its 3rd checkout I’m starting to think about participating in the 2013 project.  The one thing holding me back is a lack of inspiration.

When signing up to the 2012 worldwide art project you had to select a theme from a list of 30 or so words, phrases or titles.  Whilst I found this list initially very constrictive, it provided a great starting point to get my creative juices flowing.

The 2013 is different.  Instead of whimsical themes that grab your imagination by the hand and lead it off into the sunset, there is a choice of 10 book “categories”.  This somewhat clinical starting point had just built a barrier between me and the 2013 project.  The Wife, who enjoyed her first forage in the woods if creativity with the 2012 project, was devastated: how was she going to find the spark to generate enough energy to overcome her nervousness towards being “creative”.  She found being forced to choose a theme in 2012 helped push her forward.  This year’s list was just too vague to offer her any direction.

The only way I was going to get over my own barrier and help The Wife find a starting point, would be to brainstorm like I’ve never brainstormed before.  Clichés, sayings, single words; they all spewed onto the page of my everyday sketchbook. Continue reading My Theme Park

Page 25 – Beyond Porthminster

Here’s the next installment about my recent participation in the international sketchbook project organised by Arthouse.

The theme I chose was “Along The Line” which I’ve interpretted both literally in terms of the style of my drawings but also to use the pages to portray different things associated with the timeline of my life so far – a mini-autobiography, if you will.

Having relatives in St Ives means there’s no excuse for not visiting the amazing Cornwall countryside.  Having an artist as your aunt (Sally MacCabe – find her website here) who lives in Cornwall means there’s no excuse for not being creative while you’re down there!

Beyond Porthminster
Page 25 - Beyond Porthminster

I sketched this view across Porthminster beach from my aunt’s first floor lounge window, sitting above her studio, one morning.

Page 24 – Juneathon

Here’s the next installment about my recent participation in the international sketchbook project organised by Arthouse.

The theme I chose was “Along The Line” which I’ve interpretted both literally in terms of the style of my drawings but also to use the pages to portray different things associated with the timeline of my life so far – a mini-autobiography, if you will.

Back in June 2011 I was pointed in the the direction of a thing called Juneathon – a group of people who look to jog, log and blog for every day in June.  The aim is to exercise every day and blog about it.  The friendly competition and community spirit help to inspire and motivate.

Juneathon
Page 24 - Juneathon

Very simply, this is a calendar of my efforts.  The red “S” signifies when I swam instead of running, otherwise the numbers indicate how many kilometres I covered each day.

Page 23 – Get In Line

Here’s the next installment about my recent participation in the international sketchbook project organised by Arthouse.

The theme I chose was “Along The Line” which I’ve interpretted both literally in terms of the style of my drawings but also to use the pages to portray different things associated with the timeline of my life so far – a mini-autobiography, if you will.

This is the first of 3 pages dedicated to my personal running inspirations, this one pays homage to Steve Naylor.

Get In Line
Page 23 - Get In Line

Steve came to running late but has taken to it like a duck to water and his performances have won him county titles and an England call up too.  He’s still getting quicker too!

Last year Steve competed in his first road race as an elite entrant – the Bupa 10,000 in London – and that is what I’ve drawn.

The black line at the top is Mo Farah, the one at the bottom is the last finisher of the race.  The blue and red lines mark every hundred and thousand finishers.  The length of the lines are proportionate to the race finshing time of that finisher.  Just under Mo’s lines is a green line with is the one and only Steve Naylor – who finished in 22nd place and just 90 seconds being Mo Farah.

Page 22 – NYC Skyline

Here’s the next installment about my recent participation in the international sketchbook project organised by Arthouse.

The theme I chose was “Along The Line” which I’ve interpretted both literally in terms of the style of my drawings but also to use the pages to portray different things associated with the timeline of my life so far – a mini-autobiography, if you will.

New York is an amazing place and over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to visit it 3 times.  It is definitely my favourite place in the world and recommend it to anyone.  With my love of architecture, it is awesome to see so many iconic buildings.

NYC Skyline
Page 22 - NYC Skyline

New York is special to The Wife and I: we got engaged there, we celebrated the end of The Wife’s cancer treatments there and spent our first wedding anniversary there too.

On the week of our anniversary I ended up doing three 10k’s around Central Park, such was the inspiration.  I don’t think we’ll ever get bored of the Big Apple.

Page 21 – Halfway

Here’s the next installment about my recent participation in the international sketchbook project organised by Arthouse.

The theme I chose was “Along The Line” which I’ve interpretted both literally in terms of the style of my drawings but also to use the pages to portray different things associated with the timeline of my life so far – a mini-autobiography, if you will.

Another running influence, but this time it was from watching the London Marathon in 2o11.  The Wife and I joined our friends @richinvitc and @nowmrssills to support the charity Gemma works for, TACT, and their runners.

Halfway
Page 21 - Halfway

We were stationed at the halfway mark.  The day was so inspirational, seeing so many people tackling the great race.  Recalling my half marathon experiences I wondered what it’d feel like reaching halfway and thinking I’d have to do it all again before I could finish.

It was the start of my Twitter career and also the start of changing my “I’ll never do a marathon” stance.  Maybe 2013 will see me tackle a marathon.  Maybe.

Page 20 – 500 Miles

Here’s the next installment about my recent participation in the international sketchbook project organised by Arthouse.

The theme I chose was “Along The Line” which I’ve interpretted both literally in terms of the style of my drawings but also to use the pages to portray different things associated with the timeline of my life so far – a mini-autobiography, if you will.

This page is not another homage to my time in Aberdeen dancing to the Proclaimers (because that’s what happens in Scotland) but is my biggest running challenge yet.

500 Miles
Page 20 - 500 Miles

My company chose Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres as their charity of the year so I decided to do something big to raise money, and get back into a habit of exercise.  I chose to try to cover the distance between the two proposed Maggie’s Centres closest to the 2 offices I work from – Oxford and Aberdeen – within 12 months with the aim of raising £1 for every kilometre covered.

I chose to measure in kilometres because that meant I’d be aiming for £800.

As I write this I have covered 960km and raised £908.  With 6 weeks of my 12 months left, I look set to break the revised targets of £1000 and 1000km.  If I keep pushing I might even get to 1100km!

Page 19 – Circular Line

Here’s the next installment about my recent participation in the international sketchbook project organised by Arthouse.

The theme I chose was “Along The Line” which I’ve interpretted both literally in terms of the style of my drawings but also to use the pages to portray different things associated with the timeline of my life so far – a mini-autobiography, if you will.

We had to reschedule our wedding as a result of The Wife’s treatments – when the day came it was an even more fantastic celebration with all our family and friends.

Circular Line
Page 19 - Circular Line

A circular line is, of course, a ring – and this romantic ring of words represents our wedding day and the start of our marriage.  I wrote a phrase that in itself isn’t clear where is starts of finishes:

Like my love, this ring has no end

This ring has no end, like my love

Page 18 – Draw A Line Under It

Here’s the next installment about my recent participation in the international sketchbook project organised by Arthouse.

The theme I chose was “Along The Line” which I’ve interpretted both literally in terms of the style of my drawings but also to use the pages to portray different things associated with the timeline of my life so far – a mini-autobiography, if you will.

In good old dingbat (or Catchphrase for those of you who preferred Roy Walker) fashion, Page 18 does what it says on the tin.

Draw A Line Under It
Page 18 - Draw A Line Under It

This is the beginning of trying to move on from the stressful time.  This beginning is where I put on my running shoes again for a fundraising challenge to give something back to the ward that looked after The Wife after her surgery – it seems fairly insignificant compared to my current challenge but that’s far from the truth.  Completing three 10k races in a month, or 30k’s in 30 days, was a big ask after years of virtually no exercise!

Page 16 – Big C Rollercoaster

Here’s the next installment about my recent participation in the international sketchbook project organised by Arthouse.

The theme I chose was “Along The Line” which I’ve interpretted both literally in terms of the style of my drawings but also to use the pages to portray different things associated with the timeline of my life so far – a mini-autobiography, if you will.

There is a big contrast in today’s page compared to yesterday and that, in a very small way, begins to reflect the contrast of feelings between our engagement and hearing that The Wife had been diagnosed with cancer.

Big C Rollercoaster
Page 16 - Big C Rollercoaster

The line simply represents the emotional rollercoaster that we’ve been on.