Monday, 2 December 2013

Sketchbook Peeks - Anne Davies

I first discovered the work of Anne Davies via Twitter when I came across the hashtag #drawingaugust. Being the nosey person I am, I decided to have a look and I found some gorgeous work on show.Intrigues as ever I wanted to find out what all of this #drawingaugust was so I asked Anne to tell me a little about it

'I was quite new to Twitter (I started in June this year I think) and I saw some references to getting ready for #DrawingAugust from some of the people that I was following, I think it was Jean Stevens and Jean Edwards. I jumped in feet first! I've been meaning to renew my habit of regular drawing for years but there's always something more pressing to do! I got very addicted to posting every day and took my little drawing book everywhere. As it was a holiday and weekends-away kind of month there was plenty of landscape inspiration. I loved #DrawingAugust for the sense of community and support, seeing the different syles and looking forward to what my favourite artists were going to post that day. It re-ignited my passion for drawing and I have continued to draw almost daily. Its now a part of my creative process again and I think my paintings are better for it'

 I asked Anne whether she would like to be featured on my blog, as I was really drawn to her sketchbooks (if you will excuse the pun!). They reminded me of textile pieces, patchworks of coloured fabric, so I was intrigued when I found out they were painted. I asked Anne to tell me a bit about herself and this is what she had to say.........

Before we start, tell us a little about yourself/how did you get into art/craft/design career and how it all started and where you are now 

I loved art from a young age and went to art college straight after school . I continued to paint after graduating, usually while working at other 'day jobs' to pay the rent. I started selling work in earnest about 18 years ago and now show with several galleries.

How long have you been using sketchbooks? 

Since my foundation course at Chesterfield art college - we were very much encouraged to keep a sketchbook and I was almost obsessive about mine - I think I did some of my best work in it.

How often do you sketch? 

It varies but at the moment I usually draw at least four days a week and paint in my sketchbook once or twice a week.

How do you feel about the prospect of starting a new sketchbook? 

I love it, maybe that's why I have so many on the go at once! I'm not one of those people who has fear of a blank sheet of paper, I love a fresh start.

When/where do you get your inspiration for your sketchbook pages and how would you describe your creative process? 

My main inspiration comes from the landscape. I'm also fascinated by colour. Working in a sketchbook is very liberating because no-one else is necessarily going to see it so for me it is a place where I can work very freely and experiment with colour and shape. A lot of my work is about memories of landscape rather than about re-creating a particular view and so the landscapes in my sketchbooks are often created out of my imagination. In some ways my painting sketchbooks are a place to 'limber up' before I start on my other work. I don't recreate work from my sketchbook into a finished painting but some of the colour or composition ideas will find their way in along the way. When I'm drawing I will sometimes draw from life. Even then the drawing is filtered through my own way of seeing and won't be a technically accurate depiction of the scene in front of me. I'm more interested in the way a place feels and the memory it evokes than trying to produce a photographic representation of it. I see the landscape in terms of line, shape and colour and the stories behind the buildings held in it.

 Have your sketchbooks evolved over the years and if so, how? 

Yes. When I look back at old sketchbooks they were mainly colour studies and very loose/abstract ideas. Now I tend to try to make each page more resolved as a drawing/painting. I put a lot of energy and time into them. I went through a period of feeling that this was time misspent if I had 'finished' pieces to get ready for a deadline but now I feel like it's such an important part of my practice that I allow myself that time. It all helps to make me a better painter. Just because no one sees it or it doesn't end up in a frame doesn't mean it's not worthwhile.

What is your favourite medium to work with? 

Acrylic paint is my favourite medium. It dries so quickly which suits my way of working and some of the colours produced are inspiration in themselves. I'm also a big fan of the humble HB pencil.

 Do you have a favourite sketchbook? 

I have a tiny moleskine cahier that I paint in. I painted the cover as well and it's gradually building up into a little work of art in it's own right. The paper is very thin, probably not meant for paint, and the build up of acrylic gives the pages a 'leathery' feeling. I paint on a small scale anyway and the double page 5 x 7 inches is the same as one of my smaller pieces, so the size is perfect for me.

If you had to pick one favourite page which would it be and why? 

See above. I like the colours that I've used in this painting and it's loose and a bit odd and scruffy. All the things I like best in a sketchbook painting.

Thanks so much Anne for taking part in my blog and being the last sketchbook peek of 2013. Come back next year for a new selection and maybe a revisit to some of my old favourites!!

If you want to see some of Anne's work in the flesh then go to the Bircham Gallery, Holt, Norfolk Christmas show where you can see a selection of her landscapes from November 30th - January 8th

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