Tagged: scottish national gallery

Shouty head

Last night, I attended what will probably be my last ever Drawing Room session. I shall write about that decision in a separate post [UPDATE: that post is here]. The decision applies to my artistic development generally, and is not specific to the wonderful Drawing Room, for which I’m very grateful.

Yesterday’s session was led by Tessa Asquith-Lamb, and run by Katharine Aarrestad in Sharon Quigley’s place. Like last month’s session, it was held at the Two Roberts exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Inspired by the cubist / expressionist paintings of Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde, we composed images from cutting sheets of coloured paper. The pieces by the other attendees of the session were beautiful – very impressive, with lots of lovely layers of colour and detail. I however was only able to produce this rather mundane and simple graphic (inspired by this):

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The Two Roberts


It has been ages since my last post. I have been a little preoccupied with a little something coming my way: the imminent arrival of my first child!

Although I have neglected writing them up recently, the Drawing Room has provided a welcome opportunity to do some art, in an otherwise artless few months.

Yesterday’s session was given by the wonderful Katharine Aarrestad. It was held at the Two Roberts exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art – an exhibition of the work of Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde.

After Katherine gave an interesting introduction to the two artists’ history and their work, we tried our hand at drawing through carbon paper – a technique occasionally employed by them.

The piece at the top of this post was a copy of part of one of their paintings (I forgot to take note of the painting’s details). I produced this by drawing through black carbon paper. Attempting to add extra interest, I added a smidgeon of colour by rubbing the non-drawing, painted end of the pencil directly onto the paper.

I could have used oil pastels on shiny paper to produce a coloured equivalent of carbon paper – but I chose not to. Instead I added blue carbon paper to my itinerary for my second piece. I copied one of the Roberts’ costume design drawings, and made a few overlaid repetitions of it using black carbon and blue carbon paper – mirroring their re-use of the same design to produce differently coloured and accessorised designs.


I have enjoyed my return to posting about what I’m doing. I have at least two sessions that I want to write up from last year – including an interesting (for me) time with clay.

I have also started posting in my new food blog: https://foodfn.wordpress.com/. I’d be interested to see what you think of that!

My deepest thanks to Katherine, and to Sharon Quigley for organising the sessions. I hope to attend some more before my baby girl is born.


These are the other images I created in last week’s Drawing Room led by Catherine Street.

I posted my first and favourite piece yesterday.

With this image, I removed the girls’ faces and hands by blocking out and cutting out respectively. I played with the reflective nature of  the surface to achieve the face variation. The lacey/network hands are a result of an underlying image I selected. It is an interesting visual result, but doesn’t have the thinking behind it that the piece I posted yesterday has.

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I couldn’t let the hands go to waste.

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So I used them in this image of knives – among the instruments that could’ve removed them:

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This month’s Drawing Room at the Scottish National Gallery was led by artist Catherine Street. I’m not a fan of much modern art, but I do like what Catherine produces. I feel I can identify with her thinking behind her pieces.

Catherine led a session two months ago, where I did a word collage. In this session, we explored removal, either by blocking elements of an existing image, or by cutting elements out.

I produced 3 pieces, but I’m particularly pleased with this one so I’ll demote the other 2 to a separate post.

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I found this great photo in one of the magazines supplied in the session. By blocking out the hands I think I’ve added to the mischievous nature of the original shot. It brings the women together in conspiracy. I cut out the background to add emphasis.

I like to name my pieces if possible, and was pleased to find a title – “Manipulated” – that works on 3 levels. I won’t spell them out here (unless someone asks).

Light and sound, drawing room bonus

This week there was a bonus Drawing Room session, following the regular monthly session last week. Emma Bowen, who led some previous sessions, led this session. We revisited the ideas featured in the session in March.

This session was quiet which gave me ample opportunity to try out lots of materials, media and styles. Normally I’m slow to start, but I pushed myself to jump straight in and try lots of things. This was very useful for me to experiment, to see what I enjoy and find interesting. I did the following within the 75 minutes. I will just do a very quick run through here without going into details.

Chalk on black sandpaper, reacting to the noise produced by the chalk: sharp sounds.

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Chalk on brown sandpaper, reacting to the noise produced by the chalk: softer sounds.

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Following the paths of light reflected from a spinning disco ball:

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Adding spots of colour to the above image (turned 180 degrees):

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A star in chalk on black sandpaper, because I like this combo:

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Reacting to some beats with charcoal:

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In the room was an exhibition of neon trees, amongst an artificial park-scape. I looked at a tree through light refracting goggles, and drew it:

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I finished by copying part of a lovely drawing made by a couple of people who dropped into the session.

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These image might not be much to look at, but I personally found it useful to explore the various aspects of producing these.

Revealing pictures

For the next couple of months at least, the Drawing Room has relocated to the Scottish National Gallery, to coincide with the new GENERATION exhibition of the last 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland.

The session I attended yesterday was led by artist Thomas Whittle.

In the exhibition, we looked at the works of two artists: David Shrigley’s woodcuts and some of Callum Innes’ “Exposed Paintings” series in which he removes layers of paint he previously applied. These share the idea of taking away to reveal a picture, so that is what we explored doing for ourselves in the session.

Starting with a foundation layer of colour (pens), we then added another layer of charcoal and/or graphite. We then removed some of that top layer using an eraser to show the colour beneath.

This is my practice image. Inspired by the previous Drawing Room session, I wanted to try using words:

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I liked the fuzziness of the edges of the letters, obtained with the rubber eraser I was using.

For my main, larger image, I wanted to employ the fashion illustration techniques I’ve been learning:

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It didn’t come out as striking as I was aiming for. I used a base layer of triangles of colour, and had hoped it would give an effect like a costumed Venetian figure – but it did not. To achieve what I had in mind, I think the triangles would have had to have been a lot smaller so that they could actually be seen in each revealed stroke. This would’ve been beyond what could be achieved in this short session. Something to explore later if I wish…

As a byproduct of the above works, I produced a lot of charcoal dust. With this I produced another bit of “art” – in quotes because there was no thought to it, but the result is suggestive and received a few comments.

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I enjoyed the session and have learnt another technique I can use in my art. Good result.