‘Artist Sketching’
Vivienne
pencil in sketchbook

Link to Vivienne’s blog -Kitchen Table Sketches

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YOU ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN AN INTERNET COLLABORATIVE PROJECT….

Paintings of Painters Painting : Drawings of Draughts-Persons Drawing

All levels welcome, from genius to absolute beginner. Preferably your own work. Ongoing Project.

I thought it might be fun to gather together a few of the images from ‘Le Musée Imaginaire’ (André Malraux). Images of paintings of painters painting or drawings of draughts-persons drawing. Painting holidays or painting workshops are great occasions to practice this subject.

Do you have an artwork of this type of subject? I’m going to create a static web page for these when I’ve done a ’round-up’. If you’d like to be included, why not send me a web-ready image (72 dpi – 500 pixels largest dimension – please don’t jam up my letter box with heavy files!!) , and I’ll include it. Don’t forget to tell me your URL if you want a backlink. It could be fun to get all these images together. Pourquoi pas?

All levels welcome. Preferably your own work. Ongoing Project. Please spread the word & pass on the invitation! Everyone welcome.

 

‘Vivienne at Lanquais’
Cathy Gatland
watercolour
40 x 25 cm

‘ Palette layout Diagram – with Painters Tea-Break insert’ Cathy Gatland
A5 Sketchbook

Cathy Gatland link to Blog – A Sketch in Time

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YOU ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN AN INTERNET COLLABORATIVE PROJECT….

Paintings of Painters Painting : Drawings of Draughts-Persons Drawing

All levels welcome, from genius to absolute beginner.

I thought it might be fun to gather together a few of the images from ‘Le Musée Imaginaire’ (André Malraux). Images of paintings of painters painting or drawings of draughts-persons drawing. Painting holidays or painting workshops are great occasions to practice this subject.

Do you have an artwork of this type of subject? I’m going to create a static web page for these when I’ve done a ’round-up’. If you’d like to be included, why not send me a web-ready image (72 dpi – 500 pixels largest dimension) (to me at blog365-at-artists-atelier.com), and I’ll include it. Don’t forget to tell me your URL if you want a backlink. It could be fun to get all these images together. Pourquoi pas?

All levels welcome. Preferably your own work. Ongoing Project. Please spread the word & pass on the invitation! Everyone welcome.

 

‘Hibou Effrayé’ Robert Hainard
Bronze 32 cm

Robert Hainard (Born in Geneva, 1906, lived a long time in the French Jura & died in 1999) is sadly not widely known outside of France & Switzerland. He is rightly considered one of Europe’s greatest ‘artiste-animalier’ (animal artists). His book « Les Mammifères Sauvages d’Europe »(Delachaux & Niestlé) remained the key field-book for decades, both for art lovers & lovers of wildlife alike & even today, his images of foxes, owls, boar & all kinds of animals remains a true bestiary, a celebration of wildlife.

Cerf et loup 1948, Slovaquie
Robert HAINARD
Gravure

His woodcuts reveal a knowledge of animals in their natural habit that can only be gained by long hours of close observation in the wild. This is not something that you can gain from copying from a book, a zoo or a photograph. His sketchbooks trace a lifetime of nights spent bivou-wacking under the stars & of whole days spent hidden in the undergrowth, watching the faune. He saw his first lynx at the age of 73, after 48 hours under canvas. Slowly letting the animals come to you, rather than you going chasing after them.

Artists and Ecology

Here is the work of a man who is no stranger to animals. As fine as anything you might find in Grotte de Chauvet or Lascaux.

Je n’ai personne à rendre responsable de ma passion de la nature. Elle est le fruit inévitable de mon goût d’être pleinement ( I have nobody to hold responsible for my passion for nature. It is the fruit of my taste to live live to the full  ) Robert Hainard,(rough translations into English by myself)

Apparently there are over 30 000 sketches that remain. Here’s one of beaver that I esteem to be of genius.

‘Castor’
Robert Hainard

Many of these sketches are drawn ‘sur la vif’ or asd the english say ‘on the hoof’. Literally whilst the animal is moving about. Just look at the wonderful sense of life & movement that these drawing exude!

‘Renard’
Robert Hainard

Anyone who has tried this will know that this is amongst the most difficult of drawing techniques. It requires great powers of summarising an good understanding about the animal’s anatomy as well as identifying the typical way the animal moves typically whilst doing a routine gesture. Obiviously an element of caricaturising the animal helps.

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Blind Contour Drawing …. ‘Sur la Vif’

In my limited experience of drawing children moving about, I suspect that the primary skill needed is blind contour drawing, that’s to say ‘where the eye goes, the hand follows.’

 

‘Elly’
Adam Cope

The recipe is as follows : pick out an obvious edge or contour & follow along it with the point of the pencil in your drawing. That’s contour drawing … a simple line that follows the edges.

Now for the really difficult thing: do this ‘blind’ , that’s to say without looking at your drawing. You need to be able to plot the drawing in your mind’s eye. Hold it in your head, let your hand find the correspondence ( I suspect it’s a sensual way of knowing the world).

The reason why blind contour drawing is essential for drawing ‘moving targets’ is that you often have less than three or four seconds to get it down before the subject has moved on. You simply don’t have the time to cross-reference the marks made against the subject.

‘Vally’ Adam Cope

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Robert Hainard – The Artist & Ecologist

He was also something of a scientific naturalist, having gained much experience & years of close observation in the field. His love for animals pushed him into action. For example, he was militant in speaking out against the embankment project of the Rhone & was involved in achieving a wildlife protection reserve, albeit a small part of the river banks. Sadly today the Rhone is very badly polluted & ‘denaturised’. Someone recently told me that the government has forbidden eating fish caught in the Rhone from Lyon downwards.

Si le savant n’est que scientifique, s’il n’est pas du tout intuitif, artiste, poète, mystique (…), il n’est qu’une brute scientifique…S’il ne s’accroche pas durement à l’analyse, à l’expérience, à l’action, le poète est une brute poétique.

If the learned person is only a scientific, if he is not all intuitive, artist, poet, mystic (…), he is only a coarse scientist… if he does no stick firmly to analysis, to experience, to action, the poet is only a coarse poet.  – Le Miracle d’Être. Robert Hainard, Edtions Sang de la Terre, 1946 (rough translations into English by myself)

Other than his artwork, what I admire in the artist & the man Robert Hainard is his outspoken words in defense of the enviroment, making him one of the forefathers of modern-day ecology :

La destruction de la nature, que je ressens à la fois comme un predjuice personnel et direct, comme un acte de vandalisme et comme un sacrilège, pourquoi leur est-elle si légère, indifférente pour beaucoup? Il se diront peut-être plus résignés, moins gâtés ou moins egoïstes. Mais combien peuvent avoir leur sommeil troublé par une perte d’argent? Ce n’est pourtant qu’un transfert de puissnace, a leur détriment il est vrai, et je n’oublie pas mon egoïsme conscient et organisé. Mais encore, c’est une perte de puissance toute abstraite, indeterminée, la plus part réparable qui soit.  – Le miracle d’être, Robert Hainard, Edtions Sang de la Terre, 1946, pp.73

The destruction of nature, which I feel both as a direct, personal attack, as an act of vandalism and as a sacrilege, why is it to so many others so light & so indifferent? Maybe they find themselves more resigned, less spoilt or less selfish? But just how many can have their sleep troubled by a loss of money? But this is only a transfer of power, to their detriment it’s true, and I don’t forget my conscious & organised selfishness. But again, it’s a loss of power, abstract & indeterment & for the most part, repairable. — Le miracle d’être, Robert Hainard, Edtions Sang de la Terre, 1946

(rough translations into English by myself)

La Société. de plus en plus, s’intéresse au développement de l’individu. Mais c’est encore une ruse(…) Elle l’enrichit, mais de plus en plus elle dirige ces enrichissements. Elle lui prépare les cadres, les casiers où toute cette matière viendra s’emballer sans trouble et sans à-coup. La réalité concrète, la nature est toujours nouvelle, étonnante, bouleversante.

Society, more and more, is interested in the development of the individual. But this is again a ruse… It enriches him but more & more it directs these riches. It prepares for him the contexts, the tills where all this material will come & sweep him away without trouble & without comeback. Concrete reality, nature is always new, stunning, moving.

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Le plus tragique, ce n’est pas le manque de nature, c’est qu’elle diminue. Je veux le renversement de la tendance. Et je veux non seulement le plus de nature possible, mais avec le plus possible de civilisation.”

The most tragic thing is not the lack of nature but that it is diminishing. I want to reverse this tendancy. And I not only want the most possible of nature, but also with the most possible of civilization.

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Est-il sensé, pour maintenir pendant quelques générations un excédent démographique, de sacrifier (si c’était possible) toute vie sauvage, de défricher la Terre entière, de supprimer toute liberté, tout amour (car pas de liberté sans espace, ni d’amour sans choix) pour nous heurter bientôt, de toute manière, au bilan implacable : une vie pour une mort – eût-on défriché l’Amazonie, irrigué le Sahara, le désert de Gobi, urbanisé l’Antarctique ? Le pire fléau pour une espèce est la surpopulation.  —Robert Hainard, Le monde plein, Ed. Melchior 1991. p35 (quoted by Philippe ROCH on http://www.pirassay.com/textes.php?id=11 )

These nightmarish thoughts, these darks thoughts …. are they true or are they chimeraic? Sometimes the words of artists are necessary to hear, even if they came from bad nightmares.

(Is it wise, to maintain for a few generations such a demographic excess, to sacrifice (if it were possible) all wildlife, to land-clear the whole Earth, to suppress all freedom, all love (because there’s no freedom without space, no love without choice) so as to send us clashing, in any case, against the implacable bottomline : a life for a death? Land-clear the Amazon, Irrigate the Sahara & the Gobi, Urbanise the Antartic? The worst plague for a species is over-population.” Robert Hainard, Le monde plein, Ed. Melchior 1991. p35 (quoted by Philippe ROCH on http://www.pirassay.com/textes.php?id=11 )

 

If an artist genuinely loves his or her subject matter then why shouldn’t he or she be concerned about it’s well-being?

  Si j’aime tant ma vie de peintre, c’est qu’elle est à la fois immense et très centrée, car je vis la vie de la vaste nature, mais je la veux tenir entre mes mains par une conquête très âpre et personnelle. J’ai l’infini à ma portée, je le vois, je le sens, je le touche, je m’en nourris et je sais que je ne pourrais jamais l’épuiser. Et je comprends mon irrépressible révolte lorsque je vois supprimer la nature : on me tue mon infini.

For more on Hainard on the web :

Fondation Hainard

This site also generously has an ebook online in french : ‘Le Monde Plein by Robert Hainard’

wikipedia.fr – Robert Hainard

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Read more artists & ecology in this blog:

Artists & Ecology #1 – Festival Flore Faune
Artists and Ecology #2 – Robert HAINARD – how to ‘blind contour draw’
Artists & Ecology #3 – Constable, Corn & the Destruction of Hedgerows
Artists & Ecology # 4 – Paintings of Potatoes, Semances & Homage à José Bové
Artists & Ecology # 5 -Le Dropt, Castillonnés , a green corridor?
Artists & Ecology # 6 – No Space for Nature in the Countryside? Wendell Berry

Here’s the details of the Fourth Festival d’Art en Périgord Pourpre. The opening night is at the mairie de Thenac on the 31 May at 19,30hrs.

Expositions du 31 mai au 8 juin 2008
dans les villes d’ Eymet, Cunèges, Puyguilhem (Thénac), Saussignac et Sigoulès

I believe I’m in Eymet at Le Centre Culturel with the other ‘Artistes Invitées’. Just follow the banners. I’ll be exhiting my owls which I posted in Quatre Carte-Postales de Mon Co-Locataire, L’Hibou Some good contemporary art in these shows. Don’t miss them.

 

Click on image for bigger picture

HOMMAGE à HENRI MORI

This year the central artist is the sculptor Henri MORI. Anyone who has been to Sarlat will have seen his geese besides the covered market place (geese being the source of the livers used in the making of fois-gras, one of the principle export items of the Dordogne). The Museum of Sarlat is loaning out 51 sculptures for this show, made in the local stone of Les Eyzies (see my ‘rocks’ category, where I’ve had a stab at painting some of the cliffs of Les Eyzies).

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CONCERNING ARTISTS & ECOLOGY

‘La Nature peut vivre sans L’Homme mais l’Homme ne peut vivre sans la Nature’ – bon mot Francais (Nature can live without Man but Man can not live without Nature)

This is a subject close to my heart as a landscape painter with some thirty or so years experience. It is also the key theme to this annual event.

“To write a love song, you have to be love” Henry Hensche (Cape Cod School of Art).

The experience of being in a landscape & painting what you love, what you care about is central to my practice. It tends to follow on naturally , in my experience, that (some) artists become engaged for the well-being of their subject matter. I think of Leonardo da Vinci, who bought pigeons in the market place & then set them free, with his hands, right in the middle of the market place, much to amazement of the onlookers. Why did he do this?

I’ve written fairly extensively elsewhere abour ‘artists & ecology’ & so what I’ll do over the period of this festival is post these writings & images here. à suivre ….

Read more artists & ecology in this blog:

Artists & Ecology #1 – Festival Flore Faune
Artists and Ecology #2 – Robert HAINARD – how to ‘blind contour draw’
Artists & Ecology #3 – Constable, Corn & the Destruction of Hedgerows
Artists & Ecology # 4 – Paintings of Potatoes, Semances & Homage à José Bové
Artists & Ecology # 5 -Le Dropt, Castillonnés , a green corridor?
Artists & Ecology # 6 – No Space for Nature in the Countryside? Wendell Berry

I’ve been invited to exhibit in the 4eme Festivale de Flore Faune en Périgord.
Details & dates to follow in next post. Here’s what I’m putting in, boxed up along with the bilingual explanation notes. 

Quatre Carte-Postales de Mon Co-Locataire, l’Hibou (fr) = Fur Post Cards of my Room Mate, the Owl. (en)

 

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hibou I

hibou 2
hibou 3
hibou 4

TITRE: Quatre Carte-Postales de mon Co-Locataire, l’Hibou

MEDIA : Véritable sepia (encre des seyches)

DIMENSIONS : quatre carte postales – 10 x 15 cm, encadré dans un seule cadre (environ 40 x 60 cm???)

DATE : 1997

NOTE EXPLICATIF : En 1997, j’ai eu l’opportunité d’être concierge d’un domaine très isolé au milieu de la nature, quelque part dans le Sud Ouest de ‘La France Profonde’. Je pensais que j’étais tout seul comme un naufragé sur une île déserte mais non. Les nuits étaient encore plus bruyantes que les jours! Les grincements, grattements, couinements… l’environnement était vivant avec les bruits d’une faune sauvage. Mais au moment où j’ai commencé à m’habituer aux loirs, souris, capricornes et scarabés… cette nuit là, j’ai entendu un bruit encore plus surprenant. Un soufflement lourd et chaud, tout prés de moi… Il fallait que je trouve la source de ce soufflement & la confronter si nécessaire. Pas de confrontation nécessaire. Là, tout prés, de l’autre côté de la vitre de la fenêtre où j’avais installé mon attirail de dessin, il y avait un hibou, tout jeune & tout petit. C’était incroyable, il restait figé pendant que je le dessinais ‘sur le vif’ (voir HIBOU 1). Cet hiver, pendant les nuits noires comme de l’encre, je l’ai entendu à chaque pas que je faisais. Quelles études et quels parcours (voir HIBOU 2) pour ce jeune hibou avant qu’il puisse prendre son envol? Certaines nuits j’entendais ses plumes qui coupaient l’air & bien entendu, sa chanson mystèrieuse (Voir HIBOU 3). Quleques années plus tard, lors d’un promenade en forêt, j’ai rencontré un autre être, avec un regard qui m’a figé autant que je l’ai figé… (Voir HIBOU 4).

ENGLISH EXPLANATION NOTE

In 1997, I had the opportunity to be the guardian of an estate, which was very isolated in the countryside, somewhere in the South West of ‘La France Profonde.’ I thought that I was all alone, shipwrecked on a desert isllad but no… The nights were even more noisey than the days! The knorings, scratchings, squeakings… the enviroment was alive with the sounds of a savage wildlife. But the moment that I started to get used to the field mice, door mice, deathwatch & stag beetles…. then that night, I heard a noise even more surprising. A heavy, hot breathing, close by me… I had to find the source of this breathing & confront it, if necessary. No confrontation was necessary. There, very close by, on the other side of the window pane where I had set up my drawing kit, was a tiny, small owl. Incredibly, it remained fixed to the spot whilst I drew it from life ( see HIBOU 1). That winter, during the nights black as ink, I heard her with every step I took. What studies & what trails (see HIBOU 2) for this young owl before she could take flight? (see HIBOU 2). On some nights, I heard its feathers cutting the air & of course, her mysterious song (see HIBOU 3). Some years later, whilst walking in a forest, I met another being, which had a look which frooze meas much as I frooze it…. (see HIBOU 4).

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