Monday musings

After all, what else is there to do on Mondays, except muse.

I’m feeling very centred lately.  I think this is because of the amount of time I’ve spent outdoors.  Potting up plants, watering them, seeing the garden come to life in the sunshine has revived me I think.  I wasn’t aware I needed reviving – but I think being busy outdoors does that to a person.

I’m still loving the paintings I posted last week , which is a good thing, as often if I love something right away, I can quickly un-love it!

Sunday evening my husband and I headed up into the hills where we live. Its a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, with great 360 degree views.  Out of nowhere a large herd of wild horses stampeded past us into the sunset – it was like a western!

I’ve never been in such a state of awe and fear – it was just magical ! We didn’t linger though, as there wasn’t so much as a tree to hide behind if they took off again.

Today has been back to work:  spending a bit of time making frames for my upcoming release of original paintings (yeyyy!), sketching out some landscape compositions and even a spot of painting – all in the garden of course.

Landscape sketches - from the sketchbook of Vicki Hutchins
Landscape value studies.  The top two are fleeting glimpses of a view whilst travelling in the car, whilst the bottom two were more detailed because I walked the area, and took photos.  
On the easel - artist Vicki Hutchins
Cheats plein air!  Outside yes,  but painting from studies.  

Urban sketching


Whilst I use a sketchbook (in fact, I have several in various states of use), these have mostly been for planning paintings, so thumbnail notans, compositions, etc, with the occasional sketch of my foot, or the lamp next to the TV.

One of the things that has established regular sketching for me is carrying around a smaller sketchbook ( I have a couple, both Moleskines, one for just sketching, the other can handle watercolours or pen and wash) and discarding the pencil and using pen.

In fact, I’m surprised, given how permanent a pen mark is (compared to a pencil) how liberating is it!  First off, I like the feel of how the ink flows on the page (fulfilling a sensory need is one of the reasons I paint), and actually I so enjoy it that I’m not (too) bothered about accuracy.

The other thing is that pens, a brush pen and a sketchbook are so portable and to hand, even indoors, and I’ve found huge inspiration from the fabulous Liz Steel, and Australian urban sketcher.

What’s great is that I’ve found of way of keeping a diary that I like – a combination of my sketchbook and this blog.  Some of the sketches will probably be worked up into finished oil paintings, but others definitely won’t.

Another plus is that whilst I’ve been known to paint plein air landscapes in my local area, I feel somewhat intimidated doing this in my local town with all the oil painting kit outside Starbucks!  Urban sketching will help me get my eye in and work up to that I hope.