One of the unexpected benefits of arriving back home is that my interest in art came back. I don’t mean looking at paintings – I’ve always been interested in that. I mean my interest in drawing and painting. I think it’s because my inspiration and fascination was always with the Yorkshire landscape and once we left, I couldn’t find anything to replace it. Over the years I would dig out my paints and take an art class, or try sketching again on my own, but I could never stay motivated for very long.
But within a few weeks of arriving back in Yorkshire, I was in the garage digging through boxes to find the art supplies I brought with me. And not long after I signed up for a long distance drawing class with the Open College of the Arts. One of the first exercises we had to do was to try drawing with all kinds of different media, something that meant regular deliveries of pens and crayons were arriving at our house for a few weeks. By far my favorite discovery was my Rotring ink pen and a water brush. For some reason, drawing in ink frees me in a way that pencil doesn’t. Give me a pencil and I’ll produce an accurate but ultimately lifeless copy of whatever I’m drawing. But with the ink pen, suddenly my drawing is relaxed and expressive, somehow freed from the worry of ‘getting it wrong.’
I’m now like a kid with a new toy. I an hardly wait for the work day to end so that I can start sketching – and on those days when we have evening plans (like the next few), I feel a little cheated out of my drawing time. It’s exciting to create art that isn’t meant to be ‘right’ but that is just a pure expression of how you feel and what you see. Yes the perspective is out or the lines aren’t straight or the wash ran a little too much, and sometimes those things mean a drawing just doesn’t work. But at other times, they give a personality and joy to the work that isn’t there when you get things just right.
Here are some of the drawings that I hope express my feelings about this wonderful landscape:
Sheep on the moors
Trees at Lothersdale
Have I mentioned that it’s good to be home?