Friday, 4 September 2015

A turn up for the books...

You know every now and again I pick up my sketch pad and paints and wander off to do a sketch. Of course nine times out of ten my sketches end up in the bin, actually ten times out of ten almost. I rarely keep the sketches I do considering them not worth keeping. I must have thrown away hundreds of these things over the years, days and days of observation and painting into the trash simply because I wasn't immediately happy with the result. Usually they aren't very big, smaller than A5, so not a great loss really.

Occasionally though one survives, forgotten in one of my dozens of sketchbooks, left languishing away in some forgotten corner. This one did survive, I found it today in a sketchbook shoved between some cookery books on the cookery book shelf in the kitchen. It's a ten minute sketch of the stone jetty at Trevor in Wales. I painted it last summer I think.

It's not great. It's just a quick impression of the day, the ten minutes that I sat there with my paints splashing out the colour and trying to catch a fleeting likeness of what was there before me. It's hard sketching in the field. The wind blows the paper as you paint, the sand lands on its surface and sticks there, it never seems to go well and then, as I have already said, afterwards I find the nearest bin and drop it in.

Looking at this though I'm beginning to think that may have been a mistake. Although it's not a masterpiece it really does capture that single point in time, at least for me. I remember every moment, can see each boat on the water as it bobs, I can smell the seaweed, hear the gulls, taste the coffee that I was sipping at the time. It's a record of ten minutes of my life spent daubing a bit of paint on a piece of paper and looking hard - and it's the looking hard that is the thing rather than the painting.

Besides, it seems that they look so much better with a little distance between the painting and the looking again. I wonder if it's meant to be that way? I can't know can I? So many of them have been scattered to the winds. So my resolve is to try harder. Not with the painting, although I must do more of it, but with the urge to throw them away the minute that one is completed and then ridiculed to oblivion.

This isn't even one of my better ones. I've thrown away much better sketches than this. Why did I do that? I really don't know. In future I think that I will keep them all if only for me to look at them when I am far too old to even lift a brush. They may just remind me of a certain time, on a certain day and for a few moments I can be there again.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah Rawden Keep them smile emoticon xXx
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 21 hrs

    Andrew Height I will in future. I don't know why I bin them Sarah, when you look at some of Turner's quick sketches you wonder why he kept them. At least I do.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 21 hrs

    Sarah Rawden I would love to be able to have the talent to just sketch like you do....please keep them wink emoticon xXx
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 21 hrs

    Andrew Height smile emoticon
    Like · Reply · 21 hrs

    Paul Whitehouse He's awfully good with a Rotring and a Pentel N50 too Sarah...and occasionally a Klimsch !!!! LOL
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 20 hrs

    Andrew Height Happy days Paul. Still have a set of Rotrings and the Gateway trace I nicked only ran out last year. Well, I did have 100 reams.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 20 hrs

    Sarah Rawden I'm having a geek overload!!!!!! xXx
    Like · Reply · 20 hrs

    Paul Whitehouse Dr Sheldon Cooper, and Andy Varcoe Sarah ?
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 20 hrs

    Andrew Height It's a drawing thing Sarah. Like CS10 and matt gouache blends.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 20 hrs

    Paul Whitehouse I only ever got quarter-columns, never any full page straight repeats, but i'm not BITTER !
    Like · Reply · 1 · 20 hrs

    Sarah Rawden I have no idea what you are talking about, but I am smiling regardless smile emoticon xXx
    Like · Reply · 20 hrs

    Andrew Height Paul, you were so busy moonlighting for Reg I can hardly believe that you did any work at all wink emoticon
    Like · Reply · 19 hrs · Edited

    Paul Whitehouse Still dont know how you found out about that Andrew....can only think Mr Chorley dobbed me in !
    Like · Reply · 19 hrs

    Andrew Height Reg told me Paul. He was working for me all along.
    Like · Reply · 19 hrs

    Paul Whitehouse You are so full of shit !
    Like · Reply · 19 hrs

    Andrew Height No really, he was my puppet as I had an in with Steve Chambers, head of sales, and was freelancing for him. You may remember the work we did for Thompson? Well, that was just a cover for a major spec smuggling ring that I was part of with several senio...See More
    Like · Reply · 19 hrs

    Paul Whitehouse And Dave Harris was a KGB agent living a double life in a Worcester semi.
    Like · Reply · 19 hrs

    Andrew Height Actually Dave was an agent working for ITT HQ. He found out about what was going on and was moved to Manchester with the proviso that he kept his gob shut. Obviously he couldn't, so we shipped him to Japan, terminated him without due diligence, and brought back a ringer. Clever eh?
    Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs · Edited

    Andrew Height Anyway, when the Turkish stuff came in we decided enough was enough and morphed our operation into hasish originally and then crack cocaine. That is why I am looking at purchasing a Caribbean island.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 19 hrs

    Paul Whitehouse I believe Varcoe murdered Wombosi and agent Bourne was drafted in to run Treadstone.
    Like · Reply · 18 hrs

    Andrew Height Ahh shhhh Paul, this may mean that you are activata...........
    Like · Reply · 15 hrs