I have been invited to show 3 pieces of my golf course artwork at a plein air exhibition at Westland Gallery. The French term plein air means out of doors and refers to the practice of painting entire finished pictures out of doors. My artworks are not really paintings, but rather charcoal drawings that were completed on location. The more interesting part is that I made the charcoal from trees on that very golf course.
Name: Plein Air Group Exhibition 2022 (Various Artists)
Dates: June 7th to June 25, 2022
Live Painting in Wortley Village: Friday, June 17th from 4 - 7 pm and Saturday, June 18th from 9 am to noon
I am still working on my "sketch every day" challenge. When I play golf, which is usually 2, sometimes 3 times a week during golf season, that is where my daily sketch is completed. Since I made charcoal from willow sticks that I collected at Greenhills Golf Course, it is where I have been sketching with the charcoal. It is a challenge, as the charcoal is bigger chunks than I am used to working with. I am most comfortable with fine detail and working small. This is forcing me to work a little larger, and I think that is a good thing!
First 2 sketches below are from Saturday and Sunday last weekend. Last drawing was created yesterday morning at home using a photo as reference. I like the first 2 quick and free sketches better than the tight and controlled last one. I had too much time to "think" about it, work at it, and worry about ruining good paper. FYI - 140lb watercolour costs $10 to $15 per sheet.
I think (or rather... I know) I have more work and practice ahead of me, to be able to create the picture I am expecting to create.
My process starts by picking up sticks, found near the willow trees on No. 18 at Greenhills Golf Course. Next you have to peel all the bark off the sticks. Cut the sticks to fit in the small tin can to be used as a kiln, which is just an old tea container. Visit friends to have a beverage, conversation, and fire the kiln. Wait until the next morning, when it’s cool enough to open and voila charcoal! Success, first attempt making charcoal! Then off to the golf course and test the charcoal our with a few quick sketches.
Charcoal is one of the oldest drawing media, appearing in cave paintings dating back 28,000 years. The medium has been refined, bound with wax or gum into sticks and pencils, and can be easily purchases at an art supply store. But making charcoal from sticks picked up on the course and then creating artwork of that course seemed like a fun process.
Charcoal can be used to produce either a soft or strong line. It can be erased without difficulty. It can be smudged to produce a different effect. Now to sketch and practice some more using the freshly made charcoal!