Spring is that time of year… time to clean and organize. Starting with my studio, which was quite a disorganized mess, I must say. And it’s amazing what you find. I have so many drawings that I have forgotten about. These little graphic illustrations we all created in 2016, and have been sitting in a box ever since.
These are all golf-related. Some are specific golf holes and some are based on places I have played. If I choose to create more, I think I should leave off the actual golf course reference, as they really could relate to many other courses and holes around the world. Some of the locations are Blue Springs Golf Course, Emerald Hills Golf Course, and Heron Point Golf Links. The illustration with the bridge was based on a hole from the World Tour Golf Links in Myrtle Beach. This particular hole was inspired by the 12th at Augusta National, one of the most photographed holes in the world.
It is the season to think and dream about golf!
I played my final round of golf for the season on November 13 (only front nine was open). 9 Holes + 4 extra, just because the opportunity was there. Played one of my best front nines of the season. Probably because - I was not expecting to play, it was quite cold, too many clothes for golf, so I had no expectations. It was relatively warm, when the sun poked out a few time, but temperature dropped as we were finishing. One final post round beer and we look forward to next season of golf!
For the next five months or so, I have so much time to do artwork! And now I have an extra day at home (no work Wednesdays) I have even more time. My "artwork to do" list just keeps growing. Check back to see my progress and new works.
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!
March is here... that means that golf season is just around the corner. Over the years, I have done literally hundreds of golf course sketches and drawings. I have filled sketch books! Sketches on location, sketches from photos, drawings and paintings from her and her clients photo reference. From golf courses here in Ontario, Canada to South Carolina, Arizona, Dominican Republic, Ireland... and the list goes on. It is the best sport for exercise, fresh air, scenery, camaraderie and for some competition. If you have a favourite golf hole or a hole in one, and would like a piece of artwork to commemorate it, just let me know, I would be happy to hear about your golf experiences and create a lasting memento.
What are the odds of getting a hole-in-one or ace? According to the National Hole-in-One Registry, the odds of the average golfer making a hole-in-one are 12,000 to 1.
Some other interesting facts about hole in ones ...
Aces are rare, but the same golfer getting aces three years in a row, what are the chances? 2018 and 2019 aces were at Greenhills Golf Club in Lambeth, and most recent 2020, at Tangle Creek Golf and Country Club near Barrie. One golfer. Three aces. Three years. Congratulations to him!
BlackHorse Golf & County Resort
Played this golf course on Friday, August 21, a sunny, hot day, perfect for golf. The number breakdown looks like this...
18 holes - 16 sketches - 2 tall boys - 4 hours, 5 minutes - 89 total
Riding in a cart while golfing, always gives more time for sketching. The "on course" sketches are very quick... I never want to be "that" golfer who holds other golfers up! So, I have learned to sketch very quickly, especially on the golf course. Sometimes, I start with some pencil lines (I was using a mechanical pencil, which I have had since college), but sometimes I go right to permanent black ink. All of these sketches were done on the course and the colour was added later.
I still sketch every golf hole I play. This obsession started in the spring of 2016 and still I still have the urge to record every hole I play. If I have already sketched the holes/course, no need to do it again. Greenhills Golf Club is no longer owned by Clublink, which means I have played all of my rounds at the same course since this season started. But... while out of town last week, I got to play 2 different courses: a 12 hole course in Eagle Lake (not a typo... a 12 hole course) and an 18 hole course.
"Eagle Lake Golf, is tucked away just a short picturesque drive west of South River. A gently rolling one of a kind 12-hole course, designed to tantalize the everyday golfer yet it reminds you that accuracy is more important than distance alone." A fun course to play, needs some work, its a little rough around the edges.
"Osprey Links Golf Course. The front 9 is a traditional links style golf course with eight strategically placed ponds enhancing every hole, while the back nine is a completely different challenge. Being almost completely cut out of the forest, it features tree-bordered fairways and extreme elevations." I loved the tree lined back nine, did not like the front nine so much. .
We are in the heart or should I say HEAT of golf season. Last evening on the course was about 32 degrees plus humidity, making it feel like 39! It was pretty hot walking.
Golf season means less time spent doing artwork and more time spent on the golf course. Playing golf three times per week takes about 15 hours. That does include the nineteenth hole beer. New policies and procedures are place on the course, but golf is the one thing that feels very close to the normal that used to be. There are few exceptions, but easy to deal with, just happy to be on the golf course... no matter how hot it is!
Below is artwork completed in 2012. My favourite quote from this piece is: “One minute you’re bleeding. The next minute you’re hemorrhaging. The next minute you’re painting the Mona Lisa." Mac O'Grady. If you are golfer, you can relate. Recently I translated the image into a greeting card.