Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Cloisters - The Day Harry met Priscilla

Finally finished!

 It's a massive drawing by Pen and Ink standards - it's all ink by the way ... I have never put so much ink on one piece of paper before! Goodness knows how many pen strokes there are in it.

 The Picture is 18 inches high and 24 inches wide (450 x 600).  The beauty of its size is that it captures the light pouring into the West cloister in contrast to the darkness of the South Cloister

The Cloisters, Gloucester Cathedral, England        John Simlett (2012)
18 inches x 24 inches (450mm x 600)
Pen & Ink on Cartridge Paper 

As usual the values are downgraded in the transfer, for example, the wall Priscilla is approaching is almost hidden in a shadow.

I've tried lots of photographs... but I'm afraid I'm going to have to leave it until I've been to the printers to get it shown properly.

Here is one of me as well! 

This cloister was used, by the film-makers, as the corridor in Harry Potter's Hogwart School ... but Priscilla ignored him.  She said something about, 'Slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails ... versus, sugar and spice and all things nice!" (For newcomers: Priscilla represents the girls in my family)

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

AHOY! Shipmates!

I'm about a week off finishing 'The Cloisters' (see previous posting). I have never put so much ink onto one piece of paper, it certainly is the most complex drawing I have ever attempted. I'm still not sure it's going to come out right, but I'm beginning to feel pleased with it...which is a rare event!

You may remember that at the very essence of me lies the Shipwright (boat/ship maker). The only way I can build boats  these days is on paper. This is my luxury, when I draw purely technically, just for me - I've never shown this sort of thing before. Pat and Giselle reckoned there would be a great interest in this type of picture and so, after 'The Cloisters' my next project will be 'Bellona'.

I have a number of books in the series entitled, "The Anatomy of the Ship"

Each book is dedicated to a particular ship, listing every part of its construction, rigging, sails etc.. 

It then gives the history of the vessel in great detail.

By taking this detail I am able to construct the ship, exactly to scale.

It is a massive challenge to translate, and begins by giving drawings of the ship cut up in slices ...

...  it is sliced in cross sections through its length, width and depth ...

... from which I build this exact picture in an isometric view. It's a very big picture about 30 inches high and 24 inches wide (700mm x 600mm).

So, after the cloisters ... 

I must go down to the sea again,
to the lonely sea and the sky,
and all I ask, is a tall ship
and a star to steer her by
                                                                   John Mansfield

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

WIP The Cloisters, Gloucester Cathedral

Doctor Foster went to Gloucester
In a shower of rain
He stepped in a Piddle [puddle]
Right up to his middle
and never went there again.

This old nursery rhyme is supposed to be about King Edward 1 who, whilst visiting, fell from his horse into a puddle and was so angry that he never visited the City of Gloucester again.

That was all I knew about Gloucester until Giselle, my youngest granddaughter, went to the University of Gloucestershire as an undergraduate.

The WIP needs some explaining. The Picture will be 18 inches high and 24 inches wide (450 x 600) which is massive for pen and ink work

The cloisters are in an 'L' shape and you are viewing it from the apex of the 'L'. One leg of the 'L' goes off to the left whilst the right leg is largely un-draw. In other words The red/blue windows lie in the left leg ... the blue windows lie in the right leg.

What attracted me to this is the light. The left leg is in almost total darkness, the only light coming through the stained glass windows. The right leg starts in darkness, as you can see, and then is bathed in brilliant light ... the contrast, hopefully, will be startling.

Then there are the columns and their fan vaulting of which there will be much in the right leg. A real challenge, which I hope I'm up to.

The main problem is the blackness of the left leg. The reference photo shows it as totally black, and that would be no good to me in pen & ink. So I had to lighten the photo to reveal  barely visible detail. I then drew the windows and fan vaulting from those scanty details. Then I have started shading & shading until the detail almost disappears in darkness. 

The size of this picture should be it's crowning glory ... the blazing light streaming across the cloisters ... fingers and eyes crossed!!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Getting This Show Back On The Road

I have been incredibly busy with all sorts of things other than art and blogland. Now I have one remaining task, a day trip to deliver my daughter to London Airport: she is off to her boyfriend in the US (Denver) for three months. They spend the whole time doing road trips - very few places they hasn't visited. How does she get time off work? He's also her boss ... which kinda helps! Nice work if you can get it!

You may recall that Pat had booked us into various venues where she could sell my pictures. The first one got flooded out with all the rain, but the second one was yesterday, at Wentworth Garden Centre 

I confess to having been sceptical ... a garden centre? Well it was like no other garden centre I've seen ... it was more, 'a way of life!'

 We were sharing space with jewellery makers, glass blowers etc ... no other artists. I had my Yorkshire collection - which everyone admired, but nobody bought ... but ... we sold out of  prints of The Entrance to Poets Corner - Westminster Abbey London, which is pleasing as it is the first time I've offered it to public scrutiny ... apart from my buddies in 'here'.

I also picked up a commission to draw a castle! Will let you know the details as things progress.

Meanwhile I'm doing battle with the most complicated drawing I've ever done The Cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral.  All you Harry Potter fans will know the scene, without knowing that you do, it's one of the main 'corridors' in Hogwart's