Creative cabin fever

I wonder how we would have coped with quarantine without the internet and all the clever collaborative ways we are able to use it. It’s almost as if all the computer scientists and software engineers were subconsciously working towards this point in our history when we needed to stop dashing around and be on our own for a while. We have no excuse to be bored, ever. You can join an online sketching and writing session in a virtual museum, go to a meeting on zoom, play music at a virtual open mic, listen to your favourite musicians play live on their sofa (in their immaculately tidy living rooms!). Whilst staring at my screen I’ve played music, been to an author lecture, chatted to friends, learned more harp techniques from youtube. I’ve spent a fortune on topping up my mobile wifi data at home – my 20gb monthly allowance now only lasts a week!

Life on the river is transformed when the sun shines

As the weather warms up I spend less time staring at a small screen and more time outside. I don’t often sketch my immediate surroundings – the nine to five routine is so deeply engrained that I tend only to sketch for pleasure when away from home, or when I’m teaching, which is crazy. So I took a break from boat maintenance at the weekend and took a fresh look around me, sketchbook in hand.

This old steel wreck lies in the shadow of Sutton Hoo, and I’ve been meaning to sketch it for years!
I wouldn’t swap my blue garden for your green one any day. Just don’t step out of my back door without checking the tide tables….

Art and music seem to be more important than ever for those who have time on their hands – if you have TV there’s Grayson Perry’s Art Club and a feast of art programmes to help you not just to see and admire it but to do it for yourself. Hurrah for that! My own small contributions to the arty party are continuing and I’m making good progress with ‘One Line at a Time’. Here as promised is my working draft of Chapter Three for you to download and try out.

This is the tricky one: ‘Perspective is just a point of view’. Don’t be daunted. I’ve tried to strip away all but the essentials so please have a go at some of the exercises and do tell me if I’ve explained it clearly enough, if it helps to make sense of what can be a very complex subject. Drawing is after all a bit of trickery, making you believe you’re seeing real objects on a flat piece of paper. To do it for yourself we have to peep behind the scenes and see how the tricks are done. It’s worth it, trust me!

small bird, big boat……?
small boat, big bird????? The trickery of distance perspective!

I’ve also put up two more youtube tutorials in the ‘Creative Doodling’ series – so if wrestling with perspective gets a bit too much relax and unwind with a bit of colour.

Give yourself the time to let your hands become familiar with the tools of brushes, paints and colours and you can say a great deal on a small square of paper with a few patches of colour. Give it a try!

This is how the seascape doodle in the last youtube tutorial turned out. Less is more, sometimes.

Thanks for your feedback, as ever, it all helps. Stay safe and stay connected in whatever is your way and style. The river will wait for you!

4 thoughts on “Creative cabin fever”

  1. Jane Billing says:

    Hi Claudia,
    Further to my question about postcards.
    I am thinking of taking up painting. Please can you direct me to where I can purchase a paint box, paper and drawing pencils? I would like to support someone local e.g. Woodbridge, Felixstowe or surrounding areas if possible.
    Do you have any suggestions please?

    Many thanks

  2. Claudia Glas says:

    I just wanted to give you some positive feedback from Australia, A dear English friend put me on to your FB site. I absolutely love your fearless approach to using watercolours and I am learning heaps by just doodling and splashing colours around. and not being worried about the end result. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  3. Claudia says:

    thank you so much Claudia! Good to hear from you and let me know you get one.

  4. Claudia says:

    I’ve now put a download on my ‘tuition’ page of recommended basic art materials. Tricky whilst art shops are shut, but most of the mail order companies are still functioning. Orders may take longer than usual though. Supermarkets will have pencils and paper but avoid really cheap watercolours!

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