Drawing the River with Bronwyn Berman

Posted: October 19, 2014 by Mo Crow in art exhibitions, It's Crow Time
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drawingtheriverwebYesterday my friend Bronwyn Berman gave a workshop in conjunction with her ‘River to River: Interwoven Landscapes’ exhibition  at Penrith Regional Gallery
the-riverShe gave us a quick introduction to a variety of techniques & ideas for representing water with charcoal then loaded us up with materials to make our preliminary sketches on the banks of the Nepean Riverprocess-1then back across the road to the studio to work up our sketches on big sheets of paper
process-2process-3process-4we all found such a different viewriver-crit-1river-crit-3river-crit2I wrestled with the materials most of the day then finally gave up all hope and made a few bold marks as you can see in the drawing behind Bronwyn, just goes to show you can teach an old crow new tricks!

  1. grace says:

    you are used to such Fine Line

  2. dinahmow says:

    Lost me at charcoal! I make a dreadful mess before I even start…

  3. Dana says:

    How wonderful to have an opportunity to push yourself into new expressions of your art form! You are so accomplished in your usual style that it must be hard to struggle again, but I’m sure it will pay off. Charcoal is very messy.

    • Mo Crow says:

      I think my attempt yesterday confirmed that drawing with burnt sticks is not my medium in this lifetime Dana! as my friend Richard who did such an accomplished drawing replied earlier this morning via e-mail, “Drawing with charcoal needs a confident approach. I can layer it and second (and third and fourth) guess until something starts to work. A few compositional devices to balance the tonal contrasts and no colour–it does suit the way I work.”
      It doesn’t suit the way I circle the idea, taking the most convoluted ’round about route, building up the concept with lots of tiny details until it’s done… we all have such different ways of working & was fun to see how everyone saw the river so differently!

  4. karen says:

    I’ve never had a good relationship with charcoal as you can imagine! Back in the day when I HAD to do it for box ticking at college it was a major trauma. I envy those for whom it comes naturally and your piece looks pretty good to me.

    • Mo Crow says:

      Hi Karen, that drawing went straight out into the recycle bin on Sunday night! I learned a lot but mostly it was a confirmation that charcoal is not my métier & yet pristine whiteness can be portrayed in charcoal! have a look at this immaculate botanical drawing by Susannah Blaxill of a Magnolia grandiflora flower. Her drawings take 100’s of hours to achieve, her attention to detail and edges are sublime, she is a master.

  5. Carol says:

    Wonderful sketches there and you can be proud of yours, too! The setting was beautiful and obviously inspirational to all of you.

  6. Hugs hugs and hugs
    And lots of longing to you art

  7. it’s always a good thing to spend some time with charcoal and paper…

    • Mo Crow says:

      it is a beautiful medium in other people’s hands but I won’t try to use it again in this lifetime Velma! my face and hands are still swollen from playing all day with the fine black dust as I have no tolerance to any kind of dust or fumes. ( I should have worn a mask and gloves) for spontaneous gestures I am better off with a sumi-e brush and ink!

  8. jude says:

    it takes time. keep going.

    • Mo Crow says:

      not for me in this lifetime, am still recovering from breathing in so much dust, my face and hands are still swollen three days later (takes about a week to settle down), ’twas good to push past my comfort zone but not when it makes me sick!
      NB I have a severely impaired immune system with no lymph nodes in the left hand side of my neck so breathing any dusts means my face swells up & my fingertips become infected. The good thing is I am still alive and can draw and make things just in different materials to what I used last century. I had to stop glass engraving as the glass dust was impossible to deal with, ditto polishing glass or metal with grits, sanding wood is also difficult as is using any glues or paints with fumes, etc etc. I can do all these things with a good mask and gloves in a limited way when necessary but we work with what we have left ahe?….

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