Oh what a joyous day, with the birth of our first grandson this morning.
Congratulations to his mummy, daddy and little sister,
and welcome to the family beautiful boy.
“I’ve always loved the dry landscape gardens of the Zen Temples. In these tiny gardens a small rock in a raked area of sand may represent a mighty mountain in a vast ocean,
which in its simplicity encapsulates the essence of all mountains.”
Tony Smibert in Chapter 11 of Painting Landscapes from your Imagination.
This second exercise in Chapter 11 was entitled “Using rocks to suggest mountains.” Tony describes how he developed a great affection for Japanese gardens during his travels in Japan and suggests using interesting rocks to create imagined mountainous landscapes. It just so happens that some years ago I produced four drawings of the Sino Himalayan Garden at VanDusen Botanical Gardens here in Vancouver.
Inspired by Tony’s exercise today I thought I would create an imagined landscape of mountains, sky and water using the drawings as a starting point.
Fortunately I didn’t leave these drawings behind thirty four years ago and it has been a treat to revisit them today, thanks to Tony’s exercise.
Worldwatercolormonth Day 19
In Part Three of The Photinia Story I described how drawing with the photinia branches reminded me of my figure studies from over thirty years ago and led me to burrow through my bottom drawer in the studio and bring out old friends I hadn’t seen in years. It also provided an opportunity to photograph and document them, the results of which I hope you will enjoy.
Paul Schofield in The Captain of Köpenick (1971)
Laurence Olivier in The Dance of Death (1967)
Drawing the faces of these two giants of the English stage revealed to me the power that they could generate with either a distant glance or thunderous frown. Both of their performances live on in my memory as unforgettable evenings in the theatre from many years ago.
The Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, 31st August, 1962
One more page of drawings from my summer in Paris in 1962. I somewhat foolishly imagined myself as a young Toulouse Lautrec as I sketched the cast of characters in the gardens and around the fountain that day: the young boys sailing their model boats, the loving couple out for an evening stroll, the guitarist filling the air with his music and the lady sleeping soundly on the bench. The drawings may be primitive when looked at today but they capture a peaceful precious moment in time in a city that continues to be very much in my heart and thoughts today.
I wrote, on Studio 365: Day 11 after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, how I fell in love with Paris on my first visit there as a young boy in August 1962. I posted a drawing I had made sitting in the Tuileries Garden on a beautiful summer’s Day. Now, here I am on Day 319 once again expressing solidarity and sympathy through the best way I know how with all those mourning today in Paris, in France and around the world. The drawing from that same never-to-be-forgotten visit in 1962 is of one of bridges over the Seine, when one of the most beautiful cities in the world inspired a young boy who has felt that inspiration ever since. Je suis Paris.