Stage 2 – acrylic on small canvases – Lesley Saine, 2015
Stage 1 – from coloured pencil drawing to pencil and marker drawings on small canvases – Lesley Saine, 2015
Finally got round to making a mark on the small white canvases (Stage 1), using pencil and marker pen. In (Stage 2) I left the background bare canvas on the pencil one, which made the acrylic colours very bright. On the other small canvas that had marker pen I added a wash background first, which dulled down the acrylic colours.
I thought it would help by doing two different canvases to see which method might be better to use. Not sure it helped at all… as on their own they both seem ok… but put together (Stage 2) I can’t decide which method looks better than the other, can you?
Several years ago I decided to self-publish my writing. The challenge I set myself was to put all my writing into novels and to do everything myself including the artwork for the covers. There is plenty of advice out there saying you shouldn’t do it yourself… but I ignored it. Some writers used to do their own artwork such as JRR Tolkien, Beatrix Potter, etc. You can proofread your own work and laugh at all the stupid mistakes you find such as using ‘taught’ instead of ‘taut’ – the spellchecker doesn’t know the difference.
I do prefer the feel of holding an actual paperback book in my hands. There is something satisfying about having a printed book and being able to turn its pages.
At the moment I’ve nearly completed by fourth novel. The fourth novel has been the hardest to complete. As I get older my mind is not as sharp as it used to be… I forget stuff easily… find it harder to think. Especially find it harder to concentrate on putting a book together. Which is why the fourth novel has taken me so long to do… much longer than the first three novels. It is a darker novel than the first three.
Basically I just wrote about stuff that caught my imagination which became stories and poems that ended up in my novels. When I first began to write the ideas just flooded into my mind, almost taking form by themselves. Though I had noticed that bursts of creativity often coincided with courses that I had been doing or other things happening in my life. But that wasn’t always the case. Sometimes doing courses did the opposite to my creativity.
The writing part was the fun bit. Putting the writing into book form, having decided to self publish and do everything myself including the artwork for the covers, soon became a chore instead. Especially with the proofreading part when no matter how many times I re-read my books I kept finding silly mistakes I had overlooked. For anyone who likes to criticize books for having mistakes in… I would recommend that they try to write without making mistakes in their work… it isn’t as easy as it seems!
Which made me look back nostalgically at how much fun it used to be at the beginning… when I just wrote for the fun of it because I enjoyed making up imaginative stories and poems. Similarly with my artwork, the fun part of that was the time spent drawing and painting, just for the love of doing it.
Maybe there is still some creative spark hidden deep down inside me still. Perhaps one day it will surface again. Creativity can come and go in bursts and I can never predict when it will surface again… I can just be grateful for the times when it does. If I don’t create something that has personal meaning to me, it would just be pointless.
FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS… (take your own sweet time…):
Following in the footsteps of many a great artist: prolific in their early years and becoming more and more thoughtful or adaptive about what to produce in their later years and often taking a very long time to get something done. Though I’m not quite at the stage where I sit cutting out shapes from pieces of painted paper with a pair of scissors and trying to make patterns from them. (Coping with the difficulties of old age and illness in his later years, Matisse turned to “drawing with scissors,” making his famous cut-out artworks).
I was bemoaning the fact that I am taking a very long time to get anything done these days. For some time I think about doing a painting. Perhaps another large painting. I already have some large canvas which has been gathering dust for possibly years. I buy some small canvases to supposedly practice on, which stay in their carrier bag. A few weeks later I consider that I should actually take the small canvases out of the carrier bag and take the wrapping off the pack of canvases. The partly unwrapped pack of canvases sit on a table gathering dust for a few weeks more.
I eventually decide to look in a couple of my sketch books for some ‘inspiration’ and eventually find a drawing I like. A few more days go by, or was it weeks? as the old sketch book sits open on a desk next to the partly unwrapped pack of small canvases.
Eventually I finally take out one small canvas, pick up a pencil and draw the sketch onto it. I might actually take it a few steps further in the next few days? weeks? months? possibly years???
Bemoaning the fact that it took so long to get to this stage… I was gratefully surprised to be told that it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get something done as long as you do start to do something. Nowadays with living in a world where everything is expected to be almost done instantly… it is refreshing to hear the view that it is more than ok to take your own sweet time on doing something.
Untitled 6 – acrylic ink painting (2003) – Lesley Saine
Have just added most of my acrylic ink paintings from 2003 to a page on my http://www.lesleysaine.com site.
When I was younger I would learn to draw by copying nature, copying from books/comics etc. I would write poetry, short stories and a book aswell as create many drawings. Unfortunately, none of this earlier work exists. Years of work was destroyed in 1990. My fantasy book, my imaginative stories, my poems, my earlier drawings, were all destroyed.
All the work that currently exists is from 1990 onwards. It is too easy to lose years of work – something that you can never get back again – lost forever.
Perhaps that is why I chose to start putting much of my work onto the internet for other people to see.
Often people do a lot of works over their lifetime but you hardly ever see them or, if you do, you are only treated to a miniscule portion of them. Seeing an exhibition of someone’s lifetime of work is often a welcome treat.
There are a lot of misunderstood creatives in this world. I remember going to see an art exhibition of someone’s featured lifetime of works and some scathing critic had scribbled in a guest book: “why is this exhibition here? It shouldn’t be in this ‘modern art’ gallery!” (Actually the critically comment was far more rude than that). Yet the works were amazingly inventive and creative. There will always be ‘works’ that someone will consider do not fit in.
If asked to describe my work, and specifically about ‘The Death Angels’, I might say:
“It’s a bit like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ for grown-ups… but without ‘Alice’ or the ‘Wonderland’. (‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll was a fantasy book about a young girl who fell through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.)
ThornRose, in ‘The Death Angels’ by Lesley Saine, lives on a dull, drab planet until she is pulled into a carved book into another reality. So, the similarity is mainly that someone enters another world. The series is filled with a constantly changing eclectic, fluctuation of enigmatic scenarios, snapshots of lives, exploration of emotions and now and again some poetry thrown into the mix.”