Saturday, December 31, 2011


I was looking at my flickr account today and came across a lovely comment by Thomas Thorspecken where he said

Just wanted to say that your 1 mile blog inspired me to begin my own sketch blog journey. I remember staying up late into the night reading every entry from day 1. Thank you.


His blog and writing is an inspiration, so a wonderful compliment. It reminded me of how much I have enjoyed sketching and blogging over the past few years. Like so many people, the last couple of years have been very difficult in many ways for our family and panic about dealing with our problems has meant I have drifted away from doing the things that I should be doing to give myself inner peace. So I’m resolved to restore some balance so that I have the strength to deal with whatever life throws at us. So I hope that I will be visiting here more regularly than I have been over the last year. I wish you all a happy 2012.

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Friday, December 09, 2011

Lucky me!

The chance to see eight major paintings by Leonardo da Vinci in one go is an opportunity the artist himself never had, nor any after him. So the National Gallery exhibition is not simply once-in-a-lifetime but, once-in-any-lifetime. So I’m incredibly grateful for my invitation to a private evening opening of the exhibition last night. To see the National Gallery (later) version of the Virgin of the Rocks in the same room as the Louvre (earlier) version of the same subject was fascinating. For the record both me and my friend preferred the earlier painting, shown here.

The paintings were stunning. However, what really made a connection for me across the 500 years between myself and Leonardo were the sketches and drawings. The drawings, with re-stated lines, pin pricks for transferring onto frescoes or traced over and redrawn on the other side of the sheet of paper (like illustrators do now using a lightbox) convey the struggle and thoughts of the artist in a way that the completed paintings can never do.