The Tiverton Art Society have, for a long time, arranged sketching afternoons during the Summer months but I’ve never before made the effort to go along – until this year. Today, when clouds sped across the sky and the occasional light shower moistened the landscape, a small group of us met at Fursdon House, one of Devon’s oldest family homes. We each set off in different directions in search of inspiration and we were not disappointed.
This was a significant departure for me given that I do pretty much all my art in the studio, working from photographs I’ve taken. Being essentially shy and somewhat diffident about my skills I have no desire to work in public, risking strangers observing my efforts and offering comments! However, there weren’t many folk about this afternoon so I felt safe enough to stretch myself even further and attempt a sketch of the house itself. As you may know, my preferred subjects are portraits of people or animals, so I have limited experience of buildings; yet I am fascinated by perspective, so I gave myself permission to make a complete hash and set to with gusto, making strong marks in ink on paper instead of tentative ones in pencil.
In the end I surprised myself – not only because I was pleased with the result but because I really enjoyed my somewhat bolder approach. I may even develop the sketch later and turn it into a painting. I’m certain I shall return to Fursdon House which offers such a wide variety of subjects and inspiration as the seasons change.