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In Situ | working from direct observation

Drawing from direct observation is an essential tool in an artist skill set. This could mean working in a fast moving environment where quick sensations are recorded rapidly and with courage. At the other end of the spectrum a still life/ object can be the source of an intensely detailed study intended as the precursor to further development into a print or a painting or a three dimensional object. For most of us these studies reside in endless sketchbooks but for famous and successful artists these sketches come to be valued as an insight into the making of these collectors items.

As an ex art teacher and working within the rigid parameters of examinations it was still enormously gratifying to see how everyone can be encouraged to ‘look’ and to find a way of rendering that looking in some form on paper. Feed into that process the cornucopia of drawing materials, inks brushes and crayons, now available to us and we see a wide range of finishes and approaches.

Some printmaking techniques offer the opportunity to draw directly onto a printing plate and in this way capture the spontaneity of direct observation to the finished print. In other processes the original drawing has to be transcribed in some way to transfer to a plate or block and this offers the opportunity to refine and improve on the first impressions.

The exhibition includes original drawings and prints which are based on direct observation

Jackie Ford

In Situ