Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wrapping up 2015 - Happy New Year!


Time to say goodbye to 2015, and a tumultuous old year it has been. Long warned of climate change seems to have arrived with a vengeance, or is it just El Nino again? I just know it's too darn hot! Our rainbow nation has turned into a confused and worrisome kaleidoscope of corruption, leaderlessness and fiscal woes with strikes, protests and marches always in the news. These sketches from the #ZumaMustFall march in Cape Town that we joined - there were similar scenes in Joburg and Pretoria.


But let's not dwell on that...

My blog - halfway through its 9th year - has mainly focused on urban sketching, which brought happy times and camaraderie with other sketchers, both locally and visiting from afar. I'm uncomfortably aware that my drawing style has become ever faster and sketchier, ie scrappier and less attractive - I haven't been drawing regularly enough outside of scheduled sketch dates which is one thing I plan to change in 2016.

As usual, I've been torn between artistic pursuits - urban sketching, painting, illustrating - and having now reached a 'mature' age, probably should accept that I never will concentrate completely on just one form of artistic expression or identity.

Deciding to forego another full painting course this year, much as I love the companionship, input and inspiration, I felt like I needed to find a pathway on my own - I have spent precious time in my studio, just moodling as is quoted from Brenda Ueland* in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way - hoping that something interesting or engaging would emerge and take hold so I could fly into a fresh and unique direction. There were some beginnings, some promising that I hope to get back to, a few that flapped and failed... I haven't posted much about my painting endeavours this year, feeling strangely reticent about exposing them to the world in this time of prolific online sharing - even the ever positive and encouraging one that my generous blog readers and friends provide. I'll get braver and back to it sometime!

An idyllic moment on our Cape holiday sitting beside the sea with an old friend, sploshing watercolour around
And so into the New Year... big changes are in the air for me and mine which I hope to record here as they happen. For this reason I'm not making any plans, aims or resolutions as they will very likely all go for a loop (which is what they normally do anyway so no diffs there!)
I wish every one of you reading this, a very healthy, happy and creatively productive year. Let's hope the news globally and locally, wherever you are, is better than last year's.
May the good guys win and the light shine through! Happy 2016!


*So you see, imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering - Brenda Ueland. (I used to be VERY good at this, but motherhood and other responsibilities made me pull up my bootstrings and get more organised - perhaps to the detriment of my art.)

6 comments:

Page And Paint said...

Happy New Year to you too, Cathy. You are one of the Supergirls of sketching and inspiring others, like me, to keep sketching and observing the world and peoples around us.

So I hope that you find everything you are looking for - in fact that it comes looking for you!! - in 2016, and that in 2016 things will turn better for our Beloved Country too. Those march sketches are vintage Cathy Gatland!

xx Barbara

Cathy Gatland said...

Thank you dear Barbara, you've provided such good company over many of these sketching expeditions. Things do seem to be looking to prise me out of my comfortable place, exciting but nerve-wracking!

RH Carpenter said...

Let's hope 2016 is full of moodling and fun creations and explorations! Happy 2016 to you (I, too, hope the good guys win but it doesn't always seem that way here, either).

Cathy Gatland said...

Thank you Rhonda... a very Happy New Year to you too - I know you will be moodling and creating as busily as ever!

Sue Pownall said...

Happy New Year Cathy. I hope 2016 is full of good times and fun... Love the DS paintings in the next post :)

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks so much Sue - and the same to you!