Sketching with Siwan Gillick

Out through the door and into the fresh morning air I went, to meet Siwan Gillick, a creator of landscapes on canvas of the abstract kind. One of her paintings hangs on the wall in my flat and inspires me everyday to read the land in a different way.

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Abstract Painting by Siwan Gillick – Instagram: @cadiowain
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Siwan Gillick’s Sketchbook from Herefordshire Art Week. H.Art Bursary Winner 2018. Instagram:@cadiowan

As we walk up onto the ridge we share experiences along the way. It made me realise how important it is to explore how we approach art outdoors and to meet with fellow artists. It’s fun exploring together and discovering what each other may see. Sketchbooks are books of magic, a window into our world outside, in the elements, how we see within that moment. With the cold wind against our faces and  down to our finger tips, we continue, wondering how we select our materials and colour, depending on what we are drawn to. Siwan today was using charcoal and ink to colour.

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Charcoal pencil Siwan was using, not come across them before…

As we captured  the landscape before us, we picked out landforms to sketch. I chatted about how I remove the detail and capture the essence of a place I’m within. Siwan was drawn to the red of the bracken and the shapes of the local hills, a new landscape to feature in her sketchbook, and a winding path across Bradnor went into her book.  I was focusing on Stanner Rocks, considered to be the oldest rocks in Wales, dated to around 700 million years. They consist of gabbro, diorite and granite, according to the Radnorshire Museum.

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Stanner Rocks, the conifer covered hill on the left in the photo, taken from Hergest Ridge earlier in 2018. K. Owen.
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Stanner Rocks painted with watercolour and outlined with coloured pencils, mixed media by K.Owen The Walking Sketchbook.

I was using some new paints made by the #rubymountainpaintco. They were called The Long Peaks Palette, which I thought was fitting for my sketch today. Sometimes the colours we use might be influenced by feelings, more than the exact colour before you. Siwan was using a gorgeous purple ink. It’s inspiring to see different colours being used and ink rather than oils, acrylic or watercolours, whilst out and about walking the landscape.

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My new Long Peak Palette watercolour paints from the Ruby Mountain Company

I’m really enjoying meeting artists on some of my sketchbook days, it’s very inspiring. If you want to see more of Siwan’s work head over to her Instagram feed @cadiowain and you can see more of my creative adventures @thewalkingsketchbook

Hope we’ve inspired you to gather with other artists and go sketching outdoors. Share what you see with someone.

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