Till Death Do Us Part: Sketching and a Family Wedding

Till Death Do Us Part: Sketching and a Family Wedding












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I spent a few days in the south of England in July. I went there with my husband Marcel and three children, Honor, Paddy and Liv, to celebrate the wedding of Marcel’s sister, Monique, to her boyfriend of nearly twenty years, Mark. We knew that with two teenagers in our midst – Honor is 16 and Paddy was 14 at the time, while Liv had just turned 12 – there may be some strongly-expressed opinions about what we’d do and where we’d go over the few days away, but we were looking forward to our trip very much. We would be celebrating a very happy occasion.

This is page 1 of my brand-new sketchbook, a Handbook Journal, which I was inspired to buy after seeing Marc Holmes’ and Shari Blaukopf’s beautiful work during our workshop in Galway a fortnight earlier. Each to his own, as they say – while it’s a beautiful product, I found the watercolour paint a bit slippery on the paper: the colour wasn’t embraced by the paper. You can see how the paint doesn’t change from the initial stroke, doesn’t settle and become absorbed, in the way that it might.

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8 Comments

  1. Duncan White

    February 28, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Roisin, You’re a lovely natural writer. Please do keep a diary mixed with sketches.
    It may well be warming to a widespread audience and incline itself to be published.
    I have a question. Do you ever work from many photographs of a place or scene, when it is not practical to be live and present onsite? I say this being in rural Japan, where I’d love to have sketches and watercolors of scenes, but am barraged by camera images. My wife and I publish and print here too, and have worked closely with a local sumi-e artist. He’s a gentle fellow, and the gentleness somehow flows out through his concepts, compositions and brushstrokes. This isn’t a passing comment. Am sincerely interested in your art, writing and
    inspiring students.
    Duncan
    Nara, Japan

    • Róisín Curé

      February 28, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Duncan, what a lovely message! I’m so pleased you enjoy my wittering.I do love to tell a story…as it happens, I’ve just finished writing a sketch-diary but so far no one has shown much interest in publishing it, so I’ll probably do it myself. As for working from photos: I must tell you that I never do it for pleasure. I do it if I have a deadline and can’t get back to a place, but it is not an indulgence. For me, the pleasure is in having the great hulking three dimensionality of my subject before my eyes, not a square of paper or an annoying screen. I love to be in the elements (and far prefer to be in weather, even when it’s bad, than in a car) and I relish having the sky as my roof. It’s life! Real life, real living. It may be a cliché…but it’s the process much more than the result! (then again, the results are so much better when you’re outdoors…) Do keep in touch! Do you have a website or somewhere you describe life in Japan?

  2. Amanda M. Seel-Mkare

    September 20, 2016 at 4:49 am

    Hi Roisin, I was really interested in your comments about the Handbook, and paper ’embracing’ the pigment. I have been on a perennial search for just that, so I wondered which sketchbook/paper you do like, and prefer to use?
    It was me who had booked on your Galway course in July and had to cancel at the last minute due to a knee injury. From Kenya. Broken-hearted about that, but still hoping to meet you some time in the future.
    Thanks for the info. Amanda

    • Róisín Curé

      September 20, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Hi Amanda, I am so sorry to hear that a knee injury kept you away from Galway this summer. I am no stranger to knee injuries myself so I really do sympathise. As for Galway, I’m planning on a workshop next year with some exciting instructors! We’ll announce our schedule over the next month or so.
      As for sketchbooks, I am planning to do a test of some papers soon. I will be comparing Handbook Journal, Stillman and Birn, Moleskine, AMI (my current favourite), Khadi, Fabriano, Vang and Strathmore. All will be specifically designed for watercolour. So far there have always been pluses and minuses with everything I’ve used so I’m looking forward to the review.
      I trust your knee has recovered well! Time does wonders. All the best, Róisín

    • Róisín Curé

      February 28, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Hi Amanda…just a quick reminder that we’re taking bookings for our urban sketching workshop in Galway at the moment. If you’re free and interested, it takes place from 13th – 15th July.

    • Róisín Curé

      February 28, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      By the way – my AMI sketchbooks remain my favourite, but only in the 297x 210 size, as the paper is different and very much inferior in the other sizes. Available from corkartsupplies.com

  3. Adriana

    September 13, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I always love your adventures and how you tell them Roisin. Great sketches, I liked particularly the pattern of Marcel’s shirt and Erika. Greetings my friend.

    • Róisín Curé

      September 13, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Adriana, I was only thinking of you today and how it’s a full year and more since our time together. Of course it is sunny and warm these days in Galway! Thank you for your lovely words and all the best to you and Bob.

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