Jodi our tour guide for the Open Door Bristol took us up the asphalt plant talking us through the processes of how they produce tarmac for their customers. This shiny new plant was opened in 2016 and was a big investment for well established company in the Mendip’s in North Somerset quarries decided it was well placed to set-up this new venture to serve the four million pound investment for the South Wests highway infrastructure.
Thought this is commercial enterprise they have strong values in leaving as little impact on the environment as possible. They acknowledge that there is an impact but there is a willingness to limit that impact. Wainwright invested solar panels which help not only keep running cost down but this is also green energy. They also recycle tarmac and use recycled aggregate in some of there processes. The choice of location was also a factor to limit the distances loads had to travel to sites.
This is the kind of narrative I am looking for found here in the Edgeland of Avonmouth that reveals a willingness to engage with new technology and science that benefits them and the environment.
One of my favourite ways of capturing the world around me as I go about my adventures is to take out with me a humble reed some ink and a small sketchbook. With minimal kit I am able quickly capture the essence of a scene. I don’t want imitation of what I see, simply the pleasure of absorbing the atmosphere of the area. I will leave bits out, rearrange the composition even add bits in! What is important to me is not replicating the scene but getting a sense of the place.
This is the kit I take out! Notice it is fairly minimal and it all fits into a small rucksack easily without weighing me down. I know from experience that the more you take out with the less likely you are get it out and draw.
Like any skill drawing takes practice and sometimes you will produce a beautiful drawing and the next is an ugly duckling. I really advocate allowing yourself to accept all that you create and not judge what you produce. With each drawing you are exercising that hand-to-eye co-ordination and sketchbooks are the perfect record of how you are improving. Of where you have been and more importantly seen will be recorded. There is something nice about going through old sketchbooks and reminiscing those moments. It will almost transport you back as if you were there! When you draw plein air you will have spent time looking at a subject and you will have a connection to that place in a way a photograph cannot.
Producing a beautiful sketchbook is not the point of a sketchbook. A sketchbook is where you experiment and play and discover your own auto-graphic voice. There is a joy that comes from finding that voice and letting go of the inner critic … it just take time and few materials.
Whilst on holiday I meet an artist who drew me his business card and that left an impression on me that no other business card has done before.
So I made some ATC cards (artists trading cards). This is a great way of exchanging your details in a memorable way. ATC cards are an established trading system where you can build a small folder of works. They are a little bigger that a business card measuring 2.5″ by 3.5″.
I also made some blanks to make whilst out sketching for that personal touch. So I have now some lovely ready made cards for when there time is short and some when opportunity to get my art out there with improvised sketch.
This is concept work for a larger volume of prints that is in development. The focus of this series [Shipping] is exploring the life span of shipping containers. Alan Coward and Sons Ltd hire containers for storage, welfare units (for site construction) or converted into homes, garages and office giving them a second life. It is business that is very much part the Edgeland landscape of Avonmouth in Bristol.