INDIA: Travels and Drawings

art, Drawing in Public, exhibiton, Illustration, location drawing, location painting, Painting, reportage, Sketchnotes

The Jagriti Yatra.

 Jagriti = Awareness
Yatra = Journey

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This charity runs a yearly train journey around India. It is inspired by the journey Gandhi took after returning from South Africa 100 years ago. It takes over 400 young Indian social entrepreneurs to meet role models and experience the diversity of their own country from the biggest cities to its most rural outposts. They examine the strengths, weaknesses and challenges their country faces, and explore and discuss avenues for positive social change through entrepreneurship. Working in partnership with Temujen Gunawardena I lived on the train will the Yatri’s and created a 10 metre long illustration capturing the content and experience of the journey. We plan to exhibit the piece in London in 2016 before returning it to the Jagriti Yatra team in Mumbai.

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Working on the JY train…..

More images will follow but below is one detail of the 10 metre long drawing that Tem and I made to document the journey, life on the train and the sights we saw, the experiences we shared and the talks and ideas discussed along the way.

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During the travels I naturally kept my own sketchbook journal. The first book I have bound from scratch and the orange cover of which is now scratched, scuffed, stained and filthy, the binding knocked out of all shape. And it is full of colour on the inside too. Here are some experiences from the book…….. It is so long I may have to put it up in instalments.

India Sketchbook: Episode 1:

The book begins:

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A book I newly bound.

Now a worn and frayed old friend.

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A portrait of myself by the lost and found artist Sharath Koona.

The start of a new journey.

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The opening ceremony for the Jagriti Yatra – Gauri Sharma Tripathi teaches us all how to do the Jagriti Yatra dance that we will perform almost every one of the next 15 days, often multiple times! I see an explosion of colour and fabrics. Over the travels, glancing out of train windows, I see the people of India pass as we whirl 8000km around the country from Mumbai to the South, to the East, North and then back down to Mumbai. I capture the impressions and moments of the people, I would say passers by, but being on the train, I was the passer by. They are waiting on platforms, heaving luggage and walking alongside the track.

In the city, Mumbai, on arrival one of my first thoughts, rushing through the city in a taxi, seeing the shops, the cards, bikes, buildings and millions of wares for sale:

Everything is leaning… there are no ‘right’ angles here.

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My traveling companion and partner in line and colour – Tem – experiencing jet-lag in the restaurant we ate our first dinner in. Oh delicious dosa with coconut yum. You are the best.

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The Yatra begins. It involves talking, listening, learning, dancing, good food, exploration and glances out of train windows at fleeting figures on train platforms… This old lady’s dress was a magnetic magenta shade above the yellow dust and blue shadow.

More to come in…

Sketchbook-Journey-Part-II

India travels 2015-16.

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More artwork from this and other projects on Instagram and Twitter @blancheellisart

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Next sketchbook is under construction.

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ArtRabbit – Frontpage

art, drawing, Exhibition, Illustration, Painting, press, Prints

Happily a friend just found my artwork featured on the front page of ArtRabbit,

My self portrait etching is front-centre below.

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Nice to see my artwork getting around. I do always feel like it’s got a life of it’s own, especially when I release the image into the world, material or virtual.

Find out about the exhibition this Friday 18th December through the ArtRabbit article,

or the FB Event,

and come down – it’s going to be lovely 

Drawing Intensive Exhibition – Friday 18th

art, drawing, Exhibition, Illustration, press, Prints

I am excited to say some of my etchings – including the series of musicians, will be in the Drawing Intensive exhibition at Mercer and Chance gallery in Hoxton (details below) this weekend 18th-20th December.

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The opening of the show is from 6-9pm on Friday 18th. There will be wine, art and wonderful people. Everyone is welcome!

golden banjo girl blancheellis.wordpress.com

Sing Yourself – Etching.

 

Details:

Drawing Intensive: Exhibition

Mercer and Chance gallery

253 HOXTON ST, LONDON

OPEN SAT, SUN, MON – 11am-6pm & BY APPOINTMENT

FB EVENT:

https://www.facebook.com/events/451568941710173/

I haven’t posted much here lately as I have become a firm convert to Instagram for posting my new work/work in progress. If you’d like to see some of those things then look for @blancheellisart

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Miscelanea Art Club – Exhibition

art, Design, drawing, exhibiton, Illustration, Painting, philosophy, poetry, portrait, Prints, Quotes, sketchbook

Really looking forward to being part of this exhibition in Vauxhall at VGCC on September 19th – it’s going to be a real mix of artists and mediums and raising money to keep the community centre open.

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My contribution will be a little cast of characters that have been emerging from my desk of late, combining the strange bodies of my imagination with equally strange advice that has jigsawed into place from cut-up text, books, newspapers and other once innocently printed and now mis-used words.

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more info here :

https://www.facebook.com/events/1675668462652087/

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Exhibition and Instagram

art, Design, drawing, Exhibition, metamorphosis, Painting, portrait

New Instagram Fan

Well, after dipping a dubious toe in the waters of social media I have found that Instagram is a perfect language for me. Just pictures. So I have that now @BlancheEllisArt – as a way to share my daily sketches and reflect the way I work.

Exhibition in Vauxhall

Also… I will be part of a group exhibition in Vauxhall Community Centre on September 19th. It will be a mix of artists and of arts from music to sculpture and I’ll be putting in some of the characters who have emerged this summer from my pen, watercolour palette and cut up text. As usual they all appear to be in some stage of distortion or metamorphosis.

I’ll introduce you to a few of the ones currently tacked to the wall of my studio….

things you don't know

One untrouble

Mr Happy Hormones

‘Frail’ – Beginnings

art, drawing, Illustration, Painting, portrait

A Frail Series

The characters in this emerging series are perhaps the less abstract cousins of the ‘Mistakable Bodies’ series.

Mostly created in the same manner, with no prior vision, the pen reaching around on the page looking for shapes and finding familiar faces and shapes.

The words and the images sitting together to make a moment – a short story of an image.

Click to view larger images

So Not So Sure

So Not So Sure

Mistakable Bodies…

art, drawing, folktale, Illustration, Painting, poetry, Prints, sketchbook

 

I have been finding more Mistakable Bodies emerging into my sketchbooks….

Mistakable Bodies - Growth - blancheellis.wordpress.com.jpeg WEB

sometimes they’re born of a phrase…

Mistakable Bodies - %22The Whispered Ah%22 - blancheellis.wordpress.com.jpeg WEB

Sometimes they’re silent….
Mistakeable Bodies - Move - blancheellis.wordpress.com.jpeg WEBBut always growing, metamorphosing, emerging and dissolving.

Never static.

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Group Exhibition at Primrose Hill Community Centre – Faces On The Hill

art, drawing, Exhibition, Illustration, portrait, press

The exhibition at Primrose Hill Community centre is coming up on Sunday 31st of May.

There will be lots of drawings by locals of locals and an auction of the works for which donations will go to keeping the local library open.

Do come down and have a look – it’s been a great experience meeting all sorts of local people and getting to know them while drawing them.  Running over to people’s houses and workplaces in my lunch hour to make sketches and sitting over tea and pencil shavings in pubs and cafes.

Here’s a few of the drawings that will be in the auction in Sunday……

Sadly I can’t make the exhibition but i’m looking forward to the book which may be published of all the drawings in many artists different styles…..

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Mistakable Bodies – Type

art, drawing, metamorphosis, sketchbook

Bodies are constantly emerging into the ‘Mistakable Bodies‘ series… 

Here are two that grew into my sketchbook yesterday.

Mistakable Bodies - Type - Building The Spirit To Come

My sketchbook does feel like a living thing. It’s as though the life of the characters that get drawn into it, from my travels and my mind, seeps through the pages and emerges again, further on, in twists and blooms of colour that have a life of their own.
Mistakeable Bodies - Type - A Stained Medium

These are all sketchbook versions but I have just begun making large drawings of new bodies so, more Mistakeable Bodies to come…

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2015 Sketchbook – Drawing In Public – Drawing Public Writing

art, drawing, Drawing in Public, Drawing in Public, Illustration, location drawing, London Underground, metamorphosis, reportage, sketchbook, Sketchnotes, Underground Portraits

Underground Green - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

well – it’s been a short while but i’ve made enough sketches that i thought i’d set them out them by theme for a change…

 

The largest collection is of Travel Portraits, mostly from the London Underground and Overground. So I’ll start with just a few of those. Trying a new – non-gallery format – let me know if you like it better !

 

 

Overground - Watch Your Children - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

I think this is my favourite TFL sketch so far.

It captures hundreds of identical moments I see watching people every day – the commuter all bundled up for winter and tucked into a sensationalist free paper whose headline blares absurdly from the crinkled front page.

 

Underground Portraits - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

The two guys from this page look like they’re from totally different centuries.

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Imagined journey – 

Overground Late Night Portrait - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

Lady on the late train back to Brockley from London Bridge, fellow on a train from Hove to London.
When A Song Is Fresh - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Underground Portrait - New Look - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

 

Newspaper headlines, brands and names of supermarkets on shopping bags are written all over public space, part of the markings of our world.

 

Sometimes they seem to make a visual point, I can’t always work out what it is, and don’t want to pin it down, but I like to include these things where they strike me as interesting or often, as amusing or absurd in some way.

 

commuters_2_finalA friend also sent me this excellent cartoon about drawing in public – it’s from New York.

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Some other posts coming up will be on exhibitions I’ve been to (Shiele/Turner)…

Egon Shiele Exhibition '14 at Courtold drawings of live music….

Mascara Bar - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

and a new series that has been emerging in this sketchbook…

‘mistakable bodies’

Mistakable Bodies - Growth - blancheellis.wordpress.com