Nov 7, 2021

An Awesome Way to Capture the MOMENT!! - Painting & Drawing Tips

NO, this is not about Outdoor Sketching.  
However, this is truly an AWESOME way to Capture a MOMENT in Time.  

CURLEY - Page 1 -MOMENTS IN THE PAST - Ink & Acrylic

The Spark:
I read about the Paint the Train Juried Show.  They were looking for works that presented the present and past of the Glory of the Railway age in Surrey, BC.  

My Muse:
Not a person, it was the history.  I thought I would just take a look into the Surrey Archives Pictorial References and see if anything caught my eye.  (Let me clarify, I do have a love affair with old pictures especially with people in them.)  Somehow I wondered into the website of the Surrey Historical Society.  Pretty soon I was reading living histories.  Needless to say I was lost for days!!

I was defeated.  

There was no way I could paint a picture for this show. 

Surrey Historical Society - Curley 1894

My mind was full of the rich history of Surrey, the stories of the people that lived in the past and the changes that the railway brought about.  I could not condense that down to one picture.  

I thought about it for days.  Well, fretted about it, actually.  I really wanted to support the Arts Council's activities but couldn't figure out how.  

The Solution: 
It didn't have to be one picture.  It could be several.  This was a perfect time to try my Book Art. One of the things I had been working on during Covid.  


I had to use 'Curley',  the locomotive,  he personified the logging industry and the railway. And really, how can you not love him.  This picture was from 1894 and so that decided my time period - anything close to 1900.

Printmaking - designing the pages for the drawings

The Process: 
First I used a process called 'Monotypes Prints' to create my pages in the book.  I wanted to give the feeling of old vintage pictures so I splattered them with paint to give that sepia tone.  

Then I arranged the pages so the 'blobs' of colour had a nice flow.  

The drawings were done with ink.  Of course Curley was first.  I wanted to show how life was then, give a sense of the industry and of course include some railway history.  Stewart Farm came next with an agricultural slant.  If found some great fishing as well but decided if the focus was railway history I should stick to the land. 
Surrey Historical Society - James Oxenham & Family at Surrey Centre Oxenham General Store 1910

The center of any community of commence was the general store.  I found great pictures of James Oxenham and his Surrey Centre Store.  That got me jumping in with both feet.  People. Of course.  I should include a few people.  

Kilby Historical Site - My awesome model for my Shopkeeper

I had a great picture of one of the actors at Kilby Historical site for a Shopkeeper.  He happily volunteered to be part of my piece.  The close up of him was a special project for me and one I was very pleased about.  

Suddenly only 2 panels left.  What to feature???

In the end I chose the Cloverdale Station and the BCER train.  Can you believe in 1910 you could take the Electric Railway from Vancouver all the way to Chilliwack!!  Not sure how long the trip was but I bet it was faster than the freeway on a summer Sunday evening when you are returning from a trip to the Interior.   
The Cloverdale Station was a major station and the route from New Westminster to Chilliwack opened on Nov 6, 1910.  This seemed a fitting point to end my book on.  

Surrey Archives - Cloverdale Station with BCER 1911

As I completed the drawing for each section I added my shading with an ink wash.  I loved the way the background and drawings worked together to keep the vintage feel.  

When the drawings were finished I completed the book by binding, labeling and covering it.  I love the cork fabric on the cover.  It has the feel of the softness leather but full of colour and pizzazz.  

OMG!! You are probably saying, this turned into a MAJOR project.  Yes, you got it.  I totally got carried away.  I had an awesome time.  By the time I was finished I wasn't sure I wanted to enter it into the show.  I wasn't finished enjoying it myself!!  

In the end I wished it luck and sent it off.  

Click to See the full view of my Art Book - Moments in the Past by Wendy Mould, AFCA, CDM

*** Special Note:  When I wrote this blog, the show had not been opened and the results had not been published.  However, today I have just learned that my project "Moments in Past" has won 1st Place in the 3-D Category!!!  Awesome, eh!!??

Looking to Move your work to NEW LEVELS?  

Contact Me for:

1. Private Drawing Lesson: (3 Sessions 2.5 hr each $250)
Do you want your animals to breath, your flowers to sparkle or your people to walk?  Whatever subject your like to paint or draw I can build a drawing program for you.  Private Lessons allow you to focus on the skills you wish to develop.  Wendy is a experienced teacher, providing a calm, relaxing experience as you learn how to use the principles of drawing.  Beginner to Advanced are welcome.  Special rates for younger students.  More info here.

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Are You and Your Inner Critic looking to expand your discussions.  Here's how it works: Send me a few pictures of your paintings.  I will prepare material to facilitate a discussion based on your goals.  I am a sounding board, coach and teacher,  with suggestions, techniques and tips to help you meet your goals and move your art forward.  More info here.   Looking forward to Zooming with you.  
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Have a great Artful Day,