Unwrapping the New Year

Posted by Ivan Grieve on

Well the New Year rushed in with passion and energy as well as some room for real sensitivity and reflection.

I mentioned at the end of last year that there would be some exciting news to follow….well let me enlarge on that.


As some of you may know from my social media feeds and  previous blogs I had the opportunity to make some unique landscape commissions for a couple of very dear friends. This was a follow on from putting myself into my own landscape drawings.


I received a landscape image from each of them and a photo showing them as they would like to be in that landscape.


The next step was to draw the landscape and to let my friends “enter” that drawing.

Above are some examples from which you will get an understanding of the process and work involved. Should this be something that you would like me to do for you do please get in touch, I can explain the pricing and work involved and what you will then receive. Simply use the contact form on the website and I shall come back to you.


I am involved with the Saltmarsh project which is one aspect of the works of the Bioregional centre. My role as a collaborative artist in this really exciting and important project is rather nicely put in the interview that Kate Rudd and Jane Brady put together and is featured on the website blog “What’s Art got to do with it?” It is wonderful to be working alongside a group of such experienced and diverse people, each with specific and interdigitating skills. For example the film and video maker Emilio Mula is working very hard on the project. This weekend I shall be visiting the Saltmarshes with some other guests on board the Harbourmasters vessel, getting close up but without causing damage to these vital resources.






I will keep the blog updated with this project, for example here is a date to look forward to…..for the “unwrapping” .Many of the people who are working on this project, will share their experiences as part of an evening event at Totnes Cinema on 25th March 2024'


I really would encourage readers to have look at the website as these climate issues are of a real global concern.


In respect of this project I submitted three works to the open call https://www.artfromheart.co.uk/post/open-call-exhibition-natura set up by the wonderful and award winning Art from Heart.


Have a look at the website by using the link provided. I decided to submit three drawings that conveyed my concern for the environment, which if selected would be shown at Dāku Coffee & Gallery, High Street Kensington, London, so keep your fingers crossed please! I gather that the results will be out in the latter part of February this year.

(Below)Late Autumn at Sharpham Marsh.2022 Mixed media on paper using site specific materials and pigments 23cm x 15cm Framed and glazed. It is so nice to start making a ground of the surface for a work with what Mother Nature has give us, this process is illustrated here.


(Below) Autumn over the Saltmarsh. 2022 Mixed media on paper using site specific materials and pigments.
23cm x 15cm Framed and glazed.

(Below) Totnes Downhill. 2023..Mixed media on paper using site specific materials and pigments.
23cm x 15cm Framed and glazed.

But the great thing I have found is to keep making and most of all practice, practice and practice.


From the first week of January I worked on a special gift for someone, studying a changing face over the years from photographs and clippings from the 1950s to the present day. The project started out with the knowledge of my subject and 9 images to work from.

                   I begun working on fairly small scale, using a postcard format of about A5 on Fabriano paper. I was working fairly fast on these, making more 80 or 90 sketches in the end.Making gestural marks through the use of the initial pencil sketches. Moving on to ink and wash and finally charcoal in various grades with a putty rubber. I like to use different sizes of willow charcoal as each brings with it a different but somehow primeval quality. Large chunky sticks at first, which when snapped give a variety of edges to the stick, increasing the marks and tones. The very fine willow sticks are wonderful for softer longer lines to twisting and letting the tip snap and “explode” on the paper surface. A degree of luck and happen stance, freedom and being lost in the work…a joy.




The results are sensitive and emotional and will serve as wonderful dedication to man in his 96th year! How I see it is an expression of  a real perception and a chance to communicate.


Well it has been a pleasure and please get in touch if I can help in any visual projects to advise and collaborate to discuss visually or just to listen. thank you..


art magazine artist callout artistic career artistic process artist’s mind artist’s project bohemian colour creativity emotions expressive landscapes magazine making mother nature natural outside in responding river seasons social media story working practice

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