Travels With My Art

A compilation of Chris's humorous and entertaining travelogues, revealing some of the pitfalls and frustrations, as well as the joy of being a professional artist. Hoping that his efforts abroad will continue to bring in a daily crust to continue supporting his family at home!

19 Aug 2010

Painting of Assisi

I’ve been meaning to produce a painting from a sketch of Assisi I did in May. But where to start? The photo I took at the time was very flat and colourless as it was raining most of the day! However the view was lovely and in my minds eye I could see it in early evening light with a misty landscape in the distance. So I’ve worked up a small watercolour sketch to sort things out.

It’s a good example of simplifying a complicated subject as much as possible; bold cypress trees in bring the foreground closer; misty distance creates recession.

Simple colour scheme, contrasting churches with landscape.

I think I’ve got it – all I have to do now is paint it! It will a lovely subject for my exhibition, if I can get it right.

Wish me luck! I’ll need it.

16 Aug 2010

Judy Adamson's Art and Design blog: Guest Post by Chris Fothergill - On the Back of an...

Judy Adamson's Art and Design blog: Guest Post by Chris Fothergill - On the Back of an...: "I'm sure many of our readers will be able to identify with today's guest post by Chris Fothergill - I certainly can and frequently bemoan th..."

7 Aug 2010

New collection of greeting card designs.

Whilst I am generally known for my watercolours, I also have a humorous side to my work and over the years my cartoons have been used for illustrations, birthday cards, commissions, brochures, publications, marketing material and more.

Now thanks to the joy of the internet (and a bit of technical help from my wife!) -  you can purchase items online from Fothergills Emporium!

Greeting cards, mouse mats, mugs and can even customise your message inside the cards!

We're adding products daily so if you have a request for an item in a particular design or caption - send it through and we'll see if we can help!

UK store:
US store:

On Travel (written on a plane home on 29 May 2010)

There are many reasons that compel people to travel. For some it is pleasure, or a holiday; for others it is business. Young persons will spread their wings on gap years; older parents will visit their offspring who have started families abroad.

I love to travel to escape from the pressures of my everyday existence; to leave behind the familiar with a sense of adventure where I can become someone I would like to be, for a short while.

But I am a bad tourist. I will travel with high expectations to a beautiful historic sunny destination; arrive with a sense of exhilaration and drink a coffee at a table sitting outside with a view: but then the child in me will be bored. I wish I could leave him behind, but he is always with me, so even reading guidebooks and dutifully taking photos, or riding on tourist road trains, he will be restless and pulling at my jacket complaining. So I have to supply him with a pencil and sketchbook, and a box of paints. Better still, I set him off on a ‘mission’ to go on a trail of old cities to report on the picturesque; or even set him on a challenge of journalising in words and drawings on a theme.

Thus it was that I brought my restless fidgety child to Umbria, Italy, to find the places in his picture book and seek them out; then find more of his own, and make a new picture book he can call his own.

The child is of course me, a person who is nervous and uncomfortable in his own skin; unable to relax or settle inwardly unless… unless what exactly?

Inspiration – that is what I seek, and I am inspired or not by what I see or hear around me, even in the most ordinary minutiae of life. Perhaps it is the sense of wonder that is my greatest talent; it is my most developed sense. The ability to wonder at an older couple walking past; she telling him off for not shaving that morning. Or a child chasing pigeons.

It is about standing back from life, and looking afresh around us. We are so busy hunting, gathering, eating, sleeping, making love or arguing, that its easy to forget what a strange and wonderful place the world is. The desire to draw and paint, on paper or in words, is the call to others to say ‘Hey, look at this – doesn’t that make you feel good?’

Others like to express themselves through dancing or singing, or maybe cooking or mathematics, and that’s fine too. My lot seems to be to wonder, but I need to express that wonder, and somehow ‘report’ on it. That is the lot of the artist and writer.

Both the article and the drawing above were done in the blank pages at the back of books I was reading, while travelling on planes and at the airport. You know what it’s like, you want to write something down but you don’t have a notebook or any paper on you. That must be why fiction books usually have a couple of blank pages at the back!


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