26 May 2013

Charcoal Chickens

I’ve been painting for the sake of painting this week and I’ve really enjoyed it. I fancied working on a larger scale and in an attempt to overcome an internal resistance to experimenting in pastel, I unpacked my willow charcoal and swapped my expensive Spectrum pastel paper for something less precious. But, what to draw? In order to keep at least one constant I opted for animals. The weather did nothing to encourage me to take my materials outside in front of some live models, and the cats were either outside or comatosed, and I wanted something in an animated pose! I have a vast library of photos for inspiration – but since my printer was temporarily out of action I was limited to a small handful of ready printed photos. So chickens it was and a series has begun. My wish to be loose and fluid quickly slipped back into detail and the hours whizzed by – but I enjoyed the freedom and the opportunity to play about with composition. But to really loosen up a bit, I may need to set myself a time limit! I’ve started number 2, this time with an old grey Fergie in the background (Henry’s idea). Whilst I only wanted a hint of Fergie, my critical friend (Henry with anorak) quickly pointed out a few technical misgivings – so a little more work yet to do to the right hand rear wheel. The sun is now shining again and my printer is restored after a heart transplant, so I shall cycle out this afternoon in pursuit of some horny subjects for my next series…… 


19 May 2013

MS Secret Art Show

It’s that time of year again, the Multiple Sclerosis Trust’s Secret Art Show submission date has been and gone – I only just made it. Why is it that when you have lots of notice for something, you end up doing it at the last minute? I’m a day or two behind at the moment and can’t seem to keep up with the date – so I thought I had a day to do my submission, and then realised I only had til the post left that day! I finished my painting and marched the mile or so off to the post office, only to find that it shut half an hour earlier. So, since the post office doesn’t have a postbox, I then had to march back (uphill) towards home, and another mile in the opposite direction to get to the post box before the last collection. This was Thursday and I still have aching legs! Lesson learnt – don’t leave it till the last minute next year and memorise opening hours of post office! This week’s commission, was in contrast, completed and posted without feeling like I’d run a marathon in the process.

12 May 2013

Feline adventures

Our big adventure and relocation to the highlands has also uprooted our two cats, both virgin travelers and very unworldly wise. Since we moved they have been confined to the safety of the croft, looking inquisitively through the window but not in the least bit interested in stepping foot outside. It’s been warm and sunny so we’ve had the windows open this week and the smell of the outside made the cats very vocal all of a sudden – so they were re-introduced to big wide world! Each day they make a wider circle around the house, but are desperate to get in when they’ve had enough. But by way of a thank you, we have been treated with a mouse, and to repay the gesture I’ve had to rescue Pumpkin from the paralysing gaze of two tough looking natives!  Here’s a few sketches of the terrorised twins in their comfort zone.

5 May 2013

Bubbles and wobbly legs

What a week – very busy but zero painting, so what am I going to post today? I did manage to do lots of thinking about art during hours in the passenger seat of our heavily laden van. Earlier on in the week a civilised evening drink with some friends turned into a calving session outside on the Welsh hills. Warmed and energised by champagne (drunk to celebrate our friend’s milestone birthday) we watched as a dear little calf was born into a wet wintry world. The heifer had terrible trouble standing up, but she overcame this eventually - a perfectly healthy pedigree Hereford. I was flattered when the calf was named Angela (due to her pedigree credentials rather than her wobbly legs of course!). Once she had taken her colostrum from the bottle, she went straight to the “optics” to help herself – that’s my girl!

I always have my camera with me - except when I really need it! This we taken with my phone, a little out of focus, but you get the idea.....