Babies – distraction or inspiration?

•August 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

In April 1977, my dad grabbed some nearby felt tip pens and sketched this picture of his almost-3-year-old standing on a sewing machine box, looking out of the window.

Rachel, April 1977

Rachel, April 1977

Nearly 40 years later, the almost-3-year-old popped her toddler onto the very same sewing machine box for a nosey out of the very same window, and took a photo.  With the luxury of more time and some nice coloured pencils, she drew this.

E, July 2014

E, July 2014

Those curtains are still looking pretty good, considering…

 

R x

I’m coming back

•May 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Due to an unexpected invasion of my free time by Zumba Fitness, I’ve been pretty inactive lately.  But that’s all about to change due to a forthcoming collaboration project, which I’m stupidly excited about.  To that end, I’m going to re-post some of my old stuff that’s in the sort of style I think we’ll be focussing on.  Exciting times!

Pale

Pale. Illustration Friday – pastel on black paper

Instinct

Instinct. From Illustration Friday – pastel on black paper

Climbing

Climbing. Guess what this was for, and what the medium was…

The Visitor

The Visitor – actually not from Illustration Friday! Acrylic on card.

Breezy

Breezy. More pastel on black.

So now it’s time to dust off the pastels and get stuck into some serious dark, mysterious, atmospheric type stuff. Yay!

Happy May…

•May 9, 2010 • 2 Comments

Well once every 5 months is better than once every six months isn’t it?

OK well I’m here because I’ve started going to life drawing classes again, which is brilliant. I thought perhaps I could post some stuff in case you’re interested.

We did 4 pictures in 2 hours with a decent break in the middle, so none of them were longer than 20 mins.

These classes are very tightly guided, which is totally unlike the ones I used to go to in Lincoln, but I’m really pleased because it’s going to be very good for me, given the lack of practice recently.

This week it was charcoal, chalk and (until the last picture) one colour. It was like being back at college – ace!

Week 2, picture 1
So the first one was just launching everyone into the medium, because not everyone had used charcoal or chalk before. We were encouraged to use the colour as a midtone, which is interesting and not something I’d do naturally.

Week 2, picture 2
More of the same but a trickier pose. It’s ended up looking a bit like a girl for some reason. It wasn’t. I think the thigh’s ended up looking a bit fleshy and some of the rubbing out looks like long hair.
Week 2, picture 3
This one didn’t go very well at all – I was having terrible trouble with the shoulder. He has very prominent shoulder blades, and I just wasn’t getting the proportions right, plus the twist in the torso added another tricky element, and we could have done with a lot longer to nail it. Anyway, it wasn’t about proportional pickiness, it was about mark making – technique was white chalk on black paper, then start off the drawing by eroding into it – rubbing out the white. I like anything that gets rid of blank paper, and it’s easier than the similar thing we did at college with a pencil. We must have been there for half an hour covering the paper…

Week 2, picture 4
Same technique but starting off by covering the paper with a colour, and I ran off to grab a contrasting colour at this point. I love the effect it’s had. It was also on purple paper, so it’s a riot of colourblindness nightmare.

More soon – watch this space. But not all the time because that’d be very boring.

Happy New Year!

•January 2, 2010 • 1 Comment

Woo! I’ve done it – first picture finished since May 2009.

It’s been a bit of a prolonged absence but hopefully I can start to get back into things now. The new place has birds everywhere and there’s a very persistent and surprisingly brave little robin hanging about most of the time. This isn’t him – my camera just isn’t that good – but this is an ode to the ballsy little chubby guy in the tree. And the robin. Must talk to the police about that guy in the tree.

Robin

Fridge poem

•May 12, 2009 • 3 Comments

Hello everyone…anyone…  How are you all?  It’s been a while.  Sorry.

House-selling things are still happening and taking priority over everything else.  I don’t feel able to be artist if I’m being a tidy person, the two don’t really work together for me.  Plus cleaning is exhausting.

I’m taking a short break from de-frosting the fridge freezer and I got the urge to tell you about my fridge poem.  I’ve got one of those magnetic word things, and it just occurred to me that I probably ought to take it off now as it’s a bit messy.  I was horrified to discover that it’s actually left feint stripes where the paint has yellowed less under the magnets without the ‘glare’ of what little sun we have here.  Good God, I didn’t expect screen burn from fridge magnet writing.

I don’t suppose you can get screen savers for your fridge can you?

It’s a sad sort of time – getting rady to make the house not mine any more, but good things await.

Anyway, here’s the last fridge poem I’ll ever do in this house, in all its random glory.  The other half takes credit for line 2 and part of line 1 (Des).  There’s something very relaxing about arranging words on a fridge together.

Des kept euphoria beans.  Needs milk, no cookies.

He keeps doing Christmas cartoons

Our happiness is full of dinner.

Big new rainbows will always be quiet together (that’s my favourite line)

Weekend breakfast being pizza

Baking doughnuts (we don’t actually do that)

Making splits as if by magic.

I don’t desire good jeans or chocolate

Did they ever let my puppies home?

Sunshine in that spring gentle breeze.

There on Sunday children playing have a good day laughing

Kindly we all smile    Wonder at old movies

with blue memories     A nothing moon

You would parade secret parties

Grandpa never hearing from the other room

Grandma is afternoon shopping for birthday presents

Singing her mousse song

Buying flowers cake ice cream

Dad says bears can’t have your best favourite jelly.

Who knows?

Cheer up love.

Feeling sleepy

•March 30, 2009 • 4 Comments

I’m conscious that things have ground to a halt again. Things are very busy at the moment, both at home and at work, so I’ve not posted anything for ages.

In the meantime, I’m posting an old picture that pretty much describes what I’d really like to be doing right now.

sleepy

Pastel on grey pastel paper.

Mothering Sunday

•March 19, 2009 • 9 Comments

I’m feeling very guilty at the moment. I seem to have followed that relatively productive phase with 2 weeks of total stagnation. I blame the cleaning. I had some visitors and had to spend a whole week of evenings cleaning, so all this went out of the window. I’ve said it before – you don’t have time to go to work, paint, eat and keep the house tidy, there are only room for a maximum of 3 of those.

Anyway, Sunday being Mother’s Day, and me already being committed to somewhere other than my parents’ house this weekend, if I’m not going to be there then I can’t do the double whammy of not-there/ bought-card, so I had to give myself a swift kick from behind and do a flower.

My mum gets blue flowers – it’s our thing. If I buy her a card I have to trawl the shops in search of a blue flower. Last year was a corn flower. This year it’s love-in-a-mist, coloured pencil on printer paper. I think I like normal printer paper best for coloured pencil work as I like a very smooth paper with very little give.

love-in-the-mist

A word about my mum – she’s quite remarkable really. She’s always been fiercely capable in my memory, which sounds like a weird thing to say, but that sort of describes her, to me. She can’t drive because she doesn’t have sight in one eye, but when I was growing up I was ferried quite happily to and from school say on the seat of her bike while she pushed it, then she could cycle the other way. Genius really. Don’t get me wrong, I’m making her sound like a single mother – she wasn’t but my dad was at work with the car…

She’s always been incredibly healthy as well, diving wholeheartedly and stubbornly into every dietary need (much to my dad’s bacon-related disappointment), so when she randomly turned out to need a double heart bypass a couple of years ago it rather threw everyone. In any case, she bounced back with a vengeance and now walks everywhere. She’d probably do a marathon if she thought there was any point to it. She’s not the kind of person to stop moving around at speed if she can help it, my mum.

Here she is on the left with her church ladies doing a rap. Yes a rap. No they don’t normally wear this stuff. Yes, they were mucking about.

She’s on the left. She’ll be 70 this year.

nighters-with-attitude

I know.

Yes, the one on the left, with the thing that looks like a fried egg round her neck.

Yes, 70. She doesn’t even colour her hair either.

I believe she wears those trousers for gardening now.

 
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