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.


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.


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.


IF: breezy

•March 4, 2009 • 16 Comments

I don’t seem to be finishing much except for quick IF topics at the moment. I’m working quite hard on the portrait from hell at the moment so maybe I’ll post some awful work in progress pictures at some point. Or maybe I won’t. 🙂

This is inspired by a tower somewhere in California, but I’ve changed stuff.  Like the fact that you could actually get to the real one without climbing equipment.  And the roundness.  And the number of flags.

I love flags.

IF: Instinct

•February 24, 2009 • 14 Comments

Here’s this week’s Illustration Friday.  It’s roughly based on a view into a field on the way out of Lincoln. Lovely bleak scene to cheer everyone up…  hee hee…

EDM #211. In the style of…

•February 16, 2009 • 17 Comments


I don’t really know how well I expected to get on with this. I have a sort of amnesia for how good I am [not] at skies. I love taking pictures of dramatic sunsets and looming clouds but every time I try to paint them, they go all sort of… not-sky-like. Except that within about 2 days I’ve forgotten that, and start to think “oh come on, how hard could it be?”

So it was with immense idiocy that I decided it’d be fun to try to do one of the photos I took the other weekend a la Turner. Him of the really good skies.

Yeah, like that was going to work. I suppose it might have helped if I had a Turner in front of me. But no, why make life easier for yourself when you can make it pretty much impossible?

So here’s my retrospective justification: when you spend most of your time fiddling about with tiny little pictures, it’s good to fling a big brush about occasionally. It is therefore with dubious pleasure that I present, for your entertainment: Therapy.

Not remotely in the style of Turner.

Or even particularly in the style of a sky.
Media: cheap acrylic & cat hairs on corrugated cardboard

It looks a bit like the head of a cartoon dinosaur actually. Or a dog with a white body and a black head.
Oh well, the best laid plans… 🙂

IF: Time

•February 11, 2009 • 23 Comments

It’s a bit like a slightly sad Christmas card, but it’ll do.  It’s kind of topical.

I feel sorry for him now, I wish I hadn’t made him look so sad in the middle one. Mind you, he did look a bit too smug to begin with…

Sometimes on Fridays when I’m waiting for the topic to change on Illustration Friday, I think about Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree. It’s like waiting for the land to move on and a new one to take its place. I wonder if you can get trapped in an IF topic if you post just as it changes?

Snowy day

•February 6, 2009 • 11 Comments

Yesterday was an interesting one.   Snow had been forecast but I didn’t really expect it to happen for some reason.  Getting to work was kind of slidey but the snow suddenly stopped and then began to melt just after lunchtime.  When I got home I decided to take advantage of the last of it with a birthday greeting.  The recipient shall remain nameless because they haven’t seen it yet, so I’ve not included the name, but here’s the top bit:

Snow card

Snow card

Ann – please consider this a belated birthday greeting!   Reading your blog made me think to post this. 

It basically takes up my entire lawn, so all the people in the flats who overlook it have probably got the point, especially now it’s frozen solid…  They’ll be sick of the sight of it by Monday.

And here’s my cat ‘helping’.  Unfortunately he has a tendency to copy me, so while I was scraping the snow away from where I didn’t want it, he was pawing it all back again.  Bless him (through gritted teeth).

Santa's little helper...

Santa's little helper...

Here’s another picture that I found interesting.  It’s the same view as a watercolour I did a few years ago, but about 4 years on and in the snow.  It’s incredible just how much of it has stayed the same actually!


You might recognise it if you’ve had a look at my landscapes on here (well, if you’ve got an astonishingly good memory…) 

Gary – I haven’t forgotten – honest.  I might have just, er, lost the work in progress a bit…  (I’m doing a copy for a friend!  At least I’m meant to be.)

Anyway, I’m working from home today, so I’d better get on with it.  Wrap up warm everyone.

EDM 209

•February 4, 2009 • 8 Comments

For once I’m doing an EDM challenge while it’s current.   As soon as I read this subject, I knew there was a photo that I took at the Christmas market that was perfect – I had been meaning to do this one for ages but never really got round to it.

There’s nothing special about the execution but there’s not much to the photo really.  I just love it!

Market stall from the back

Market stall from the back

First person to guess what they were selling wins…. well, nothing, it’s obvious isn’t it?

*No fingers were used in the blending of this image.  Oh except for that one print at the bottom (sorry Ana, I was feeling mischievous 😉 The page was such a mess I thought I might as well make it worse!)*

*No animals were harmed either. Oh except my cat got fed an hour late.*