review of 2021

Last year started off well (creatively) as I signed up for a drawing class with Susan Shie called Lucky Drawing # 000. At the time, I didn’t appreciate how much of a benefit this class was to me. It really kick-started me into working solidly on something, rather than wandering around my head, ‘should I or should I not do this?” It definitely pushed me into directions I wasn’t used to or tended to fight against. I used the sketchbook one time after that to record my feelings about the big Freeze in Texas last February. It was brutal. I need to get that sketchbook out again!

Quilting was my main focus last year, as it was in 2020. However, I have got to the stage where I know I don’t want to do traditional quilting, but where do I go next? I started off the year by finishing a UFO, which dated back to when I started to quilt in 2018, my Oops quilt. After that, I did a bit of exploring, beginning with a class curated by Lisa Walton called Aurora. I liked it so much, I did another class with her called Fantastic fusion. It was very similar to another course I had taken at the end of 2020 with Susan Carlson. I did a couple of other small quilts after these classes, and then I did a deep dive into Ruler work quilting. I am an OK free motion quilter. I think my ability to draw makes it easier for me than a lot of quilters. I am not a good piecer which is why I have decided I will not be doing traditional quilts, as they cause me too much stress which takes out the enjoyment for me. Given my recent obsession, it is really no surprise that I was drawn to the preciseness and patterns of ruler work. Ruler work, as the name implies, uses a ‘ruler’ or “template’ so you have more control over the shape and size as you sew. With free-motion sewing, it’s harder to keep the stitching regular and the shapes uniform. Well, that is the theory but both methods require a lot of practice. That is what I ended up doing much of the year! By the end of October, after spending too much money on templates after watching videos on YouTube, I came to the realisation that maybe ruler work quilting wasn’t for me unless (pause) I could find a way of using it in my freeform work which is what I did with 2 of the small quilts I made, Solar and Standing stones on a wall. My breaking point came with a set of placemats and a table runner. They are still waiting to be finished and the truth is, it could be done in a day or so; I am that close. But I hate them!
So, where am I going to go with my quilting in 2022? More freeform and mixed media. I have an idea which, given how slow I work, will take me until we move in 2024, at least! It will be a series of smaller wall quilts that could be hung separately or together. I want to explore painting my own fabric and printing on that fabric. I will use all the skills I have gathered over the last decade with beads and embroidery. It will be exciting and nerve-wracking. It will be FUN!

My very 1st project of the year, which I have already started, is a t-shirt quilt. It’s a practice piece before I tackle the main project, making three wall hangings from the t-shirts of my former daughter-in-law. Her mother gave them to me late last year to share among her family in her memory. This is one project I need to get right!

In November, to drive me out of my now familiar funk (I think it must be a seasonal thing), I began trying out my hand with Zentangles and drawing on the digital drawing tablet my son got me last Christmas.
I began my foray into the digital drawing world by downloading Krita, a professional drawing website. The 1st page was daunting enough, without the thought of drawing, although my nine-year-old granddaughter uses a drawing app all the time! Youtube to the rescue again. One particular video channel was very useful. ‘Learn Krita with Bob Ross’ on the Age of Asparagus channel. It was great fun as well as being a good learning experience.

I do a regular countdown to Christmas project on Instagram, and originally I intended to practice my digital drawing by drawing a day up to the 24th of December. I quickly realised that was way beyond my abilities. The tablet has been put away for now but I fully intend to get back to it once I am back into my routine.

At the same time I was delving into the world of digital drawing/painting, I decided to look at Zentangles. I had some experience of them as I was given an instructional book by one of my kids, a few years ago. I tried it out but the book wasn’t overly inspiring. I noticed that one of my long-time Facebook friends was exploring them and posting the results. I knew it had an aspect of mindfulness that I thought might help with my current state of mind (it helped me stop using sleeping tablets after nearly a decade!). I was only going to do it for a week or so. Yet again, Youtube came up trumps! I have found a few very useful channels and have used them with my drawings. However, they take a long time to complete and on some days, I had to stop or end up frustrated. The opposite of the intended effect! I am doing them in a bullet journal which I have never used dued to the pandemic. Not much to plan when there is so little to do!

My Christmas project turned out particularly well, although I never quite completed all 24 days as normal! Next year, I will start a few days ahead of December. Then I might complete all 24 days.

That about sums up my year of work. I did forget one period and that was when I signed up to do a free course by Louise Fletcher called finding your joy. Sometimes I feel guilty about not painting anymore. It was an effort to rediscover the love I have for painting. Maybe I will find it again when, or if we move back to Scotland, I hope so. This course did not help in that regard. You can read my posts about my feelings on this program. In my head, it’s forgotten. It’s the art world’s pryamid scheme basically.
The highlight of this dull year (apart from my art, of course) was receiving the people’s choice award at our local quilt guild’s annual show. I loved making this quilt, and yes, I painted it and quilted it on a domestic machine, but the real credit should go to Helen Godden, who designed it.

Quirky Collections designed by Helen Godden.

That is my round up for 2021. Now onward to 2022 with even more success than last year!

Nixon’s Birthday

Okay, I would have written a longer post about this image, but it would have just come across as whiny. That would have been wrong as I enjoyed the class, but by this time, I knew it wasn’t a direction I wanted to follow.

Nixon’s Birthday

Nixon was something that happened when I was a teenager. I was aware of him and Vietnam; however, it was not something that concerned me at the time. I was enjoying life, as many teenagers would. That was my focus, not some misbehaving politician in a country I would never visit. Also, at the time, our nation was going through a tumultuous time, with a miner strike, a three day week while having rolling blackouts, two elections and I needed to learn the square dance to Tiger Feet performed by the pop group Mud.

How to deal with this subject? I decided to relate what was happening in the UK as the Watergate saga played out, leading to Nixon’s resignation in August. I turned 17 that month.

On the sketchbook’s left side, I drew about the miner’s strike and the rolling blackouts that occurred due to the strike. 1973 saw the start of an intensive IRA campaign about the presence of the UK in Northern Island. I remember hearing the bomb that went off in Chelsea Barracks, where several of my school friends lived. Fortunately, none of my friends were injured in that attack, but the continuous attacks left a mark on me for a long time. 1st January 1974 was the first time New Year’s day was a public holiday in the UK. In Scotland, where New Year’s day (Hogmanay) had been a National holiday for a while, Boxing day (26th December) became a National holiday for the 1st time. I also found an article by the Observer on the British viewpoint on the Nixon resignation.


On the right side, I drew about the research I made on the Nixon resignation which I will be honest about, wasn’t much. I also included two cultural things I knew about America at the time. One was a film of a book written by Stephen King. The other was the all-time classic show, Happy Days. Apart from the Watergate scandal that led to Nixon’s resignation, I also researched that he was the primary force behind establishing international relations between China and the world.


In the end, I completed the assignment but to me, it looked like one of those information sheets you get at museums. I wasn’t happy with it. It was all over the place and had no real structure.

Let Freedom ring!

This was the 2nd assignment of the Susan Shie drawing group I joined in January 2021.

Looking at my journal, I see we had snow the day this theme was created. Thought that would be the last of it!

I am glad I wrote down some thoughts about this drawing as 5 weeks is a long time ago, or so it seems now. The theme comes from the song ‘ America, my country, Tis of thee’ I wrote, ‘I refuse to get wrapped up in the patriotism of that slogan.’ I am not happy about any flag wrapping patriotism as I just see a lot of damage in this country and in my own homeland. So I had to think of ways to describe Freedom without the Liberty Bell or the USA flag, which others in the group picked on and made it a broader issue.

In light of the previous administration, which had just expired and was open to the path of hate speech, I began an internet search on the notion of Freedom. Actually, no one is ‘free’, but there are moral boundaries that help to make us feel as if we are ‘free’. Morality seems to be one of the things that seem to be disappearing as more and more of us think of just ourselves and not the community at large; by that, I mean worldwide. I am just as guilty as most people of this as I sit in my safe house and my safe life, but I am aware it’s a precarious state. I could fall ill with Covid and suddenly, that safety net is exposed to the corporate nature of health care in this county. How would I feel if that happened? I would definitely be angry but I would also feel defeated, I suspect. I could go on about the unsafe castle we have created for ourselves (my husband and I) but that just feeds in the paranoia that produces the groups that Trump encourages. I was quite sickened and disturbed by the hate symbols and signs I saw as I researched this subject.

The next day, I added the bells because I listened to the Waldy and Bendy Podcast. They finished with Shane McGowan’s ‘ Fairy Tale of New York”, which ends with the joyous last lines “And the bells are ringing out for Christmas Day”  I would not count myself as religious but I just love that song. As I walked with my dog, I suddenly felt happy and free and couldn’t stop myself from grinning like mad and adding an extra skip to my step. Further on, I wrote: It was quite distressing working on the hate sign/symbols. It was even more so looking up the stuff on the internet. On seeing the NF symbol, I remembered I had drawn some graffiti in my large sketchbook when I was a student, so I included that in the drawing. There are strange parallels to the ’70s.

On the 3rd day, Trump was impeached for the 2nd time. I added squiggly lines to indicate the sound waves/ vibrations to show how we are bombarded each day by the internet, TV and radio. I also added positive words like hug, health, love, hello and words I associate with negativity, Fox News, Trump, Farage, Parler, hate etc.

This is the description of my drawing on the group page:

Yet, again, a difficult assignment, so different from the way I usually work. I am British and American (been here almost 21 years), so I was sort of stuck in the middle. I found it very difficult to relate to this slogan, as it is so American. So first, I looked up the dictionary meaning of the word Freedom and then ring. From that, my drawing grew. Originally I had a yin yang symbol where the handbells are but out on my walk, yesterday I was listening to the Waldy and Bendy podcast. They finished with the Pogues, Fairytale of New York, one of my all-time favourite Christmas songs. It concludes with the following lines, ‘And the bells ring out for Christmas Day.’ it’s such a joyous song and reminded me that bells are rung mostly at times of celebration. I loved the bells ringing out at a wedding.

I think the hate symbols are apparent. I pick up the notion that a circlet of gold plus precious stones was placed on a king or queen to provide protection. So I wanted to protect all the people of the world, the world itself and the right to be who you are regardless of your sexuality. Without that protection, my nephew would be hiding in the shadows. It’s always been there but not out in the open. Both my grand Dad and my Dad loved what were called topsy turvy contests or parties. They loved dressing up in women’s clothing. Today, I added wavy lines to the drawing, sound waves, vibrations, which are all around us. Finally, I drew protest banners for the 4 figures not in the circle to show you have the freedom to protest, just not hate speech. The people in the trash can only want to take away that right. 

The one element I left out in my description was the cuffed hands. Slavery in America is considered something that is in history and only affects African Americans. In truth, slavery is still very much alive worldwide and not just in the poorer countries. It could be argued that having to work on minimum wage and doing 3 or more jobs to provide food for your family without access to affordable health care is a form of slavery.

It was interesting to see the other 14 contributions to this theme. A lot of them focused on the Liberty Bell, Lady Liberty and the capitol riots. There was a lot of anger towards the then President. Others referred to the concept of America being a melting pot striving towards equality for all. One person mentioned the way Covid has taken away our freedom to act as we normally do. That person drew several maze-like stairways, which each led to a freedom of choice. The national parks were another subject and were very apt as the song that this theme is taken from was written by a woman who was travelling across America. As she travelled by train, she marvelled at the beauty of this country.

PIO (Pass in on) drawing

I did the following drawing as part of the PIO group which was 10 volunteers who drew on the inspiration of the previous drawing. A bit like pass the message game from childhood. Unfortunately I can’t show the drawing I received but this was my response.

Ravens the messenger and the fool.

In the drawing I received, there was a large black bird sitting on a fence, a stylised sun rising with a decorative tree and some lines from favourite hymns the artist’s like. It was very peaceful.

Prior to getting this I had see an article about the missing Queen of the Ravens at the Tower of London. The black bird in the received drawing became a raven in mine.

I did a lot of research before I started the drawing, mainly on the myth side of the raven. In the Native American tradition there are many traditions associated with the Raven. He is considered part of the creation story but he is also consider as a trickster. A lot of the stories are similar to stories from other parts of the world, such as once he was white before he stole the sun. In a lot of tribes, he is consider the bringer of thunder, lightening and the wind.

In Greek legends, he was the messenger of Apollo. Apollo’s raven was pure white and he was sent to guard Apollo’s lover, Coronius. Although she was pregnant with Apollo’s child, she fell in love with another man who she slept with. The raven came back to tell Apollo this news who in turned became so enraged the bird hadn’t pecked out the lover’s eyes, that the raven was scorched black by Apollo’s solar flames. After that ravens were always black and were considered messengers of bad news.

Sketch I made from a google photo on the US fish and wildlife website.

In Norse stories they were the companions of the God, Odin. Each day they would go out and travel the world, observing all the comings and goings of the world. In the Evening they would return and tell Odin all the things they had observed which Odin used to keep one step ahead of his enemies. They were called Huginn, (Thought) and Muninn, (Memory.)

No-one is really sure where the myth of the London Ravens comes from but it is considered largely a Victorian story although Charles II was also apparently told that if the ravens in the Tower of London were killed, the kingdom would fall. Another very early myth dates back to the Welsh King Br√Ęn who had the head of his rival, Matholwch, who mistreated his sister, buried on the White hill where the Tower of London stands, facing France, to protect the county from being invaded. All good tourist money.

Merlina, was the current Queen of the Ravens and although in the past, the ravens wings have been clipped so they didn’t fly away , they are not now. Unfortunately, she flew away and was never seen again. Her keeper thinks she died as she was quite elderly for a raven at 14 yrs old. Ravens are very intelligent birds and Merlina’s favourite party trick was to lie on her back with her feet up and pretend to be dead. Eventually, someone would notice and a tourist or 2 would start to shout, a raven is dead! A raven is dead! And soon a crowd would gather around whereupon Merlina would suddenly become very much alive!

Ravens are like several breeds of birds that mate for life. Before that they will crowd together and form gangs that are called ‘unkindness’ and behave like normal teenagers, creating a nuisance of themselves.

The large area behind the 2 birds came about because I had included a globe and ravens are often thought of as portents of bad news. Climate change mainly in form of devastating fires fills our nightly news. Sometimes, like this week, it come in the form of severe arctic cold like it did in Texas this week. Yet, people still disbelieve it isn’t happening and it something we can’t control.

Observations from my journal regarding this drawing:

I overworked in places and didn’t do enough in others.

Watercolour really isn’t my thing (I might have revised that opinion since.)

It is very different from the drawing I received which was very calm and serene. Mine is a frantic rush.

Selfie with big hopes

This was the first drawing assignment given by Susan Shie for her Facebook drawing challenge group.

This is what I wrote about the drawing on the Facebook group, amended slightly:

I was nervous about this, like other newbies. It pretty much out of my comfort zone but that is why I joined the group. So I decided to put a confident face on it! The drawing just drew itself in the end. In September, I hope to fly to London and attend my niece’s wedding. 3 weeks later, my youngest daughter is getting married While I was in bed one day, I was looking at the accumulation of ornaments on the top of our bookcases. I thought its a shame, that unless I tell my family, their stories would be lost. Some of them, the story is already lost as I have forgotten. So I decided I will get back to still life painting but not like I have in the past with nice objects I have found but with objects that I can relate to and hopefully convey to a broader audience. Since lockdown, my husband and I have forgone our weekly visit to restaurants and going to the cinema. We haven’t even had a takeaway! At the beginning of lockdown, there was just myself and my husband plus my son in the house. In April my eldest daughter moved in with her daughter. They briefly went up to NM to see my grand-daughter’s Dad but since August, we have had a full house. My poor grand-daughter has basically been stuck in doors for most of the last 10.5 months as I have auto immune issues plus I am in just in age risk category . So I am looking forward to having the vaccine so life can get back to normal.

On Instagram I wrote, again amended for some spelling mistakesūü§£:

Completed the Ist drawing of my drawing class. This is different from the way I normally work but I enjoying it. For a start the sketch pad is enormous! 11×14 and we are draw(ing) across the 2 page spread. I am use to doing tiny little reference sketches, if I sketch at all! Next up ‘let Freedom ring’ Have some ideas but still formulating them into some coherent

I had decided to join this drawing challenge (class) as I had seen a video on Youtube where Lisa Walton interview Susan Shie. I had seen Susan’s quilts and drawings in the past and thought it was amazing. So when she mentioned she runs these month long sessions on Facebook, I didn’t hesitate to join.

It has been a great experience and a big learning curve for me. Unlike my comment above, I am not sure that I will be doing the still life themes, at least not as paintings. I might make them as fabric collages. I am missing working on my sewing machine but that is also one of the reasons why I thought I would take part in this group as I am terrible at doing research and using a sketch book. As a student at Camberwell, I had a sketch book in my bag all the time and would draw as I was on the bus, waiting for a bus, in the bar etc. By the time I moved to Bath,(Corsham) I was trying my hand at more imaginative drawing , like you do as a child. I was never very successful at it. I don’t see pictures in my head as, I think, narrative artists do. I know it just a matter of freeing up the brain and retraining it. I think I am better with at doing narrative themes when I am working in textiles for some reason.

An example of one of my earlier textile pieces.

Why? an improvised small wall quilt in 2018.

At the time, I basically responded to a question that keep popping up in my head at the time, “Why” I think it was in response to T***** and his supporters at the time. Part of the reason I don’t remember how I came about with this idea is because I didn’t use a sketchbook or write down what I was thinking. It was quite spontaneous and I used scraps of paper to work it out. They are now lost.

Depression, anxiety and art

Many people seem to think that anxiety, depression and art go together as an artist and that aids the creative process. For me, that is not the case. My mind comes to a grinding halt! As a life long sufferer of depression and anxiety, I can now feel when a period like that is coming along and usually I can mange to side swerve the worse of it by doing very routine things by just plodding along. Not this time!  It has taken almost 8 months to get pass this stage and it is still a struggle but one that is getting better. Unfortunately, I am not yet back to painting.  For the last 2 weeks my body has also decided to rebel against me as I battle a vicious allergic reaction which has left me with nasty welts all over my body and clothing being my enemy. As we are also going through a heatwave at the moment,  so any movement causes sweating which in turns makes the itching even worse. So plenty of cool soothing baths, showers and just keeping still has been the order of the day. Today temperature is meant to top 105F/40c. the joys of living in central Texas!

However, I have finally been making process with the online embroidery course I decided to take in December. It took me 6 months to get the first stage complete!  I have almost finished the 2nd part in less than a month so signs of progress only stopped this week by incessant itching.

Below are some of  the work I have done on this.  Part one  exploring stem stitch , chain stitch and fern stitch beginning with mark making exercises.

Part 2 has been been exploring line though using cut, torn and folding paper.

Finally line in paint through mono printing which amazingly I have never tried before. Not sure I have achieved this so well but I enjoyed the playfulness of this method of working and can see using this again.

Unfortunately I think this is where I acquired up my current allergic reaction as I pick up some plant matter and I suspect I touched some poison ivy in the process, stupid me!

Next step is explore the composite stitches of whipped stem stitch, Pekinese stitch and raised chain band. I have completed the samples so they should come along quite quickly but we have a short stay in Mexico City to enjoy before then. Really looking forward to the Frida Kahlo Museum and obviously I will be looking at any needlework/textile work I get my greedy eyes on.

Painting is also on my agenda but not a priority as it will come along when it is needed but it has not been abandoned. It will always be part of my life in some form or another.

I have done one drawing in the past month or so. I got a sheet of A1 cartridge paper and painted it with acrylic  gesso with no real idea of what I was going to do with it, other than I didn’t want it to be the tight smaller drawings I was doing last year as I wanted to get rid of the inhibitions to drawing that I have developed. For the one drawing it worked out quite well and I planned to do more ( I already have several prepared with gesso) but then the embroidery came along. As I have about 500 or more sheets (send to me by mistake by the supplier and they let me keep them several years ago, nice  ūüôā ) , it is definitely something to explore in the coming months.

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Battling with drawing

Drawing has always been a struggle for me and the older I get the harder it gets. My eyes no longer focus as well as they did (my right eye has never focused as it’s lazy LOL) and if I concentrate too much, I get a headache.

 

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This was the first drawing of doing this setup which was piece of fabric from Ikea and ¬†part of my grand daughters tea set. Originally I was going to paint it but looking at the complexity of the fabric design I decided to draw it first. ¬†My other motivation being the fact I have a stack of drawing paper from when I first arrived in the US. I ordered a 100 sheets 36″ x 24″ but ended up getting 3 reams instead by mistake. Contacted the seller and they said keep it as it too expensive to return. ¬†I was only charged for the 100 sheets so it was a bonus for me or so I thought. ¬† I still have about 2.5 reams left!

 

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So this is my second drawing as  I was not happy with the first drawing as the angles seemed wrong. Well I never did manage to get them right as you can see from the drawing below.   The table I was using was well below my eye level so I was looking down on the set up.  Ignoring the maxim of never erasing your drawing marks, I continued to make the same mistakes time after time.  Surprising even though I studied at Camberwell for nearly 3 yrs (foundation and Saturday morning classes) I never learnt how to use a plumb line, pencil or whatever to gauge proportion or angles.  I am trying to teach myself that now, carefully drawing a mark for where my foot is position whilst I draw and trying to remember not to move my head too much. I am pretty sure I will not continue to do that but it might give me more of an idea how to assess these things instead of blindly blundering into the subject as per my normal method.

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So I have spent the past week drawing this whilst reading numerous books about drawing. ¬†Hasn’t helped! ¬†Eventually I would love to have the freedom to use the drawings as basis for painting so I am not restricted to setting up a still life. I have a long way to go.

So its back to the drawing board again but this time I also plan to paint the still life.  Once the cooler weather comes in the Fall, I will go out and draw from life but at the moment with temperature in the 100f/38c plus range, I will contend myself with still life set ups and looking at objects around the house.

 

 

 

 

Reorganising my art room and my life in the process

This pass weekend, I decided to tackle my art room (I hate the work studio, seems so serious) and it took me that long reorganised all the groups and junk.  It has been bothering me for a while and as I have managed to tackle putting myself on track, it was time to make this very important room into some order.  So now I have a large open space without clutter and my tables a clear of the junk I had loaded onto them.

Last week after another disappointing session at the life drawing room, I have decided to put that aspect on hold for the moment. To be honest I am not sure why I was doing, other than as exercise as I have no control of the pose, the model or even the lighting.  The lighting or the no existence of any natural light was really beginning to get me down.  We are lucky that unlike the UK we have almost constant sunshine, so it amazes me that the most available of life drawing sessions are done in an old stable converted into a studio with one small window which has a blind that is permanently closed. They have painted the brick walls white but for the past fews that has been negated by someone putting up a flimsy, grey/black backdrop which sucks the life out of anything.

However, realising my drawing abilities are poor due to lack of the use of that particular brain muscle, I have tried to start sketching random things around me. ¬† I decided to do a few drawings where I didn’t look at the page as I drew but just let my eye follow the object, moving my pencil along as I did this. ¬†I ended up with some interesting results.

This past week I have been revisting a few artists I like. Shani¬†Rhys James, ¬†Mary Fedden, Elizabeth Blackadder and Eileen Cooper. ¬†Unfortunately, none of these artists are available locally so I am restricted to books, a tv show (What do artists do all day) and available online videos. ¬†I will confess I am not particularly knowledgeable about US art. What I have seen does not particularly appeal to me. ¬†Looking at my bookshelves, it is dominated by British art and for that matter, British art magazines, as I have been a fan of Artists and Illustrators since it started in the 1980’s.

Any time to revisit the art room and decide on my next project, a portrait of my grand-daughter or a selfie, haven’t done one recently.

 

when to call it a day?

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In the studio, working

So this week has not gone smoothly and my time at the easel for various reasons has been limited.  Sunday, no painting as it turned out rainy and cloudy, making the studio too dark by the time I got up there. Monday playing with Grand-daughter and her nap time is now more like an hour instead of the previous nearly 3. Got back to the easel on Tuesday and it was like starting again. Wednesday, dental surgery. so no painting.  Back on Thursday and Friday (only an hr as I work Friday pm).  Exhausted myself gardening yesterday, not painting, so back today and again it was like starting again.

In fact I have gone back, several times in the past week.  Constantly redrawing and repainting.  Deciding do I want to make it a purely decorative motif?  How do I tackle the glass?  Wine cooler still looking flat but red vase coming along.  I have finished for today but I am not happy with it. Yesterday, I thought it was coming along fine but having redone the fabric under the still life to concentrate on the pattern by scrubbing it out (including the fruit), I realise the wine cooler is not quite right.  The red jug is still OK, sigh.

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As it was on Thursday 1/16/2014

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today 1/19/2014

Tomorrow (no Juniper tomorrow ūüė¶ as public holiday) will be the last day for this still life. ¬†Whatever its problems which it will have, constantly working will only lead to discouragement. ¬†It has shown me I need to draw more, use my eyes rather than dart all over the place or as I have tendency to do, focus on one area without relating to another. ¬† Once the drawing is done, build up the colours rather than draw with the brush.

Tuesday I will make myself go outside and look at my garden.  Also need to do more drawing.  However, not all disenchantment, as I have still managed to continue to paint for the 3rd week in January. Now to make it month, then another and soon it will be a year. I will manage to do it this year.

A new look and a new beginning

Any regular visitors will see I have completely revamped this blog.¬† I decided this year I was going to devoted my time to relearning how to create using paint and brush.¬†¬† Well it taken me until about 1/3rd of the way through the year, to get started on this but now I have actually gotten there, I decided it was time to devote this blog to it, rather than create yet another blog.¬† So in preparation I got all my old posts printed into a book from, via Blog2print .¬† I have had the book for a few weeks now but it didn’t include all the lovely comments from other readers, so I had print them out. Fortunately WordPress have a handy view comments by page, so I manage to print all the comments a page at a time, rather than each comment which would have been very time consuming.¬† So today was the day, to delete all the old posts and start afresh.

To anyone who didn’t know, I started out as a painter, beginning with Saturday Morning classes at Camberwell¬† school of art and crafts at the age of 16 (almost 17) and ended up with a degree in painting from Bath Academy of Art (now sadly defunct)¬† Unfortunately, my time at Bath was not the most productive time spend and as soon as I left, that was my painting career finished before it had even started.¬†¬† Since then I have struggled to continue to paint but due to family commitments, space and general lack of effort, I have never worked on painting full time.¬† In the meantime, I have continued to be creative in other ways with my kids and latterly my beading.¬† However, in the last year,¬† with the kids gone from the house, I realised that beading wasn’t challenging me as much as drawing and painting does.

I have no great plans about  what I am going to paint or any great theories.  I have no interest in all this art speak crap that pervades the modern art world and never have done.  My biggest challenge to convey what I see onto the canvas in the way I see it.   Basically I am starting from the beginning, going back to the challenges I met at Camberwell  when I first started painting and drawing.

I have been painting for some months now but basically very unsatisfied with what I was achieving.¬† Then looking a good friend’s website, Drawing my way around London and another favourite, Hobbs Blog, I realised I needed to get back to basics and that is observing and drawing.¬† So for the next few weeks I will concentrate on that aspect while continuing with my current painting.

Below is the  first painting I produced October 2009 and then my most current finished piece.

paintings 004

blue white caferia 004