Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Sketching Frenzy

As most of my family and friends know (and are probably heartily sick of hearing), I'm applying to do an MA in Children's Book Illustration this year. This, unfortunately, involves me showing my work to people. Pam recently looked at my "sketchbooks", which currently consist of a couple of drawings and a lot of blank pages. She said, very worriedly, "You need to do some more work". The truth is, reader, I am scared of ruining the books. Once I do a drawing in I don't like, I either tear it out, or just never use the book again. But no more! I took a small book to our exhibition and sketched the visitor (!), and yesterday, as I was working at Oxfam, I drew on the train, and the customers as I sat behind the till. The sketches literally took seconds (apart from the one on the train which was a bit longer), and were also done without really looking at the page and while trying not to look as if I was looking at the subject (if that makes sense!) I also jotted down what the people were saying - just for my own amusement really and to fix them in my mind. I actually really enjoyed it and I am going to do more now that I have lost my sketchbook inhibitions.

The French girl on the train did say more, but "oui" was all I understood. I could have made something up and impressed you with my French, but I suppose it was quite unlikely that she would say "I am, you are, he is, she is, we are, you are, they are", or just counted up to twelve.

These are the only sketches that actually showed when I scanned them. My favourite was a man saying "Come on, Sue!", and there was also one of a woman saying "They haven't got much..." (which of course was a barefaced lie), but neither of them showed at all when I scanned them. I have no control over my scanner. Things can come out huge, or the size of a stamp, or not at all. It's a crazy lottery.

I am off to my friend Sandie's house for lunch today. Whenever I see her, I come home with an acute case of house envy, and get the urge to drape muslin creatively at my window and just have one beautiful object on a polished wooden surface. But then I realise I can't be arsed.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Look what's going to be on Christmas Eve! Look!

Sad but true

Imagine this - a 40 year old woman, out Christmas shopping, enters a shop. She spots something and instantly knows she must have it for herself. It's love at first sight. Elbowing innocent shoppers out of the way she grabs it, holds it aloft, marvelling at the fabric, the design, her luck at having found it. She rushes to the till and buys it immediately, without even checking the price.

What do you think she found? A Chanel bag? A pair of Manolos? Or, being 40, something by Cath Kidston (sorry Pam)? No, reader, none of those things. Because that 40-year old is me, and this is what I bought...
A pair of Moomin knickers! That's knickers, with Moomins on, for adults. They were in Top Shop, by the way - so clearly not aimed at quite this type of customer - but who cares? I haven't moved on culturally since the age of 9. Deal with it!

In other news, I completed my final day of stewarding the exhibition yesterday, and managed to stumble down the steps of the Crypt and twist my ankle. It's a fetching shade of green today. I was just pulling my tights down to inspect the damage, snivelling, when a woman came in to enquire about children's workshops.

What dramatic and embarrassing way will I injure my left foot next week? I can hardly wait to find out!

I've been spending far too long on my own. I just asked the cat if he knew where the remote control was. And waited for him to answer.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Illustration Friday - Rambunctious

Like this funky lady, I am in favour of a bit of rambunctiousness. As Dr Seuss said "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter."

Monday, 15 December 2008

Misheard Lyrics - No. 2

Another long and lonely day at the gallery meant I had plenty of time to sew some more doll parts, and also do a new Misheard Lyric drawing. This is a favourite of mine, mistakenly sung by a friend called Len, and now always sung by me!

"Though I try to hide it, it's clear..."

Song: I Try (Macy Gray)
Real Line: My world crumbles when you are not near.

Watch out for a Joni Mitchell classic soon!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

And another thing...

Here is a doll I didn't manage to photograph until it was on the gallery wall!

It's Boudica, who changed ner name from Bodicea around the same time Marathons became Snickers and Opal Fruits became Starburst (and haven't been as nice since). She is going to the home of a lovely friend, Jo.

Today we held children's workshops at the gallery. You can see pictures on our group blog, here. If you do visit, click on the last photo and check out Iron Man peeping worriedly over a woman's shoulder...

Friday, 12 December 2008

Citizens Advice Bureau

Hello everyone. As many of you will know it's still our exhibition at the moment. The gallery is not as busy as Thebes in Lewes (where we exhibited last year) and stewarding days can be long. Yesterday I stuffed two thighs and two lower legs, and did some sketching too. (The body parts were a doll's you understand - I haven't suddenly transformed into some sort of carnivorous Nigella.)

Most visitors seem to think we are the Citizens Advice Bureau, or have come to find out where it is. One person was clearly very lonely and talked to me for an hour...I don't know if she ever knew it was an exhibition! But those that have come for the exhibition seem to enjoy it. These two loved Kitty's work. Another pair of old ladies laughed so much they needed tissues.

Most popular line upon entering exhibition: "Oh, my glasses have steamed up."
Second most popular line upon entering exhibition: "Is this the Citizens Advice Bureau?"

Monday, 8 December 2008

Goodbye Oliver Postgate

Just heard on the radio that Oliver Postgate, the creator of Bagpuss, the Clangers, The Pogles and Ivor the Engine has died. He's always been one of my heroes. A sad start to the day!
Last night we put our Christmas tree up, so I thought I would decorate my blog too. If you fancy decorating yours, there is an icon on here somewhere (top left possibly?) to do it free.
Other news - yesterday I signed an agreement to rent a studio at the Hillcrest Centre in Newhaven! I move in on 1st January! I am VERY excited indeed. I am also excited about going to see the Saul Steinberg exhibition in Dulwich. At least I will be excited when I know exactly when I'm going!
Oops - I can hear the recycling men...I'll have to give them the fortnightly shock of seeing me charge outside in my Snoopy dressing gown!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Illustration Friday - Similar

Well, our exhibition is up and open! Our private view is tomorrow night, but tonight we opened up as it was late night shopping in Seaford. It was freezing in the gallery (I suppose medieval Crypts weren't really built to be cosy) and Pam and I sat alone for most of the evening. A grand total of 14 people came, and we sold a whopping 3 postcards! We are all ill...mostly through exhaustion but colds and viruses are felling us one by one.

Anyway I am sure it will be busier tomorrow....

To cheer myself up when I got home I did this little non-exhibition related drawing for IF - just pencil and watercolour. Now I'm going to crack open a Lemsip. I'm so rock and roll.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


I finished all my mounting! And now I look like this...

I noticed that Charlie was messing around with this website while I was working, and you can make South Park characters of yourself - look! It's really fun! We had to make one of Brad, too:

Those are his drumsticks he's holding - he has just bought himself an electronic drum kit. Charlie didn't save his picture but it really does look like him - I'll post it at a later date!

I'm hoping that now all I have left to do is labels and blurbs, and finish a miniature Merlin house, that I will get some sleep tonight...I have been having nightmares lately and what with those and my toe I have had very little sleep. Yawn!

Mounting Chaos

This is my lovely, relaxing dining area, where I like to serve my loving family delicious yet nutritious meals.

Inviting, isn't it! And I actually tidied it a bit to take this picture. I had to, because I couldn't get to the camera otherwise. Yes, I'm busy mounting stuff for the forthcoming Inky Crows exhibition. I HATE MOUNTING! It's my least favourite job. A job I should be doing now instead of updating my blog....