Friday, 30 January 2009

Charlie Schwarzenegger

Here's another sketch of Charlie looking rather cool. He asked me to draw him with his aviator shades on and call the drawing "Charlie Schwarzenegger". Afterwards we spent ages trying to force my huge sketchbook in the scanner, tangling the concertina pages up in the desk and getting hot and irritable. Then we simply turned the book round and placed the page in from the front. (Of course I was merely testing my son's problem-solving skills...)


Here's another envelope doodle I did - again while on the phone to my Mum. It's Charlie (my youngest son, for those who don't know us!) who was in his favourite place - on the computer. In fact it's only because the Simpsons is on that I am able to get on here now!

Ooh - Look!

Coraline! The book was really scary - the film looks fab!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Illustration Friday - Climbing

Come up and see my etchings? Well, etching, to be precise- my very first one ever! I thought it fitted into the IF theme too as she is climbing aboard a cuddly Manatee.

This is just etching onto steel, which gives a mid tone to everything. This week I started a very simple tree design on zinc, which is whiter, and I am aquatinting it in a couple of tones and then want to do chine colle on it.

The design of this etching sums up how I feel about printing. I love it, but it's just too massive a subject to grasp! It's just fab. Even though my hand are sore and my lungs are raw, it's worth it.

Monday, 26 January 2009

More Oxfam sketches

Facts about Oxfam...(well, our branch anyway). More people who come in wear glasses than not. Some people come in happy and optimistic of finding something...

...and others come in almost defensive, and ready to dismiss anything they do find....

Today someone quibbled over the price of a paperback book. But someone else gave £50 to Gaza. So it all balances out in the end. Happy, sad, mean, generous...they are all equally hard to sketch and all stay still for no longer than 10 seconds!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Doodle do

It's been a stressful week. Brad had his car stolen from outside my house on Wednesday. It's made me feel quite paranoid and nervy. Then later that day I had a meeting which I had been dreading...I'm glad it's over. No news on my uni/grant application yet.

I went to my studio and started a new doll - a batch of dolls really. I'll be taking photos along the way and I'll post them for anyone who's wondered how they are made (there won't be instructions as such...just a peek at each stage). I also scratched a new image - into zinc this time - for my lovely etching class on Tuesdays which I love!!! I made a print from my steel plate last time but it was too damp to bring home, but hopefully I'll be able to post it this week.

I wasn't going to post an image today as I didn't have one - but then my mum phoned and I doodled this dude on an envelope while we chatted. He started off quite dapper and smart - but as the conversation wore on he grew bristles and a scruffy jumper.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Why... my neighbours enjoy a) screaming and b) screaming along to Shania Twain? I mean they do it so enthusiastically, as if it's the first time they've had this great idea.

Oh well I suppose if you can't beat 'em... "MAN! I FEEL LIKE A WOMAN, DO-DOO-DOODOO-DO-DO!"

Nope. I'm still miserable.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Bad Mood, Bunting and Bank

Hi everyone! My day got off to a bad start ( a child-related problem) which made me so wound up I left my house at top speed, abandoning the washing up, and went to my studio. It was very quiet as it was so early - just tea and Radio 4 for company. It was too cold to draw much, but I did make this bunting to decorate the studio.

My lovely friends always give me fabrics, and this will remind me of them. I made more since I took this pic and will probably put it all round the room. While sewing, I did a lot of thinking and planning, and it cheered me up a bit - until I went to the bank to withdraw some money and they wouldn't hand it over until I had agreed to an appointment with them because I am always so overdrawn. Grr! How dare they intrude on my "head-in-the-sand" system of managing my finances! They set my overdraft limit, without me even asking, then have a go at me when I use it.

I know their cunning plan...they're going to try and persuade me to get a loan. But I won't I tell you, I won't! (Unlike Brad, who recently went in the bank for a cheque book cover and left signed up to Advantage Gold, with a loan, a savings account and a credit card.)

So the day has come full circle, with me starting and ending it totally fed up.

Oh - I almost forgot - on Tuesday I started a 6-week course in etching at BIP (Brighton Independent Printmaking). I thoroughly enjoyed it - but probably for the wrong reasons! You know when you do a course and everyone introduces themselves and says how much of the subject they've done? Well everyone seemed to be saying things like, "Yes, I've studied etching for 75 years," and "I am head of etching at St Martin's,"...but luckily there were a couple of beginners like me, and it ended up being a real laugh. The studio looks like a torture chamber with lots of strange, Medieval looking equipment. The tutor, lovely though she was, could have been talking Swahili for the amount I understood and took in. But together we blundered our way through the first stages and were soon in the cupboard smoking our hard ground like a bunch of streetwise etchers. My plate is here, carefully wrapped in newsprint and I have to actually scratch something into it before next session...I can't bring myself to yet, in case I ruin it!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Illustration Friday - Contained

Here is my effort for this week's IF topic. I received a set of Russian nesting dolls for Christmas when I was about four and it was one of the best presents I ever had! I got so much pleasure from them over the years...even the woody smell of them made me happy. When I had my first son I let him play with them and later found him chewing enthusiastically on something. When I asked what it was, he opened his mouth to reveal the very smallest doll! I'd had them for about thirty years. It survived, but now looks like a scrap of driftwood. Since then I have been bought two more sets of Matryoshka dolls, both gifts from my mum. I feel a collection coming on...

Anyway it's a lino print, cut at home last night - not, sadly, at my studio which currently has no power or water. In fact, when I went there on Saturday, a large and rather pretty icicle was coming out of the tap! Hopefully it will be sorted out really will...

Thursday, 8 January 2009

It's madness...

...will I never stop eating until every Mingle, Quality Street, Cadbury's Rose or Ferrero Rocher in the house is gone???

Illustration Friday - Resolve

A late entry for this week's topic. These two have managed to resolve their relationship issues.

It's gouache on old paper. The line of dialogue comes from a fantastic 1960s Mills and Boon I got from Oxfam.

I did this very hastily, to take my mind off stressful issues of my own I am trying (and failing) to resolve! I also watched the Noah & the Whale "Five Year's Time" video on always makes me smile. Go on - try it! (I tried to put it in here - hopefully it's worked - if not - sorry!)

Friday, 2 January 2009


Just trying out one of my Christmas presents (from Brad!) - a Lamy Safari pen and some Noodlers Ink.
Very nice they are to use too. Thank you Brad! The drawing is of Zebedee, my much missed pet rabbit. He was a house rabbit, and I always think of him more at Christmas, because he liked to nibble off a huge piece of the Christmas tree, hop off with it and eat it! He was lovely was Zeb, and I'd thoroughly recommend a house rabbit as a clean, quiet alternative to a cat or dog. (And they never bring in dead or dying animals or birds...)

Thursday, 1 January 2009

A New Year and...

...a new studio! Here's me with the keys! It's very exciting. It's just a small room in the community centre just a ten minute walk from my house. It needs a very good clean before I can put any of my fabrics in it, but it has a sink (a very dirty one) and electricity and a window...what more do I need!? I am looking forward to being at home when I am at home and working when I am in the the moment, things overlap so much. I find I am constantly interrupted and distracted at home, but also I never actually stop work.

In other news, yesterday my friend Abbie saved my bacon (vegetarian bacon of course) by taking loads of brilliant pictures of my work...and not only that, she made the rubbish pictures I had previously taken, look brilliant. She is a digital goddess! She spent sooooo many hours on it all and I really am so grateful!! I'll be applying for the MA and funding to do the MA, in the next few days so everyone send me good vibes!!

Hope to be posting some work very soon - but tomorrow I'll be cleaning my studio.*

Happy New Year everyone.