Thursday, 29 October 2009

Mushroom Face

Blimey. I feel really terrible today and have woken up with a face the colour of a mushroom. I'll keep this brief I think before I go off in search of some kind of drug. Great day at uni yesterday...I lost the lino print I did (see last post) and was worried about not having enough new work to show. But drew this couple in the park before travelling to Cambridge..

And also went to the pub Tuesday night and did a bit more drawing there. (Much more fun with friends than trying to draw alone!) Had great tutorial at uni and then went into Cambridge Market to draw with the lovely (but sickeningly talented) Jo and Mary. We found a great spot to draw but when I reached into my bag for my sketchbook It Wasn't There. (Cue dramatic music). Although I kind of believed Mary when she insisted I had left it in the studio, I got so anxious I actually got chest pains! On top of this I was forced to draw in my newly trimmed other sketch book (oh, the trauma!).

After returning to uni (and being reunited with my sketchbook!) we had a lecture (which I will talk about later...feel too rough). Did this on train home in between puffs on inhaler.

Friday, 23 October 2009


I never seem to have enough time. Every second is accounted for. I've been asked to work extra days next week and it's part of my job to do this, so the little time I have a) to draw and b) to spend some of half term with Charlie, has been cruelly snatched away. Feel REALLY fed up. Don't know how other people fit everything in, and I am worried about my project. Couldn't get out to draw yesterday for various reasons, so I took a small part of one of the scribbles I did in Churchill Square the other week...
...and made this rather crude linocut from it which I cut last night and have just printed now before going to work. Not too pleased with it, but I've done something, anyway!

I did it with a spoon which after all the cutting is really hard on my hands - I have arthritis in them anyway. That's why I don't do as much lino printing as I would like!

As if things couldn't get any worse I've got to go to the Jobcentre this morning. They have asked for proof of my income for the ooh, about 16 millionth time, and because of the postal strikes I am taking my payslips into our local branch in person instead of sending them to Southampton. I wonder if they will accept this? Oh, I can hardly wait to find out!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Hey! Guess What!

Yes! I drew some couples today...are you shocked? To vary things a little, and really bring the scene to life, here's a taster of how the conversation went with my lucky companion Brad as I was drawing.

Me: This is just ridiculous, I mean we might as well go home, it's like I'm drawing the same people over and over again, my sketchbook is going to get repetitive, and I don't just mean for the people looking at it, I mean me as well, God, how am I supposed to get tone in as well, tone as well as draw people in two seconds? It's just bloody impossible! Oh yes, that's right, just get up and move while I'm drawing you, you bastards, I mean don't mind me, it's just my career going out the bloody window. Honestly this is just pointless, we might as well go home, look, I mean look it's just a mess!

Brad: ...I hope you're not going to be like this for two and a half years...

Anyway...I find it inspirational to look at other people's sketchbooks (one of the many reasons why I enjoy uni so much!) and here are a few of my favourite sketchblogs. Sketch for the Day, Urban Sketchers and Nina Johansson. Go and enjoy more sketches and less complaining!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Mood Map

So last week on the train home from uni, I read an article about something called Mood Mapping. Apparently you make an appointment with yourself 3-4 times a day and note down your mood, to discover what triggers downward swings and when you're at your best. Great idea, I thought. So the next day I tried it.

Morning - Charlie lacing up his Converse at the speed of a reluctant tortoise without full use of limbs meant yet again late for school despite me screaming til hoarse. Mood - Bad.

Lunchtime - Got on bus to Seaford, found no one to draw, livid, (time wastage is pet hate), got bus back from Seaford to draw in Sainsbury's Newhaven, and messed up sketchbook attempting to use tone. Mood - Dangerously Bad.

Dinnertime - Spent afternoon waiting outside Brad's flat for delivery (he had lost spare key) which was late. Came home to tackle hurried tidying up due to visitor, mountain of washing up and much loathed cooking of dinner. Mood - Understandably Bad.

Night time - having broken record for exhaustion, pushed aside mountains of clothes and books and fell into bed for usual broken sleep and bad dream. Mood - Bad.

Conclusion of Mood Map Experiment - am miserable old bag.

Anyway, here is the least awful of the sketches I did during my day from hell.

Actually I've seen this man around Newhaven quite a lot. He always reminds me of Yoffy from Fingerbobs. Remember Fingerbobs? I always felt a failure because I couldn't make any of the puppets to my satisfaction.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Oh, and

I forgot about this one - I did it yesterday on the train as a first attempt at trying a bit more tone. (In the smaller one anyway). What a great set of chins he had - I do like to draw larger people.

Obviously I couldn't do it in my proper sketchbook, because it's not a couple. Not that I'm obsessive or anything.

Yet more!

Just another page from my sketchbook. I did this last week actually, but have had a terrible cold so blogging slid down to 199th on my list of things to do. (Complaining and feeling sorry for myself went to 1st).

Anyway yesterday at uni I had a tutorial and Pam suggested I use more tone to represent the figures, and start to give more of a suggestion of context ( I knew that was coming!). So I'm looking forward to giving both those things a go! Then we had a talk from the wonderful, wonderful John Lawrence. I need this book. You need it. Everyone needs it. Go and get it while it's still in hardback. (But preferably from your local independent bookshop rather than Amazon). And go and see the illustrations when they are shown at The Illustration Cupboard. What are you waiting for? It won't be around forever! Don't say I didn't warn you!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Happy Birthday Charlie!

My youngest son's now a teenager! How did that happen?

And just in case you thought the world had gone's a couple.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

I thought...

...that uni was supposed to be the stressful part of life and home the easy, relaxing, fun bit. I'm annoyed with everyone in my house at the moment and I can safely say that they're annoyed with me too. Even the cat's just given me a dirty look.

I suppose I may have been just slightly irritable when I came in. I suppose it's no-one's fault that the shoulder strap of my lovely vintage leather case snapped at the station and I had to carry it for three hours in the same hand as a heavy carrier bag whose handle had transformed into piano wire, and have under my arm a folder (which never did fit in lovely bloody vintage leather case). I suppose it's not their fault someone sneezed in my face on the Victoria Line and now I feel as if the inside of my head and throat has been sandpapered. But jeez, surely a woman can expect to come home to a sea of welcoming smiles, a perfectly clean and tidy house and a hot dinner ready... can't she? Anyway. Here's my attempt from yesterday at drawing the lovely Pam and Dave spending a happy evening with some pens, some sketchbooks, and Basil Rathbone. And me of course!

Monday, 5 October 2009

The more it rains,

the more I'm going to have to draw in cafes, and the fatter I'm going to get. (Obviously I had to have a mozarella and tomato panini and cafe latte while I drew this).

I did do this one in the library - not in a library book I hasten to add - but there were no other couples in there, and these two weren't exactly all over each other so I didn't spend too much time on them!
Then, the rain smudged quite a few pages of my sketchbook.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Surprise surprise

Some of what I have got in my sketchbook isn't even recognisable to anyone except me as being people, so you got off lightly only having to see this one. Brighton Pavilion gardens -a nice place to draw.
In other news, I'm tired, skint, and my house is a mess. I'm not sleeping well, and am therefore a bit obsessed with sleep. It reminds me of having a newborn baby - the first question you ask other parents is "What's he/she like at night?" (If he/she sleeps through you strike them off your Christmas card list.)
I count the hours I do and don't do it, and compare the quality of my nights with other people's. No, I haven't tried Kalms. That would mean admitting I have a problem. I do sleep quite a bit actually but it's broken and contains bad dreams.
Did I mention that I'm really tired?