Thursday, 26 November 2009

Cambridge, Cheese and Crackers.

The crackers part is me...for a number reasons (with which I shall not bore you), I went to Cambridge a day later than normal. So, for a few days, I will suffer from "poor-woman's jet-lag", where I put the rubbish out on the wrong day and don't quite understand why the Archers Omnibus is on on a schoolday. It's just the same when there is a bank holiday, or anything different in my regimented, rut-like routine.

Anyway, uni was great as usual although I was tired (as usual). Today I got to try letterpress, which is something I have wanted to do for years! It was such fun, and I am forgetting the fact that it took me four hours to print three words, which I could have done on the computer in three seconds. No, I was learning. Learning I tell you!

The Cheese? I'm glad you asked. I got to see the lovely work and meet the lovely person that is Chloe Cheese. I wanted one of her books. Very much indeed.

Pam advised me to try and use tone in my work, and I started by doing this on the train home. I did it till my pen ran out. It is in my note book though, not my real sketchbook, because it's not a couple. (I'm not precious about my sketchbook, really!)

Monday, 23 November 2009

Good, and Not-Quite-So-Good.

What was really good recently was that I recently spent a lovely evening in the gorgeous new house of my friends Becky and Jeremy, along with Matt and Amy, reminiscing about Bags of Books days and generally having a fab time.
Not so good was going out to a pub in Newhaven in the hope of finding some young couples to draw, and instead only finding the most boring meeting in the world.

It really was so utterly boring, and they were the only people in the pub! In my defence, there was a couple in the middle. But they had their backs to me!

Today it was raining really hard and once I had been shopping there wasn't time to go out drawing. I felt the urge to spend an hour at my studio so I did just that, and did a little bit of sewing. I do like my studio. And it was cold enough to get out my trusty heater, which I really like because it looks like a chimney...

But what wasn't so good was that I found a lot of mould there. A postcard had fallen off the wall and was covered in mould. It made me worry about all my fabrics and papers that I leave there. I don't know what to do about mould. I think I will just hope it goes away.

Oh and to my friends who know the situation...the cat poo stand off still continues.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Untidiness and Reading

My house is NEVER tidy. I don't know how other people manage to keep their houses tidy and have jobs, children, do courses, live life. If I were to keep my house tidy, and my washing and ironing all done, I would be working ALL the time. The thing is though, it feels like I DO work all the time, so where am I going wrong?? The best I ever manage is "not-filthy" (and I'm pretty sure there are areas in my house which don't even reach that status). It really gets me down. Not counting things like a printmaking studio or a house, the best gift anyone could get me would be to clean and organise my house. Just once, not all the time - I'm not that greedy!

Anyway onto my next, not totally unrelated topic. I read. a lot. I used to read more than I do now, because I tend to be so exhausted that my reading pattern often goes "read one line, fall asleep, drop book," repeat next night (with same line). But the past month or so I have read quite a bit of fiction - particularly some books that everyone else on the planet had read and I hadn't. (The best of these was The Kite Runner. If you can start the Kite Runner and not be totally gripped, and moved, you are seriously weird.)

I try to give a book to charity when I buy a new one (for space reasons) but when it comes to non fiction I can't, because they are research. I had a small overflow bookcase in my dining area, just for the books I had borrowed from my studio or brought downstairs to dip into. This is the state it got into.

So one day recently, responsible parent that I am, I persuaded Joe to jam a far too big bookcase halfway into his car, tie it not-very-securely with a fraying bungee rope and drive dangerously through the town.
And it was worth it.

And by the way, anyone thinking if I didn't read so much I would have more time to keep things tidy - I only read in bed or on the train. So there.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

For Ann

I was talking to the fantastic Ann D'Arcy-Hughes at BIP the other day - and we decided that this is just how we feel - like hamsters on a wheel. Always rushing, never stopping, but never getting anywhere. Here's hoping we can both have a break from the wheel soon Ann!

Saturday - still Friday 13th in my opinion.

What a total arse of a day. I have condensed the day's events down to easy-to-follow bullet points. You can fill in the details for yourself.
  • Up. Holiday. Prepare to draw!
  • Purse. PURSE?
  • Panic.
  • Scream.
  • Cry.
  • Ransack.
  • Automated phone calls.
  • Hours.
  • Prepare again, drawing AND shopping. Penny jar.
  • Walk.
  • Rain.
  • Shopping heavy. Mood heavy. NO drawing.
  • Walk home. Decide big painting from window at home.
  • Home. Paints? PAINTS?
  • See bullet point 6.
  • Dejectedly do drawing below.

  • Bad light stops drawing.

Friday, 13 November 2009


So I'd asked for the next available week off work (I usually work Fridays and Saturdays), so I could spend two whole days drawing and maybe catch up a bit. My boss said this week would be OK. It just didn't work out though...a whole lot of Friday 13th style problems plus the torrential rain meant that I just went to BIP and did this etching , and then went home exhausted after no sleep the previous night. Better luck tomorrow I hope.
Anyway it's hard and soft ground on steel with some aquatint. Next week I'm having an induction to etching at uni which will be great (and save me a fortune too) - they use ferric chloride though which I don't have any experience of - BIP uses nitric acid.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

I'd forgotten all about Ray Lamontagne. I am very glad to have remembered about him and am playing the CD right now as I get ready for a day at BIP.

Monday, 9 November 2009


This evening Beed and Gemma kindly allowed me to attempt to draw them while they watched Corrie...they said I can go back again some time soon too - what heroes! (I think they could see I needed the practice!) I did swoosh some colour on before deciding I'd had enough.

I came home to find Charlie sulking because he couldn't find where he had saved something on the computer. I'm now re-downloading it, and have been for over an hour...don't be surprised if I disappear from the web for some time!

Love Is Better Than a Warm Trombone

I had a shortened drawing day today and couldn't go to Brighton so had to make do with Sainsbury's instead. This couple were bucking the trend by being quite happy and contented...but sadly didn't stay long enough for me to draw their legs. (The title is the Gomez song I had on my mind at the time, and still do! I don't mind - it's a great song.)

I've been really busy since last week, including going to BIP where I prepared a new plate to start etching again...despite being poor, I just can't wait for the etching facilities to be up and running at uni!

Talking of uni, we now have a group blog, Comfort Zone, where we'll be sharing work and info on stuff of interest.

Not much else to report, except that my parenting skills hit a new low this week when I failed to find a single firework to watch with Charlie and then the next day sent him to school on an inset day. Sigh. Now to tackle a kitchen way beneath the levels of safe hygiene standards.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Happy 40th Birthday Sesame Street!

"When I find I can't remember what comes after A and before C, my mother always whispers, 'Letter B'"...genius.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

I Love Autumn!

All Hallows' Eve: a magical time; a time of secrets and of mysteries; of sachets to be sewn in red silk and hung around the house to ward off evil; of scattered salt and spiced wine and honey-cakes left on the sill; of pumpkin, apples, firecrackers and the scent of pine and woodsmoke as autumn turns old and winter takes the stage.
(Joanna Harris - Lollipop Shoes)

I hope you all enjoyed your Halloween last night. I usually do a proper window display for the local kids to enjoy but I had to downscale it this year because I was at work! But we did have the usual cauldron of trick or treat goodies to give out, and then we went to a party. Here's Charlie in his costume - Rorschach from the Watchmen comic.