Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Technical Fault

Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year!

Unfortunately, just before Christmas, several of my household items decided to form a suicide pact. They included my telly (which actually ended up being tied up with string at one point), my mobile phone and most distressingly, my computer. Joe was doing something with i-tunes one minute, and the next, tons of messages popped up saying it had 38 viruses and it felt there was really no point carrying on. So I sent a message (very slowly on my borrowed phone) asking my friendly local geek for help, and my computer has been in intensive care ever since. I have to hand in an essay and reflection on my work on 6th Jan. (You can add your own "hysterical, manic laughter" sound effect at this point).

Anyway, I just wanted to explain that I can't post any images at the moment. But stick with me...normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Let It Snow!

Misery guts that I am when it comes to snow, even I am a little bit excited at the prospect of a white Christmas! I did this at home today straight into my sketchbook - how brave am I!?

Then it was yet more Christmas shopping in the hellish dome of torture that is Churchill Square. At one point I had so many carrier bags hanging from me it was like a sick, twisted game of Buckaroo. I was also dressed a bit like the woman in the above picture, (with very similar posture too I might add), forgetting that Churchill Square is heated to the point just before everyone bursts into flames. In fact I think I've got a tropical disease.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Tenth time lucky!

I waited at the bus stop for half an hour intending to go to Brighton to do some shopping and drawing, and when the bus finally came, the driver wouldn't let anyone on because it was too full. Oh, how I laughed! Anyway, I went to my studio but it was too cold to work up there (ice on the inside of the window), so I packed a case of stuff and did this lino print at home. It took ten attempts to get anywhere near a decent print (I use a spoon as I don't have a press) and my hand is like a stiff claw now.

Other news, we went to see Where The Wild Things Are yesterday. I'd heard lots of posh people on Radio 4 saying it was boring, and long, and not at all like the book, so I wasn't expecting to enjoy it...but I actually loved it! I don't know what all the complaining is about! I loved Max, I loved the Wild Things, I loved the soundtrack, I loved the direction. I liked the interpretation of the book - admittedly it's more suitable for older kids and adults who had the book as kids. But it was great. Gorgeous to look at and weird and just like being a child. What's not to like? (Well I suppose I didn't like the thimble of ice cream for a fiver.)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Studio antics

We had our final group crit this week, and the groups were mixed up so that we got to see some of the second years' work. It was great and so inspiring!

Anyway Martin suggested I add some more printing to my work and/or some work from memory, so I didn't feel guilty about spending the morning in my studio listening to Radio 4 drinking peppermint tea instead of traipsing round a freezing town centre looking for couples to draw! As much as I have come to love sketching it is a bit draining having to commit to doing it for long periods every week.

So I did this little monoprint and also started something in colour which I'll post when it's done. Got a really busy few days ahead starting with a 12 hour working day tomorrow (it's late night shopping...yawn...).

Oh, and we got our Christmas tree! Usually it takes hours and involves shortlists and standing back and twirling them to check for bald bits. But this one was chosen randomly, without even opening the net - how daring am I!? It's smaller than usual because I get fed up with clearing up the needles after dragging them through my narrow hall. And it's lovely! I'd actually feel Christmassy if I had time.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Chickienobs, anyone?

As I mentioned, I've been reading Margaret Atwood's "Oryx and Crake". It was one of the most chilling books I have ever read and I still feel weird a couple of days after finishing it. In this bit, Jimmy and Crake are talking about genetically modified chickens, bred for food...

"This is the latest," said Crake.
What they were looking at was a large bulblike object that seemed to be covered with stippled whitish-yellow skin. Out of it came twenty thick fleshy tubes, and at the end of each tube another bulb was growing.
"What the hell is it?" said Jimmy.
"Those are chickens," said Crake. "Chicken parts. Just the breasts, on this one. They've got ones that specialize in drumsticks too, twelve to a growth unit.
"But there aren't any heads..."
"That's the head in the middle," said the woman. "There's a mouth opening at the top, they dump nutrients in there. No eyes or beak or anything, they don't need those."

Now, if you dare, read this article from the Times. Is it just me, or is that hideous and terrifying? I mean, I know the ethical points against eating meat, I don't eat meat. But I survive, can't we just ...go without it? Why do we have to make it? Ooh I feel sick.

Sorry to anyone who has come here hoping to see some nice children's book illustration, by the way. I won't talk about Chickienobs anymore. Here's a hilarious knitting pattern to take your minds off it.
Isn't it great? I'm thinking of knitting it actually, and wearing it to university. I need to get with the groove, and knitting is officially the new Rock'n'Roll. In my uni class there's much clicking of needles and flashing around of swanky woollens - it's great! Look here and here for more hot knitting action.

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Today I only did some scrappy (and indeed crappy) drawings - no time to go out and do anything major. I had to go and pay my studio rent, and while I was up there I finished making this pincushion, which I started last week...
And here it is on my bookcase so you can see the scale of it.

I know it's irrelevant to everything I should be working on but sometimes I just feel like making things just for the hell of it.

This evening I was supposed to go and see Woodrow Phoenix talking about his book, but for various reasons I just couldn't make it to Brighton in time. Too scared to go in once it had started, I just went Christmas shopping, marvelling at the notion that we are all broke, yet once a year we suddenly have to spend loads of money buying things for people. Strange, isn't it?

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Slow, slow train

Can't believe the first term (and therefore the observational drawing project) is nearly over. (Only a load more drawings, a reflective piece of writing about the drawing, and an essay to go!)
It was an absolute nightmare getting home today. It took 5 hours. Loads of trains were delayed or cancelled, and those that did run seemed to travel at walking pace. Still, I did get time to do a drawing on the Cambridge- Kings Cross...

Sorry about the crappy scan - I had to try and do it in two halves, which I'm not very good at! I am still quite scared about using tone, although I am enjoying it.

Darkness suits my mood at the moment - especially as I am reading "Oryx and Crake" by Margaret Atwood. It's one of the few of her books I hadn't read, and I thought I should, as she has now written a sequel. It's so chilling - a kind of post-apocalyptic story in which a disaster has wiped out the people and genetically spliced creatures roam the earth after initially being bred for organ transplants. It goes back and forth pre and post disaster, through the eyes of Jimmy, a survivor - later called "Snowman". I haven't finished it yet but it's brilliant. Can't wait to read the sequel.