Thursday, 25 February 2010

What I've Been Doing 'n' That

It's been a frustrating few days. To explain how would be a very long, complicated and boring post. So here are the highs and lows instead.

A high - I spent some time at my tidy and organised studio and started a new section of my Sequential Image project. It's going to be a puppet show scene from Hamlet. What will Ophelia's head look like before the hair is put on? Funny you should ask!

A low - my cold/sinus infection either came back or I got a new one. Put a bit of a dampener on my trip to Cambridge. Train sketch...

A low...I realised that academics can needlessly turn something simple and obvious into something very complicated. Also they can turn something very beautiful and interesting into something dry and lifeless. A high...I thanked my lucky stars I am studying from a creative and not so academic angle.

Two lows - life is treating a couple of my friends harshly. I didn't enjoy something I usually love. A high - I stayed with my lovely friends and was given this gem...

Isn't it great! Now if I was in a cool Indie band (a career possibility for me of course, if my illustration career should flop) I would so have this as an album cover. The kid in the white hat at the bottom looks like someone has a gun pointed at him and has threatened to shoot if he doesn't smile! The patterns are available in age 6-8 and 8-10. Pam, Dave and I mused about what would happen if you put one on a 10-year old and sent them out in my local town centre...
More knitting pattern hilarity and art antics soon.

Monday, 15 February 2010

If Only...

...I could be as glamorous as these foxy chicks, spotted on a crochet pattern at work today...

However I have carried out a risk assessment and decided against crocheting these outfits, because of the dangerous length of the scarf. She's actually treading on it. I broke my toe in a similar way (although it was actually a "flouncing-while-wearing-a-bath-towel" incident. These can happen very easily, as I am sure you know).

No artwork to show at the moment due to working in the shop...but hope to have something to show tomorrow.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Sketches and Arctic Antics

First things first, here are the obligatory train sketches from my trip to Cambridge this week. Both done on the homeward journey - no opportunity to draw on the way there.

I had a great time as usual and finally got my hands on that lovely printroom. I knew there was something very different from Brighton Independent Printmakers (other than the hugeness and hospital-neatness) and as we had our induction I realised what it smell! They use hardly any toxic chemicals and no naked flames (so no smoking of the hard ground or blowtorching aquatints...two of my favourite bits!). It's so strange to be in an odourless printroom! Good-strange, I suppose, although I'm actually fond of the smell of BIP (despite the raw lungs...). They use aluminium with copper sulphate, and zinc and steel with Edinburgh Etch. The processes are very similar to those I have done before so I am really looking forward to taking advantage of the open access facility.

I came home to a letter from hell giving me news I really didn't want. (Boring money stuff as usual). The panic it has induced has given me a burst of energy (not to mention a blinding headache and going off food and sleep) and today I totally cleaned, sorted and rearranged my studio. I have got a mangle which I've had adapted to make a small press, and I wanted to make room for it and varnish the wood bits. I worked really hard all day in the arctic temperature* of the studio and feel frustrated that I won't be able to work in there for ages as I'm doing extra days in the shop next week.

Tonight, sketching for my project. I will work through the pain of the headache and the panic of the letter!

* (I wore - knickers, bra, tights, legwarmers, bedsocks, trainers, jeans, vest, pyjama top, hoody, scarf, painting overall, bodywarmer, hat and gloves).

Monday, 8 February 2010


Here for your pleasure is a knitting pattern I got from work for the princely sum of 25p. I only wish my knitting skills were up to making this "neat 4-ply lumber jacket". Sadly they are not, so my groovy male friends must for now find inferior, shop-bought items to smoke in. (We also have a great pattern featuring a family of pipe smokers!)

Here's a taster of my new project - just some character sketches at this stage. I don't know why the scan looks so dreadful and I haven't got the energy to find out.

I'm waiting for a plumber to arrive and replace my hob and hopefully give me a less erratic hot water supply. I hate things like that, I just find it all awkward and embarrassing...I've never become a proper adult in that respect.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Proper Cambridge

Here are a few train sketches from my journey to Cambridge.

The man in pencil was bragging about his new axe. He sounded so excited I was starting to feel concerned about what plans he had for it!
Anyway, today we had a class with the lovely Paula Metcalf, who's going to be with us all this semester - good news.

This afternoon, we actually went to Proper Cambridge University, for the first of this semester's lectures. I was really excited about it, because I'd read the speaker's work before, and it being at Proper Cambridge and all that. But in a whingeing British type of way, I must report that the auditorium was freezing. Also it was not at all "borderline agoraphobic" friendly (something I don't expect you normal people to understand!).

The speaker spoke really quickly, whizzing through foreign names he obviously thought we would know and I soon gave up trying to take notes. The lecture was about the "Disneyfication" of fairytales - films, in particular. (We saw some non-Disney adaptations). He said that the homogenised, sexist, patriarchal, formulaic Disney films wreck children's view of fairytales and ruin their appreciation of other art. Now to a certain extent, I agree - but, I remember going to see a Disney film at the cinema as a child and coming home, getting in bed and quickly shutting my eyes, trying to dream the whole magical thing over again. I hardly think I would have done that if I had just watched a jerky, blurred black-and-white film featuring rape.

I enjoyed Disney films as a child and still do, and recognise them as fun, family films, as I think I always did. But, I also absolutely love the original fairy and folktales in all their gory detail. So Disney didn't ruin my perception of traditional folk tales at all. (On the other hand, I think the world would be a better place without all the Disney merchandising and of course the truly terrible books!)

That concludes my probably wildly inaccurate recap of the lecture. Here's a train sketch from the journey home. Thank you and goodnight.