Life has been very busy over the last week or so, and while I have gotten a few bits and pieces started, very little time has been devoted to painting and drawing. That is not to say that nothing exciting has happened because the picture above illustrates a very exciting milestone. After years of working off rickety trestle tables, staring at the wall and being stuck in a dark corner. I now have a beautiful recycled desk that has a north facing aspect. Not only does this mean that pencils will no longer get stuck between the two desks, and I won't constantly be bashing my knees, which of course leads to the water container sloshing everywhere, but I also now get to sit in a comfy chair. Hopefully the aching shoulders will be a thing of the past and I can sit comfortably for much longer without needing a break and a stretch. It is all a bit luxurious not having such a stable surface to work on, and the lovely beaten up desk top means there is no need to feel precious with it.
There is something about a natural surface that is so lovely especially after the nasty grey beige of the collapsible tables and there is something about a rich old table, that shows all the marks and dings of its life that is very welcoming and comforting. Matt and I spent the morning looking at all sorts of new options and drafting tables and things and then in a last ditch of frustration we headed into a second hand store, and this was just waiting for us, cheap as chips and perfect dimensions for the space. It was a great shop and there were a million different pieces we would have bought if only we had a bigger house - but it will be fun to go back and have a rummage on a regular basis. The desk even fitted perfectly into the back of the car so it was obviously meant to be.
So I am now feeling very motivated to get stuck in and get some work done. I started two pieces last week, one some zucchini flowers, which is progressing, but it is a bit soon to tell how successful it will be, and the other is some beans in black and white, which you can see sitting on the drawing board on the desk in the photo. I decided to do an experiment and try to do a tonal drawing using a black polychromos pencil rather than the usual B through 3B range of pencils that I usually use. I wanted to see if it was more effective in a rich black, rather than the gray backs that you get with normal pencils. It is coming along really well and I actually love the effect of the dark dramatic black. It is also proving to be a good exercise in pencil control and in creating a full range of tones from a single pencil instead of relying on changing pencils to create tone. So I am heading back to it now and hoping I will be able to almost finish it - especially now as I have the magic desk and comfy chair to make it all easier.