Sunday, 29 April 2012

A Full Week of Drawing as it Turns Out...

I woke up this morning in a mild panic
that I had to balance the normal Sunday morning 
which is best described as haphazard
and that is on a good day
with getting a drawing complete and a post done
hosted by the courageous and always inspiring Alex.

I love Sunday Sketches and
I did have a mild freak out at my lack of finished product
which has not been helped 
by being gassed by Sinus and his deodorant
which always gives me a bit of a head spin.
His bathroom is next to my studio and that stuff is strong
and yes he has his own bathroom
which is the secret to a happy 20 years marriage
in my opinion
except for the deodorant gassing that is
everything has one down side...

Once the gas settled and my head cleared of the manly scent
I realised that I had  had a very full week of drawing
starting with drawing up six canvases last weekend
four of which are now painted and down at The Collective Store

I also got heaps of outlines done for my zine
I like to work in a frenzy once I have a clear idea of what I want it to look like
and I have drawn and discarded pages for the last few weeks
but after being inspired by some pages that the lovely Fran over at Wethree
sent to me from her upcoming zine
I started afresh and actually have a clear idea of where I am going 
and managed to get eight pages planned and outlines drawn
and I am excited to get working on them
so this week is going to be filled with lots of line drawing
which will be therapeutic 
after the painting marathon of the last week

I also managed to draw up some sunflowers on a card 
that I want to paint in for a card for a friend out in the bloggy world
as a thank you for just being her
so all in all I am thinking I have had a great week of drawing
and looking at all this it is no wonder
the floors are unwashed
the ironing pile is looking like it could bury a small child
or unsuspecting dog
the kitchen vaguely resembles a bomb zone
and the fridge is bare of all but inevitable manky lettuce,
three types of mustard and five million jars of jam
So the time has come to leave the studio
and venture back into family life
and domestic duties
or maybe I could just squeeze in a little drawing first...xx

PS here are some pages out of Phantom Steve's sketchbook
can you believe how wasted this child is on a Maths Science load
it is criminal that she doesn't do art isn't it ...

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Random Bark....

I love my studio
and I love my fur baby
but sometimes they just don't mix
usually Mushu sits at my feet
or more often lately 
on my work bench
but in the last two days
for some reason that could only make sense in that brain of his
he has become super protector dog

normally I would applaud this appearance of steely resolve
cause lets face it
in the dictionary beside the word coward
they have a pic of his adorable little face
but this week he is taking on the cat from next door
which is actually relevant to these paintings
just be patient

So the cat from next door is a bit of a piece of work
he comes and sleeps in Mushu's bed at night 
while Mushu is tucked up with one of us
which of course drives him to crying and pawing at your leg
until you shake it out and resettle it for him
But it would appear that this evil feline nemesis
has taken things one step too far
as he now suns himself lying up against the fence that divides our houses

Mushu has decided to fight back 
and reclaim his territory
by emitting random barks in its general direction
not a full on crazy bark like his head is going to explode bark
but a single, somewhat lazy, though very loud and random bark
which has been driving my to the brink
and means that my nerves are shot
my heart rate is somewhat erratic
and I have dropped my brush about fifty gazillion times
I have snorted my tea
slurped it down my front
and knocked over a water container on my desk

so disastrous was one such tea slosh and drop brush incident 
that I had to re work this canvas
and  while on the agapanthus canvas it seemed to not matter too much
especially when I was doing the line work
the tea cup has taken the brunt of it
I'm still not sure it is where I want it to be
so I am abandoning it for now until
the random barks lose their appeal
and Mushu returns to the sloth imitation that is his true talent

All in all I got  a fair bit done given the circumstances
but I feel it is time to stop pushing my luck 
and spend a bit of time cruising other people's Friday work 
to settle my nerves
happy painting all ...xx

What you may have missed this week...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Phantom Steve gets messy...

I have no clue why anyone would whine
about having a teenager
and while I do acknowledge that mood swings
the rampant narcissistic tendencies
 and the endless fascination with reality tv
could be seen as a down side
there is also the most glorious upside
which is the parenting party game called
Torture the Teenager

Which takes on so much more depth and resonance
when you have an given birth to a daughter like mine
who despite being glorious and making me burst with pride most of the time,
 is somewhat uptight
Phantom Steve likes things just so and has a tendency to be 
precious about things
we are talking she still has games in pristine condition in the box
and she has never
and I say never 
cracked a book's spine

All of this makes her an easy target for Torture the Teenager
just move a few things, shuffle some books out of order
eat with more than one food on your fork at a time
or my personal favourite, 
drag your feet so you don't leave for drop off at exactly 7.51am
and she is almost at breakdown stage
the eyes roll
the head shakes
the lips mutter
and the steam starts pouring from ears
it is 
in short

But even this pales beside the opportunities for torture
which is all about Mess
and poor Phantom has been duly traumatised by seeing my efforts
and further compounding her nightmare
is hearing about the horror being inflicted 
on these poor books by others
on the Facebook page
Books have been left out in the rain, buried under snow,
 and generally been mistreated in magnificent ways

our fearless leader Lisa suggested getting her involved
so she did the "perfect" page from the top of the blog
which was a pathetic attempt
so I suggested another
which resulted in her wetting a page
writing on it while wet
and then miracle of miracle she even dripped some ink on it

Of course she wrote yet another smart assed comment
about not writing on a wet book
and all the fun came to a swift halt when she actually get ink dripping down her arm
which led to a very hasty retreat on her part

I later found her in the 
King Family Recovery Position
which involves having a lie down
and consuming a medicinal dose of chocolate
the level of trauma is measured by the chocolate required 
so I am figuring things were pretty bad
from the look of this recovery session
main thing is she survived 
and I had a great time watching her squirm
 which is all that matters
in my 
messy messy book...xx

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Paint, Tea, Paint ...

This cup of tea
it is like the twentieth I have had in the last day or so
which means that I am a touch hopped up on the stuff
but I have had a very very busy few days
 gloriously, wonderfully busy
but being someone who can be a touch distracted
even when I have bugger all on my plate
add a squillion different things
into my mildly chaotic existence
and everything goes into complete meltdown
and the only thing that stops my brain from hyperventilating
is tea
well also chocolate
but I have been almost mainlining the stuff for weeks
so tea seems like a more sensible choice

So busy has been the name of the game
and in amongst all the boring busy
and boy was there a bit of that
there was some fun busy
like getting these two canvases done
to be delivered down to The Collective Store
to replace two that sold last week.

I also  have five more started 
and they are in various stages of progress 
ranging from
not looking too bad, I know where this one is going
oh my giddy aunt how do I save this sucker

Which is always a bit frustrating
because they all look very promising at the pencil drawing stage
and I am so excited when I first sit down to get stuck into them
and then they all go through the ugly stage
but I am plowing on regardless 
and just pouring more and more tea into my system
and crossing everything that I get them to where I want them

So the rest of the day will be spent
painting, drinking tea, painting, trying to avoid eating chocolate
painting, drinking tea, 
cursing the diuretic effects of drinking fifty million cups of tea, 
painting, and quite possibly drinking more tea...

and Mushu will keep me company
now he has taken to sitting on my desk
and I kind of think he is licking his lips at the thought
of getting his snout into my Lady Grey
which is his favourite
The minute I find one white hair in my cup 
he is back on the floor in disgrace
I don't care how cute he is 
there are limits...xx

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Body Parts and Book Thieves

Don't freak out at the Sunday Sketch this week
I haven't gone all serial killer on you
it is actually relevant to what has to be 
the parenting moment of my week
if you like your moments slightly surreal that is
and I kind of do
keeps life interesting...

I have an almost 16 year old daughter
who has her quirks
she likes to change her name for example
and doesn't actually limit these to her correct gender
so it can be a bit of a lottery as to which name she will answer to
though Steve and Phantom still seem to get her attention
don't ask me why 
she has always been like that okay

She is also a tad precious about anything belonging to her
doesn't give two hoots about anyone else's property
trash away
as long as her life and world is kept in pristine order

and without a doubt is the greatest living creeper 
in the history of the world
this girl could creep up and scare the living bejeesus
 out of someone holding a directional mic
she is in permanent stealth mode

Which helps put the following into context...

I am standing at the kitchen sink
when out of nowhere comes a voice at my back
asking if I happen to know where the fist Harry Potter book is?
which of course surprised the life out of me
making me drop the plate I was holding
luckily into a sink of water
and as I tried to calm my now racing heartbeat 
and turned around to find her standing there
smirking and 
holding her life size medical model of a foot

Heart back to its proper rate
I simply asked if she would like help looking for it
accompanied her up the stairs and started scouring the bookcases
which is actually quite a task
as we have a six metre , about 18 ft, wall of shelves filled to the brim
and oh so casually gestured to the foot 
which she still held in her hand

so Phantom, what's the deal there?

Oh yeh, 
she says while thrusting it in my face accusingly
wondering what you did to it to make it sticky?

Like I somehow spend her school hours playing 
with her shelf of body parts and models...

Anyway the mystery of the sticky foot is as yet unresolved
though we suspect the Sinus may have a hand in it
he is quite a tactile person after all

But HP1 is still awol
so maybe we have a sticky handed book thief in the house 
who couldn't resist touching the foot
either way I thought it was appropriate to illustrate this moment
in case someone out there has information 
which may lead us to apprehending this nasty piece of work....xx

Friday, 20 April 2012

The Last Mosquito

The last Mosquito of the summer
is a wily wily fellow
we have spent the week
a stalkin' and a huntin'
and yet somehow he is still alluding us

This bitey bugger is hanging on for dear life
and is starting to take on mythic proportions
so far he has managed to avoid the fly swat 
with all the cunning and wile
of a fox, serpent and road runner all rolled into one

he has even managed to avoid the cushion
which is Sinus' weapon of choice
and involves him using his considerable height to squash all unsuspecting mozzies into the ceiling with the nearest cushion
Needless to say all our cushions are dark coloured to save on washing
and by the end of the summer
the ceiling looks disturbingly like a Quentin Tarantino movie
but there is something oddly satisfying at looking up 
and seeing the evidence of the kills
and I like to leave them there for the summer as a warning to all other mozzies 
as to what fate awaits them if they dare enter

But this mighty adversary
he has laughed in the face of such a warning
  he has spit in the face of practically bathing in aerogard
and has still feasted on toes and necks
in the middle of the night
and generally made sleep all but a distant memory

He has taken one look at Lavender spray 
and dive bombed all victims as though it was a joke
I have sprayed so much around the bedroom 
that if you threw in a few mothballs
I would wake up thinking 
I had somehow done a Rip Van Winkle
and was ready for a retirement home
then again that would mean I had gotten some sleep at least

So the time has come to bring out the big guns
forget the environment
or ever having fully functioning lungs again
I am smoking his annoying, bitey, buzzy ass
with the whole can of spray next time he ventures into the room
I will come out of this coughing and spluttering
and possibly growing an extra appendage due to chemical overload
but I will raise all three arms in a victory salute
the likes of which the house has never witnessed...

and I will then retire happily to the studio 
to visit everyone over at
I eat Mozart Balls
which were part of the most amazing package of wonderful
from the uber generous Valerie at Bastelmania
who showered me with Tea, and wonderful artworks
which are already framed and gracing my wall

And if all that wasn't special enough
 it included Mozart balls
which she sent in response to my post

Valerie assured me that Mozart had it all over Buddha in the ball stakes
and I have to say she was right
these balls are delicious...
which has to be a great line to end on 
especially if someone has just scrolled to the end of the post
so I repeat
These balls are delicious...xx

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Inopportune Sneeze

Week 2 of being messy
and I have to say I am starting to get into it
I finished off the page of random thoughts
from last week

which only confirmed all my worst suspicions
that I am prone to off with the pixie moments
at very regular intervals...
no huge surprise there I must admit
so after the ease of that little page

I turned to another page and it fell open to one
where you have to put a line of glue along the top
and let it drip down and dry
and then paint over and generally make a mess of it
it also suggested sanding it
but couldn't find sandpaper
and didn't want to enter Sinus' secret man lair to snaffle some of his
because that is the equivalent of a man going through your handbag
and I am not opening that can of worms 
or else he will be stealing pens, raiding my coins purse 
and generally stealing anything that isn't nailed down in there

So I attacked it with graphite powder instead
which is finely ground graphite that comes in a little bottle
and locksmiths use it to loosen locks
and it is incredibly finely ground and spreads like no bodies business
but when it is rubbed over dried glue
it makes it look like molten metal
which is very fun and shimmery
but ridiculously messy
not just messy on the page messy
but all over the desk, floor and shirt messy
especially when you sneeze
and the grounds go everywhere
and then it takes 15 minutes of whining, bitching and moaning
to get it all cleaned up
lucky it looks so cool
much cooler and more shimmery than the photos actually

The only down side to all this fun
other than the bloody graphite powder going everywhere
is that I am a touch suspicious 
that the messy mind set
has infected other areas of my art
and my spring like piece 
based on the wrapper of my favourite soap
was progressing quite well until I realised that I had
in fact coloured one of the rockmelon wedges with background
and I don't think it is salvageable as a whole...
maybe I will just chop it off and save that bit
for another messy project
and try to recycle the top bit
or maybe I will just have a cup of tea and a chocolate
and contemplate it for a while longer
as I blow my nose for the twentieth time 
to try to get the inhaled graphite powder out of my nasal passages
ahhh the joys of being messy....xx