Thursday, 31 May 2012

Magnifying Age...

The challenge over at Artists Play Room this week was 
which to me means magnifying glasses
remember being a kid and getting that close up look at the world
checking out ants walking across leaves 
freckles on siblings
and burning holes in paper
note I didn't say that I used a magnifying glass to burn the ants 
no serial killer tendencies here...

of course now magnify takes on more sinister meanings
now it is you are getting old and you need to magnify to get through the day
which sucks because I am only 44 
and I love middle age
no I'm not kidding, I actually love being right where I am
but I was not blessed with great eyesight
and I wear glasses , and have to change to other glasses for working
and yes my glasses are graduated and it should work
but I also need a magnifying glass for detail work 
and graduated and magnifying glass aren't the best
so my day in the studio is often a circus of changing glasses
wrong glasses with magnifier, which means head spins and almost falling off my chair
and hunting for the correct lenses
which mysteriously get up and walk and hide in the oddest places
but its all part of the process now

the problem becomes the ordinary things like
directions on packets
reading recipes, school notes, newspaper, junk mail etc etc
and to get by I have all these different magnifying do hickies 
stashed all over the house
but the one that drives me nuts
and induces cursing every time
is the all important plucking of the eyebrows
I need to be under a spotlight and about 2 inches from the mirror
to not be in danger of taking my eye out
or plucking hair off my head
and yes I could get them waxed
but then I wouldn't have an excuse to swear 
and hop around the bathroom
which is kind of fun

and I was pretty happy how this painting turned out
I used a nicer magnifying glass because mine is a bit ordinary
and the tweezers are suitable tweezerish
and the faces in the background came together nicely
except the one between the glass and tweezers
which took on quite a ghoulish look
but could be minimised by a few well placed lines
and the gouache toned them down nicely
so all in all magnify is done and dusted
to check out other magnified creations...xx

Links to my last few blog posts...

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Packaged Distraction....

Tuesday is all about Tea
and while some of you may think that I think every day is all about tea
Tuesday is a bit special
because I have Phantom around for the weekend
and Sinus has Sunday , Monday off
and while I adore and love them both
daughter and husband
and they are remarkably self reliant
it does mean a 3 day weekend every week
so Tuesday morning is a return to peace and quiet
and that first cup of tea when I return home after school drop off
is something to look forward to...

It is also cold and windy and awful
not freeze your butt off cold
but enough to make you go looking for a patch of sun
which is exactly what I have done this morning

while I sip my Republic of Tea Blueberry Green Tea
which is beyond delicious
so delicious
I didn't work on the million unfinished projects I have on my desk
I sat and did a little sketch of the lovely packets
how could you not be distracted and want to paint them
they are just so inviting and inspiring

I have been totally suckered in by the amazing packaging
 which I first saw on Andrea's blog
and then after scouring the website 
and deciding I needed to move so I could get my hand on all this tea loveliness
I found out the Republic of Tea ships to Australia
so of course I now have a selection to try
and I am loving the packaging 
and have them on the top of my file draws waiting to be drawn up over the coming weeks
I just can't bear to put them in the pantry just yet
they are just too pretty

I am working my way through the Superfruit Sampler
and hoping they make me smarter, quicker and more coordinated
and that they magically make the paint go exactly where it is supposed to

especially as I am attacking the gorgeous photo of a peony in a tea cup 
has so generously made available for people to play with
click on the link for more details
haven't got too far yet
but thinking the Superfruit tea is just what I need to attack all those petals....
Happy Tea on Tuesday everyone...xx

My most recent posts....

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Just Outlines...

Sundays are sort of becoming a work in progress
I keep having great plans of having finished work by the end of the week
but all that is happening at the moment 
is more and more projects at outline stage
and not much further than that
so either life has been a bit busy 
or I am just developing some bad creative habits
kind of think it is a bit of both at the moment
my lack of organisation when it comes to my work
was bound to catch up with me sooner or later

I am going to have a week of finishing off I think
try to clear a few pieces off my desk and
get my brain in order
and don't snort and give me the as ifs
it could happen
not likely, but it could

I have the drawings that I started last week of the spoons in the cup
and this one of all my favourite
travelling drawing sketching supplies
and I wanted to have a go at drawing up some oranges on a cake stand
no clue why I thought oranges should go on a cake stand
but hey its a look
and I saw a fluted cake stand which I am now madly coveting so it is in there too
and tea cups
always bloody tea cups
but I do love them and the apples that I had planned to place on the third got eaten
so tea cups it is, and while they have presented a bit of a scale issue
figuring it will work out in the end
and if it doesn't it will just go to live in the dead drawing draw

Lots of talented artists will be posting their Sunday Sketches 
if you would like to see more finished work
just click on this link or the one on the side bar

and Phantom Steve would like me to write a public thank you 
for all her birthday wishes
especially Jen and her Mum who even made her a birthday video
she had a great day and says that the blogger world is just the nicest world ever
I agree whole heartedly...xx

The last few blog post links

Friday, 25 May 2012

A Phantom Birthday...

By the time most of you read this 
especially if you are part of Paint Party Friday,
a miracle will have occurred
and Phantom Steve will be 16 years old
and while this painting 
isn't true indication of the love and pride I feel
and I had a great painting all planned in my head 
to celebrate the milestone
of her surviving our somewhat haphazard parenting
but in our defence parenting dear Phantom
hasn't always been easy....

16 years ago I was swearing like a sailor
and experiencing the joy of an endless
and I mean endless, 30 plus hour labour
throughout which Sinus insisted on playing cards 
so he could finally beat me at gin
but eventually she showed up
just as I got a good hand mind
and the fun began

There was the infamous cat stage
where she would only eat off a plate on the ground
and answer in meows
there was the naked or ballgown stage
the I will only wear tap shoes stage

there was the stage of pretending to be a lion
and insisting on scaring the living bejeesus out of
poor unsuspecting travellers at Narita Airport

the hanging out in boxes and bag stage
there was the sleep walk and stand next to the bed stage
which took about 10 years off our lives

there was the I won't eat foods that are touching each other stage
hang on that  was still making an appearance last week
the I am going to dunk my snakes in the tea stage...

the I am going to teach you physics if it the last thing we all do stage
I am so hoping the end is in sight for that one
the I love Liza and all things musical stage
again hoping that one comes to an end soon

the endless name changes, from Cat,  Aurora, Peg,
Beaver.... yes Beaver.... Peg 2, Chris and Rex, through
to the more recent Cub BBQ as homage to Bear Grylls
Phantom Steve, Batman Steve
and back to Phantom
which even poor Mushu finds confusing
no wonder he doesn't answer to his name
he probably thinks everyone has a million names

There have been endless school pick ups and drop offs
lunch boxes and uniforms
and of course
the ridiculously huge number of moments
when she has made us teary and proud
with her obscene list of achievements
and her complete and utter wonderfulness

it has been a ride if nothing else
and we have been blessed to have her hanging out with us

and for those of you concerned that this may be a bit
over sharing and embarrassing for her
I will refer you back to
of labour

Other gems from this week...

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Bookmark Stash....

You would think this would be a safe topic for the 
especially as Jen chose it in honour of Phantom Steve
which I am still winning if you were wondering...

it seems safe enough
not normally associated with angst
you don't often read about book mark trauma
or see them on a banned list somewhere
or plastering a wanted poster for various crimes
but in our house they are a slightly controversial object...

I may 
on occasion
be known to acquire stray bookmarks
now some picky souls may say that I in fact steal them
but steal is an ugly word
personally I prefer pilfer
pilfer is a cracking word isn't it

I feel that any bookmark within the confines of our home 
are actually a shared resource
and this drives Phantom crazy
usually because they are her book marks that are being shared
but it is actually her fault that I have developed this bad habit

I used to use any old scrap of paper that was handy
which inevitably led to some unfortunate accidents 
concerning school permission slips
not that they couldn't be hastily taped back together
or on one memorable occasion when the tape had gone walkabout
a somewhat punk-esque stapling back together
which I thought was quite creative and funky
but has led to Phantom holding onto all slips 
and only presenting them to me with a pen at the last minute
and then whisking them back into her school diary and safety

so now I am reduced to acquiring anything that isn't tied down
Phantom hides her stash
and I have no clue where it is
she only uses ones that she knows I don't like
like those metal ones
or ones with tassles
or pink ones
which I always think make books smell oddly like musk
and yes I know that is mad
but I was the victim of a terrible musk incident when I was a child
and I have smell flash backs at the sight of anything even musk pink coloured
ever since
or more often than not she has now taken to using a folded post it note
her current reading pile is a veritable pile of bookmark rubbish

and yes we both have piles like that on the go at any one time
and we are as bad as each other at reading 10 books at once
which leads to huge lack of bookmark issues
so now I use iTunes cards
yellow scrap paper
one rather tired old ribbon and bead one
which always gets caught up in the cover and makes my pile unsteady
it is criminal what I have to put up with
all because my beloved daughter won't share...

but in the spirit of setting an example for the little sod
I have made some bookmarks to share with my blogger friends
and if you would like one I will send it to you
of course if more than nine of you want one
then I will have to do the random draw palaver
but lets deal with that if it comes to that
just leave me a comment and let me know you would like one
and I will contact you to get addresses etc...
and show Phantom Steve how it is done
maybe she will open up her bookmark stash
not likely
but I can dream....xx

 I have made extra bookmarks 
so don't stress if you aren't in the first nine...xx

This Weeks's Posts...

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A Delicate Attempt...

Had a go at delicate and sweet today
didn't quite pull it off
not delicate and sweet as a person
cause trust me there is nothing delicate about me
I tried drawing and painting delicate and sweet
turns out it is harder than I thought as well...

I have all these lovely delicate tea cups
many of which I inherited or was given 
and I had this idea
that they would make a lovely series
and of course French Macaroons 
are just what is needed to induce 
the right mind set to tackle it
if you were wondering why
 the raspberry one in the pic looks a bit dodgy
it is because it was eaten before I got it included in the sketch

I am thinking I need to work on these a bit more
before I find the style I want to use
this isn't quite it
maybe the giant mug of Autumn Spice tea might have contributed
it is robust to say the last
might be more effective if I try a nice lightly flavoured tea

Off to tackle another tea cup 
and hope it is closer to what I can see in my head
don't you wish you could just 
I Dream of Genie it onto the page sometimes
so much easier
Happy Tea Tuesday all... xx

My latest posts...

warning to tea on Tuesday visitors... this post contains coffee references!!!!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Rise and Fall of Batman Steve....

For the last 18months our breakfast room
which is the fancy room for the useless bit tacked onto our kitchen
has been graced by a rather oversized blackboard
which is testament to the fact that my dear husband, Sinus
does nothing by halves
and while it is impressive in size... the room is not
and it has had the disturbing effect of making the end wall
appear to suck all the light out of the room
sort of like having our very own black hole
and to make it worse it has become the repository of dead formulas

Dear Phantom , bless her science and maths loving heart,
seems to think that the blackboard was put there 
so she could torture her parents 
by explaining different maths and science concepts to us
now I am sure in her heart of hearts she is trying to help
but the reality is I have bugger all interest in Japanese script, 
or matrices, or refraction theory
which might make me a bad parent
but I just don't give a toss
but I have sat dutifully and concentrated on my eyes not glazing over
as she has attempted to enlighten me

but joy of all joys
this morning it was time to paint it over
and I suggested to Phantom that she might like to take the opportunity 
to do a bit of cathartic graffiti
which ties in with an attempt to get her to be more messy
inspired by Lisa and the Messy Book Group

this is what she did...

a freakin bat signal
an almost 16 year old is given a black wall and a pot of paint 
and she does a bat signal
and not even a huge bat signal
a very neat and contained bat signal
it just isn't natural
and the Mess message is just not sinking in

but wait
 it gets more surreal
the bat signal became Batman Steve
and then 
Batman Steve with a crown
which I assume represents the King part of her name
so given the chance to paint anything at all
in the whole world on a wall
she paints this...

So Batman Steve huh...
not Phantom Steve
did I miss something ????

not really she says
just couldn't remember how to paint Phantom
and anyway thought you would like Batman cause Clooney played him
and now I kind of like it, and there was no purple paint
So it appeared Batman Steve King was the new name...

and even though Sinus has painted in over
in preparation for the gorgeous colour I have chosen
I was a bit disappointed because I have come to love Phantom Steve
and it was doubly disappointing because Jenn
has dedicated this week's Artist Play Room Challenge 
to one Phantom Steve, or P.Steve as she calls her
which is kind of cool in that P. Diddy kind of way
and B. Steve is just not as fun

but before we all go into mourning,
 it seems in the face of such coolness 
Batman Steve was in fact, 
as short lived in life
as it was on the wall
and the Phantom Steve I know and love is still with us
and Batman was just a temporary blip in her long history of name changes
and it really was just a case of couldn't paint a Phantom and no purple paint
 no clue why she couldn't just write Phantom like she did Steve
the teenage brain is indeed a mystery...

All of this rise and fall of names has meant a somewhat distracted morning
and the two drawings I had hoped to have finished for Sunday Sketches
are unfinished
the zine page is still half complete
no surprise there I know

and my new cutlery drawing is just shadows and paint
but now that all is right with the world and Phantom is restored
I am thinking I can dedicate my afternoon to Sunday Sketch world
and being super ready for next week...xx

The last few blog posts...