Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Solar Queen ...

I am betting some of you thought on seeing the title that maybe I had gone green
but no I am in fact talking about my solar Queen Elizabeth ...
she has a little solar panel in her handbag and that makes her wave
I kid you not
it is magnificent
 it sits on the window sill in the kitchen nook
waving regally to me all day
I wish they also made a solar Elvis and he had a knee that waved
how great would that look the Queen and the King hanging out and waving at me
seriously the greatest window sill decorations ever right...

Now before any of you worried that I have made her look a tad dodgy
and that the hand looks suspiciously like a clown hand
I would like to draw your attention to the real thing
on comparing the two, you will note I have been quite kind
the real thing gives her slightly alarming oompha loompah skin
and the dress a weird salmon colour which is quite unflattering
not to mention that her hair is downright scary

my father-in-law swears she is actually a waving Margaret Thatcher
which led to heated debate over the Christmas table
because of course the Queen had to preside over our Christmas dinner
it is quite the event after all
and if you have the chance to have the Queen along then you should take it
but all those faults and controversies are forgotten
the minute she waves me through my day

Her Solar Majesty isn't the only thing working for me at the moment though
I am also loving the 10 day challenge being run over on Facebook
which is great fun and getting me back into the swing of doing a little something every day
except for today when I have done two somethings
because I thought if I just put up Queeny here
that they might think it was a touch random
which is no problem on the blog as you are all so accepting of my randomness
but some of these folks don't know me
so I am submitting a painting of this amazing Darjeeling tea tin
not quite as awesome as a solar Queen, but I am still loving it

I have been drinking Darjeeling tea like crazy at the moment 
and is fueling the painting challenge perfectly so it it appropriate to submit it
though mine is a boring box and I am wishing like mad I had this container
but I do feel that my Republic of Tea collection
has reached that slightly embarrassing, taking over the shelf stage
so might just add this to my wish list instead

So here are my paintings from the first four days of the challenge
plus a bonus waving solar Queen thrown in for measure... xx

and my last few posts links are here...

P.S I wanted to quickly mention Featuring magazine to you all
it is a great mag for Mixed Media artists and it is starting a subscription service with the next issue... head on over to some of these links if you are interested in checking it out...
you can buy issue 3 here
or read what people have to say about it...

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Lobster Tales....

This fair Sunday I am combining a post for the Artful Reading Club
I would have had it up a bit sooner but yesterday I was suffering some lingering effects
thanks to the glug, glug woohoo of Friday night
and headaches and painting lobsters don't mix as it turns out
So why a lobster
well it was on the cover of the book, The Dinner by Herman Koch
and after painting some prawns last month I am on a bit of a crustacean kick 

So to the book
an international bestseller it says on the cover
but I kind of wonder if that is true
as it also says it is riveting , tremendous, and gripping, not to mention heartstopping
and have to disagree with most of those things
but it does say strange and another mentions uncomfortable
and in uses those as descriptors they have summed it up pretty well

This is a great book for a bookclub because it would cause lots of discussion
if not down right arguments but it wouldn't be dull that's for sure
The Dinner all unfolds over the course of a .... wait for it... a dinner
 and centers around how far you would go to protect your children
even if they have done something awful
now maybe I am overly harsh but by the end of this book
I would have thrown the whole bloody lot in jail and been done with them
there is not a lot to like about any of the main protagonists
but that is the point I suppose
and though it moves along quite well it is a bit clunky in places
but I am thinking maybe that is because of the translation from Dutch

 I did like the cover though and it was quite fun to paint up the lobster
I have been trying to remember if someone actually ordered lobster during the dinner
but  for the life of me can't remember
maybe it was the trauma of spending that time with a bunch of self centred pratts

but it was a fun painting
so all is forgiven
if you are interested in seeing some more artful readers
then just click here and it will take you to the link
or here for Sunday Sketches ...xx

My last few posts links are here if you need a catch up...

Friday, 22 February 2013

Glug, Glug Woohoo ...

I am not much of a drinker these days
well not of alcoholic drinks anyway
I can't say the same for drinking tea of course
but alcohol and I aren't really bestest buddies
not that we were ever super close but we used to hang out occaisonally
and I always felt like we had a pleasant time together
but lately I just can't be bothered
which has to be a sign of advancing age and maturity right
stop snorting... the maturity thing has to kick in at some stage doesn't it...

Maybe I am not getting that much older, or that much more mature
perhaps there are other reasons for our fading friendship
maybe it is the fact that I have to get up at the crack of dawn
or that I always have 50 gazillion things to do
and get a headache if I even look at a drink
or maybe it is the fact that I can be best described as a glug glug woohoo drinker

Glug, glug woohoo means that after one drink I am feeling the love baby
I am relaxed and feeling the state of mild delusion that leads me to think I can do anything
 like be coordinated enough to attempt to walk and talk at the same time
and my randomness filter completely fails me
which means I bring up ridiculous things that I have been storing away in my brain
like wondering aloud whether tea flavored popcorn would be delicious
or whether horses get jealous of zebras, or do they look down on them for being so flashy???

that is all bad enough, but add in that after two drinks I am asleep no matter where we are... restaurants... someone's house... doesn't matter where... I am out like a light
and not the pretty princess sleep
we are talking drooling, snuffling and snoring like a trucker asleep...

Which makes me think that maybe it is a good thing
that my glug glug woohoo days are behind me
because while you can get away with the trucker sleep when you are young and fresh
and your partner still spares your feelings
and so wonderfully lies and tells you that you looked adorable
now it is likely to lead to your nearest and dearest perhaps recording said trucker sleep
and using it as their ringtone...

One of the few drinks I am willing to risk becoming an embarrassing ringtone over
is this summer cider with berries and mango
mainly because it tastes all light and lovely at the end of a stinking hot day
and the clink of ice cubes and the icy touch of a tall glass instantly make me feel cooler
not to mention that it is pink and oh so inviting to draw
so in the interests of having this sketch for Paint Party Friday
I will be running the gauntlet of glug glug woohoo
not right now mind as it is middle of the morning
but later in the day in the cool of the evening...xx

Here is what I have been up to this week in the studio ...

Keen As ...

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Book Confessions ....

I must admit to having a book problem
not quite as bad as Phantom's obsession
but it is up there
the New Year's Resolution to not buy any new books was broken in record time
and has been joyously ignored ever since
but in my defense I have been reading a lot of books from the shelves
and did do a clean out so I had gaps to fill

It is also time to come clean and admit to being a bit of a book slag
I am really not that fussy when it comes to what I read
two covers and pages covered with words and I will give it a run
except romance type novels, or the Jodi Picoult type ones
those I avoid like the plague, just not my thing really
I don't hold it against other people if they like them
after all I like shockingly bad sci fi books
I am talking Stargate novels and the like... embarrassing but true
and we all have our guilty pleasures don't we????

and I don't just like bad sci fi,
I  just don't mind a bit of cheese with my fantasy reads
 I also love literary sci fi, and fantasy books like the Game of Thrones series
 and a good dystopia is always welcomed
of course I do like art related books,biographies and art novels
and I collect and read cookbooks like crazy

The latest literary lists and prize winners are my happy place
not to mention a good serial killer or police procedural
a bit of mayhem and violence can make my whole day
especially British crime fiction...gore and violence with a side of humour is fabulous
and lets not foget the classics
these books are my forever friends
Gaskill, Hardy, Wilde, Maugham and about 20 other authors
can be read and re read and always bring me joy

Sinus, Phantom and I all have our reading spots
 and this painting of Phantom's and my reading chairs is a favourite from last year
Sinus tries to nab our chairs but mostly prefers reading while horizontal
and he swears he is able to read while his eyes are closed
though I tend to think the snoring makes tends to give away the game

Phantom is at that wonderful age where she is discovering the classics
and is devouring pretty much any book in her path
not to mention she recommended that I read Perks of Being a Wallflower
which was one of the highlights of my reading year in 2012

You may be thinking a post filled with paintings from last year is a touch random
but books and book related paintings were a bit of a theme last year
and I decided to re visit some of them as the topic over at APR was book related
actually I think it was bookmarks
so I am popping in this painting of bookmarks in case
and as to why I didn't get in and do a new painting
well the truth is I just started a cracking book and want to get back to it...xx

My last few posts have been ...

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Keen As ...

 You have to love a food stuff that spawns a saying
and keen as mustard is one of my favourites...
which I suspect may be a saying used in Australia and the UK
but perhaps not in other places
as I can't remember seeing this stuff in Florida when we lived there
I remember sneaking it in in my bags
sweating like I was a drug mule
all for the sake of mustard powder

The thing about this stuff is it bears little resemblance to actual mustard
but it does work as the magic ingredient in all sorts of dishes and so is indespensible
unlike the curry powder which is totally dispensable
and the little box in the pantry is only there to keep the mustard company
I wouldn't even be game to open the box to see the state of the powder inside
but the box is appealing and the mustard sits on its shoulders so it can be seen above the ground ginger and his mates so there it stays

They were quite fun to draw
and I got the idea to add them to my sketchbook
after drawing the prawns the other week
because that painting got us talking about the sayings that were disappearing
like don't come the raw prawn with me
I love that one, so much more fun that give me a break
but sadly it seems to have slipped out of common use as so many sayings do

So I was wondering if there is a saying that you use all the time
or that you miss hearing?
is there one that reminds you of someone special
my Grandfather used to constantly tell me to stop playing silly buggers
which makes me smile just at the thought of it
wasn't quite sure how I would draw silly buggers though
so keen as mustard fitted the bill instead

Happy weekend and Sunday Sketches ...xx

Here is the link to my last post for you ...

Friday, 15 February 2013

A Sketchy Sort of Week ....

Gotta love balls
Chocolate balls that is
Lindor balls are amazing little packets of deliciousness
but have to say they are a pain to paint
or maybe it was the fact that I was eating them as quick as I painted them
and the resulting sugar haze meant I had a less than steady hand
but whatever the case these babies gave me all sorts of hassles
and ended up being a bit sketchy and messy
but it has been a sketchy and slightly messy sort of week
and the subject does fit in nicely with the whole Valentines theme

I have the new computer up and running a treat
largely helped by tech support in the form of tea and chocolate
and it was a good, though extremely time consuming task
to clean up the documents and photos from my old lap top before I moved things over
turns out I am quite the pack rat when it comes to keeping rubbish on my hard drive
but now I have this lovely streamlined machine which will give me more room to work
not to mention I can now find photos, scans and documents
without the habitual scroll down, shake head, scroll back up, have a bit of a cuss dance
that usually accompanied any sort of retrieval

the down side of all this is that I had little time to paint
and pretty much all I have to show for the week is the balls
and this sketch of the last bloom on one of  my agapanthyus
this bloom hung on through the storm of a few weeks ago
which is quite the example of resilience
but this week it finally gave up its last few blooms
so I quickly grabbed the sketchbook and painted it in
which means the last two pages have both been based on blooms in my garden
which is kind of a nice thing

Most importantly though, I see a free and clear week ahead of me next week
which means lots of studio time
which is almost as good as chocolate
can't wait to get back to some paint 
Happy Paint Party Friday all...xx

PS This amazing photo taken by the lovely Lori Moon
arrived to add to my wall in the studio
plus she sent me some Tombow markers to try... how cool is that... thanks Lori...xx

There has only been one post this week due to the computer change over
but here is the link in case you missed it...

Monday, 11 February 2013

A Warning Would Have Been Nice ...

Hey you
yes you on the other side of the screen
why didn't you warn me that changing to a new computer would do my head in so much
 I thought we were friends
but friends would have warned me that a computer change for a tech hopeless like me
is not something to be attempted in a day or so
that moving files and setting up everything
on the new instrument of torture machine would be crazy hard
but I am not giving up
I will be sitting here surrounded by dirty tea cups and chocolate wrappers
occasionally banging my head on the table and cussing like a sailor
until it all bloody works
see you soon my so called friends...xx

linking up with Sunday Sketches...
and here are my last two post links
just in case I never get another one up and running again...

Friday, 8 February 2013

So Many Types of Wrong

I can't describe to you just how wrong this stuff is
who on earth decided to add Tabasco sauce and chocolate together
I can totally get the pairing of red wine and chocolate
after all who hasn't sat around with a bottle glass of red and a box of chocolates
and thought life would be easier if they were just put them together
so you would have a spare hand for the remote

And it's not like I have anything against flavoured chocolate in general
orange infused chocolate is glorious
and tea infused truffles from T2 are the stuff of dreams
but Tabasco and chocolate should never be paired
I can't even begin to describe how this stuff tastes
it is eye scrunching, head shaking, I need a drink to wash away the taste wrong
but of course Phantom Steve loves the stuff
she is one sick child...

Phantom has loved Tabasco sauce since she was really young
and while I quite like it, I certainly don't love it like she does
and on spotting this chocolate abomination she had to try it
and unlike many weird and wonderful food stuffs she has tried
she actually loves it, so much so I was sent to buy more this morning!!!

I honestly thought I would never meet a chocolate that I wouldn't love
I thought chocolate was like your children
in that even when you don't like them that much
you still love them and will always welcome them if times are tough
Chocolate was my friend... it had never let me down
but no... this chocolate will never be forgiven for shaking my faith like this

So I am painting this as a warning to those of you out there who love chocolate like I do
and need that relationship to be the one pure thing in your life
and while you might be one sick puppy like dear Phantom and love the stuff
there is a bloody good chance that it won't be for you
so approach with caution people...xx

Linking up with Paint Party Friday

My last two posts have been...

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Pantry Pineapple

There is a pineapple in my pantry
well there is a tin of pineapple
several in fact
and this pineapple is actually sitting on the bowl on my table
but the challenge over at APR is In Your Pantry
so for the sake of this post let's pretend that the pineapple is in my pantry
because it is more fun to paint a pineapple than a tin

And it is fresh pineapple sort of weather
late summer is upon us and we have been making smoothies
for breakfast, lunch and dinner
my favourite at the moment is pineapple, mint and yoghurt
I was going to draw up the yoghurt container
and no I don't keep it in the pantry
the yogurt brand is Roaming Cow
and it has this great cow image on its label
Sadly my effort at drawing the cow had a head that looked like a dog
and the second attempt inexplicably looked like a bat
so rather than painting up dog/bat/cow
I stuck with the pineapple

I have to come clean and tell you I have attempted a drawing of a pineapple
when I was in my botanical phase
but I never got past doing the top spiky bit
because it was taking forever and I ended up eating the bottom part
so all I have to show for it is spiky bit
but in the spirit of not wasting old drawings
here it is adorning the smoothie 
which I made after I painted up the pineapple used in this post
see I am learning not to eat my subjects before I am finished painting them
the old drawing sort of looks like it was meant to be used for this
because it is the right size for the glass

Painting up the pineapple also gave me the chance
and can I say I ordered these on Friday and had them in my hand on Tuesday
how great is that
 there is nothing worse than waiting and waiting for an art supply order is there

the paints were pretty great
good clear colours and easy to use
you can see the palette I made up in the photo below
and the journal was nice... I would still like a smoother paper
and crisper white would be just perfect
but it stood up to the assault of buckets of water well
and it does open nice and flat so that is always a bonus
I am looking forward to getting back to working it again today
and all in all I am very happy with the new toys

So happy in fact that I am off to play with them some more
hope you all have a wonderful creative day...xx

My last two posts can be accessed here...