Friday, 29 August 2014

Is It Spring Yet?

Spring has well and truly sprung here in my part of the world
I thought that maybe it was a bit of a false spring for a few days
even though I saw the first blooms of jasmine
and smelt its wonderful fragrance
every now and again you get a rogue bloom
so I wasn't quite ready to believe it may be here

Even when I was woken up by a veritable horde of rainbow lorikeets
swarming the tree outside our bedroom window and devouring its seed pods
while screeching to each other at the top of their birdy lungs
I still wasn't quite ready to declare winter done for

and despite having our first mosquito put in an appearance the other night
which was duly dispatched with glee and karate type noises
plus I left that carcass on the wall as a warning to other little bitey buggers
they enter at their own risk people
even the appearance of that annoying little blighter couldn't make me declare it

the bougainvillea in the neighbor's yard was showing a few blooms
and I admit that I was starting to be hopeful
the light is gorgeous, the skies are clear blue, and the breeze has that first hint of warmth
and my hopes were getting higher and higher
but what if it is really one of those false Springs
that send you shivering and diving back into sweaters unexpectedly
might be best to be a touch cautious before I start washing sweaters and blankets

The paper on these watercolours dried fabulously quickly as I finally finished them off
which should be an indicator
especially as these are quite large by my standards
and I used 600gr paper to avoid the whole stretching paper palaver
which always sees me somehow ending up covered in water
with tape from head to tail and still having dry patches in the paper
but it wasn't until this morning that I was ready to finally say winter is done for

And that is because I woke up to that indicator to end all indicators
a dog sneeze in the face... yep the mutt gets hayfever
only in spring and then he becomes a roving mass full of snot, sneezes
and epic snoring that has to be heard to be believed
he opens the day with a sneeze, proceeds to sneeze all day long
and most disgusting is that he likes to sneeze on something
your foot, your leg, or your cup of tea if you let him get too close
then does the best impression of a drunk trucker that a small fluff ball can achieve
So when faced by the wall of disgustingness that is doggy hayfever
I have to call it... Spring is here...

So in celebration of the change of seasons
and as a distraction from the dog sneeze that just hit my leg
I am getting stuck into the suitable bright paintings on my desk
happy painting all...xx

Linking with PPF
and here is the link to Tuesday's post

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Coffee Tins And Daffodils ...

I have had a week of epic snot and assorted flu disgustingness
which was actually very weather appropriate
as we had the sort of grey, wet and windy late winter weather
that just screams for being tucked up in bed drinking tea
and feeling magnificently sorry for yourself

I woke up this morning feeling like I am more human than snot bag
and was even happier to see that it would appear that Spring is turning up
there is that gorgeous clean air and the sun is shining
so I have been happily in the studio painting up this coffee tin
sadly not from life as coffee tins here seem to be particularly uninspiring
but Aimee from Artsyville kindly sent me a photo of her coffee tin for me to draw

Aimee lives one of those lives on instagram and her blog that is saturated with color
I get glimpses of her work, life and interesting chotskies
 all beautifully shot and recorded for my drooling pleasure
meanwhile I watch the shelves of the stores
in the hopes that something half as interesting to paint will turn up
Not that all packaging over here is bland, far from it
just the coffee it seems... it is bog standard boring
instead I happily did a vicarious painting of a more visually interesting life

Coffee tin duly complete, I plan on taking in the spring air, reveling in the sunshine
and painting like a madwoman while the weather lasts
so I have two projects on my desk
one is to finish off the larger watercolours of the Chanel bottles I started last week
I can't tell you how much I am loving these... amazing fun

and the other is to attempt to paint these daffodils
which feels seasonally appropriate
happy painting all...xx

Friday, 15 August 2014

Some Days...


Some days everything conspires to make you smile
I started the day with finally finishing this boot drawing
which was homework from Andrea Joseph's lesson for Sketchbook Skool
it was done with a Pilot medium ballpoint pen and was actually quite fun
even if it was crazy time consuming
and required me to take the boot with me from room to room as I chased the good light
I love the result and may even head down this style of drawing again
there is quite the sense of achievement in finishing something like this

I was feeling pretty pleased with myself on finishing the boot
so I made another cuppa and opened the paper
and the headline at the top of the page that I opened to
pilot lands plane after losing arm.... well something like that
turns out a pilot had a prosthetic arm and it fell off during landing
which made me giggle endlessly which is probably inappropriate
but I had visions of what it was like in the cockpit as all this was going down
plus it also reminded me of the prosthetic leg incident of many years ago

one of my flatmates from way back when, who shall remain nameless
was friends with a bloke with a prosthetic leg
he would come and stay for the weekend sometimes
and after one particular night out on the town
I was woken by my flatmate looking under my bed in an attempt to see if the leg was there
it seems that at some stage during the night he had misplaced it
and after searching the flat and not finding it
we ended up having to visit the various drinking holes they had frequented until we found it
I still have fond memories of being able to walk into a bar
and asking if someone had handed in a leg the night before
my life was awesome sometimes 

But wait there is more
the morning got better because I saw a dog walk into a lightpole
he hit it with pace too and did that double take and head shake like in the cartoons
I had been watching his owner share his pastry with him while they were standing at the crosswalk and I was in the car waiting on the lights
the dog couldn't take his eyes off that pastry as he trotted along when they started to cross
so much so that he smacked right into the lamp post on the other side of the road
the owner gave him the rest of the pastry to help him recover from the trauma
and it had me giggling all the way home

talk about a great start to the day right
I can barely wait for what other shenanigans the day is going to serve up
happy painting all...xx

linking up with PPF
and here is the link to the last post for you...

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Hydrangeas and Homework...

I mentioned on Friday that I have been on a quest to mess up my work a bit
to get the paint doing fun things and generally making as big a mess as possible
and I have to say I managed to take the mess to a whole new level with these hydrangeas
I swear I had paint from tip to toe
and it turns out when your hair is no longer the long brown locks you were used to
but instead is a very sticky-up-y  light grey
that the permanent rose truly lives up to its name
that little splodge that ended up on a tip seems to be in for the long haul

the photo I worked from was truly lovely
who regularly sends through photos of her glorious blooms and garden to inspire and cheer me
and I had a great time painting this from the first splatter to the last
of course the pink tipped hair and blue hands were quite the look
but it turns out that scrubbing the shower without gloves
actually removes the worst of the paint from fingers
even if you are using organic, earth hugging, no nasty spray
I actually considered spraying my hair for a minute
just to see if it would get rid of the pink
because who wouldn't want to know that right
luckily I remembered just how inaccurate I am with any sort of aiming
and I had visions of aiming at fringe type hair and getting my ear, or an eye. or the dog
so common sense did prevail in the end... just

So in order to give my poor hair and hands a break
I decided to get in and do some homework from Sketchbook Skool
Andrea Joseph set one exercise to draw an object using ballpoint pen
so one of Phantom's boots is in the hot seat so to speak
It is quite the change of pace from the splashing paint around of the past few weeks
 but it is oddly soothing in a obsessive compulsive sort of way
happy painting all...xx

Friday, 8 August 2014

Perfume Bottles And Studio Dogs...

Part of me wants to apologise for posting yet more paintings of perfume bottles
while the other part of me thinks tough toenails baby I am posting these suckers
because they are serious fun to paint
I love perfume, but rarely wear it anymore
something in the chemo process changed my body chemistry
which means that most perfumes smell like rancid beer dregs on me
so rather than stink bombing the world I now stick with painting them
I am loving finding the whole splodge and drip thing beyond therapeutic
and am on a mission to try to mess my work up a bit more
to be a bit freer in letting paints blend and swim together
and these are a great way to experiment

of course there are downsides to the paint flying with abandon
not for me of course... all upside there
but the family are starting to mutter and mumble
I swear a little smudge of paint on a sandwich is not going to hurt them
and a few painty fingerprints around the place adds to the ambience
and frankly if you come and stand near me in the studio while I am painting
you can't whinge about some splatters or sprays

yes this one is on a bit of paper with a torn edge
bloody dog put his painty paw on the edge of the painting
while making his way across the benches for a pat
of course he had to walk across the palette and onto the freshly painted JÁdore bottle
but at least I managed to halt his progress before there were footprints across the whole thing
and yes I know if the dog is up on the table it is always a risk
but he likes to see what is going on
and it allows me to pretend I am not talking to myself

This is where he usually sits
well lies actually, but every time I get out the camera to take a shot he sits up
sometimes he creeps closer bit by bit when I am distracted
and ends up resting his head on the paper towel stack that I dry my brushes on
it does lead to a mildly coloured beard type thing at times
which I think is quite fetching on him
and I may have dried the brushes off on his head once or twice
but these are the hazards of life as a studio dog
and he usually accepts the hazards with grace
 though he does let fly with the occasional smelly fluff bomb to express his displeasure

Dog farts aside the studio is looking very inviting
as I am trying to capture the look of the smaller paintings
in a larger form... some on canvas, but these on the table are watercolours
now that is truly gloriously messy let me tell you
Happy painting all...xx
linking with Paint Party Friday

Did you miss Tuesday's Post?
here is the link

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Crime scene tea party...

Call me easily amused
or maybe I just have too much time on my hands 
but I love my novelty tea strainer/ infuser thingies an inordinate amount
I have a bit of a collection starting to form
from a weird apple thing that stabs me in the finger every time I use it
but it floats and bobs in your cup in a fabulous manner so I keep using it
and last week it was all about the ball infuser thing with a garden gnome/ Christmas elf 
 I christened him Freaky Pete
He is a weird little thing and has this evil half smirk
but Freaky Pete has been put away for now because at the moment it is all about these two

It is also important to think about what tea goes with which infusers
I like to have a rooibos blend in the shark one
for no other reason than when I take it out
the tea has a slight red tinge to it
which seems appropriate right
And when asked what tea I am drinking
I get to answer with great made up names like
Blood sausage and beet root, or guts and glory
It causes no end of eye rolling from Phantom
But it makes me happy so that is the main thing

Of course yesterday I found myself in the kitchen putting the kettle on for the millionth time
and realised had left my tea cup with Sharky in the studio
So in a fit of obscene laziness dressed up as wanting to use a different infuser
I decided to go with monk pear tea in Dude...
 Which is an appropriate name for a tea infuser who just hangs on the side of your cup
But once both infusers were out of their respective cups and on a plate
which resides on my desk in the studio for just this purpose
I realised it looked somewhat like a crime scene
which then led to all sorts of fun shenanigans
involving the theme music from Jaws
and Dude begging for his life with a Bill and Ted type accent

Which was a great distraction from the bloody deer heads from a few weeks ago
Which persist in looking like road kill on the page
It just occurred to me that maybe there are deer head infusers out there
Now maybe that is the ingredient I am missing
Might need a little googling on this one

happy painting all...xx

Friday, 1 August 2014

The Mutt That Cried Chicken ....

Regular visitors will be more than familiar that we are the owners of a mutt called Mushu
who is possibly smarter than a bag of peas
but there are times when I wonder if the peas may have one up on him
Mushu is the sort of thick that makes you wonder if he is in fact a genius
but no... he then does something to remind you just how stupid he truly is
he is a gorgeous, cuddly, funny, toy throwing, licking, snoring machine
who recently got a rather unique haircut which I talked about in the last post
so unique it may in fact require a visit from the groomer
adorable but thick is the best description I can think of
if you think I am being a bit harsh, just click on some of those links... this is one dumb mutt

despite his apparent dimness, Mushu does love chicken
which works well as I have been drawing chickens this week
as homework exercises for Sketchbook Skool
and he will pretty much do backflips at the sight of it
which is twice a day... breakfast and dinner
he gets a bit of warmed chicken with dry food mixed in... yes warmed!!!!
and on placing his plate down he hoovers it like he has never been fed
I swear to you if your hand got between him and that chicken you would lose a finger
He loves it soooo much that he has been trying to trick an extra breakfast from me
which does reinforce the possibility that he may in fact be brilliant

But this week it all went horribly wrong for him
I came down the other morning after being unceremoniously woken up
by said mutt standing on my chest and licking my eyes... truly gross way to start the day
but it was effective as I was out of bed and downstairs before you could spell dog saliva
and then he started the morning dance
he sits at the fridge door looking hungry and pathetic
he gently taps the door, then comes and looks adoringly at you
then taps your leg and back to the fridge
this dance of patheticness goes on for some time
but after being scammed once I was having none of it
I was immune to his mind games
even when he was particularly persistent

In fact he kept it up all day
every time I headed into the kitchen he would do his chicken dance
he even bought in his rubber chicken toy at one point
though I think that may in fact be chance rather than evidence of brilliance
because he also brought me his moose and his french toast toy...
but I held strong until Sinus came home
and was feeling pretty good about not caving like I normally do
until Sinus tells me that he didn't feed him before work as he usually does
it seems Mushu refused to get out of bed due to the cold so Sinus decided not to feed him
for the first time in 10 years!!!!
Of course Mushu was then lavished with appropriately huge meal
and lots of cuddles from Phantom and I
to make up for the uncaring sod that we call Sinus
but I do have to say Mushu has to take some responsibility 
after the scamming that has been going on...

I can happily report that he has fully recovered from the trauma
and is happily curled at my feet at the desk as I paint my new-ish tea cup
and he is serenading me with his contented full belly snores...
happy painting and Paint Party Friday all...xx

Here is the link to Tuesday's post....