Friday, 26 September 2014

Painting Sunflowers ...

It has been a week of sunflowers
I bought a couple of stems on a whim the other day at the grocery shop
and yes I did forget half of the things written on my list
why I even write a list is beyond me
but the gorgeous sunflowers made it all quite acceptable
that we still had no milk and dinner was going to have dodgy sides

I started with this sketch of the blooms in my little sketchbook
while having breakfast early in the week
and figured a bigger painting was totally on the cards
because the colours and those magnificent overblown blooms
just needed to be painted again

So the rest of the week was spent on this bigger one
which was done painstakingly bit by bit over the course of three days
as most of it was painted and drawn left handed
due to the fact that I had my dreaded port a cath thingy removed on Tuesday
it has been bulging from my right hand chest like a mad alien growth
since the end of chemo and needed to be accessed and flushed regularly
but I am now deported and along with that fabulous milestone
came the inability to do much with my right arm for a few days
as the stitches needed to stitch and all that
the only problem was that I had been thinking about painting them up
all day Tuesday while I was at the hospital
so by the time I got back I really really wanted to get in and get working on it
turns out left handed was pretty cool
not quite as much control but that works well with what I was going for

Scarily there probably wasn't that much difference in the end result
except that those loose squiggly lines took forever
but it was great to have to get in and actually think about the lines I was using
but at the same time have that lack of control and just see what happens
which turned out surprisingly well
but now I am even more impatient for the stitches to do their thing
so I can get in and do a right handed one and see if there is a difference
happy painting all...xx

Friday, 19 September 2014

Goodness Me...

I signed up for this thing called a Goodness Me box
 which is a bit like a lucky dip for grown ups
 remember them... I used to love Lucky dips in toy stores
 the whole anticipation of not knowing what was inside
so even crap stuff like plastic soldiers were awesome if it was a surprise
although then having said crap toy soldier things stolen by your brother
and hung from your ceiling fan so it almost takes your eye out when you turn the fan on
added a whole new delicious risking life and limb to the exercise 

so here is the swag... well what is left of the swag
the chocolate didn't even make it to the end of unpacking I must admit
and it is a tad decimated a few weeks in
and everything we have tried has been fabulous so the whole thing is a winner
it is a great concept as every month you get sent all sorts of healthy stuff to try out
and they send recipes and all that
and the packaging is swoon worthy
so much better than flying toy soldiers

But other than painting up the magnificent haul
I also got in and worked on more perfume bottles
this one is coming along
sort of
not quite there but there are bits I am really liking

like this bit

and especially this bit 
and this larger one is starting to come together as well

though it would appear it has a bit of a wonk happening
I am hoping it is the photo as it looks ok when I look at it

maybe I will stick to this part
no discernible wonk in this bit
plus I started a drawing of my salad servers in a sketchbook
which also looks mercifully wonk free
lots and lots of work going on at the moment
which is awesome

I am thinking it is because every morning now I am greeted by this lovely light
when I come down to the studio

there is something about great light that makes the world a more inspiring place right
hope you are all similarly creating up a storm
happy painting all... xx 

linking up with PPF
and my last post was for a blog hop hosted by 
lots of desks to sticky beak at... here is the link to mine...

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Studio Table...

For my mid week blog post I am doing something a little bit different
I am linking up my studio table with Seth Apter over at The Altered Page
partly because I am feeling relatively smug as my table isn't a complete bomb zone
plus it will give me a good excuse to go and stickybeak at other tables
and also because I am not quite game to try to get in and finish anything off
as it has been quite the morning
and yes it is going up a day early but blogging as a tool for avoidance
especially avoidance of a crap day.... is a wonderful thing

this delightful morning opened with hand sanitizer in the eye
I kid you not... somehow in the space of going to sleep last night
and waking this morning the spout thingy dried over just enough
so it could shoot out that gloop at warp speed at a right angle
and squirt directly into my eye
which led to much hopping around and washing of poor eye
resulting in knocking over all sorts of stuff and stubbing my toe
which in turn led to muttering and mumbling while mopping up various smears of makeup

once I recovered from this I came down to find all the bedding from the guest room
piled in a smelly mess on the floor in the laundry
and a note from Sinus Man explaining that the dog had thrown up all over it this morning
ah the joys of having a mutt with a glass stomach
who is also stupid enough to try to eat anything that sits still long enough to be hoovered

then I knocked over my cup of tea
I blame the still slightly blurry right eye for this one...

burnt my toast
not slightly charred either but the sort of cremation
that has you madly turning on all the extractor fan things
while fanning the air and nervously eyeing the fire alarm

I dropped Phants to the train station
and came home to find the driveway blocked by a big arse truck
delivering to the builders a few doors up

tripped over the mutt while trying to unlock the door and answer a text at the same time

almost took myself out
 well maybe not quite but at the very least performed mad gymnastic stunts
while trying to hang out the king size duvet cover on my own
Wild Burrito Ninja looked like making a guest appearance I tell you

and finally knocked over a second cup of tea
so I am calling it a day and seriously considering building myself a blanket fort
and am not coming out again until things turn around... happy painting all...xx

PS don't forget to go and visit the studio tables over at The Altered Page
when they go up tomorrow..

Friday, 12 September 2014

Daisy Dream And Irises....

Short-ish and sweet today as the weather is just gorgeous
 way too nice to be stuck inside at the computer
or even in the studio painting
and I am totally impatient to get out and push the dog off the sun lounger
where he is sunbaking lying on his back, looking like a toad squished on the road
which is not his best angle
especially as the new hair cut somehow shows his belly in an unflattering way
no fur to hide behind now buster

So here is a speed wrap up of the week
Daisy Dream perfume bottle watercolour finished
a pure delight to paint from beginning to end

loving the whole series actually
and have two more drawn up and ready to go
 and I would have gotten to them
but it has been a week of things like dog haircuts,
baking, procrastinating about cleaning
and making lists which amount to nothing
except to look impressively organised and efficient
 well maybe it doesn't look impressive or efficient
this is the view above my computer....

actually that was it two days ago
there's more bloody post-it notes there now somehow
I think they have been reproducing while I am not looking
there are similar collections on the door of my bedroom
above the kitchen bench, near the phone and beside the bathroom mirror
scarily I actually think that is possibly what my brain may look like if my head was opened up
it would just be a mass of post-its piled on top of each other
and tangled into a giant post-it rubbish tip

between wall papering the entire house in post-its
I also got to catch up and have a cuppa with my friend Von this week
and she bought me these beautiful irises
they were just begging to be painted up
several times and in different sketchbooks actually

the purple of the blooms looks awesome next to the payne's grey sofa
yep I picked it because it is one of my favourite paint colours to use
isn't that how everyone decorates?
anyway I have a dog to unseat and some sunshine to absorb
so happy painting all...xx

Linking up with Paint Party Friday

and here is the link to Tuesday's Post

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Some Ugly Children...

One of my followers sent me an email over the weekend which pulled me up short
She said she often goes away from my blog feeling bad because the work is so polished
and she feels like she could never create such finished work
now I must say the thought of my blog making anyone feel bad about their work
or in any way at all is pretty bloody awful to me
so I decided to do a post showing some of the paintings currently on my desk
which all got stuck in the ugly child stage, or never quite came together
or just are doing my head in for various reasons

So let's open with my new kettle... which is gorgeous... all deep green and shiny
the painting not so much
going to take a couple of goes to do it justice I would think

This little sketch of the outgoing kettle was better than the new one
as an aside... this baby was called a whisper kettle
and was the greatest bit of mis labelling ever
as it sounded similar to a bomb going off in a toaster when it came to the boil
but despite hating this kettle with a passion that was a little unhealthy
the 3 minute sketch turned out better than the half hour I spent on the new beloved kettle
which is just how it goes sometimes...

This one doesn't look too bad
gorgeous tea and container, colour not quite there, but ok

until you see the whole page
yep... ink smudges all over the place, frame wonky and crap lettering
I smudged the ink with my sleeve... twice
then tried to fix it and just made the frame thing wonkier
then didn't put any thought into the lettering and used my normal chicken scrawl
and it happens to be in one of my favourite sketchbooks
no clue how I am ever going to fix it
it may stay stuck like this forever and never blossom into loveliness

another page in a different favourite sketchbook
that is all over the place like a dog's dinner is this one
that chicken at the bottom looks evil and is totally doing my head in
Phantom believes the chicken doesn't look evil
she believes it looks like a gangster bouncer chicken
not sure about that one, but fair enough I suppose
not to mention the smudgey paint and running colours

This one has been on my desk for months
and this is the second attempt as number one went into the bin quick smart
it is for a blogging friend called Carol to celebrate her getting some great medical results
the background was too bright so I tried to knock it back... not great
then the composition bothered me
so here is version number three

better composition, but a bit scared to put the paint down in case it turns on me
like it has the other two times
and of course here are the bloody deer heads
this is attempt number five
yep five 

I swear to you these things are sent to torture me
the minute I add paint it goes horribly wrong... scarily horribly
and all other versions have been consigned to the bin with a great sense of relief 
because then I don't have to face them

 then we have the cursed hydrangeas
I can't even tell you what number attempts these are
and these were the pieces I put my hand on in five minutes
there are so many drawings and paintings stuck in that ugly child stage it is scary
but just like Phantom who went through a dead ugly stage when she was little
but turned out rather gorgeous if I do say so myself
I have quite a soft spot for the duds and crap work
some of these will end up ok,others will come together nicely
but some will be forever rubbish... and that's ok
happy painting all...xx

Friday, 5 September 2014


It has been a bit of a messy sort of  week
not around the house mind you
because I have been in a bit of a mad cleaning frenzy
which is a rare and wondrous thing I must say
I have this theory that the cleaning mood hits when the hairs in your nose get too long
because by the time I have bleached everything in sight those puppies are fried away nicely

Despite my hairless snoz, gloriously clean showers and gleaming kitchen
the week has still felt all over the place
We had some spring days which saw me hauling pillows and duvets outside to give them a good thwack which is amazingly therapeutic, if a little dangerous at times
carrying king size duvets down a couple of flights of stairs
with the help of the mutt who thinks that pulling at the corners
and providing a furry little obstacle course is all sorts of fun
is epically fraught with comedic possibility
mind you it also adds a frisson of fear to the whole process which is kind of thrilling
Plus I may have called Spring a touch early and those wonderfully warm days
were followed by a blast of freezing winds that could blow a poor dog off a lead
which drove us all back under the now dust free duvets
and pretty much halted the uncharacteristic relish in domestic chores in its tracks

But cleaning mood over and nose hairs dispatched meant the home front was under control
and I duly retreated to the studio, smug in my domestic achievements
and finished off the watercolour of the daffodils
drew up and painted a bit of kale and a few other bits and pieces
which is part of my new morning practice of painting while drinking my tea and leafing through cookbooks and magazines looking for likely subjects to draw, thereby justifying my obscene collection of cookbooks and teetering piles of food magazines
even those pocket watches were in a food mag
weird right... it was about organising, or saving time in the kitchen or some such thing
I didn't actually read the article
as those sort of stories always lead to feelings of gross inadequacies on my part
and I prefer to stay happy in my delusion that procrastination and haphazard half-arsery 
are, in fact, valid methods of housekeeping, though the picture was fabulous

But the pocket watches has been pushed aside by the new perfume bottle I started
and it is practically shouting at me to get off the computer and get into it
so I will wish you a happy PPF and happy painting all...xx