Saturday, March 29, 2014

Am I de-evolving?

For someone who has always been interested in technological  progress I was a bit dismayed when I realized that I have been participating in a gentle movement that is holding on to something which is fast becoming the modern equivalent of buggy whip manufacture!
I speak of what is now quaintly called "Snail Mail".
Rumours of the demise of the penny post abound, notwithstanding the boom the postal services are experiencing from delivering packages from online sales.
Like lone voices in an increasingly digitized world many artists have hung on to the notion of making art and mailing it to other artists. Thus it is with etegami, the discipline I have grown to love and I hope have helped to expand in some non traditional ways.
This brings me to the quote from Marshall McLuhan who also predicted the advances in technology would turn the world into a "Global Village". He said that the medium would be the message and that  the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. Sometimes we don't see the forest for the trees.
I'm not sure that I follow all of his arguments but it is a good bet that even if the medium (mail)  changes we will adapt. Already a large part of the fun of making etegami is sharing it with everyone on Facebook so we are adapting.
I'm glad that's settled, I was worried that I would become a reactionary in my 'older' age!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Life is full

of disappointments but it's a well known fact that crying won't make things better. Boo Hoo.
The big disappointment for me this year is that the trip to Japan we had planned with our son has had to be cancelled. Our aim was to follow the cherry blossoms on a part of their march up the islands of Japan traveling on the wonderful Shinkansen network and perhaps meeting some of my etegami friends .
But as the words on my card say, the cherry blossoms will be there next year and maybe, just maybe I will have a miracle cure or a new set of lungs.
I feel rather like kids who got one of those Tshirts that used to say "Grandma went to Hawaii and all I got was this lousy TShirt!" I didn't go to Japan and all I have to show for it is this lousy stamp!

Reminds me of the man in the old fable about the condemned man who was offered the choice of death or the task of making the King's horse talk. His reply to a question on his choice of the latter was " Who knows?  In a year , I may be dead, the King may be dead or the horse may talk!" A true optimist!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Can you kill an earworm?

Living as we do atop a very popular outdoor restaurant we are treated during the summer months to a variety of live singers. This can be very pleasant, one night Reggae, another night Jazz but it is the performer who is channeling the "80's  who gives me pause. The nineteen eighties was a decade when popular music ran a gamut from bad to awful (no correspondence will be entered into on this subject). The young thing singing songs from this era (before she was born I believe) has a very sweet voice but, unfortunately, a very limited repertoire and we are treated to the same songs  in rotation several times a night. The song I find most irritating and which has lodged in my tinnitus affected ears has the refrain "you always take the weather with you, everywhere you go".
In an effort to exorcise this particular demon I thought why not use it for an etegami? The idea of umbrellas seemed particularly appropos for the words but unfortunately the image called up many of the songs with "umbrella" in the lyrics and I am now left with the equally annoying, " Umbrella" song by Rihanna!

Under my umbrella
(Ella ella, ay ay ay)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella, ay ay ay)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella, ay ay ay ay, ay ay)
See? Annoying!
I think I will just have to learn to ignore the earworms which creep into my head however difficult that may be.  Scientist have discovered that tinnitus sufferers are prone to this phenomenon which is possibly the brain's way of masking the annoying buzz, ain't working folks, add a song to an annoying buzz and you have two things to drive you crazy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A drawing we will go...

Hi ho the derry-o.
Yup, I have found another drawing group and went for my first ever experience of a "staged" drawing event.
Called The Drawing Room, it is a venue where models pose according to a theme, last night's theme was the work of Niki de Saint Phalle whose voluptuous nude sculptures are ubiquitous in France. Viva la France!
It was a fun night and the buxom model was channeling life on the Riviera 1950's style with a big hat and a beach ball, not to mention the gin bottle prop. Halfway through the session it was Roy Lichtenstein as the theme and the model was acting out a nightmarish version of life in the 50's as a domestic goddess complete with puffy petticoats, fluffy slippers and polka dot sundress.
As I said, a fun evening and despite the glass of wine we were offered, or maybe because of it, there were some nice drawings produced. The music playing was tailored to the era and even though the Beach Boys are not my favourites, they set the scene. All of this against a background of projected images of the artist's work. I will be going again next week as we are promised a peek into the Seraglio when a local belly dancer will model for us.
Thirty second poses.
Ten minute pose. I do think that I work better at the fast drawings and lose some of the freshness in the longer poses. Something to work towards, keeping the freshness of the 'quickies'. Apologies as I have no idea why these drawings photographed so blue as the paper is actually off white.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

AAh! Domesticity.

Just hanging around the house today, conserving energy in the humidity,  but keen to try a looser style of watercolour.
Bring out the teacup, that default subject.
Most of the many teacups floating around the internet (have I fallen down the rabbit hole a la Alice?) are sketched in cafes and ritzy watering holes. Mine I am afraid is situated on a tray on my balcony. I do have a rather distracting view of a gigantic cruise liner anchored over the way but I managed to produce something at least.
It always bothers me if a day goes by without something to show for it. Yesterday it was some resin jewelery made with my granddaughters, we had fun embedding Hundreds and Thousands (sometimes known as cake sprinkles and often used to make Fairy Bread) and gummy bears, very cool and lots of fun.
My effort to float a tiny origami crane in a bottle was less than successful, the paper despite being sealed did not look good, maybe another time.
Today's effort (A4 size) .
Not wildly happy with it but it is a start.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Life drawing 30 years on.

Hard to believe but it is about 30 years since I joined a group to draw from the model. It was wonderful to find a happy friendly bunch who get together every Thursday morning to draw.  Met lots of potential new friends, many in my age bracket but a few still "under the limit". Another bonus was the substantial morning tea supplied all for the princely sum of $15!
Next week I hope to be brave enough and fit enough to go to an evening group, a much more "arty" set up with professional models and wine and nibbles! I was roped in for some last minute babysitting but according to the photos posted on Facebook, this week's model was a darkly handsome young guy a dead ringer for Caravaggio's model "Cecco". Male models are a rare commodity so I was sorry to have missed him.
Our model today was a lovely young woman who wore stockings and suspender belt in keeping with the theme of Cabaret. While my drawing in no way reflects the Cabaret of the pre- Hitler German era in Berlin, it was as much as I could expect after such a long absence from the easel.
I think I should adopt as my mantra the words of Dreyfus (Clouseau's superior in the Pink Panther movie, not the famous Dreyfus) "Every day and in every way I'm getting better and better". Unfortunately he was slowly going crazy so perhaps not!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lazy days in Autumn.

Autumn already! I guess being inside away from the weather for the last couple of weeks has allowed Autumn to steal up on me but the light definitely has a different colour and quality despite the warm weather. The shadows are lengthening on our deck and as I sat this afternoon the light streaming in illuminated this bright reddish orange bucket, transforming the plastic to a sparkling jewel. From base metals gold? Unfortunately the alchemy did not work for my painting but I had a good time doing it.
Splashy watercolours are not my forte but I shall persist as I do admire them when done well.