Thursday, September 25, 2014

Looking at a Teddy Bear through a glass darkly.

Rocked up to life drawing class this morning to find that the organizer has quit and we were left to our own devices.
Not all bad, an excuse to stare at my fellow artists and scrutinize each one as they sat for us in 15 minute 'bites'. I was luckily spared the scrutiny.
One downside is that we will no longer be provided with the splendiferous morning tea/lunches that we had come to expect.
Apparently this group have been meeting for many years and until recently had organized themselves, so it is back to the old days and 'bring a plate' (that quaint Aussie expression which has confused many immigrants who didn't realize that there is meant to be something ON the plate!
So, a morning of 15 minute sketches, apologies for the lousy photography!
                                                                   Half sheet
Quarter sheets

I have come to the conclusion that I am quite good at drawing teddy bears but terrible at drawing trainers (running shoes)!
For the technically minded I used a big fat 2B graphite stick, a rather blunt instrument but allowing freedom to wobble about.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I have not been idle...

Lately my life has been hijacked by the need to keep up stocks in the craft shop where I sell my stuff. I'm not complaining mind you but I have been working my little fingers to the bone.
I love doing this because it keeps my aging hands nimble, also, I actually feel the need to produce stuff (that's the residue of my Protestant work ethic ) and by sitting in the shop every Saturday I get a lot of feedback and contact with the people who come in.
The shop is one of a group situated in a now defunct  department store in the the dead heart of the city. An enterprising soul thought that it was such a waste to see all of those empty shops and actually did something about it , thus RENEW Newcastle was born and crafty folk and artists can use some of these empty spaces for a peppercorn rent. The new shops and coffee shops (life is nothing sans coffee) have brought new energy to the city precinct but of course it will only last until it has achieved its aim and the wreckers ball moves in to make way for apartments in the revitalized area! Catch 22, (thank you Joseph Heller).
Just a taste of my wares!
Flanders poppy pins (try saying that three times quickly). I though these might be nice given that it is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of The Great War, remember that one?, it was meant to end all wars, sigh.
Next April 25 also marks the 100th anniversary of the battle of Anzac Cove, a defeat that has come to symbolize bravery and sacrifice and is deeply embedded  in the Australian and New Zealand psyches.

Next are a few little birds I have been working on for Christmas ornaments.
Next, a little gathering of Echidnas, freely extrapolated from a Little Cotton Rabbits pattern for hedgehogs ( longer snouts, more spiny yarn.

It is so nice with the warmer weather to be able to sit on my lovely balcony and work, I am blessed!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The unforgiveably lazy artist.

Art has taken a backseat to survival for the last two weeks.
I remember visiting the Beppu Hot Springs in Kyushu a few years back and it was appropriately name "Boiling Hell", I think the weather makes Singapore nearly eligible for that title. I did manage, between fainting and moaning, to dash off a couple of etegami in response to a call by Debbie Davidson to incorporate packaging materials in a card. There have been some clever and witty submissions but the only interesting stuff I found was the wrapping paper around some art supplies I brought at the Straits Art Co. I did buy a bamboo pen and that made me think of all of those wonderful drawings Van Gogh did with either a bamboo or a reed pen. So by way of an homage...
And reflecting my somewhat jaundiced view of the world at present, a card inspired by a window display of large silver and gold dandelion heads, this priceless quote from Mr Darcy ( I wonder if "A pair of fine eyes" would make my resolve crumble so easily?)

Happy snaps.

Is there anything more annoying than having to look at the 2,000 holiday snaps on someones smartphone?
So in the interest of brevity if not wit, here are a couple of happy snaps from our long planned trip to Singapore.

Chinatown all decked out for the Mid Autumn Moon Festival, all of the flowers are lit at night.

Number two son lives and works in Singapore and we see him so seldom what with his busy lifestyle, the expense of the required Business Class seats on the plane and my precarious  and unpredictable health. It follows then that the Trip has been planned, put off and fantasized about for two years (since the last one in fact) I fear this may however be my swansong, the heat really plays silly buggers with my lungs and it feels like the ante room to Hell. It is a lovely place to visit but unless one dashes from air conditioned car to air conditioned mall, one is a pitiful soggy mess.

A charming chap I met in the corridor outside said son's office.
Another charming chap I met about 51 years ago (otherwise known as the Prof or my Minion).
He did a sterling job of fetching and carrying and making sure that I made it home in one piece, he's a keeper!