Friday, 19 December 2014

Girlfriend Club

Every Friday Sinus Man and some mates, who are known affectionately as the girlfriends
 meet at Celtic Corner for a drink or two
Now this whole thing is shrouded in mystery
as whenever we ask what was discussed we are met with nada, nothing, no details
we assume they speak the universal language of men
and grunt at each other and discuss sports type things
while affectionately slinging rubbish in that way that men do when they truly care
Phants and I have discussed that maybe it is all a bit more mysterious
and have spent many an afternoon wondering what may be going down at the bar

Phantom Steve thinks they sometimes sit, have tea and cakes and braid each other's hair
or maybe have a little shrine built to the oracle that is Taylor Swift
or they all secretly speak Russian and discuss complex maths problems,
ways to hack governments, who killed JFK,
how to launch a low cost airline that is actually viable long term
or perhaps they are just having a knitting circle while pondering life's big questions

I tend to think they lean towards scratching their nether parts while burping
or perhaps plotting their takeover of the cricket commentary from the current blokes
of course maybe they are discussing tools and home repairs
which is mildly hilarious as I don't know that Scary is any better in this area than Sinus
I have fond memories of the pair of them trying to assemble a bbq
it took forever and a day and required many beers while the air turned blue
having said that I may be selling a few of the girlfriends short
as I know have no clue whether Brian, Niall or Jase are secretly adept in such areas
and I have no clue because the first rule of girlfriend club
is, of course, never discuss girlfriend club

The fact that I was allowed to do a quick sketch of the bar for Christmas cards from Sinus
feels kind of huge... and they look kind of cool if I do say so myself
The girlfriends meet up today for the last drinks before Christmas
and I feel mildly honoured to have been allowed to have had any small part
of the sacred and mysterious goings on of the men folk

plus I got to use my new Japanese watercolours
which are all sorts of cool and have fabulous strong colours
I do like the large pans, and I also discovered Fineline Masking fluid pens this week
dear god where have these little beauties been my whole life
I have been masking anything that sits still on my desk
well except for this sketch
 and the one of the golf club I am drawing up for Sinus' work cards
and the sketch of the watercolours
so maybe I haven't been using the masking fluid so much at all it turns out

But overestimating masking fluid use aside
I have had fun doing some more structured sketching for the cards
I am enjoying the different style and concentration that it requires
and it is a nice distraction from trying to work out how to put up my post on Monday
which will contain my interview and giveaway for Soul Food 2015

Had I told you all that i was teaching at Soul Food next year?
well I am and I had to do a filmed interview
which in typical me fashion was shot with the ipad the wrong way round
and is slightly off centre and has led to much teasing from Sinus and Phants
regarding my apparently gloriously nasal tones
nasal tones aside I will be running a giveaway for a place in the whole course
so swing by Monday to enter and have a giggle at my chemo tinged spikes called hair
in the mean time I am off to finish the clubhouse painting... happy painting all...xx

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Few Quick Cuppas ...

I am all fresh and fruity and luscious and lovely just like my tea
 because our new mugs tell me I am
 These cute little mugs from Jamie Oliver were in the supermarket
 and they were just too perfect not to come home
even better is that they have very flat butts on them
which is a great advantage to the chronically clumsy
especially as they have been spending time being balanced on the side of the pool
while we spend the glorious summer days soaking up the sun
and avoiding the fact that Christmas is only a week or so away
since using these as our pool mugs I haven't spilt one drop of tea in the pool
a small Christmas miracle all of its own

Between swims I have squeezed in a few paintings for the Cuppa With Friends Project
I love this one sent in from Annie Marks
I love old ink bottles and thought it would be cool to draw it upside down
so the ink could pour out
of course it may just have been that I drew it on the paper upside down
and I am now covering my arse
but either way I like the end result

  I loved this one from Snap Lane
though this is the mark 2 version
as the first one got dropped in the water container on my desk just as it was almost finished
but for once I didn't curse my lack of coordination... well not too much
as it was a delight to paint up and I feel like I have the colours better this time round 

This final one I post with a heavy heart as Margaret is no longer with us
Sadly she lost her battle with bloody cancer this week
which saddens me more than I can explain
I only wish I had posted this one in time for her to see it
as the lovely emails and thoughts that she sent my way
during my own treatment and recovery meant the world to me
she will be missed...xx

Friday, 12 December 2014

Serving Up Some Time...

I have been sucked into that weird time vortex that only exists during the holiday season
 I thought I had enough time to get everything done but somehow
 time has been disappearing at an alarming rate
and the evil pixie list fairies have been busy filling my notebook
with scary, long pages of things to be done every time I turn my back
So I did what all creatives do when faced with overwhelming real life
I did some drawing

and not some light sketching
but a good old get in and do mad tonal work with a pen drawing
which calms my brain no end
and has the added bonus of being that rarest of rare things lately
a drawing which is now actually finished
nothing like a sense of achievement when everything else around you is falling apart
maybe not falling apart so much as descending into a truly epic shambles
which I am hoping like mad will be seen as charming by all and sundry
during the holidays as they open their weird and wonderful gifts
which at this stage could be old bananas and a couple of tins of chickpeas
if I don't get my butt into gear

But let's not focus on those possibilities
these are my favourite salad servers and I love how they turned out
there is something so meditative about the soft scratching of ballpoint on paper
maybe it is a leftover from all those years of doodling
and decorating every spare inch of paper during class while at school
which was a long time ago I know but it has that same calming effect
of course when I stopped drawing
I saw the list pixies had been evil little bastards and added yet more to be done
so I retreated to another sketchbook and started work on another drawing
which I began a while ago... quite a while I think

But how could I not enjoy the irony of drawing watches while time disappears
although I must say that I do need to start to deal with the whole holiday season
with something approaching organisation soon
or I will find myself bolting around the mall at 10 pm on Christmas Eve 
with all the other hopelessly disorganised sods
and I am trying to block out the whole needing to feed people palaver
that is likely to drive me to mainlining chocolate 
and hiding in the bottom of the walk-in wardrobe with the mutt

I really do need to get moving on some list ticking off
so I will leave you with my latest illustration for the December GoodnessMe Box
not just because I had a great time illustrating it as always
but also because how can I not have an injection of colour in a post
happy painting all...xx

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Lessons Of The Week ...

It feels great to be back in the studio and painting again
 the last week has been hectic, and wonderful, and freaky and all sorts of crazy
 but great fun... plus I have learnt lots of valuable lessons along the way
 which is always a bonus

 I learnt that cleaning out one draw in the studio and having a sale
results in one clean and tidy draw
and the rest of the studio looking like it has been hit by a tornado on speed
though the whole risk to life and limb just getting into the studio makes it quite exciting

I also learnt that painting up a few things in the midst of epic mess is still possible
and actually calms the brain in a satisfying way
even when they don't turn out looking quite like I was seeing in my head
as in the case of these bowls... they are a move in the right direction
and the colours... I love this colour palette so much

In non art related learning I learned that the dog is, in fact
a dirty rotten furry little alarm bag who thinks it is hilarious to wake me at the crack of dawn
and proceed to jump on me and lick me
bloody mutt

I also would like to declare that the morning paper delivery bloke
has an uncanny ability to throw the paper into any and every ants' nest in our garden
which would be fine if the little alarm bag would go and fetch it for me
but no... by the time I am hunting through the garden he is asleep again
and I spend the next five minutes with a case of the heeby jeebies
as I imagine I am covered in ants

I was also shocked to learn that I am not an undisputed mini golf savant
I had this incredible undefeated track record 
partly because I have only played once in the last 23 years
but on that one occasion I happened to beat Sinus Man
 at the time he was a touring golf professional so it was quite the achievement
sadly it turns out that you may in fact need to have a game or two in the intervening years
if you want to retain those skills... it was a sad day that I lost my champion's crown

to make it worse, it turns out Phantom Steve may be an undiscovered mini golf savant
bloody child....

the final lesson of the last few days
is that the one year that I'm not militant about Christmas tree and decorations
going up on the first of December, the rest of the street goes light and decoration crazy
so we look like the horrid grinchy family who aren't getting into the holiday spirit
so I am going to go and start the untangling process for the lights
I seriously have no clue how they get so tangled just by sitting in a box
maybe this year I will nanny cam them to see what happens while they are packed away
in the meantime... happy painting all...xx

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

My Turn ...

Last time I used this painting it was Phantom Steve who was exploding all over the shop
 one little session of holding a teapot
 so I could work from photos and she was beside herself
 now it is my turn to look like this
I was cleaning out the drawers in the studio the other day as room is getting a bit tight
and thought I might do a sale over on my facebook art page of some of my originals
and yes I still have a desk full of other work that needs finishing
and no I didn't think it through in any way, shape or form
but half arsery still reigns supreme around here folks...

So here are just some of the originals that are in the sale

and some more that have just gone up
plus way too many to put up here
and while it is so exciting to see so many sell
and the card packs have been going great as well
it is a bit scary on brain power requirements
so I now need to try to put my head back together 
I am thinking tea and chocolates might do the trick
pop over and check them out if you are interested
just click here... happy painting all...xx

A huge thank you to all the people who have bought work
I have been a bit overwhelmed by so many people buying work
It has surpassed any expectations, 
and while there are still a few originals and card packs left
I never dreamed so many would be sold and haven't stopped smiling for days
Normally it would be a bit hard to let go of my babies but
It makes me so happy to think of my work heading off all over the world
And will find themselves well looked after in loving homes

Happy thanksgiving to all the US readers and happy painting all...xx