Archive | December, 2012

Last Visit Last Page

31 Dec

31 last page

I haven’t blogged for a few days. My dear Dadinlaw died earlier this week and I haven’t had the heart to do anything much. I had my sketchbook on me on my last visit to the hospital and found some consolation sketching through the window. I wondered why hospitals always seem to have a large chimney. At the top of the hill in the distance is the local psychiatric hospital, also with a large chimney. My final visit to the hospital coincided with the last page in my purple silk recycled sari sketchbook. It’s packed with scribbles from hospital visits; we lost so many people we loved over this past year.

Dadinlaw died peacefully after a long illness and the nursing and medical staff caring for him were so kind to him and our family and treated him with gentleness and dignity. Sometimes things go wrong in the NHS and we shouldn’t shirk from complaining and making sure that problems are confronted, but when things work as they should, and mostly they do, the care is exemplary and we should be proud of what Dadinlaw’s generation set up, for it was they who created the NHS, pensions, free education, all the things we take for granted. They grew up in the poverty of the Great Depression in the 19320’s and ’30’s and made sure that their children and grandchildren didn’t suffer as they did.

And now we’re in danger of losing their marvellous vision through the idiocy of ignorant, overpriviledged politicians who have no idea of the reality of poverty nor the moral compass to want to do something about it. We can’t afford to be complacent; we owe it to the generation that is now dying out to keep their legacy alive.

Seen And Heard

26 Dec


Hospital visiting again this evening. It’s very hot there and hard to stop from nodding off; sketching is one way to keep awake. It’s been very quiet over the past two days; everyone who could go home was sent out on Xmas Eve, but a whole new intake of elderly frail men arrived today. Drawings like these might be disturbing, but this is reality for some people and I’m not the sort of artist who only draws the prettier side of life. Elderly people deserve to be heard and in my opinion, they deserve to be seen as well.


In The Dark

25 Dec

24 night 1

Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean I get away without doing any scribbling. I wanted to do something a bit different so I prepared a small square Khadi handmade paper sketchbook by sponging an Indian ink wash randomly over the pages. I’m going to draw at night, as it’s dark by about 4.30 at the moment and it’ll get me out of the house for a bit of exercise as well. I went down to the seafront near The Tower this evening and scribbled away with compressed charcoal and black and white conte crayons. I don’t normally draw landscape, but it was easier at night because I couldn’t get distracted by detail; I had to work in monochrome blocks which is quite exciting. Well, that’s my idea of exciting, scribbling in the cold and drizzle on a deserted beach in the dark on Xmas Eve – sad isn’t it? 😉


Pigs And Onesies

23 Dec


The two little great-nephews had a sleepover and today they played Pass The Pigs with Husb – they went completely hysterical. It’s difficult to draw kids at the best of times but when they’re going crazy with excitement, you have to get their essence down in so few seconds! Here they are in their darling little onesies, apparently the ‘must-have’ thing for men this Xmas. No thanks – they’re adorable on 8 year olds, but adult males? I don’t think so :D.

Nearly finished……….

21 Dec

21 daily mail

Just a quick scribble from a visit to the hospital; it’s a good place for sketching. I got right into her jacket – well not literally, she might have thumped me! Drawn with my Pentel V5 pen into my A5 purple silk recycled sari sketchbook, which is now nearly finished. A few more days……

Drawing Through Tears

20 Dec


Dad-in-law had to go back to hospital today, where we spent some of this afternoon. I sat and sketched a while in the assessment centre’s waiting room, where visitors mixed with patients waiting to be assigned to a ward and their relatives. Opposite me sat a man with his ill wife. He cradled her hand while they sat there, willing her strength, but all the while I could see the fear in his face. I can’t detach from what is in front of me when I draw and sometimes I draw through tears.


19 Dec

19 finished

It’s hard to know when a piece is finished. I often turn them to the wall and don’t look for a few months. This one hadn’t been looked at for about 3 months and when I turned it round the other day (I’d forgotten about it), I liked it the way it is and won’t be doing anything else to it. Finished!

A2 Fabriano coated with acrylic gesso, coloured with thin layers of acrylic wash in yellow, red and blue then worked up the imag in conte crayon and oil bars.


The Gadget

18 Dec

18 gadget

Husb has a new smartphone. He is now lost to me 😉

Drawn in my A5 purple silk recycled sketchbook with a Pentel V5 pen just a few minutes ago……….

Fish ‘N’ Chips

17 Dec

Husb took me out to lunch today. Fish and chips in the Windsor Caff. With salt and lashings of vinegar. Lovely. I had a very few minutes to scribble and I drew the lady opposite us.

17 Windsor caff

I’m a bit uncomfortable about drawing people who are out-of-the ordinary, as I don’t want to risk poking fun at them, or be voyeuristic. But on the other hand, I don’t want to censor myself either. I have to try and be honest in what I see and what I draw, that’s all I can do really. I sympathise with people who are very overweight; I’ve battled to keep my weight under control for decades, it’s hard to watch what you eat every day of your life and do your exercises no matter how much you hate doing them. And now it’s Xmas and there’s a plateful of home made mince pies in the kitchen, taunting me. 😡

Pants And Preserves

16 Dec

16 pants

I’m a grumpy old git and proud of it. Honestly, I sound just like my Dad did back in the day. Husb and I were battling through the Xmas crowds in the city centre yesterday and got stuck behind these two young lads, wearing these RIDICULOUS trousers without belts or braces so that we get an eyeful of their underpants and bumcracks while the hems of their jeans scrape the floor! How ridiculous!  These particular ones had handles riveted to the back, just below the beltloops, so you can hang the little idiots up on a hook when they get under their Mams feet. And they moved so SLOWLY! Because the crotch of their pants was down around their knees. So they had to shuffle! I drew this from memory. The sight is seared into the back of my eyelids!

Anyway, today was far more productive. Because of the torrential rain I decided to stay in the kitchen and make loads of preserves with the fruit in the freezer that we grew in the summer. Four jars of bramble jelly, four of spicy redcurrant jelly, four of berry butter, four of rhubarb chutney and a bottle of spiced blackcurrant cordial. Lovely.

16 preserves

That’s a few Xmas presents sorted 🙂

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