Archive | January, 2013

Old Life

31 Jan

31 old life

This horrible lurgi has lasted so long that I’ve missed three weekly life drawing sessions at Swansea Print Workshop. I’ve been cataloguing old work and coming across stuff I’d forgotten about. I went through a phase of drawing with oil pastels into A3 canvas pads, mainly because I’d been given canvas pads for a present. Here’s one from about 5 years ago. I was surprised that I was using such decorative backgrounds. I still have quite a few canvas sheets left – I think I’ll dig them out and use them – when this darned lurgi lets me get back to work!

The Cat And The Hat

30 Jan

30 catnhat

Ming The Merciless spends most of her time on top of the boiler in the kitchen so she doesn’t feature as much as Sparta in my sketchbooks. But this evening she cwtched up on the footstool, shoving my feet out of the way, so I put Husb’s hat next to her and did some scribbles. She only has one eye; she lost the other when she was very young because of serious neglect – she was a rescue cat. She’s very tiny and her semi-long hair sticks up all over the place. Husb and I try to brush her every day, but she’s a complete psychopath and our hands are covered with scrams and her fur still sticks up all over the place!

The antibiotics are starting to work but I’m still quite ill – not able to go out for another couple of days. I’ve resigned myself to not being able to do much and I’m catching up with some novels, newspapers and arts documentaries on YouTube. The antibiotics make me very drowsy which helps.

Wobbly Lurgi Man

29 Jan

29 doctors

I finally went to the doctor today because my lurgi just wasn’t shifting. I had to wait a while so I got stuck in, drawing the chap opposite me in the waiting room. Unfortunately, it was boiling in there and that set off my hideous hacking cough, which made the drawing very wonky. I had to keep putting it down to go out into the corridor where it was cooler and my cough calmed down a bit.

Turns out it isn’t seasonal flu, but a bacterial infection that snuck into my lungs when my immune system was successfully fighting off a viral throat infection, which is what I first went down with almost a fortnight ago. I’ve been hanging on thinking it’ll go, as viral infections do, but it was just getting worse. Anyway, I’ve started on antibiotics this evening and I’m already feeling better with hardly any cough. Hopefully I’ll be back doing some non-wonky art in a day or two. Sparta’s getting into posing with my sketchbook now.

Big Paw, Little Boots

28 Jan

28 big paw

I’m past the exhausted, bed-ridden phase of the lurgi and I’m quite alert but the downside is that I’m awake to feel every miserable symptom. The medications don’t seem to be helping much any more so I’m trying to take my mind off it by sketching Husb and his boots. Sparta likes this little blue silk sketchbook because it has a ribbon with a glass bead to mark the pages. It keeps her entertained for ages. Tomorrow, I’m throwing in the towel and going to see the doctor. I normally let things run their course but I’ve had this lurgi for 10 days now and it’s not getting better. I’ve got too much to do – I can’t afford to be ill.

Return Of The Lurgi

27 Jan

Ooooffff! Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does with a vengeance. Serves my own right for being complacent and thinking I was well enough to go off playing in the snow instead of nursing the rotten chest infection I had. The next day I was well and truly poleaxed and I’ve been in bed for the last 4 days. I haven’t been able to blog or draw, reading hasn’t been easy because my eyes hurt so much and my body feels like I’ve been used as a doormat by a Woolly Mammoth. I haven’t been as ill as this for 25 years and that was a rotten chest infection too.

But thanks to the marvels of the Internet, my enforced bedrest was relieved by watching art documentaries on YouTube, first some on Paleolithic cave art, which is a passion of mine and then the entire BBC series with Nigel Spivey, How Art Made The World. If you haven’t see it, believe me, it’s brilliant.


Deer 9

I saw some paleolithic art close up when I visited Pakistan a few years back. The bus driver stopped on a mountain road next to some rocks which were smothered with ‘petroglyphs’, pictures of animal and the occasional human carved into the rockface. I drew some into my travel sketchbook and when I came back, I carved some of them into lino and printed them up.

linoprint Karakoram Mythic Animal 2

I’ve been a bit bonkers about paleolithic art since.

Egg’n’Chips Old School

23 Jan

23 eggnchips

That darned lurgi is still hanging on but I was well enough to get down to the studio and the print workshop today …… IN THE SNOW……!!!! YAAYY at last, everywhere else in Britain has had snow and now it’s our turn. Husb fancied chips for lunch so we went to the Windsor Cafe, an old school chippie with a caff attached and I had double egg and chips. I’d put a nutritious, healthy casserole in the slow cooker for our evening meal, so lunchtime I loaded up on the carbs, fat and cholesterol. MMMMMMM YUM!

Here’s an elderly chap sitting at a nearby table. He had a good nosh too. Drawn with a Pentel Vpen into my blue silk jewelled rather over-the-top A6 sketchbook 🙂

Now we’re off out into the snow for the opening of the new exhibition at The Brunswick. With cake mmmmmm.

Manthrax And The Kitteh

22 Jan

22 cat 1

I’ve got the dreaded lurgi! I hate being ill and I’m every bit as miserable and whingeing as the stereotypical man with ‘Mathrax’. There’s not a lot I can do about it except wrap up in a blanket, have lots of  hot drinks and an array of remedies including decongestants, throat lozenges, cough medicine and cherry vanilla icecream. Strictly for medicinal purposes you understand.

22 cat 2

It’s sooooo frustrating not being able to do very much. Sparta the psychokitty spent some time on my lap, sharing the blanket, so I managed to do a few scribbles of her – she joined in.

22  cat 3

21 Jan

Kara Seaman’s lovely collagrams in North Wales 🙂


20 Jan

20 pollards

I went for a stomp about in the twilight, still freezing, and came across this row of pollarded trees near the Guildhall with a half moon with a frosted ring hanging in the sky above a bright planet. The practice of pollarding is often criticised because it makes the trees look ugly but it dates from medieval times when trees were pollarded for livestock food or for fence posts. Nowadays, it’s usually to keep them to a reasonable height in an urban environment. I like the look of them, especially in winter without their leaves.

Cold Scribbling

19 Jan


Husb and I trekked up Constitution Hill a couple of hours ago so I could go and draw in the twilight in Rosehill Quarry. The Hill is extremely steep and cobbled, cycling races are held on it, and we had a good workout. The Quarry was still covered in snow. I find it useful to draw when it’s really cold because it forces me to be very quick and capture the essence, or an impression, of what’s there instead of labouring to do a topographical landscape drawing, which has always been my problem with trying out landscapes in the past.

I drew this into my 15cm square handmade Khadi paper sketchbook with compressed charcoal, conte crayon and white oil pastel over a grey ink wash. Now we’re off to a restaurant and a party. Still some life left in the old dogs yet 😀

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