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Tart And Dumplings

1 Oct Apple pie and dumplings on a wire tray.

tartanddumplings

It’s Autumn! Time for Autumn food. I have been given some windfall cooking apples and I had a few very ripe plums so I got the butter out of the fridge, made some pastry and turned the fruit into four apple dumplings and a large plum and apple tart. I would have drawn them, but there was no time as Husb takes no prisoners when it comes to pastries!

 

 

Daisy Dawg

25 Aug

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Greetings apes. Sparta Puss here. The she-monkey that I share my house with has been cheating on me with a dog called Daisy. A DOG! They’re as smelly as apes and even more stupid.

 

 

Up Yer Furry Nose

19 Aug

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Greetings Hairless Apes. Sparta Puss here. My trained monkeys have left the pooter box unattended so I thought I’d give you the benefit of my wisdom. Even though I know it won’t be of much use, you’re just a bunch of simians, after all.

The idiot she-monkey, the one who does the scribbling, has been doing drawings of other monkeys, but at an odd position, up their noses. That’s how I see you lot most of the time, so it’s not odd to me. So she just did this one of me. I must say, I look much better from this angle than you bald monkeys. Here are the other ones she’s done so far, the ginger one’s making a decent attempt at growing fur….

Drawn with a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 using a free Markers app.

 

 

Anything Goes…

31 Jul

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I’m not a painter. I draw, I make original prints, I experiment with mixed media work. But I rarely paint. So as far as I’m concerned, anything goes. If something doesn’t work out, I can paint over it and start again. So I don’t know what the rules are (well, some of the basic ones, but that’s it) and I’m going to do whatever takes my fancy. When I do printmaking, I prefer to work with just the three primary colours, Process Cyan, Magenta / Red and Yellow and I’m trying to keep to this principle with this painting; I’ll see how it pans out. I’m also keen on trying to draw more than paint, using very thin washes of translucent colour that flow from the brush with the sort of lines and marks I use in drawings.

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Out Of The Blue…

22 Jul
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Buried Sunshine

 

Where do we draw inspiration from? Well, frankly, could be anything, anywhere, anytime. Sometimes it flows from a planned programme of research, other times it just hits you out of the blue. I try to listen to a TED Talk each day and one popped up yesterday by the oceanographer Penny Chisholm about the tiny species Prochlorococcus, the most abundant photosynthetic species on the planet. She was describing how aeons ago, vast amounts of photosynthetic organisms, which lived by absorbing sunlight, sank below the sea, became compressed over unimaginably vast amounts of time and turned into coal and oil. Then came the phrase that hit me … “coal and oil are buried sunshine“!

WOW! I live at the edge of the South Wales coalfield which was mined right back in the 15th century; mining really took off at the beginning of Britain’s Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, continuing until the 1980s, and I’d never thought about the buried sunshine beneath my feet.

Some previous drawings en plein air from Big Pit in Blaenavon.

 

I immediately started to imagine some visual images so I drew one straight away with Daler Rowney artist quality soft pastels onto Khadi handmade paper. While the idea of buried sunshine is beautiful, coal and oil lock away vast amounts of carbon and once they come out of the ground and they’re burned, that carbon is released back into the atmosphere. Which isn’t good. Perhaps we should leave the rest of this ancient sunshine safely buried.

 

You can see Penny Chisholm’s TED Talk on this video…

Seven Years A Blogging…

21 Jul
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Bobbit sunbathing in a drain!

WordPress sent me a message a couple of days ago to remind me that I had been blogging for 7 years. I’m really chuffed that I’m still at it after all this time and I’ve published about two and a half thousand posts. That’s a lot of art I’ve done and written about. I did my first post  while I was sitting with my elderly cat, Bobbit, as she was dying. I’ve reproduced it here. It still makes me choke up. I had about a dozen readers for my first post and I was so pleased.

“Bobbit came into our family in July 1993 and 17 years later I’m sitting with her as she sleeps her last sleep, dying gently and quietly with familiar sounds and smells and her human and feline companions around her. If she was suffering I’d take her to the vet for euthanasia, but she’s slipping away peacefully and I want her to die here, in her home.

People who don’t have pets don’t get the relationship. A pet shares part of your journey through life and when a pet dies, that part of your journey is over and you take a new route without your companion. Bobbit has been travelling with me for 17 years and now her journey’s nearly over, mine will change.

It’s a long time for a little cat to share my life. When she arrived aged 8 weeks, she hadn’t ever been outside and we took her into our garden on a warm sunny day and she saw her first grass. She went bonkers romping around on the lawn and she’s loved her garden ever since. Yesterday, I thought she might be rallying because she managed to wobble on her poor little arthritic legs to her favourite spot on the grass. She stayed there for an hour or so then wobbled back indoors and has slept since. I think she wanted one last sleep in the sun, with the feel of the grass under her.

In those 17 years, I’ve moved to England to work and come back to Wales. I’ve had several career changes, run my own business and finally achieved my ambition of becoming a full-time artist. New little relatives and friends have been born, while loved family elders, dear friends and respected colleagues have died. Bobbit has been one of the adored cats who have shared my life along the way, moving from being the youngest (and only girl) out of four, to being the grouchy matriarch over two much younger kitties.

As I’m sitting here with her, I think about the people I’ve shared a path with; who is still a friend, who has disappeared out of my life, the important events, the happinesses, the regrets. The death of a pet encapsulates that period of time and all those experiences and sort of brings it to a close. I know that in a couple of weeks I won’t be so upset; that I’ll be able to tell stories about Bobbit and chuckle over them and she’ll take her place fondly in my memory with my other dear cats; Kat, Nellie, Banshee; Freddy Kruger; Sialco and Bola, but for the moment I’m heartbroken to let go of that part of the journey we have shared and to start on a new path without her.”

Here are a few more sketches of Bobbit, and some of her feline companions.

A Digital Quickie

17 Jul

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Got to the end of a busy day without doing a drawing so I grabbed my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with a free drawing app called Markers and did a quick digital sketch of my foot. I used mostly opaque colours which gives it a sort of silkscreeny look.

I Draw You When You Sleep!

6 Jul

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I draw you when you sleep! Not creepy at all, oh no. Poor Husb, what he has to put up with ………

Not So Hot

28 Jun

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Today’s temperature wasn’t quite so hot and Sparta Puss almost got up off the pouffé, almost …… She managed to be a bit alert this evening and even took a leisurely stroll to hassle a woodlouse for a bit. Hastily scribbled into my Peter Pauper Press ‘The Cat’s Meow Journal’ with a ballpoint pen.

Heat Exhaustion

27 Jun

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Sparta Puss looks the way I feel. It’s an unusually hot spell of weather and the heat is getting to us, cats, dogs, hairless apes and all. Sparta Puss has the right idea – crash out somewhere quiet until the cool night arrives. She can’t escape being scribbled though.

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Drawn with a ballpoint pen into my A5 size Peter Pauper Press ‘The Cat’s Meow’ journal.

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