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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.

 

 

A Big Ginger Pollock

10 Aug

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Back to the ‘up-yer-nose’ digital drawings and here’s someone with a great big ginger beard. Magnificent. The chickens are part of the wallpaper. They don’t live on his head. I drew onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with a free Markers app, laying on a beige ground to start with then building up layers of colour and texture with a stylus and my finger, the stylus gives a much firmer, more defined line. I did a lot of the texture in his beard with my left hand (I’m right handed) which gave much more wobbly, quirky lines, a bit like a Jackson Pollock. Sparta Puss was rubbing her face against my right hand because she wanted to be smoothed. So what can you do?

 

 

 

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.

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.

Babysitting

26 Jun

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I did some babysitting this morning. I didn’t sit on them, honest. We walked down to the beach, just a few minutes away and we’re having an uncharacteristic heat wave, so it was lovely down there, with lots of people enjoying the sand. The sea was right out but there were a few pools left behind by the last tide and the sprogs had fun collecting shells. The little one is very fair and had to borrow Husb’s summer hat, which he propped up on his ears. It did the trick though, but it’s hard to draw. I didn’t draw them from life, it was too hot. I took a few photos and I’ll use them to do some practice studies. They climbed trees as well, which will give me some great poses to draw. That’s Mumbles in the background. I used a ballpoint pen into my A5 size ‘Peter Pauper Press’ Cat’s Meow journal. Here it is with Sparta Puss.

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Rainy Day With A Cat

12 May

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Husb and I have been visiting friends and today it poured with rain, so we mostly stayed in and chilled out with the cat. I had a bit of a scribble. She looks quite different to my cat, really. She stayed still for a few moments while I tried to do a portrait, then she got bored and turned her back on me and went to sleep. Just like my cat. Really.

Crafty Cat

27 Mar

Sometimes I want to do something, keep my hands occupied, but I’m arted out, so I settle down to do a bit of crafting. Art is hard work for me, crafting, like baking, is very relaxing. I made a stack of origami lilies which will end up on a string of LED lights as fairy lights. I got the instructions from the new BBC series, MAKE! Craft Britain where this guy demonstrated a couple of different origami models. Just after I photographed them, Sparta Puss threw them on the floor. Because that’s what cats do.

Home Comfort

21 Mar

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In times of stress and worry, I retreat into my home. It’s my cave, my fortress, my refuge and my comfort. I close the door on the bad old world outside and batten down the hatches to weather any storms that life throws at me. My chubby cat, Sparta Puss is an integral part of my home comfort. She sits and purrs and brings a feeling of peace and calm and normality.

I work part-time for the homelessness charity, Crisis, as a fine art tutor and I really appreciate how lucky I am to be able to go to my own home which is safe and secure and warm and dry. I am lucky that I don’t have to endure living in a war zone or a refugee camp. The insecurity and stress of not having anywhere to call your own, not being able to close your door onto the outside world and feel safe, it is awful.

To find out more about the work done by Crisis, please click here.

The Cat Sat On The Cupboard

14 Mar

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Still tired and not done any new art this week, so here’s one from the archives (that’s a posh way of saying the big cupboard upstairs that my sketchbooks are in). Here’s Sparta Puss hanging out on top of a cupboard, likes cats do. Sparta is a naughty Tortie. A very naughty Tortie.

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