Saturday, 29 September 2007

Tangent: Lesson #1

Arriving at an art course is daunting, as one is totally unaware of the levels of ability around you. It soon became so obvious which of us were 'first timers' as we stood around, looking 'spare' while the 'old timers' hugged and kissed each other jabbering ten to the dozen about their 'summers'.
The teacher, Keith, is a wiry, emaciated little man with an evident tremble in his hands, smelling stale and looking 15 years older than he is chronologically. Looks just like a weasel! He didn't inspire me with any confidence. He was brash and authoritative, ordering us to get our easels and put out pots, jars and bottles on the table, and to stop gawking! Ouch!
He then gave us grey graphite paper, charcoal and chalk; and demonstrated 'drawing' using his thumb stuck out in front of him, one eye closed, and hastily, shakily scribbled something on his own paper. The effect wasn't too bad I suppose, but by now I was beginning to feel decidedly uncomfortable and as anxious as hell !
I got started, and within 2o minutes had completed the first drawing (left hand one) before he'd even got round the class to criticise it. His eyes opened wide with (I'm not sure what) and he said 'Wow, you have a very bold style.....mmmmm...I quite like it'. I nearly fainted.
Having another 2 hours to go, he then suggested I took another piece of paper and tried to draw more slowly and get the shapes better rounded and more in perspective, which I then did, feeling a lot better and less tense. he also showed and explained to me what he had meant by the whole 'thumb in the air' thing.
At the end of the morning, when we all turned our easels inwards to reveal our work to each other, his comment was ' she started very quickly, then redrew some of it again, but in the end maybe the first one is slightly better, very bold, a lot of potential' jaw fell open....
There I stood surrounded by some amazing pieces, and although he criticised us all, there were some he was downright rude about, like 'it's obvious you can't draw'.....
Shit, was I glad he didn't say that to me!!!
The most important thing I got out of my first lesson was that it doesn't matter how talented the others are, as long as I am learning and enjoying myself, which I certainly did!

Friday, 28 September 2007

Tangent: The blues (IF)

I lived and worked in Kuwait for 4 years, and saw some amazing mosques. never a blue one, but I painted this while we were there, as they sometimes shimmer in a blue way in the heat.

Living in London now, I sometimes see it as a 'blue' place, from the cold haze which settles over the city in Winter.

Hot, or cold, it's all in the 'eye of the beholder'.

IF: the blues

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Tangent: No idea

dunno why i concocted this

dunno what it means

not connected to



any place


a bit of craziness

feel better already!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Tangent: Tried this fruit

Not 'tried' as in tasted, but tried to paint - using watercolours. I had a go this weekend and got a so-so result. I must say the banana looked the most 'real' to me.
This coming Saturday I start an Art course (mixed ability, mixed media...a whole lotta mixing going on.)

Monday, 24 September 2007

Thirty-nine: Buy a pair of denims

I haven't owned a pair of denims for more than 30 years,
I do wear denim skirts and like them a lot.
So, before I turn 60, I will buy myself a pair of denims.
I will look exactly like the above model in them!
And, if you believe that, you'll believe anything!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Tangent: Juggling (IF)

I am being 'juggled' and tossed about by LIFE right now.
Can't seem to find my equilibrium.
IF: Juggle

Friday, 21 September 2007

Tangent: Steve's Gallery

This is true ART

This is my inspiration.

This is my muse.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Tangent: More reminisences

Am still in reminiscent mood.
Cape Town again.
Painted this from an original that I bought there.
Am sure you can see which is which.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Thirty- eight: Reminisce about Cape Town

Cape Town is one of my favourite cities. I got a kick out of living there, the diversity, the beauty, the people, the mountains. I painted this long ago, and I like it a lot.

Tangent: The Wheelbarrow

A simple homemade wheelbarrow.
I posted it as a reminder that it's not always the expensive things that give kids pleasure.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Tangent: Summer...fading....dying....

Went on my 'Sunday' walk taking my camera with me. Snapped 54 shots of Summer fading and dying. Chose these few. There is a definite 'smell of Autumn in the air.
Although I love the colours of Autumn, I also mourn the death of another Summer.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Tangent: Wedding

I've been married three times,
twice to the same man....

My conclusion:

Marriage- bah humbug!!
IF: wedding

Friday, 14 September 2007

Tangent: Fool!

'Teaching is NOT a stressful job!'

The idiot who said that to me this week should either have their head examined, or spend a day with my 5 year olds in the classroom.

This is a picture I did of myself about 7 years ago - related to how stressed I was feeling in school at that time.

Same picture, different school, same stress.....

Maybe my 'Number 60' thing will be to 'give up teaching!'

Thirty-seven: Drawing and Painting Course

Yesterday I enrolled for a 10 week 'mixed ability' drawing and painting course.

Looking forward to it immensely.

As you can see by the above painting, I really need it.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Tangent: Losing Momentum

1) Quantity of motion of a moving body.

2.) Impetus gained by movement.

3.) Strength or continuity derived from an initial effort.

After this last shitty week, I feel as if I'm losing mine!
IF: Momentum

Tangent: New lodger

What an interesting fellow!

We saw him in the drain outside the kitchen this morning, looking more like a dry yellowing Autumnal leaf than something alive. Until the water from the bathroom above wooshed down and enveloped him. He suddenly twitched, obviously revelling in the joyous feeling of the wet coolness, and then returned to his absolutel stillness once more. He wasn't put out by the flash of my camera, just watched and waited ( probably for the next 'woosh').

Don't know if he's a frog or a toad, but he certainly has made himself 'at home'. He has an almost 'alien', owl - like appearance. Mmmm, maybe I'll draw and paint him one day.

Watch out little 'fella', we may ask you to pay rent!

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Tangent: STOP and LOOK

what a week
you see?

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Tangent: Back to School

Snuffles' first bath in August 2001. She didn't like it at all, but what a sweet face? She hardly fitted into the tiny basin, and looked like a drowned rat afterwards....but loved the feeling of fresh clean skin and fur.

Snuffles in our sun-bathed lounge, waiting and watching, knowing that something unwanted is about to happen!!! She knows and senses the dizzy activity around her and is wary, very wary........

The last day is here again.
How did six weeks fly by so fast?
What has been accomplished? So much and yet so little.
As the Summer(what Summer?) begins to fade once more, I turn my attention to mundane chores, last minute housekeeping, clearing out the fridge, sorting out the linen, renewing the bed once again with lovely crisp clean sheets( unironed), vacuuming and washing, sorting and bustling- all in readiness for another new beginning
new kids, new class, new rules, new teaching assistant...a rebirth enveloped within an old somewhat stale shell (the school, not me!)

And, most importantly of all, giving Snuffles a lovely refreshing bath.
Beware, Snuffs, we're coming to get you............................

Tangent: Bro's visit

My favourite (and only) brother left last Monday, after a wonderful twelve day holiday here with us in London.
I decided to paint a melange depicting this time.
The South Bank, the Opera, Tate Modern, him, us, Wembley Stadium, red - lots of red- as red always makes a painting come alive-buses, undergroud trains, postboxes, signs, telephone boxes(kiosks), some indoor plants, the Thames, the London Eye, eccentric Londoner.....a real mish -mash of images, perhaps showing a real mish - mash of emotions I have when he is with me.
Come back soon Bro, I miss you already!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Thirty-six: Restore my candlesticks

I don't know anything about these candlesticks.
They were my mother's and when she died 26 years ago, being the only daughter, I got them. Maybe they were her mother's or even her grandmother's. They are certainly not modern, they are perhaps not even valuable, but they are beautiful (to me).
I am not religious and nor was my mother. Yet she always used these candlesticks every Friday night, something I don't do.
But now that I'm approaching my 60th birthday, I really feel the need and desire to restore them to their former glory and then to use them every Friday night.
Don't ask me why, as I cannot tell you. It's just a hankering.
When I've had them done, I will take another picture and let you judge. Maybe we will find them more beautiful just as they are now. But I don't want them to break altogether, and I'd like to perhaps pass them on to my granddaughter (if/when I have one).
Oh dear, now I even sound like my mother.