Sunday, 27 October 2013

Brewing, stewing...

Today is apparently the calm before the storm. Or maybe more accurately the brewing of the storm. It is grey, it is cloudy, it is VERY windy, but with all the hype and the warnings it seems more like the precursor to an apocalypse. Really, though, if you take away the expectation, it is just a standard wintry and windy October evening. Let's hope it stays that way, there are a lot of trees in my neck of the woods - as it were- and I like my roof un-dented, my windows un-smashed and my roads clear.

One thing has to be said about stormy weather though - you do make the best skies....

Brewing.  Turbulence.  Wipe


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Chair 2 of 2 ( 2 of 4?) (2 of 3?) (2 of 8?)

So it is done - my cold has finally turned into Man flu as I begin to sit feeling sorry for myself and waiting for some sympathy, chicken soup, or a pat on the head.

Well this really is the beginning of the end.

On the plus side I am sitting on newly painted chair number two. Oh yes, I finally finished it yesterday evening and I am having a loyalty dilemma as I wonder which one I like best, and which one I shall grace with my behind. I am also quite tempted to buy two more chairs, although they take so long to do the thought of having to paint two more chairs doesn't fill me with joy, the end product, however, does.

Decisions, decisions.

At least between the two designs I have pretty much decided what to paint on my table. I just need some time, a mask so I don't die from the gold and silver pen fumes and a few thousand rolls of masking tape.



Friday, 25 October 2013

Narcissississsisssisssissitic Oh whatever.

9 films later and an almost painted chair and hooray - the cold is now like normal, just a blocked up nose and a 400 a day smokers cough. I never thought I would be pleased to say that! The chair is definitely getting finished today as well so that is all helping to brighten my outlook, unlike Hurricane Jude which had better not disrupt my flight to Tallinn on Monday morning.

I should be fine though, as I am such a fantastic and beautiful person - talented, charming, thin, with a superb sense of humour and a great smile. What's that? ARE YOU SAYING I AM NARCISSISTIC? Well apparently all artists are if this article is anything to go by:

"Want to Be an Artist? Try a Little Narcissism" (Hyperallergic)

Slightly controversial I would say, along with all the people in the comments section insisting that most artists they know are introverted and full of self doubt. So maybe it is safe to say; Famous in your lifetime? Then narcissism helps, famous when you are dead? Yes, yes, I know, full of torment and self doubt and not a narcissist at all. I would disagree with one of their main points that being a narcissist is what helps creative people going through all the rejection and the critiques and the disappointment. I quite frequently get disillusioned, fed up, wonder what the point is, but I don't keep going because I think I am fantastic, I keep going because I can't not. I obviously prefer it when I paint or make something and everyone thinks it is great, kudos indeed, you warm my soul. But I paint for those moments because I need to, because it helps me sleep better, and because I feel a moment's peace when the last brush-stroke has dried.......until I need to create again.

Oh and obviously BECAUSE I AM BLOODY GOOD AT IT. (Ok I don't really think that, well, maybe two paintings out of 80 have made me think that).  

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

I am thinking I should turn this into a medical blog - "The thousand and one directions of my cold". Are you ready for today's episode? Today, I sound better than I did last night (I had totally lost my voice by the evening) although now I have a headache, really sore ears, not to mention my still sore throat, voice now more like a donkeys heehaw, and special hacking cough, oh and a blocked up nose. So far I am resisting the attractive red encrusted nose look but maybe I am just saving that for tomorrow, or for the day after tomorrow, ba-dum-tsch.

So this post is the last film (for the moment) highlighted on my blog to-do list. I have seen it a couple of times before but I watched it again at the weekend and I had forgotten how much I loved the style of it. So without further ado I introduce the 1930's american stylised 'comic' 'Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow'. A slightly unlikely but entertaining enough storyline, a Polly Perkins I would like to punch in the head, a very English Jude Law and some beautifully shot scenes of New York. That will do nicely.

It is another film like AngelA that has some black and white shots that just make me want to draw.....

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


So I finally started my other chair yesterday, managing to paint one whole chair leg yellow. What a resounding success. Not. I am hoping to do a bit more today, in between bouts of sneezing and lemsip drinking, and maybe a bit of singing with my new husky voice (a.k.a. gruff with a hint of mucus voice).

Hmmm. I'm sexy and I know it.

I was very rock and roll the other day and pulled out all the stops to watch Bambi in HD. I have to say I was blown away by the animation - the colours, the atmosphere and the depth of field were just fantastic especially when you appreciate how old the film is. If it isn't a stupid thing to say - I am a great fan of nature and the seasonal changes and small plant/light/weather details in Bambi were superb. This film is definitely not out of date and I think it should still be one of those rights of passage films that all children watch growing up.

You can't go wrong with a well done bit of Old School.....


Monday, 21 October 2013

Frida Kahlo

I need to stop blogging about when I am going to start painting my chairs as I invariably never end up starting when I say I will. So far, Thursday evening has morphed into possibly today depending on how unwell this potential cold starts to make me feel and whether I can stop feeling like I swallowed 20 razor blades for breakfast.

So lets stop talking about me for a minute and focus on the lovely Frida Kahlo who I saw immortalised in film last weekend. Those of you who don't know about Frida, should. We learnt about her at school and I copied one of her self portraits (I think. I can't quite remember). She is a truly amazing character, brought around to art via a horrendous accident she had when she was a child. All her work is very soulful and wrought with emotion, even if you know nothing about the artist, you can look at these pictures and understand. She is one of those people that makes me bow down in awe, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for her and her work. I couldn't do or achieve what she managed, even if I tried.

So "Frida", starring Salma Hayek, is a film you must watch if you are interested in art, and even if you are not. It is one of my favourite biographical art stories (not that I have seen that many) and I highly recommend it.

Frida Kahlo, I salute you (except for your taste in men - Diego Riveira? ARE YOU SERIOUS? and Trotsky!?!?!? Well, everyone has to start somewhere I suppose.....    

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Chair 1 of 2

I finally, finally, finally finished painting one of my new chairs the other day, and wow, I am ridiculously pleased with how it turned out. I think it is the most excited I have been about a piece of work for ages! (Although I was really pleased with the hallway too). It did leave me feeling rather stumped as to how to paint its currently poor drab white cousin. In a bizarre twist of bad dancing, inspiration and a light bulb flickered above my head after zumba on wednesday evening and hopefully solved the dilemma.

I guess it proves a point that switching off and doing something totally different can give your mind time to wander and figure itself out. Chair painting number two starts tonight so watch this space. Lets hope it is as well received as this design....

Incidentally in a feat of big headedness I have sent these photos to IKEA as the chair is one of their designs (IVAR). It will be interesting to see if anything comes of it. I shan't hold my breath.......

Monday, 14 October 2013

Primary Colours

So I guess it is probably time, now I am relaxed and ordered with a mere 44 things on my to-do list *wipes solitary tear from eye* to talk about my primary school visit the week before last (already that long ago!?)

Bear with me why I explain how it came about.....

A few months ago an old friend from school bought one of my paintings to hang in her daughter's room. Said daughter (Elena) was so taken with the picture that she mentioned it to her teacher as they were learning about artists that term. He suggested they take the painting in and have a go at copying it. Gemma (my friend and Elena's Mum) got in contact with me to check this was ok and to ask a bit more about me (we haven't seen each other for over ten years). I obliged, said it sounded amazing - take some photos! She said 'Sure - would you like to come in and see the display?' Um ok! Would you like to talk about your work? Errr. Maybe take a lesson and do some drawing? Oh dear.....

But I did. And it was AMAZING! What a nice class, what a nice school and all the children (6-7 year olds) were so enthusiastic, asking questions, commenting about my work and generally making me feel famous. They all had a more than good stab at drawing 'Familia Tree' as I talked it through and drew it with them.

The highlight had to be going round each of the children at the end, talking about their work with them and 'autographing' their sketches, that and receiving a beautiful picture from Elena.

You can read what the school said about the visit here

(I also enjoy the fact that the other artists they had already looked at included Constable and Van Gogh - I keep good company!)

Saturday, 12 October 2013


It was pretty clear after yesterday, where I couldn't think or concentrate because I was so preoccupied that life was starting to get out of hand. That ultimately means that today's painting of chairs has been postponed until this evening assuming I don't need to lie down. On the plus side, I have spent the day tidying, accounting, invoicing, website updating, paper pushing, to-do list writing and life organising.

I am now relaxed, sigh....but I have a headache.

I also have a disturbingly large to-do list, even though I split it down into three sections so looking at it wouldn't make me cry out in fear. Oh well, at least I know what is going on now...........

Friday, 11 October 2013

I have too much to blog about today and I can't decide what to talk about first. I also can't seem to contain a thought in my head, my mind keeps tra la la la la....... wandering.

I think this is mostly because I stayed up rather late to finish enough work to meet a deadline I had this morning, and then, instead of going to bed because I was shattered, decided to read for an hour and finish my book. I am clever no?

No. I am not, and I am suffering for it now.

Well now I don't want to write about anything - maybe I shall give you a blog to do list instead so you know what will be coming up over the next few days once I have rummaged around in my bed for my marbles.


1) My trip to primary school as a visiting artist.
2) A film about Frida Kahlo.
3) My old school chair.
4) My new school chair.

tra la la la la la.....what was I talking about?...what is this thing with all these letters on it.... wssssssssuoer ghdl;ghya;lgy;eajuhrfipgbahnsdlgaeru;yt 8e5rouihna........Oh....Ummmmm

5) Artists and narcissism (after reading a controversial article)
6) I am sure there was something else I have forgotten........

I give up.