Sunday, 22 December 2013


 I. Am. Tired.

After my crazy bout of picture selling I managed to sell one more painting, a few cards and have a Golden Gate commission to start in January, and maybe a commission to paint a few pieces of Glasgow. How did I suddenly get so busy!?

It makes me excited for 2014 but at the moment I need to pack to be ready to head 'home' for Christmas tomorrow and all I want to do is go to sleep, that'll serve me right for having a couple of large glasses of wine earlier this evening. I also haven't managed to do anything I was supposed to do in the run up to Christmas but as no one but me knows what those things are maybe it doesn't matter. It might be time to deserve a break.

Let me just load up my USB stick and I will sort the delayed pieces out over Christmas when I am battling a roast dinner food coma. If the next few posts have a selection of ahjkfdskgafhdnbzjcvxbksdlllllgijkhnlfjhcxbvhjlgnshxzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz in them. Don't worry, it is just were I needed a rest mid flow. It is holiday time. So thank you for the support everyone, the comments, the likes, the purchases, the name drops, the everything! I wish you all the best of the season and a Merry Christmas. Have a glass of wine and a mince pie on me!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

1,2 paintings to you, 3,4 I've sold some more!?

So things have been a little crazy. On Friday I mentioned I might try and paint a picture at the weekend. I did manage too, and it is a good one, but more about that later.

On Sunday, I unexpectedly sold a picture, to a buyer in France! Wahoo!

On Monday, I unexpectedly sold another painting! Wow, yippee!!

On Tuesday I sold three more!!! What!?

On Wednesday I sold one more. Seriously? Have I gone mad?

4 days later and 6 paintings sold. Just, wow. Wow, wow, wow. So this is what success feels like? All that slogging, self doubt, tiredness and endless late nights have been worth it, the dream is alive and maybe trying to do this was a good idea, what I am meant to do after-all and not just a wild fantasy. I don't know what to say...but I am super excited and definitely going to treat myself to a new coat - no more shabby chic for me!

Friday, 13 December 2013


I feel like I have hardly sat down to do a 'normal' painting for ages and I am starting to get itchy feet (itchy fingers?). It might be time to put aside a slot this weekend to get the paints out before I really start to go cold turkey. In fairness I did paint three things last month but I would like to try something different. Maybe.

It was quite foggy the other day, all day, and I just finished a book about ghosts and a Victorian Cemetery in Highgate. Victorians. Ghosts. Fog. I am feeling very Gothic. I would quite like this to come out in whatever I next paint but my usual choice of colours is likely to conflict with this idea. It will be interesting to see what I manage -if I manage- something this weekend.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


I am broken today, mostly because the teacher at zumba yesterday decided it would be fun if we did two dances involving squat thrusts back to back. 6 or so minutes of bottom crunching, knee bending, thigh bouncing later and I almost had tears in my eyes. The worst thing was I couldn't walk properly afterwards as my legs felt like stilts so I feel sorry for anyone witnessing my walk home....I hadn't filled my pants, merely hurt my legs/lower back. For shame. Speaking of broken, I broke my knee high furry boots this morning as I pulled the handle bit of the zip off, great, my magical colour changing watch has died as well because I need a new battery.  All of this is making me feel very artistically authentic - shoes held together with a paper clip, broken watch, coat with a hole in. Oh yes, I am at that 'pre' stage, pre fame and fortune and mid pauper. But you shouldn't feel sorry for me, I was well aware I should have bought a new coat instead of 15 blank canvasses, but I have slightly unusual priorities and I am sure my coat will hold together for the remainder of the winter, otherwise indoors is always nice.

Whilst on this tenuous broken thread, I watched a film called 'Broken' the other day. I have been wondering whether to include it on my 'list' as it wasn't exactly uplifting or necessarily artistically inspiring, but it was interesting, moving, had an unusual full circle feel and was well made. It is also still on my mind after about three or so days so I am sure that means something. So, if you would like a gritty/emotional film as only a British director can deliver and/or you need a few tears to run down your face you should give this film a watch, at least give the trailer a go before you decide.....

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Paul Klee

So, as promised, a post about Paul Klee and the exhibition of his work currently running at the Tate Modern until the 9th of March 2014.

For starters it possibly would have been helpful to have entered into the exhibition with more knowledge than just the knowing that I once copied a Paul Klee painting when I was about 16. But then, sometimes it is interesting to view things with no preconceptions. 

I was first struck by how small all the paintings were and how painful they felt. I paint very expressively, using the colours and the imagery that literally fits me at the very second I am holding the paintbrush. It was very clear that all of Paul Klee's work was clearly thought through, everything was tight, deliberate, meticulous, painfully precise. If I am brutally honest it made me die a little inside. One thing I did find interesting was his colour palette, the colour combinations, and the abstract feelings he tried to portray using just shapes and colour contrasts. A lot of the combinations were complimentary, subtle and seemed just right. I was momentarily jealous that I can normally only deal in lurid, bright colours, strong juxtapositions and colour, colour, colour! The exhibition also seemed to jump around a bit between styles - sections of pure abstract shape and colour, to black line drawings of unusual looking people/fish/boats, pointillist landscapes - it was slightly difficult to follow but at least kept the interest up.

Clockwise from top left: Comedy, Eros, U struji sest pragova, Fire at Full Moon, The Goldfish 

Subsequently I have read a bit about Klee to see if my lack of enthusiasm was through lack of understanding. It wasn't; I would say me and Klee are on different artistic planets -  he wrote extensively about colour theory because it was something he felt incompetent about, it is something I find very natural. He also meticulously painted each item, slowly; I paint expressively and impatiently. His work is usually small, A4/A3 in size, which I find quite restrictive - bigger is better. He was also ridiculously prolific, once painting 1,200 items in a year (!) which may explain why the styles changed a lot, which I suppose is one thing we have in common.

Regardless of the fact that Klee's work doesn't 'float my boat', you can't deny the quality and the thoroughness of thought behind his work. He made me feel like my ideals aren't strong enough, my thought processes too woolly. So maybe that is why I died a little inside, looking at the rigour of a master. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Mission Accomplished (nearly).

I have done considerably better than expected on my secret art mission as I now only have one item left to sort out. I never realised how much I liked sharing the result with my fans/followers on deviantArt and Facebook, in fact, currently, sharing it with anyone would do! As all 5 secrets are Christmas presents I have to satisfy myself with my own opinions and hope the intended recipient likes the end product. It is the thought that counts (apparently) so I suppose it doesn't really matter either way. No doubt I will share the results once Christmas has passed and the cat is out the bag as it were.

One thing I can share is an art exhibition I went to view on Friday at the Tate Modern about Paul Klee. I could write about it now, but I think I might try and tackle my last item and see if I can get it out of the way. Disappointingly I have just realised I have forgotten something and there are actually 2 things left to go.


Oh well, nothing like a little bit of pressure to help you sort things out. Check back in tomorrow for my spiel about Paul Klee, it might not be flattering....

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Early Bird

I like the fact someone stumbled across my blog the other day by typing in "I salute you Frida Kahlo" into a search engine. Yes, me too!

So it is already Wednesday and I still haven't managed to get down and dirty (or messy at least) and do some painting. I have sorted out my accounts, my paperwork and stocked up with 4 shiny new Pentel Micro Correct pens. I only really needed 1, but I have realised I get stressed in case I run out mid painting so I decided 4 was a better number (it possibly would have been more but I cleared out the shops supply). I also bought 15 new blank canvasses the other day which I have somehow managed to hide around the flat so I don't feel like I am working in a warehouse. I really need to win the lottery so I can hire a studio.

I am good to go.

I have 5 secret projects to work on, 1 table to paint, about 90 cards to make, and I would like to paint one random thing for the sake of it, all before Christmas.

Excuse me, whilst I roll around on the floor laughing at the unlikeliness of that actually happening! The next few days are going to be busy, and my tendency to become nocturnal, likely to become reality. I am such an early bird I have often caught the worm because I haven't yet been to sleep......

Friday, 29 November 2013

I have painted...ummm....made some....errr...made some cards.

I have just had a rather tight architecture deadline which is why I haven't posted for a while. Periodically I need to go into lock-down otherwise I know I will 'art' in preference to anything else. But it is completed for the moment and I can go back to working on the ten or so art projects that I have half done, almost, I have a couple of other things to sort out first, and a busy weekend.

Next week. Next week. I will get back on the art horse next week....

This time of year is always frustrating as I have actually done a few other exciting things but I can't mention them as they are either surprises or presents. I am sure I am going to stick my foot in it soon and accidentally utter something I shouldn't.

Did you know I have, err.... I've been working you know that... RAH!

One thing I can mention is some cards I have had printed. There was a special offer on photobox so I jumped at the chance to get 6 of my paintings made into shiny A5 cards. They are currently on sale for the prices indicated below (you can also message me here for details). I am also in the process of making some handmade cards and there are about 30 or so different designs so keep an eye out for them in the next week or so. I am hoping to get them put in a shop in town.....if I ever get organised enough!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Money or Magic Beans

It seems as though the break from social media and the chance to catch up with some long delayed art schemes (cards, magnets, painting, updating, gallery checking...) has managed to restore my soul. Calmness has returned, satisfaction has returned, life seems as it should be. I know where I am going, what I need to do and when by. That is the one advantage of having two flexible jobs - when the architecture one dies down (as it frequently does in Winter) I can focus on some art. If only the pay grade between the two was similar;

Architecture work = Money

Art Work = Magic Beans

But between the two of them I can get by (if you don't look too closely and ignore the big hole appearing in my winter coat). Ah money, you are not everything but I sure wouldn't object to having some more of you!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WiFi Free Day

I was feeling overloaded yesterday so I put my phone on silent and hid it in another room, turned off my emails, blocked Facebook and decided to visit no websites except the one I was updating.

I got rather a shocking amount done. I can see why developers have created software such as Freedom and Stay Focusd, the temptation to procrastinate with social media is just ridiculous. I am going to try and keep this abstinence up and only check things if they need a response, or only look once a day. Motivation when  you are working from home is hard enough without these obsessive distractions!

I need to be more disciplined.

Maybe Tuesday will have to not only be cheap night at the cinema, but also WiFi free day.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Back in a jiffy

After yesterday I am trying to be productive and reduce the list of things I have been meaning to do for ages. So far I have done 2 things, they were small things, and this isn't an achievement. I am hoping by the time I give up for the day and head to yoga I will have done 3 or 4 larger things. In fairness some of the things are fun things that I can do as and when - like painting the table. I tend to write everything down so that I a) don't forget it b) plan ahead and c) have a selection of things to pick from when I have some spare time.

Speaking of planning ahead I have been collecting cardboard and packaging materials just in case I need to quickly ship off some paintings. This collecting has also progressed to collecting jiffy bags in case I have a big order of cards or magnets. This big order hasn't culminated yet and I have somehow managed to accrue 48 jiffy bags. I will let you know when my TV debut on Hoarders is.......

One of the things on my list is to make some more cards, so maybe I will have to make some cards and give them away with a free jiffy bag or ten.....

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Domino Effect

Today is one of those days where you look at your to do list and you think 'Oh God,' you step backwards and tread on a canvas, turn to the right and fall over two more, stumble to your left and domino over 8 more paintings culminating in a crash into your cupboard and setting a couple of frames teetering on the edge.

Don't fall, don't fall.

And they don't.... if you are lucky.

Whilst none of this actually happened it doesn't stop me carefully closing the door on my study/studio, and pretending behind the door is structured order and not impending chaos.

It has been a productive weekend - one painting already done and hopefully one more on the way, but that just makes more work, more tidying up, more space to find, wrapping to do, a post office to visit, a website to update, a to do list to update.

Sometimes, self motivation is hard.

All work and no play makes me need a drink, or at least a damned big piece of cake.


Saturday, 9 November 2013


So in the end it seemed as though the potency of St Jude was exaggerated, and the flights on Monday morning were all fine and running to time. A pity the same can't be said for the storm that has just bashed the Philippines.

So...Estonia and more specifically Tallinn were pretty chilly and pretty wet but also pretty interesting. I liked the mix of old and new and the mix of medieval European architecture and communist Russian squares and monuments. Definitely a place of diversity both in terms of heritage, history, culture and design. I visited the best design museum whilst I was there, specialising in displaying fashion, pin badges, jewellery, textiles, fabric patterns and leather-works. It was a place I could visit every week for inspiration. Tallinn also has some of the nicest cheap places to eat, a lot of towers to climb and is best visited off season, especially if you want to have your own personal tour of the city as no one else turned up for it!

The highlights were - a day trip to Helsinki, bizarrely the weather as it made for some spectacular grey and cold skies, the design museum, the fruit teas, the sugary cardamom buns, the amount to do, the Tallinn card as it made all the sites super cheap, Lido (a Latvian restaurant), getting told off in the Seaplane Museum, going on a submarine and pretty much just being able to do nothing for a week except be entertained, go out, and eat cake.

Can I go on holiday again please?

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.



Monday, 30 September 2013

A Cautionary Tale

The weekend just gone, was an art weekend. I finished the second coat on the hallway design so that is now done, painted a new picture and put primer on the table and chairs ready to receive the design I still haven't come up with. 

Now, primer.

Someone really should have spoken to me about primer before I used it, and before I realised you needed white spirit to remove it, and before I realised I didn't have any.

There is nothing like that moment when you are mindlessly washing your paint soaked brush under the tap, spreading out the bristles with your fingers to wash it off quicker.....getting paint over your hands and halfway up to your elbows. Oh, chortle, the mess I make. Starting to rinse off your hands, your arms, wondering why the paint is so oily, so sticky and rubbing it off doesn't seem to be working. Looking down at your white, slimy hands thinking 'Oh my God' why won't this come off, I need to, I need to, oh hell I can't touch anything. SOMEBODY HELP ME! 

You then proceed to..... 
  • desperately turn the tap off using the power of your just mind, 
  • do the elbow clap tearing of kitchen towel so you can vaguely wipe the goo away. 
  • Look in the cupboard for white spirit - no. 
  • Think about going to look in the garage for white spirit - it is late, the garage is creepy, there are spiders, - no.
  • Look at your hands again hoping somehow the problem has solved itself - damn.
  • Spend the next 40 minutes with make up pads and nail varnish remover slowly working away at de-sticky-fying your hands until they resemble cold grey pieces of a clammy nightmare. I believe Voldemort had hands like these. 
So next time, primer, I come armed with knowledge, a barrel of white spirit, and a boiler suit. 


Friday, 27 September 2013


So it might be time to blog about that film, the day after, the day after, the day after, the day after, tomorrow. Or should that be yesterday? Either way, it is safe to say I am a bit behind having said I would do it on Monday! Oops.

Ironically I wasn't actually much of a fan of the film in question (Modigliani), partly because it compounded my slight dislike of Picasso and it glazed over many artists I would have liked to have heard more about. It was also difficult not to come out of it a) slightly depressed, b) thinking artists are either callous, manipulative, crazy or stupid and c) that Modigliani was a nutter and/or a bit of a prat.

Regardless of the particular slant on Modigliani the film decided to portray (some say he drank, took drugs and misbehaved to easier hide the symptoms of Tuberculosis as being a drunkard was more acceptable than being a carrier of an infectious disease...) It was worth watching to gain a bit more of an insight into his short life, his battles with Picasso and his slightly traumatising love life. I remember copying some of his work when I was younger (yes, even I do occasionally draw people) but I knew absolutely nothing about him. I still don't really feel like I know him any better now, but then maybe that is what wikipedia is for.


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Wham Bam, thank you Spam

I managed to find some inspiration last night in the form of a film and then this morning in the form of a new CD, but more about the CD in the next post, and the film a bit later.....

I appear to have slowly developed into a Bond villain over the last couple of weeks. I have an art email address that I use when responding to art gallery requests or clients, I don't use it often and almost no one knows it exists, I don't register with it, nothing. Over the last couple of weeks, spam has started to trickle into it, but only spam about Casinos, gambling and 'meeting' high class Asian women. Well, they have got me figured out haven't they!?!?!?!

It is strange the stuff/spam you can find on the internet. I decided to check out as they link to my blog occasionally although as they are renowned for 'referer spam' I shouldn't have done so. Never mind, apparently they offer to work out how much your domain name is worth, so out of curiosity I typed in and have subsequently decided to retire on the $8.95 they said it was worth.

Spam is infuriating, if I get one more email into my home account trying to persuade me to become a plumber........*shakes fist holding monkey wrench* oh damn, where did that come from?

Anyway about the film, although I don't feel like I can tag writing about it onto the end of this spam rant, it would be like spamming my own blog post. I will write about it tomorrow instead, or maybe the day after tomorrow.....

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Sleeping on the Inside

I don't know what to blog about today. I could tell you that one of my photos - 'Rainbow Fields' has been 'featured' in a blog post written by someone else (featured in the loosest sense).

Rainbow Fields
I could also mention that someone linked to one of my earlier posts regarding the Saudi Arabian oil rig art scam and I think I saved them from being scammed themselves. (High five).........or maybe I should talk about the jumper I bought last week that is so furry on the inside that when I wear it it makes me feel like a teddy bear. On second thoughts writing about that would probably seem weird. Mentioning it is probably weird enough......

It is safe to say, things are happening at the moment, but nothing major - things are ticking over. The same goes for my film watching  I have seen some good things - the crazy hamster in 'Bolt', a good storyline with a predictable unpredictable ending in 'Side Effects' a film classic in 'The Graduate' and a lot of coincidences in 'Magnolia' but not enough inspiration in any of them for me to devote a whole post.

But I don't mind, sometimes just ticking over is enough, it is after all, a rest of sorts.....

Monday, 16 September 2013


I don't know where today has gone, but it has gone somewhere very quickly!? I am sure this hasn't been helped by the fact I am a little under the weather and consequently suffered an afternoon of "what did I come in here to do?"

On the plus side this weekend saw me complete the first coat of paint on my hallway design. It needs at least one more coat and then some magic 'tidying up'. Some of the painted so-called straight lines are so wobbly you would think I had never held a paintbrush before or I couldn't stop compulsively shimmying with excitement at what I was doing. My only consolation is that all the lines are wobbly so at least I was consistent. I have a trick up my sleeve that should solve the problem....I hope.

Irritatingly it is completely impossible to take a photo of the overall effect I have created, or at least to take a photo that even vaguely does the design justice. These 'tasters' are the best I can do, and to say my first friend came round to view the design today and the response was a resounding "wow".

Nuff said.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


I found a new band yesterday which is playing my 'tune of the moment.' I say 'found,' one of my friends recommended them to me. Not necessarily a band you want to listen to if you are feeling a bit down, uplifting isn't a word I would apply to Daughter's sound. The lead singers voice is amazing and as my friend said - a band who plays music that is 'miserable and enchanting.' Beat that for an emotional combo!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Strata 101

I was taking a look through some of my previous posts yesterday, trying to work out what I had managed to find to talk about in order to create 100 blog posts (now 101). I noticed on the 18th of August I said I was going to blog about one of my Grand Canyon inspired paintings and then seemingly totally forgot about it.

So here it is now, just about under a month too late so that makes it acceptable still, over a month is just rude.

Strata - 20" x 16" box canvas
This painting started out as a sunset over a marshland as I wanted to paint something that wasn't Grand Canyon orientated (unlike the previous 10 paintings). I then had one of my special, 'this painting is terrible moments' painted over the majority of it and then went to bed. (I was painting ridiculously late at night so going to bed was acceptable, I wasn't having a tantrum). I was a bit more inspired the next morning and the above painting slowly started to emerge. Grand Canyon-esque hill line, stripes of rock strata, sunset - all the usual protagonists came together to make a painting I was finally satisfied with.

Oh yes.

Seems like this will be the last painting for a while as I have moved onto giving my flat the artistic treatment so I can do some truly self indulgent art. It will be like a holiday. It has been 24 days since my last confession......with paint......


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Post 100 and counting

Wow. My 100th post! I am sure this deserves some kind of monumental celebration as I must admit I thought I would write about ten posts and then get bored. My staying power astounds me, considerably helped by the occasional comments left by you guys and the fact that I know this is read by at least 8 different people (and not just my Mum 8 times). I jest by the way, I get enough hits per day to give myself a pat on the back and inspire me to keep writing so thank you!

Anyway, down to business (in the loosest sense). I promised you some shots of my new lampshade so here it is. It is a rare gem of a purchase and made even better by the fact I had to assemble it myself - 40 minutes later and I had two of these ready to hang in my lounge and an ability to insert plastic petals into most situations in under a second. I am sure at some point this skill will become incredibly useful, one day maybe, maybe the day after tomorrow in fact. Boom, boom!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Shoulder Pad Purple

Having doubted my ability to find the time or the inclination to paint either the table or the hallway this past weekend turned out to be perfect. The house is tidy, I have filed my paperwork, filed my emails, sorted through my accounts, updated my calendar and I am on top of my work and that was just the world's most productive Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon and Sunday were left for relaxing and starting work on the hall.

The palette was chosen earlier in the week via a selection of tester pots from Homebase; Bizarrely named 'Shoulder Pad Purple', Kingfisher', 'Mojito' and wait for it, this next one is a true moment of pure unadulterated originality....'orange.' Orange? ORANGE? What kind of a paint name is that? -_-

But anyway, half the hallway (read: glorified corridor) is done, well the first coat of it at least and I AM EXCITED! It is going to look amazing. I will do an updated post with pictures and maybe a video as it is hard to show the space when it is finished. This may take another couple of weekends, at least, but I am hoping to do it quicker.....

Watch this space.

Friday, 6 September 2013


Everything must go, sale, sale, SALE, but it seems like most things are quite happy where they are. That said, two paintings have found a new home and I have had a bit of a reshuffle along the lines of a gallery rotation. I am enjoying the fact that when anyone comes over to my house at the moment they almost immediately have a rifle through my latest work. Apart from the fact that this makes me feel slightly like I live in a shop I am loving the active interest in my work.

I am having a painting break for a bit as I am officially burnt out. I fell into the abyss that is the Grand canyon and at the moment I can't seem to get out......I am not going to be creatively lazy though. I have bought two new unusual lampshades that need the obsessive photography treatment (you will understand when you see them) and I have finally bought a blank canvas in the form of a dining table and two chairs. I also have the design I want to do drawn out in the hall, tester pots purchased and I am ready to go.

On your marks.... wait I haven't thought this through properly......get set......I don't have any time.......


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Everything Must Go!

Everything must go! (Or at least a couple of things) I am quickly running out of canvas storage space in my flat and I would quite like to stockpile a few more sizes ready and prepped for painting. Unless I want to start sharing my bed with these blank canvasses, drastic measures are in order.

Did someone say SALE?

A sale is a good way to hopefully clear the decks a little, but I have learnt two things about sales already. Number 1, don't say the sale starts at midnight as then you need to stay up until midnight to set it running. Number 2, don't decide to start the sale after you have been out for dinner and had two large glasses of wine. One painting read 'now £19,440 instead of £194.40'! Now that really is a bargain! A small piece of me is tempted to 'accidentally' leave it and keep my fingers crossed, I probably have more chance of selling a painting for £20,000 than winning the lottery let's face it.

Trying to price a painting is always difficult especially when you have an attitude similar to mine which flows along the lines of 'please, please, just take it if you like it, I don't mind. No, I don't need any money, it is going to a good home' Maybe this selling at 27 pence per square inch is an idea I will keep......

In the meantime if you would like to purchase a painting please get in touch through my blog, facebook or my website or just click here to go straight to my orders page. Either way, thanks for looking.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Bland Companion

Today has been a proper Sunday - I have spent all day in my 'painting' clothes sorting out another picture and drawing on the walls. (Intentionally)

I have become so Canyoned out trying to capture the Grand Canyon that I was starting to wish I had never decided to pick up a paintbrush. There is nothing so infuriating as painting and getting nothing from it other than a feeling of frustration and another image mis-captured. I decided it was time to try something different...

First step - framing one of my sketches to make me like it a little more....

Second step - finally deciding on a pattern and drawing some of it out in the hallway of my flat.
Third step - having a go at painting something that doesn't start with the letters G.C. and rhyme with bland companion.

So step one and two worked well, step three did not. Turns out my latest picture does still look a little grand canyon-esque. I like this one though and painting it felt good, in fact I nailed it.

I am looking forward to blogging about this picture soon......

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Paint in Numbers

I was hoping by now I would have remembered what I was going to write last Friday but I think that thought is now officially lost. Let's just hope it wasn't important!

The weekend just gone was a bit of a mixed bag art-wise, partly because I had to work and partly because I stupidly decided to paint 4 paintings simultaneously. Stupidly because I normally find doing multiple paintings extremely unsatisfying. This time was no exception.

So why did you do four in one go I hear you ask?

It was mostly because they were just quick, small sketches and painting on a small scale is not my forte so I was trying to spice things up a bit.

As much as the four sketches ruined my life on Saturday evening (I should have just gone to the pub instead) as usual I am slowly starting to accept them for what they are. The most interesting thing has to be the response they are getting as it seems as though everyone has a different favourite. For some unknown reason I always prefer the least popular one, and that goes for all my work. I obviously have no taste.

Which one is your favourite?

Friday, 9 August 2013

Hello Friday

That moment when you have just signed on to blog about something and then totally forgotten what you were going to talk about.

I think it was about......

No it wasn't............

About doing that............

No it wasn't that either.

I have completely forgotten. Time to resort to some random mumblings.....

mumble, rumble, mum-rumble-umble-um.

It's been a long week.

Hello Friday - Thank god.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


If you have been reading these posts regularly you should know that I went to the Lovebox festival the other day and found a new band to listen to called Ms Mr. You should also know, especially if you know me for real, that I am obsessed with the number 27.

And, 27, I mean totally, 27, unutterably obsessed.


Well look what I  found:

Introducing Twenty Seven by Ms Mr. Maybe not the cheeriest lyrics but I like it anyway.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Updated, upgraded - upstanding.

So it seems I might have cursed myself slightly having blogged quite frequently and then left it for 10 days. Typical. The ten in-between days have been productive though - two paintings completed, one on the way as we speak (or as I type) one premier gallery competition won and another one entered, one brother's wedding attended and a website updated. I consider the fact that I have just been charged an extra £5 for going over my broadband usage to be proof that I have worked hard over the last few days (and not just watched too many YouTube videos).

I have an artwork tracker that I update so I can keep an eye on what paintings have gone online, where they are, whether I have all file types saved, prices sorted, blah blah blah. It was rather out of date - 7 paintings missing and 39 photos! Ouch. I can't even vaguely pretend that I haven't slipped off the ball a bit. It is up to date now though and the missing items are currently being added onto the sites I have neglected for the last 3 months......

This is becoming disturbing - could I actually be getting everything back together whilst still doing architectural work and managing to sleep and leave the house? My word, this might be it - I might finally be managing to juggle everything and keep all the balls in the air.

At some point over the last few days I must have been upgraded.....

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A perfect day (unless you are an ostrich)

Look at this! I am seriously racking up some posts. For some strange (and ultimately superb) reason my work/life balance currently seems to be perfect. A straight line between enough free time to sort some things out and enough money to buy some new gym shorts so I can stop looking like a 90's break dancer when I go to zumba. No one, absolutely no one should have to wear the giant baggy monstrosities I am currently shamefully and humiliatingly sporting to the leisure centre. Zumba is usually jam packed except I recently seem to be accruing a large amount of space around me unpopulated by fellow zumbarers, zumbees? I am not sure whether this is due to my dress sense, my peculiarly elastic legs, my involuntary 'jazz hands' or the fact I jump around far too much. Jury is out.

Anyway, I saw some more live music over the weekend as I was treated to a fabulous day out at the Sunday Lovebox festival in Victoria Park.

Sun in the sky, cider in one hand, ostrich burger in the other (very tasty by the way), enthusiastic friend to my right, Kelis on stage. Oh yes, yes, yes. She was absolutely superb. Played some newbies, mashed together the classics, gave everyone something they could sing too, gave everyone something they could get behind, jump to, shout about and more than enough fire to get the party started.

Kelis I salute you - definitely my act of the day (Miss Mister where pretty darn good as well and Purity Ring but no doubt there will be more on them later).


Monday, 22 July 2013

Kate Miller Heidke

As a surprise Kate Miller Heidke was also at the Amanda Palmer gig last week and she was kind enough to play a song.

The song was quite funny.

Men *sigh* Facebook *sigh*

Amanda Palmer

My salmon pink, baby food, sky blue painting turned out ok in the end with very little aggravation. I am looking forward to having another go at painting the Grand Canyon at my supposed, currently free weekend coming up in 5 days.

Potentially a 'watch this space' moment.


Firstly I have some good news regarding the painting currently going on display in a gallery in Burton-on-Trent. The show is almost ready to open and I should have some photos of the exhibition winging themselves my way soon....another 'watch this space moment.'

In the meantime I have been catching up on some live music. The Friday before last I went to see Amanda Palmer at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm. What a great venue! I want to see something else there again soon. Miss Palmer's show was a slightly mixed bag - started with a bang, got a bit depressed in the middle and then ended with a real lift. All-in-all definitely worth seeing and kudos to her for getting on with everything after a bit of bad press. You have to love this woman for her lyrics - some of her songs are real gems, both insightful and clever.

Music wise I am including a slower, quieter song for your enjoyment on here because I love the piano work - most of her songs are more hard hitting, punchier and LOUD.

Friday, 19 July 2013

1, 2 buckle my shoe, 3, 4 knock on the door, 5, 6 fiddlesticks...

Today I will be mostly multi-tasking. I have finally found some time to paint, when I say found some time, I really mean lost some time in which I should be sleeping, but time is time however it comes. I am multi-tasking because I thought I would blog whilst I was waiting for the background of my latest work to dry. I am currently apprehensive as I have just created a horrible colour combination of sky blue, salmon pink and baby food green. If this makes you feel sick then congratulations you are imagining it correctly.

What have I done? Or more to the point what am I doing? The downside of not pre-planning an image is that every step is a risk (read: probable mistake) but you take the rough with the smooth. Sometimes you can be surprised by something amazing, sometimes it is a torturous route just to end up with something acceptable. (Yes we all know this is going to fall into the second category). The problem at the moment is that I am trying to paint something new - the Grand Canyon - and I am not painting regularly enough to learn or progress from painting to painting, so yes, I genuinely am just making it up as I go along, but that is exciting in its own way.

So anyway, attempt number 1 is below, as usual becoming more to my liking the older it gets....


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Photographic Memories

As promised I am finally doing a post about my latest photo prints gleaned from my trip to the US of A and Mexico about a month ago (that long? Already! Sigh). You have to excuse my penchant for animation transitions on my slideshow by the way - but seriously, when else am I going to be able to use all of these?

It is quite nice putting everything together belatedly - I remember old favourites and become inspired all over again. I have an atrocious memory so if I don't record everything and anything there is a high percentage chance - call it a certainty - that give me a week and I will have forgotten it. Who are you and why is your hand on my shoulder? I have the peculiar ability to look at some of my earlier paintings and wonder how I managed to do them. I am not sure whether this classes as a special talent but at least it means I keep everything fresh. (That is my excuse and I am sticking to it).

So anyway - my photos - sampling Chichen Itza, Cancun, Los Angeles, Xcaret, Laguna, The Grand Canyon, and Balboa Park San Diego - lest I forget.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Pork Scratching

Wow! Where on earth have the last two weeks gone? I guess that is what work and sun do to you - you are either modelling on the computer or outside in the sun, wondering at what point your skin tips over the thin line drawn between a tan and a pork scratching.

It seems like I am battling at the moment, battling to keep everything running and all my art stuff not becoming a 'thing' that I did whilst I had nothing else to do. I take heart that although I am busy there is still something missing; An itch I can't scratch, a feeling I can't shift, a colour I can't see, an irritable fed-up-ness  that I can't devote any time to painting. It is always a good sign when I spend the hours/days/weeks focusing on that afternoon, that day off, when I can lock the door, unplug the phone, put a CD on ultra loud and sit for a few hours on a shower mat, surrounded by canvas, paints, pens and inspiration.  

Next week, next week, next week, surely next week.

I am still thinking about it though, going for walks, gathering inspiration, even if on the outside it looks as though I have been abducted.....

Thursday, 4 July 2013

I Miss You

Firstly I mustn't forget I said I would do a post about the new photo prints I gleaned from my trip to America last month. I also need to write about a new painting I created last Thursday and about how awestruck I was by the Grand Canyon. Not much then.

Ignoring all these things......I was hoping to squeeze out a painting this week which I have managed to do if painting my toenails counts? Yes well. I haven't been entirely unproductive however as the start of the week saw the shipping of Laguna to Burton on Trent for display in a newly opening gallery. This means, finally, FINALLY I have a piece of work on public display. I am hoping it will be the first of many. The exhibition opening was at some point this week but as yet I have heard nothing. A road trip is pencilled in for a few weekends time so I can see the painting in action and check everything is displayed to my satisfaction.  It will also be nice to see Laguna again - it has been hung on my wall above the sofa and I miss it. I really must stop doing that........  

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Gaudi anything but Gaudy.

According to the gospel that is Google, it is Antoni Gaudi's 161st birthday today. Gaudi appeals to both the architect and the artist in me so there is no way I am going to let this go without saying something. I recently made a 'pilgrimage' (I went for the sun and sangria if I am being honest) to Barcelona to see the Sagrada Familia - one of Gaudi's most famous buildings. I saw it first on a university field trip and decided I needed to see it again. foolishly thinking it may now be completed. There was a lot of scaffolding up when I first visited 8 or so years ago. Now the interior is complete, the exterior less so. Rumour has it they are aiming to complete it in time to mark the centenary of Gaudi's death in 2026 so I guess I will be visiting again then.

In the meantime here are my favourite shots from my visit - I love this building!!!! (the interior more than the exterior) -  And seriously, do a google image search for Antoni Gaudi, the shapes, the detail, the colours are amazing. If anyone ever makes me want to be an architect (and normally I don't want to be one) it is this man (and Le Corbusier but that is another story and he was crazy).

Beams, Made Flowers, Three Stars

Human Trees, The Eyes of God

Sunday, 23 June 2013

I think I can

So I was going to do a post about my American photos today, but checking my to do list shows I need to do a post about my spring photos still. Considering it is now technically summer I had probably better get a move on and do this one in preference.

When I say I was going to do a post about my American photos I really mean I was going to sit in front of a film or two with a big bag of popcorn for my Sunday afternoon/evening and then read. After realising I hadn't updated my website for 3 months and currently have 3 paintings and 35 photos outstanding to place online and two non urgent commissions to paint - sitting in front of the TV hardly seemed like an option. I also have 187 deviantArt messages to look through (some of them just need sorting through) but this is all starting to get out of hand. If I don't catch up now there is a chance I never will!

Oh dear. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can get back on top of my workload mountain.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Drowning in Style

After having enough paperwork and architecture to drown in and then taking a month out to recapture my mojo (and drown in the sea), it is pretty obvious to say I haven't been very artistically productive recently. As I have only been back in 'my so called life' for 9 days and I already have too much to do I am not holding out much hope for this changing anytime soon.

The good thing with me is I will make time for creativity, normally at the expense of my sleep, but if a painting is calling me then stuff everything else. Hopefully this will happen soon. On the plus side I have finally got through my holiday snaps and found more artistically worthy ones than I was expecting. I will blog about them in the next few days.

Facebook followers will already know that I did manage to achieve one thing whilst I was away.....I got published in a glossy magazine!

Now that. is exciting! :-D

Monday, 17 June 2013

Art Museums 6 - Laura 2

Damn you yogalates for being fully booked! However this does mean I have some time to contemplate writing a blog post. As it appears as though the last post I wrote was almost 2 months ago it may be just as well yoga was booked - a 2 month break is quite frankly shocking!

I have a good excuse as I have been in America and Mexico for the past month collecting inspiration and refreshing my brain so I can conjure up some new and hopefully exciting ideas/paintings. I should also have some interesting blog posts to catch up on, a magazine article and some unusual photos so watch this space. Firstly I am going to talk about the art galleries I visited whilst I was away.....

The San Diego Museum of Art ......closed.
Ok, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art - a huge complex of 5 or 6 different galleries...closed.
Damn, ok, The Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles.....closed as well.

You have got to be kidding me.

The moral of the story is don't try and visit these places on a Wednesday and guide book I hate you for not telling me that! So in the last couple of months the only real gallery I have managed to visit was the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery this past weekend. Not quite the same...! (I did manage to visit a few smaller galleries in San Diego - the Mingei International Museum and the Timken Museum of Art so it wasn't a total disaster but even so!).

The Birmingham Art gallery did the job, there is a good enough selection of work to brush across quite a few different schools of thinking and the odd well known name. Maybe whilst I was away I needed a break from Art as well as real life. One of my favourite displays, possibly because I have been on 6 flights in the past month was the following video by Hiraki Sawa. Don't ask me why, it just entertained that creative hole in my head....

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Heavens Opened

It turns out the break from painting and the increase in architecture work may have altered my ability to paint, or at least to paint to my own satisfaction. My latest work definitely pays homage to the cliché of a game of two halves - behold the aptly named 'The Heavens Opened'....

The Heavens Opened
Aptly named for two reasons:

  1. The obvious fact it depicts space and,
  2. The fact I had a massive outpouring of rage when I was painting it.
If you look closely there are clues showing you that this was originally a painting of something else -  a small piece of bamboo to the middle right edge, the orange leaves tracing along the bottom of the canvas. I was painting a more traditional landscape of trees, the sun, a cliff and a large wave until I got so frustrated all I could do was stab, smear and splat paint all over the canvas.

And then cover half of it in black.

Fortunately after I got this out of my system I was considerably calmer and I had a brainwave, a spark of inspiration, an idea and I felt as though the picture could be resurrected. Mountains, on a starry night, an alien landscape capped by the milky way and it must be detailed, dots, red ones, white ones (Lichtenstein is that your fault?).

So an angry, spontaneous, expressionist lower half followed by a calmer, more relaxed, in control and detailed top half.  Not necessarily two things that go together but I was pleased with how it eventually turned out. 

It wasn't until I finished and was thinking back that I noticed my choice of music was peculiarly reflective of the two separate painting halves and styles.

I painted the expressionist, 'angry' half to Anna Calvi:

The detailed more serene top half to the Maccabees:

Tell me that isn't a little bit weird........

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


I am wishing now I hadn't said I would write everyday for a while. I went to a zumba session this evening and you know it is bad when ten minutes in all you can think about is lying down. Somehow I am still here, my heart is still beating and my eyes are still open.

I was going to write about my new painting today - 'The Heavens Opened' but I need to write quite a bit as it is slightly unusual, controversial and for once has quite a lot behind it. I can't face that so I will do an easy post instead - cue another film.

This time the film is French and by Luc Besson - the man behind The Fifth Element. I am including it here not necessarily because of the storyline, or the acting or the content, they were all good enough but not what I found inspiring. I absolutely have to include it for style, black and white beautiful shots of Paris at its best with a ridiculously appropriate soundtrack. My favourite moments had to be the giant woman versus the tiny man silhouetted, elevational shots of some of Paris's bridges, they are burnt visually in my mind. I can see me using these as a basis for a painting....

The film by the way is called Angel-a, and it might, if I can find the time have a similar effect on me as The Secret of Kells did a few months ago....

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Moonrise Kingdom

I can finally tick music off my blog to do list (for the moment) or at least until I head back into London to see Amanda Palmer later in the year. I interestingly have a comedy gig to go to in the meantime, interesting because I have never witnessed a comedian first hand except when I followed Jimmy Carr in the tube (by accident).

Name drop, swooped in and pow! LOOK HOW CULTURED I AM...... If only that were true..... 

I have a few other CD's that I have to shout about due to being addicted to them but there is no rush, so I shall tackle my backlog of films first and then get onto writing about my latest painting and Spring (!!!). I have three films to write up, two, good for different reasons and one disappointment. I am going to attempt to watch the The Deep Blue Sea this evening and come out of it with my joie de vivre intact. I hear this is likely to be impossible due to the nature of the film. Hmm maybe I will watch it tomorrow, or maybe even the day after tomorrow.....

The first film to mention is Moonrise Kingdom, mostly highlighted because I seem to greatly enjoy films by Wes Anderson. I think this is due to a combination of the strange panning elevational camera shots, the attention to detail. the poise and the deadpan nature of the understated and eccentric characters he portrays. The films also say a lot without words. I am one of those people that gets easily overwhelmed by words, so yes, I do mostly hate Woody Allen films.  

Anyway, Moonrise Kingdom is a must if you like:
  • Wes Anderson
  • A famous cast playing non typical roles.
  • Bruce Willis as a non action policeman (well except one bit)
  • Scouts
  • Scouts
  • Scouts
  • Young love
  • Did I say scouts?
  • And storms

27 Beth Orton's

I am going to have another irrelevant moment but I can't help it as me and the number 27 are partners in OCD. The number 27 is appearing all over my blog statistics today so I am going to pretend that it is portending to something good. If you can't believe in the randomness of your lucky number, what can you believe in?

I am also going to attempt to reduce the size of one of my to do lists by catching up with my blog posts. I so far have 16 outstanding ideas (or ideas outstanding) to write about so maybe if I can write one a day for a while it will help. The list was supposed to help me on the days when I had nothing to say not turn into a 5 mile long piece of paper, but I would always rather that than writers block.

So, as promised....Beth Orton.

I went to see Beth Orton at the Royal Festival Hall in London last week and she was fantastic, quite unimposing, quite funny and quite endearing. No other woman could get away with snorting on stage and passing it off as socially acceptable and receiving a sympathetic chortle from the crowd. If I did that........

It was good to be able to hear her singing live and hear the quality of all the instruments. Beth Orton has a beautiful voice - the songs had far more intonation, more tonal variation and more emotion. It isn't until you hear something live that you realise how pasteurised and diluted CD's are. That said the CD is good too, I even went on a backdated album shopping spree so no doubt I shall be painting to one of her albums soon.


Sunday, 21 April 2013

To do lists (times four to the power of a hundred).

It is annoying when your to do list gets too long. It is even more annoying when your to do list gets so long that you split it into 4 more manageable looking sections. When these four lists start to get too long as well it is probably best to make friends with the shredder and vrrrrrrrrrrroooooom all your problems away.

My four separate sections currently stand as 'art', 'architecture', 'blog topics' and 'real life' and each list has at least 20 things on it, but who's counting? Certainly not me any more!!! Just as well I went to see Beth Orton on Wednesday last week and her supporting band - Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards. I will tell you more about Orton later but if you ever want to listen to something to melt your problems away then this is it.


How deep is this guys voice? (And yes, it does make me fall slightly in love with him)!!!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Look at ME

Work, work, work.

Has two good outcomes.

Firstly, I am now friends with my bank account again - did someone say shopping spree? And secondly, because I haven't put as much effort into my art, facebook fan page, blog, website etc, simply because I haven't had the time, I have had a good chance to see how they all fair without my constant input. I have done this before in October of last year when I was in America for three weeks and I did nothing at all to anything (except take photos) and everything pretty much fell over. No blog hits, very few hits on my website and my facebook views skimmed the bottom of the bottom.

How heart-warming.

This time seems to be different. I have kept things ticking over slightly with the odd post, facebook status and one and a half paintings over the last month but my views have stayed relatively constant. Finally my website, blog and facebook are working for me.  All those hours of updating, tweaking, tidying, sorting, writing, painting and staying up late, which at the time seemed slightly futile are starting to pay off.

I am excited.....

Maybe people are starting to take notice.....

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I see a red door and I want to paint it black.

I either had a painting brainwave last weekend or one of those 'why did you decide this was a good idea?' moments. I haven't had much time to dedicate to any artwork recently, although things should start to get a bit more flexible from this point forward. Not being able to throw around some paint has been starting to make me go crazy, the lack of a creative outlet Laura style (as opposed to Gangnam...) has been making my brain go for walkies at the most inopportune moments. To combat this I have just started a slow burner of a painting that I can add to whenever I get a spare hour or two. Normally I tend to do a whole painting in one go - I just need a free evening and it always helps if I don't need to get up very early the following day! It will be interesting to see if I can pull this painting out of the bag (or more appropriately out of the bin) for two reasons:
  1. My unfortunate ability to get bored with things that take forever and not finish it. 
  2. The fact that it started as a painting of something else, made me very angry, got smeared with all the left over paint on my palette and then painted over in black.
Not a very fortuitous start, but then some of my initially tormented paintings turn out to be my favourites, and I did have a 'light bulb' idea to save this after the oh-so-black paint thickly went on the canvas. You have got to have a little suffering in there somewhere otherwise where is the challenge!? 

(At least that is my excuse for when a painting goes horribly, horribly wrong.....)