Thursday, 21 April 2011

Tulip fever

I got slightly carried away with the tulips this year. I think my favourites are the parrot variety. I also got carried away with the allium bulbs back in the autumn. I counted 16 plants yesterday.

The sun is shining and I now have 4 days off work. I plan to make hot cross buns with my mum, work on some new drypoint prints and go for a few walks. Bliss.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

In which the artist realises she may have bitten off more than she can chew.

I have been doodling in my sketchbook. Woods (business as usual). There's something so magical about them and they work so well as subject matter in printmaking. I don't want this to be a regular dry point print. I have plans for a bit of collage and some watercolour washes. This time I am using a proper zinc plate rather than plexi glass so the line should be that bit sharper. The doodle itself took about 5 days on and off, drawing in the evenings. On the zinc plate I managed a 2 inch square in about 3 hours. The tip of my index finger on my right hand is numb. I thought I had some terrible degenerative disease of the nervous system for about a week and then realised it's from where I have been clutching the engraving needle.

The Mill's annual artweeks exhibition is going up in 2 weeks time and I have spent so much time coordinating everyone else that I kind of forgot that I'm an artist too and also exhibiting. I have decided that I am going to carry on doodling and playing and if I have something to show at the end of it then great. If not, never mind.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

A stroll into the recent past to make a silly hat. With feathers.

I meant to blog about this earlier in the week but last Saturday I went to a workshop in Deddington to learn how to make fascinators. Deddington is lovely. I used to live there (with the useless ex). I lived in a small terraced farm cottage complete with beams, open fire, pokey corners and cobwebs. It felt, for a while at least, exactly how life should be. Deddington has a brilliant butchers and deli called Eagles, they sell a sort of cheesecakey affair called Jamaican Lime Crunch, slabs of bread and butter pudding, homemade brownies the size of house bricks and homemade sausage rolls which are, especially if you catch them just after they have come out of the oven, heavenly. Oh, and lobsters. Real live ones, in a tank, just inside the front door. Deddington is quite an upmarket sort of place really. I used to sit outside the pub on a Friday afternoon with my white wine and soda cataloging the smart cars that cruised through the market place. Black convertible Audis. The odd Porsche. Those loud, polluting twin exhausts.We used to call  it tw*t-watch.

Anyway, back to fascinators. Below are various members of my wayward family modelling theirs. Left to right, my cousin Katie, other cousin Gemma, aunty Jean (Beanie) and aunty Sarah (Cowbags). The workshop was taught by the talented and thrifty Mary Jane Baxter, she has book coming out too, which you can see here.

This is my effort. A bit Ms Marple but I like it. The little green rosette was made using a piece of ribbon and doing something to it called Petersham Pleating. FYI- it's really hard.

There are no photos of me wearing it because a) I take a terrible photo and b) it keeps falling off, my hair being too slippy for the clip.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Tulips and lilies

Since October last year I have managed to break two cameras. This may be why my posting has been slightly sparodic. I did something strange to the Samsung which caused it to take streaky photographs so I borrowed Mum's Cybershot. Last week I stood on it and the screen cracked. What followed was a week of berating myself for being clumsy and not being able to look after anything properly. If I spend money on a much coveted white shirt you can guarantee that within 24 hours I will have spilt something indelible down it.

Not sure about the above paintings. They seem a little wishy washy. I like my work more when it has a little depth and drama. I might have to do something drastic to them tomorrow.

I'm still waiting for my spring surge which everyone else seems to be getting at the moment. The last few months have certainly been fallow. Actually desolate and drought stricken might be a more accurate description. Though it is very nice to be sat here with a glass of wine at 7.30pm with the sky still light and the birds singing.