I’m past the exhausted, bed-ridden phase of the lurgi and I’m quite alert but the downside is that I’m awake to feel every miserable symptom. The medications don’t seem to be helping much any more so I’m trying to take my mind off it by sketching Husb and his boots. Sparta likes this little blue silk sketchbook because it has a ribbon with a glass bead to mark the pages. It keeps her entertained for ages. Tomorrow, I’m throwing in the towel and going to see the doctor. I normally let things run their course but I’ve had this lurgi for 10 days now and it’s not getting better. I’ve got too much to do – I can’t afford to be ill.
My dear Aunty Nin loved to crochet and she made me some antimacassars. I’ve had them for decades and they’re still going strong. I don’t need to use them on the backs of the chairs as men don’t wear macassar any more so I drape them over the chair seats to protect them from a more modern menace, the cats, who think they have a divine right to sleep anywhere they like. There’s Sparta, the psychokitty, sprawled on one, glaring at me balefully as I scribbled.
Horrible weather this morning, very dark and pouring with rain and I really didn’t want to get up. Husb kept nagging me but I was grasping at any excuse to stay put – soooo cosy. Little Ming jumped onto the bed and padded around to make herself comfy so I grabbed my little watercolour pad and a pencil I keep on the shelf next to the pillow and started scribbling. So everytime Husb shouted up the stairs to get up, I shouted back, “I’m doing my Art!”. Yeah, horizontally, under the duvet, in the warm – what a job, eh?
Had to get up eventually though and spent the day working on a new drawing in a cold, dark, grey studio. Can’t wait to get back to bed.
After the excitement of blogging about Iceland and wrestling my computer back from Sparta the psychokitteh, I’ve settled down into some domestic normality. Husb and our little great-niece put the Xmas tree up this evening and I sat and scribbled – and issued directions. I sketched some of the tree and baubles and noticed someone lurking under the branches, plotting mayhem! If this year is anything like last, those baubles will be all over the house by the morning >:(
After three months of torrential rain, we have a heatwave. Normally I’m not a sun lover but I’m not complaining about this because the early summer weather has been so brutal. Unfortunately, I’m a gingery Celt and burn to a frazzle in strong sunlight so I’m keeping out of the sun throughout the day and getting outside in the early mornings and the evenings. I was sitting in the garden about 6am today, the cats and the local magpies were winding each other up, magpies screeching raucously. Of course I reached for my sketchbook and had a scribble, catching the young magpies on the roofs.
As I stood and drew, Ming The Merciless came and sat at my feet. So I scribbled her as well. It’s a very odd angle, I was almost directly above her, but it’s a good exercise to draw from stange angles. I picked some blueberries from the plant in the large pot and had them for breakfast with yoghurt and tea. Lovely. By 9am I couldn’t stand it any more and spent the day sheltering in my studio, like a vampire
Some days I really don’t want to draw. Mostly though, I grit my teeth and do it because I don’t want to fall into the trap of being undisciplined. That’s when the cats come in handy. They’re great for speed sketching because, unless they’re snoozing, they don’t keep still for long, they’re very fidgety little animals and that’s what you want when you’re only in the mood to do a few quick scribbles.
So today we had a window of about four hours between one load of torrential rain and the next, so Husb and I went and did some heavy-duty slogging down the allotment. I’d neglected the raspberry bed and it had been taken over by buttercups. Now if anyone goes ‘aaahhhh, lovely’ let me tell you that no matter what perfect childhood memories you may have of reflecting buttercups under your chin, they are the devil’s own flower!!!!!! Ranunculus repens, a pernicious spreading weed that reproduces by seed AND creeping runners. EVIL! Their roots went down further than the raspberry canes and it took me a full four hours to clear the patch. I’ve learned my lesson, I’ll be ripping their nasty little heads off when they first appear in future!
So coming home grumpy and aching, I only had the time and motivation to do these quick little scribbles of the kittehs mooching around the house. In my A6 Paperblanks Mediterranean Cats sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt pen, size S.
ps I haven’t chopped the cat’s head off in the top picture – she was bending over
Had a hard day on the allotment today, both of us doing loads of digging into heavy clay-ey soil. Then when we got home I had to move a huge trug full of horse slurry that had been fermenting all winter and spread it round the rhubarb, loganberries, blueberries and fig. Honestly, it was bubbling away like The Bog Of Eternal Stench from the film Labyrinth. I love the way that Nature recycles a load of manure into rhubarb crumble! Yum .
Just rattled off a quickie sketch of Husb chilling out on Facebook. We’re both slumped into chairs, too tired for anything else. I think his eyebrows are going to take over the universe.
I drew a still-life yesterday and I thought I’d continue the theme for a while. Almost all my work is based on the human form so it’s a bit of a challenge for me to do something else and the still-life genre is an historical one and it’s good to keep up traditions, in my opinion. It’s also a bit of a challenge choosing things to put together into a still-life. If you collect together a load of branded items, it can end up looking like an advert. On the other hand, putting together domestic objects can be a bit boring. So I had an entertaining half an hour searching through the house trying out different things together, discovering all sorts of stuff I didn’t know I had in nooks and crannies [also some nooks and crannies I didn't know I had!]. It’s tempting to choose timeless objects, emulating historical still-lifes, but I wanted to use things that are fairly new, that reflect modern life.
Here’s my Winsor and Newton jar, kindly bought for me by my inlaws, which doubles up as a toothbrush holder; and a little porcelain cat that used to be a light pull in the bathroom until it fell off and I put something else on the end of the string and put the cat on a bookshelf on the landing. Then there’s the tin of lavender Tasmanian sleep balm that my dear cousin Myriam sent from Australia to help with my insomnia. It does. I still get insomnia but I stroke some balm onto my temples and usually nod back off pretty quickly. It lives on the shelf next to my pillow with my stack of books that I mean to read and recent copies of New Scientist magazine and one of those word puzzle magazines [Codewords - I can't get enough of them] with adverts for stair lifts and commode chairs on the back. They all have those adverts. I don’t think the publishers are aiming them at the youth market.