Wimbledon was really intense for me this year, I mean I really watched it, more so than in other years. I sort of took time away from the house (that's swallowed me), and just watched and listened.. I haven't drawn for ages, but managed to sketch Gael Monfils during his last match but I have been a particularly harsh self judge lately and its been stopping me drawing. So I've knocked that particular unhelpful mode on the head and seem to be back on the horse, the drawing horse (long may it last).
I didn't like this sketch until now, and didn't post it, I was disappointed in it, but somehow I like it now. Its colourful and fuzzy, like my brain. I think one of these years he's going to get that trophy. I remember a few years back they said he was on the circuit living in a caravan! Man. And wow we have no idea how hard these people work and how much they sacrifice for their passion.
I have a lot of respect for tennis players amongst other professions. Most things worth doing take a lot of determination, perseverance and passion. We usually only ever see the results of excellence not the work that went in to achieving it. So here's to the 10,000 hours. Don't give up he says, keep going.
I have found a little museum in Warwick where they have collected over 500 artefacts dating back to the 1700s when the farmers of Warwickshire volunteered upon request to form the Warwickshire Yeomanry Regiment a national defence unit made up of yeomen from each country prepared to act in case of invasion from the French. They would have been experienced horsemen and fit from working the land; and after many tours over the centuries the regiment is still in existence today. Anyway, I did a few sketches there recently and they want to use them for postcards which is nice. The sketch above is the first one. Below is a painting I found (no attribution sorry) which gives an idea of how it would have looked on. Very nice!
How I have missed you. So much has happened. I should never have stopped writing. It really is much less fun without sharing my pictures and thoughts with the beautiful wide world webs.
So first off. I am moving house in 10 days and that is suitably stressful and exciting in equal parts. I moved into this basement where I've been for about 2 years now almost without a choice but it was a good move, better than the garage conversion I was in before, I didn't mind the garage it was that I was at the bottom of the garden of some people I knew one of whom I grew to call Princess Guava for reasons I won't go into.
It was a squat when I moved in, the boiler was broken the flat smelt of mould the kitchen was dark and the fridge smaller than a mini-bar but I wrestled it into submission until I actually grew to like it, love it even. But the sound of my neighbours cracking open a can of pepsi or turning the leaves of their magazines can get quite wearing, let alone when they actually talk or go to the toilet. Such is life. There were the late night revellers throwing their pants into my garden or leaving their cans of beer. That was nice too. But I genuinely love(d) the pigeon who visited me long after he escaped from my rescuing him with a damaged wing and the little garden which my plants managed to survive despite being underground. Mostly it was the occasional gauntlet set by the owner that I liked the very least. She liked to call me waif or monk or just uh, but I shall be waiving her goodbye and leaving her with a much more valuable property than when I moved in. A fair exchange for the free month's rent they gave me before they actually owned the property. And the reduced rent they gave me when they still didn't own the property because the owner was so desperate for them to buy it as it was unsellable that he let them charge me rent even though it wasn't theirs. Once they owned it they charged me more of course but before I move out she came round to remind me who has a baby and a house and a flat to rent and a husband and to remark especially on how tortoises are incontinent and that her mother has one. That was nice.
I am just pleased to be here again, to post probably my last drawing of the basement at the crossroads opposite the fire station. Always here.
In sadder news my four baby sticks who were third generation from the abandoned sticks from my brother's kids, actually disappeared. Well three drowned and the last one vanished. They were all about 5 mm long and it was hard to pay them enough attention with my latest job renovating a huge house in another part of town. I will miss my sticks! Maybe a stray egg will hatch and surprise the next tenant you can only hope
A few weeks back I watched Only God Forgives because although I knew I wouldn't like it I could forgive Ryan Gosling most things and I thought it seemed appropriate to open that particular box just then. And, predictably, it was so very wrong on so many levels that I was quite breathlessly angry for some hours afterwards. Kristen Scott Thomas probably saved it from oblivion but overall I was reduced to my most bleak state of needing to walk around photographing puddles, parking lots and security cameras. It was much like the good old days of staring into the Thames after years of waiting for a newt to change into a frog to change into a prince. I kissed him so many times but nothing. Still he's forgiven. He's probably someone else's prince, or maybe it just wasn't Spring, who knows? But its false that Only God Forgives.
Anyway, its good to be reminded of the past sometimes because it reminds you of how you aren't there any more and how much better things are. It's always better - now. So whilst taking a few days off painting those paintings (below) I did some free art and expressed myself the best way I know how - with collage and scribbles.
The past doesn't go away, you don't stop caring or remembering (well I don't) but it does gather perspective as it recedes. The hooks get weaker and your mind gets clearer and the part of you that learned a lesson gets calmer and more confident.
Some things never become the past and those are the best.
Dear Blog reader, yes you. I just popped in to say sorry I haven't posted in a few weeks but I've been awfully busy aiming my muse at a much bigger canvas.
Although I am an artist, and I do draw for food, or find pictures or paint them or whatever I turn my hand to, it may be less well known that I also paint houses. Painting houses brings a special sort of satisfaction. Imagine if you will drawing a cartoon is much like creating a room, in which things happen, people live and speak and the story moves on. Well painting a house is like painting a panel in which the characters are real. The mood of your panel affects the mood of the characters and that is why it is such a special form of art, for me.
So just lately I've been preparing to decorate a very large detached house that was built in 1969 and probably not decorated much since then. It's a massive job with a thousand details and a lot of physical work. And so when I am not planning and sketching layouts and thinking of colours and light and scraping to get those miles of wood chip wallpaper off the walls I am trying to eat enough and sleep enough to keep going.
So no sketches for now.
But when I've done a certain amount on this house, I should have more time to draw and paint that I've had in the last few years. It's really quite a special year 2018 so far. I hope it is being as good to you.
If you are interested you can look at my decorating site over at rt-interiors.com and see some of the other places I've painted.
This is the result of more work and experimentation with wax. I recently repaired an old medical cabinet that belonged to my grandfather which had in it a metal tool for packing fillings (very tiny spatula) which turned out to be perfect for creating the fine lines you see in this partly abstract partly illustrative little picture. The colour is made by stirring pigment powders into the warm wax this time so I was properly painting with the medium which is a step forward, as is the clarity of detail I was able to achieve with this new tool.
I might have already mentioned but all this work was inspired by my finding these 3000 year old portraits which were painted in wax and look so fresh and new today that it's hard to believe they are that old…
The picture's composition is a development of one of the pages from the album I made with collage and oil pastel last year.. I might take the same starting point a step further with more colour when I get round to focusing on my work! The circles on the left emanate from a little person wearing a crown but I am not sure if that is visible without me pointing it out. It doesn't matter too much, it's really the process of learning that counts and stays with you.
Just a little note to say that part three of The Streatham Quartet is now available for your insect friends to catch up on if they are so inclined.
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