Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Less Fatigued

Woke up early, not by choice. Had to answer an urgent text from a place I have been temping at. They, sadly were desperate for someone to cover today, but I was too tired to do the shift and needed to spend the day working on finishing things off in preparation for getting to work on the finished piece for my college project. I needed to clear the decks have a proper tidy and learn how to finish things properly. Yeah, right!

I promptly fell back to sleep after answering the text so all that extra time got wasted, but I do feel less tired and somewhat refreshed from the extra sleep, even though my back still isn't improving as quickly as i would like, but at least I am down to just taking pain relief in the morning and not needing it for the whole day. Good sign of definite improvement.

So far today I have made 2 cushion covers. Won't post pics as these are gifts and I don't want to spoilt surprises. I will be making another 3 soon, but I'm just having a brain break. I'm feeling rather creative today, I've tidied my studio and feel fresh and energetic ready to make more things for friends, and for sale to strangers, or people I barely know. It feels good to make stuff and sell it for a small profit. I feel like I am really making something worthwhile. The small pleasures people get for things I make gives me a glow inside that cannot be replaced with a salary from a boss who barely knows your name and bills all up to date. Don't get me wrong, I like to get the bills paid, I just don't like the soul destroying day job life. Too little time for anything else.

When i am working in my studio I listen to the radio, usually radio 1, but today R6. The news is on at the moment and the first bits were about death. When will bad news come to an end? I find it so difficult when I am feeling this vulnerable to cope with bad news and often just switch off.

I think Josh is now home, so I'd better go and wash the dishes and make toad in the hole for tea. With creamy mashed potatoes and steamed curly kale.

Oh and I've been writing my good recipes down, so eventually some of them will find their way onto here I'm almost certain.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post Christmas fatigue

I'm tired, I worked all day yesterday, not physically tiring, but emotionally, intellectually and socially. today I made a Christmas present in about 15 minutes flat, with Josh's help. He stuffed the draught excluder that i made from some fluffy cow fabric I had in a drawer. A joint effort of a Christmas present. That was fun. It's the first present we've made together. It may be the last, he is a less than enthusiastic helper when it comes to things like that.

Went to my friend Janet's for Boxing Day lunch, which was, as ever, superb. Janet is a wonderful cook, who has the knack of producing very simple food which is harder than it sounds. I always enjoy food there. Me and josh left after a couple of hours because Janet was very tired. By the time we got home I realised that I too was very tired. Working for a day makes me so tired I need a day's rest to get over it, but when I am in my studio for days on end I don't feel the same level of fatigue. Why is that?

I've been making and creating a lot of the past few days, trying to make things for everyone I know and love for Christmas. Not got everything done, but everyone will have something home made and completely personal for the season, be they Christmas celebrants or solstice worshippers. No matter, I love you all.

I think I will stop with the soppy telling every one that I love them, someone always feels uncomfortable with it. Usually me.

There is little point to this post today, mostly because of my tiredness, and backache, which isn't resolving in the way it normally does. I think i seriously pulled a muscle in my back and Helen is not here now to fix it with her magic hands, and I'm pretty sure she won't travel from Aus to fix it for me, much as she loves me.

This Christmas has been tiring for a lot of reasons.

Not got a job and doing whatever work comes along to make ends meet.

Worrying about whether I can pay my bills and college fees next year.

Missing Sapphire, who I lost in August this year.

Missing Helen and Leo who moved to Australia in the summer and I'm wondering if I'll ever see them again because its such a long way away and so expensive to get to, but maybe the universe will smile on me.

Still missing my mum. Three years on. Will that ever change?

Worrying about my friend Debbie, who will be in hospital for a while, wanting her to be well and knowing that there simply is not enough time to say how much she means to me as a friend in all the ways I'd love to say and feeling impotent about her illness. I wish, I wish, I wish I could fix her. And her I know the universe cannot grant this wish. Bugger.

Time got away from me and I've no idea where it went. it's always the same.

Wondering where that cup of tea is that Josh is meant to be making.

My usual preoccupations and obsessions, Face book, Twitter, new books, unfinished projects and new techniques with fabric.

I'm wondering whee I'm going with this post, and I've just realised, I'm too tired to make sense, so i abdicate all responsibility for the nonsense posting that is coming and I'll just carry on with this stream of barely consciousness.

One thing I want to say is to wish everyone a great new year and that all of their wishes wants and needs come true, go to the doctors if you are worried about anything, don't put it off. Give your children a hug and tell them you love them, they are beautiful and wonderful and you are proud of them. Take the dog out for a walk, stroke the cat, phone your Granny, commit a random act of kindness and eat a big fat cake all to yourself at least once this year, but make sure you eat your veggies too.

I'm off to bed soon I think.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Last minute Christmas

I'm not one for buying presents, being very poverty stricken and a complete tight wad, so I make them. But I've had a busy year. So I'm kind of doing the presents today. All day today. On Christmas Eve. All day on Christmas Eve. And i have to go to bed very early today because I'm working all day tomorrow. Maybe I should've planned better.

To all who get their presents after Xmas, sorry about the delay, but I am a born procrastinator and had loads of other stuff to get done and time just gets away from me. I'll be better organised next year, promise. OK you got me I promised this last year, but honestly I mean it this time.

So for those who know and love me, and you have to love me if you know me, if you don't get your pressie for crimbo, it is in the making and you will get it before next Christmas.

Love you all.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009


When I started blogging it was just somewhere for me to vent how I was feeling about things and wasn't intended to be a public thing. But hen something strange started to happen, and people started to follow me. Firstly my friends, and now I have followers who I don't know personally. This was initially very strange for me, but now I really like the idea that people may actually find my ravings entertaining.

To those who read and follow me, welcome, pull up a chair, the kettle is on, and the cake will be out of the oven in about 5 minutes. Leave a comment when you visit and I'll almost certainly respond to it, I love to chat.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jumping on the bandwagon.

So here we are again, nearly at Christmas, and no money, no presents, and a pappy number 1 single. Except, hang on, could it be????? RATM at number 1. What the xfactor didn't take the number 1 single? I'm not dreaming, it isn't a hallucination. Rage against the machine is number 1.


I cannot express the joy and excitement I feel for the first time in years I am actually excited by the music scene. I am happy about the number 1 single and surprised by the outcome.

Of course it still leaves the prospect of a totally skint Christmas and no presents. Ideas anyone?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Late Night Creativity

I made a handbag.

I've never done anything like this before.

I'm supposed o be making books, or sleeping.

So now I have to decide if it is a Christmas present or if I should keep it for myself, which is tempting, or sell it.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

What am I like 5

Had a really good week, rediscovering the joy of dry point etching. In learning lots of different, exciting, intricate and complex methods of producing a printable plate, I forgot about the first technique I learned.

A light touch is needed, but heavy lines have a strong value and areas can be scored out completely to have blackness like no other plate can give. Things can be stuck on top to give texture, and textures from all kinds of materials can be impressed into the dry point board to create effects and textures not seen in other plates.

Here are a few of the plates and prints I have succeeded with, from the very beginning.

This was part of my self portrait project from last year. I only printed this twice, as we were looking at lots of different techniques and needed to move onto the next fairly quickly.

I love the cross hatching and the sparseness of the line.

This was part of the cutlery project that nearly sent me insane, but I like the colours I used on this print and the clarity of the lines. It was a very simple print which worked really well. Then we didn't do any more dry points, moving on to etching and collagraphs, which were OK but have to be worked at to produce a good print.

This is the first plate for the new project, What Am I Like? I started this at home as I only have facilities to produce dry point and collagraphs at home, and don't have access to etching equipment here. I will do next year though. I love the quirky perspective and the deep dark blacks.

This is really not my usual style or subject matter, preferring the darker scarier dead kind of subjects. But it's one of my cats, Thunder, taken from some sketches I had done for the new project. I love the lightness of the lines and the way that using dry point I can vary the strength of the lines without too much effort.

This is the plate for the as the print is still drying. My dog, Gaspode. He of the squidgy face and the desperate need for love and attention.

The rest of these are as yet unprinted, and vary in size from A4 size down to about 3 inch squares. When I have prints from these I'll post them with the next update.

This one is Gaia, she of the yip yip yippee and the anteater tongue.

This is the Chaos monster and I don't think I need to describe a cat with that name!

Mantelpiece details

Floor details

More mantelpiece details.

Sorry that this is such an image heavy post. But I just really enjoy playing with dry point at the moment and I wanted to share, I'm nice like that.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Unmitigated disasters 3

Well, strictly speaking tonight wasn't a disaster. Verdon Street Rec centre was open, had a real member of staff there, who stayed the whole time, the kitchen was open, I had a model and there was heat.

None of the annoying little twerps from last week even attempted to get into the building, but they were playing coin toss outside, and were too afraid once they realised who I was to actually do anything. One or two comments about the fat nuddie woman and things like that as I walked past them. Ok so if you're scared of me naked, be really afraid when I'm dressed!

The model turned up, well prepared and looking wonderful and beautiful to behold.

Only 2 people turned up to draw, but on the upside the wonderful Aislinn didn't charge me the rent, I think she felt a bit sorry for me, only having 2 people in the class with me. I don't mind because the 2 who turned up were 2 of the people who came last time, so good news all round. It can't get any worse. My natural optimism says, next year, all being well, if we can keep the oiks away, we may well get more people coming to life drawing at Verdon Street.

Fingers crossed.

Toes crossed.

Touch wood.

And whatever else you can think of to bring good luck.

I'm giving it 3 months to such the money out of my wallet, and if it isn't breaking even by then I'm calling it a day.

So what I want to know now is, what's your excuse for not coming? It better be really good.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nights out.

Last night I had a fantastic night out with my ex colleagues from a well known Northern hospital. Laughed until a bit of wee came out and drank myself into a hangover this morning.

The best part of the night was everyone who came in fancy dress, as is the tradition for a Christmas night out.

Love you all for making the supreme sacrifice of dignity and professional conduct in the name of a damned good laugh and a dance to all the disco classics!

Can't wait til next year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What am I like 4

Had quite a good day today, and yesterday, and even a bit the day before.

Wednesday I had a good day in printing, completing a very nice kooky dry point etching. Then I went to the base room in the afternoon and started a stitch sample for my sketchbook. Later on I watched my son, the beautiful boy with the wonky nose, boxing for a small amateur trophy. He won and I am immensely proud of him.

Thursday I did all of my invoicing up to the Christmas break, so hopefully I will have some cash for presents for the above mentioned wonderful son. I also went to the pub and socialised with actual people, something I've not done for a while.

Today, Friday, I spent the morning creating another dry point etching and printing if off twice, then used a copy of the print from weds to create some textiles for presents for friends for Christmas. I also managed to get paid for the shift I did at the hospital last weekend. I came home, washed the pots, cooked dinner and a damned good pudding (rhubarb crumble and custard) and I am feeling generally very good about life at the moment.

In all although I am incredibly busy, somewhat poorer than the church mouse of the poorest church, I realised today that I am happier than I have been in a very long time. I am chilled, fairly stress free and looking forward to Christmas with the kind of zest I had as a child. Who knew that poverty could change your world for the better?

There is no deep meaning to this post by the way, but I have regained my sense of humour, my energy levels are increasing and I think I may actually be feeling human again. I feel alive, fresh and full of ideas that I actually have time to play with. I should have quit my job years ago.

Here is the print of the dry point I did on Wednesday. I like the crooked perspective. It amuses me. Hope it amuses you too.

The other two pictures are of a stitch sample trying out different stitches for the finished work and the other is a sample of drawing with stitch and leaving lots of ends hanging to create an effect of messiness and clutter.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Josh Dexter - Winner!

Here are the videos for Josh's fight last night.

I am so proud.

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

The Proud Mother

When Josh started boxing I was unsure I wanted my beautiful, lovely, angry, mixed up boy doing something so violent, but you know what? It has been the making of him. He is physically and mentally fitter than he was 2 years ago, he is focused, motivated, hard working and polite (mostly - he is after all only 18!) He respects the people around him and helps with the shopping and the household chores.

His nose is a different shape to what it was a year ago, but in all it's a small change that, in general is a small price to pay for all the positive changes in him.

I'm trying to upload his fight to you tube, but as we know you tube sucks and I may need to get Josh to upload it to his account so that I can post it.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Unmitigated disasters 2

Not really but it follows on from previous thread.

I went to the Verdon Rec centre and spoke to the co-ordinator, who was annoyed that the woman employed by the centre to open, supervise and close the centre had let me down so royally. She let me off the rent (phew) and we agreed to give it four sessions to see if we can get it going and keep the oiky kids out unless they are going to pay and join in properly.

Thanks to everyone for the messages of support and the hugs both real and electronic. I'm starting to regain my sense of humour, which is partly down to having blogged about the catalogue of disasters yesterday, re-reading it and realising how funny it actually was.

By the way this is the face that kept peering through the doors at us last night. Really. It was just like this.

Anyway, I'm going in the bath now and off to bed, college tomorrow and I have fines to pay for my books, and I then have to go out tomorrow night and watch my gorgeous lovely son boxing and hopefully winning. I prefer it when he wins, he's in a better mood afterwards.

Unmitigated disasters

Tonight was the first (and possibly last) life drawing class organised by me at the Verdon Recreation Centre.

To say it was a total disaster is to play down how dreadful the whole experience was.

Only 4 people turned up. My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to those who did.

The heating wasn't on.

The woman who opened the centre didn't turn up until about 5 mins before the class was due to start.

There was a large group of unexpected, unsupervised pubescent boys who had never and I mean NEVER seen a naked woman.

The kitchen was locked, the adjoining doors were open.

So the evening went something like this:

I arrived, early, had to wait for ages to be let into the building, which was warm but not toasty.

A whole bunch of teenagers arrived and started running around the place.

I roped them into helping me set up.

The woman with the keys allowed these teenagers to stay in the building even though there were no supervised activities for them to do.

One person turned up.

Another person turned up.

Two more people turned up.

It was now 6.35, and I was starting 5 minutes late.

I got naked and stood in the first of 4 five minute poses.

1 minute into the pose a small teenager put his head round the door, his eyes popped out of his head and he closed the door.

Immediately he open the door again and stood staring at my naked.

I turned into a fish wife and shouted at them to go away, put my dressing gown on and chased them out of the room. They were allowed to stay in the building by the woman who opened up.

I resumed my pose, they broke into the kitchen and opened the serving hatch to the room we were in and half a dozen pubescent males faces leered through the hatch. I shouted again, like a fish wife, and the hatch was closed, the kitchen locked and the teenagers removed from the building.

2nd pose, the teenagers got back into the building and proceeded to come through the main door and the adjoining door to the gym, which was supposed to be locked. All were laughing and staring, pointing and generally reacting as all teenage boys who have never seen naked people will behave. I shouted again, and the members of the life class shooed them away.

Finally they were ushered out of the building and the doors locked. The kitchen was also locked and the heating seemed to go off.

The first half of the session finished without further incident. Break for a cup of tea.

The kitchen was locked, no cup of tea. The room is starting to feel cooler.

I apologise profusely for the interruptions and the disturbances, as well as the lack of tea.

We start the 2nd half of the session, 30 minute pose. Goes without a hitch but by now I am feeling the cold.

5 minutes into the 2nd 30 minute pose I am shivering, my feet are like blocks of ice and I'm feeling very uncomfortable.

I am forced to give up, apologising again for the inconvenience, and, much to my surprise and shame, everybody pays their £5.

After cleaning up and putting the chairs away I have a word with the woman who has opened the centre and explain that the occurrences are unacceptable, that I won't be paying the rent tonight, but will be seeing the centre manager the next day to discuss what happened as I am very unhappy.

So what do you think? Disaster or total calamity, and should I bother trying to run the class at the Verdon Rec Centre again?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

What am I like 3

I seem to blog more when I am in the middle of a struggle with my work. Why is that? Anyway, I have really been struggling with my living room, and sketching it. I can't seen to get the horizontals right, but I will bear with it because eventually I know I will get it and it will be brilliant.

Today I have been sketching the cats after having moderate success with the dogs last night.

Here's what I've managed so far.

Of course the problem with two cats who really really REALLY hate each other is getting them to stay still and not move qabout or start fighting when I want to draw them. I'm happy with these sketches as they were all 1 or 2 minute sketches and generally they look like cats!

I'm going to have another go with the dogs later and then try the fireplace a few more times. I may have to resort to using the tried and tested photographic method. That usually works well for me as I can get the proportions right a lot earlier in the process.

I'm going to get back to it now and hope I have something worthwhile to show later.

Friday, December 04, 2009


Right, let me just say this. I like people, I find them interesting. I like children, they are the only original thinkers on this planet. Poetry and photography have their places in my life as does literature, belief and baking.

Why is it then, that whenever I have a wander through the next blog button on my blog looking for some-one interesting to add to my blog list all I ever seem to get are people obsessed with their (to be honest) really quite dull offspring, or banging on about their belief in the "one true God", haiku's they have written but for some bizarre (yeah really?) reason can't get published, turgid poetry and truly dull book reviews. Yawn!

So here I am on my really quite dull blog asking if anyone knows of any interesting blogs worth following. Please? Thanks. XX

What am I like? 2

Finally made a start on the drawing, I just have to get over this blank paper block that I have. It doesn't matter how good my drawings are, repeated work on the same image improves the drawings at each stage, I get it, but I still have that psychological blockage. I will get over it, I will.

So here is what I've started with.

I am also working on a sample of stitched marks to see what will work best for the finished piece. I'll upload an image of that when it's done.

I spent a couple of hours doing this sketch last night, and will be working on this view more, with charcoal later and probably some inks later to get a good practice of the scene before I start adding other aspects into it. The whole thing will be full of parts of me, including dogs and cats, so I need to start drawing them again.

I feel quite fearful with this project, because even though it isn't a live project, it is based on a competition brief and I haven't yet had the guts to look at entering a competition. I will be doing it next year thought, even though really I'm not an illustrator. I do like to have some narrative in my work, so maybe that could be a way for me to go.

Anyway, let me know what you think. I need feedback.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

What am I like? 1

New project brief, based on a Victorian parlour game.

Basically you construct a self portrait with the things you like, obsess about and love. The things, living or inanimate you surround yourself with that become a part of your personality and identity. Easy then..........

Trouble is, it's an illustration project. I'm not really an illustrator, but there are some I really like and think are fantastic artists. How do I not copy their styles? Not sure.

First thoughts are that I maintain my relationship with stitch, as I like to work in textiles and stitch and it is supposed to be about me. Oh its all about me! Me, me, me, me!!!!!!!!............. And I'm back in the room.

Many and various are the things that make me, me. Cats, dogs, snakes, tattoos, mess, clutter, tv, music, food, fire, computers, art, people living and dead, anxiety, money, work, more food! tea. Cups and cups of tea, sci-fi, words, scars, pain, addictions, past and present. My son, my abortion, my mental health, my weight, my disappointments, my alleged family. Oh bloody bugger this is not going to be easy.

I think the best thing to do is just plunge in and go for it. I have ideas, but not sure I am a good enough artist to pull them off. But what the hell, I'll go for it! Yes I can! Ooh, I'm the little (big!) engine who could. Yes I can, yes I can, yes I can!

What I have so far is a sketchbook, made as usual by my own fair hand and some fabric that I have stiffened with cellulose glue to stitch into. I know the form of the work, I just need to work out the details. Off I go.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The clams, the clams, they made me mad you know.

A finished clam. Enjoy.

Got rid of the rubbish scan and uploaded a better one.

THE Book 6

I'm having trouble with my clam shells.

No, start again.

I'm having a struggle with the source material for my clam shells.

No, still wrong.

I'm totally skint and my flipping printer has run out of ink and I can't print off any decent pics of clams shall from which to work to find the right image for my altered book.





Enough whinging.

I'm actually making some good progress with what I have, but I have this stupid idea that I could do better if I had more of them, and if they were full colour, and I could work at my desk instead of in front of the computer monitor. You see my problem, I'm making excuses for not actually getting the work done.

Less of the excuses. Wanna see what I've done so far on my sketches and drawings of clam shells? Not going to do hundreds of them, but I'm looking to do a couple of larger pieces to add to the general portfolio of work for THE Book.

The raven is not proving to be as difficult, and I got a lot of books from the library with some very good photos and illustrations. I even managed to do really rather interesting prints using foam board as a printing plate. Not very sturdy, so it's rather falling to bits now. One last print run from it I think before it goes to the great press in the sky, (well OK the bin).

So here we are, some finished and nearly finished drawings and prints. Be kind, I'm delicate.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Everyone should carry a sketchbook with them, to draw impressions they get of the world around them, involve themselves in the narratives that surround us.

Aside from that I'm supposed to be an artist, interested in the human form, so I really need to be sketching people wherever I see them. To this end I always carry a sketchbook with me and at least 1 pencil and a pen. Sometimes it becomes a notebook because i forgot to bring my filofax, but mostly I am sketching in it. I'm not great, but I am improving and beginning to develop a style of my own, which is more important that accuracy, apparently.

Here's a selection from the past couple of weeks. Feel free to laugh, it's ok to laugh honest, I'm listening to Leonard Cohen, so i can cope with anything! Now where did I put the Prozac?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I love sweeties

Today I am mostly obsessing about sweeties I ate when I was a child and doing something artistically interesting with the yards of videotape I have been given with the challenge of making a hat, or a brooch, or a pterodactyl with it. If you get that film reference you deserve a sweetie. Let me know what you like and I will go to the magic sweetie shop and buy you some.

I think I may be suffering from a technology overdose, having been deprived, and I mean deprived, of the internet for 4 days. 4 DAYS. FOUR WHOLE DAYS!!!!!!!!

Calm thoughts, calm thoughts.

OK back to ( not quite approaching) normal.

Sweeties, I love 'em. I found a sweet shop in Hillsborough, which is the bit of Sheffield that thinks its quite posh, but it not really that posh 'cos it's in the North of Sheffield, and the proper posh places are what used to be Derbyshire and feel aggrieved that the boundary reshuffle in 1972 made them part of Sheffield, and in revenge they keep electing the Liberal Democrats instead of, well, a real party.

Bit of politics there.

Where was I? Oh yes, sweeties. I was, literally and figuratively a kid in a sweetie shop today. They had everything including sherbet in big jars, cherry lips, and my old faves, aniseed balls and the really hard sticks of liquorice you have to suck for a week to make it soft enough to chew. The stuff that leaves you with a brown tide mark around your mouth and chin. Numma numma numma.

As for the video tape, I'm crocheting with it. It's a bit strange to do it with, but it works and looks quite cool. Try, go on now you've got all your video collection replaced with DVD's and Blu-rays, crochet those old video tapes into beautiful items of jewellery and handy shopping bags.

I'll return to being a boring person soon, promise. This is what happens when I am cut off from technology. Let this be a warning to you all!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The canvas 10

Interesting that all the work I've put into this piece is summed up in 10 posts.

It is done, stretched on its frame and ready to be delivered to college tomorrow or Friday morning.

I am now very tired and very, very pleased with myself.

On top of completing the canvas, as yet untitled, I have also been asked to send a proposal for providing art workshops to young people at risk of offending. Dream job! I was so excited when I got the phone call I jumped up and down on the spot. Not a thing to do in public with my breasts!

Would love to say more, but need to get head into gear over the next couple of days to write business plan for life drawing and to start writing the proposal for the art workshops.

Here is the finished work, just for the hell of it.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I don't do boredom, I've got nothing to do. Well actually I do, but I'm tired and need a day off, should I take it? I did the pots, and the accounts, and I'm modelling later, then on to a meeting after.

The question is, do I now finish off the canvas, fill the sketchbook with some of the mad polystyrene prints, make fish pie and treacle tart ready for tea when I finally get home (of course this is dependant on how hungry the boy is and whether he can manage to NOT EAT MY SHARE), or do I finally start on the books and bags I have to make for stock for the imaginary craft fayres I should be going to?

What to do........what to do.....oh and no-one's playing scrabble! Why?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Life Drawing

Been having a bit of a dissatisfying time at life drawing over the past few months, feeling like I don't get there often enough and I can't focus, and then people come who I've never seen before and they are just ace at drawing and I'm a complete waste of paper. Decided to really start working at developing my skills, to which end I have decided to try using a different method of drawing than my usual.

The method I'm using is the Giacometti method, which I read about in a blog ages ago, and if I can find the link again I'll post it.

Ah, here it is.


Very useful, even though I've only used it a couple of times previously, I have had some success with it.

So today, I consciously used the Giacometti technique and it worked really well, so in future I will be more considered in the way I draw the longer poses at the life drawing class.

Here's what I did today.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The canvas 9

Finished it! Yay!

Well I say I've finished it, I've hung it on the wall to live with it a couple of days to see if it actually is finished and then I have to stretch and mount it. Plus I have all the sketchbook work to catch up on. I may also do some printing with the polystyrene plate I made yesterday. Always good to do some printing.

Plus I remembered that fun foam sheets are excellent printing media. So I may have a play with those too. Lots to play with.

Anyway here's the finished(ish) canvas. Answers on a postcard please. now!

Friday, November 13, 2009

THE Book 5

I have been making quite a bit of progress with this lately, although I've still not got all of the elements of the creation story together yet, I need a good drawing of a clam shell with legs and arms sticking out!
These are a couple of testers for the primeval gods that occur frequently in creation stories, variously vomiting, pissing, bleeding or extruding from nipples the stuff of life all over the planet. Although I quite like some of these stories, they are excessively complex and convoluted. I wanted a simple story that fitted with my own preferences and ideas.
So working from the chaos, I found a raven's eye, peering through the chaos, looking for entertainment.As he looks, the sun is formed and in the sky flies the raven, searching still for distractions. From here I am looking for an image of the raven that is both fairly natural looking, but at the same time mystical and stylised. To this end I have started to draw ravens.
Firstly I drew them from illustrations photocopied from books. Never a satisfactory way to get a good view of anything. Then I went back to the library and borrowed the books I needed. This was better because the illustrations are clearer and some are even photographs!
Then I traced over the outline of a particularly good drawing and have started to develop this image further in print.
This is the plate that came from it, using foam board of all things, which is rough and ready but meets my immediate printing needs. The plan is to explore this printing medium, with a view to using it on a smaller scale in the book. Probably using polystyrene as a printing plate, which gives a finer effect, but is still as immediate as the foam board, and both can be printed effectively without the need for intaglio inks or a press.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

OMG, I've gone insane!

So, I pack my secure job in with the NHS and don't have a job to go to. The least of my problems.

I'm running out of money and the bills are mounting up. Not a problem.

I'm getting loads of life modelling work, for which I'm paid fairly well. Great news.

I've got to register as self employed and learn how to pay my tax, national insurance and do my books myself. Oh bloody bugger, how the hell do I do that?!

So I phone tax credits up, then I phone the tax office, who will send me an info pack, send me on a seminar to do my taxes and a self assessment form will be wending it's way to me. That's the easy part.

I now have to organise a set of books, a reciept file, and invoice file and at the same time model, got to college and sell my work!

Oh yeah, because I had to think of a name for me as a trading name, I am now Sam Dexter Enterprises! OMG! I'm an enterprise! One step closer to Star Trek then!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My journey with computers

I decided I wanted a picture on the back of my blog, like other people have so I added one, with the help of a tutorial and a lost of scary writing code and I did it! I'm so proud of myself for doing it!

Do you like it? It's a photogram i did last year.

Now back to the annoying sewing which is proving to be very frustrating and I'm getting increasingly annoyed at the crap cotton that keeps snapping everytime i try to sew for more than 2 minutes at a time.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The canvas 8

Gradually working on the stitching, but the sewing threads selected for their colour and sheen to provide the best stitched effect are pants and keep snapping. Argle, very annoying.

However, sat and watched 2 episodes of the big bang theory and laughed my pants off. Series 2 is a little slow to start, but the jokes are as good as the spherical chickens in a vacuum one from series 1. Sadly, and happily living with Josh is a little like living with Sheldon only without the good jokes!

Right I've now eaten the yoghurt and will be continuing with the stitching shortly.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The canvas 7

More progress on the canvas, all the painting done and ready now for the stitching. Nervous about doing it, but I know what I want to do with it so I should be OK. At least this bit can be undone if it looks manky.I've also been making books the past couple of days, one for a present and I forgot to take a picture of it and one for an order book for me. Considering I'm starting to get people wanting me to make stuff for them, so I need to keep a record of what when and how they want their stuff making. Here's some pics of what I've done so far.
Spent the morning modelling and then food shopping after having a fab night over at my mate Angie's house for her birthday. We had a curry at the best curry house in Sheffield, the Kashmir on Spital Hill, then much wine, women and not a great deal of song at Angie's. She makes me laugh so much. Got to spend the night cuddled up to my mate Debbie.

It's funny actually 'cos when I was younger I used to stay over at friend's houses all the time and sleep in their beds, but haven't done it for years, and now suddenly I'm out overnight and spending nights cuddling my mates. It's really nice, even when they complain about my snoring. I do warn them, repeatedly. I snore like a fluey elephant. Real window rattlers. Oh well, it all adds to the fun.

Made fish stew with herring for tea, and big fluffy dumplings were also served with this culinary delight. Never used Herring before, full of bones! Nice though, it was a really nice thick and filling dinner. If anyone wants the recipe I'll post it later. Won't bore with it now.

Kinsey is on Film Four in a bit, but I think I'm too tired to watch it. Bit of an annoyance really, but I know I'll get half way through and either fall asleep or just not have any attention span.

I'm off to bed in a mo. Tired and busy day tomorrow. Got emails to send and sewing to do. Plus I may have to make a frame for my canvas.