Sunday, 29 March 2015

New house rules...

Here he is, looking like butter wouldn't melt!   His new regime began yesterday.  Out went the chicken, and me stressing if he'll eat anything at all.   Instead down went his food,  no fuss, no announcement,  of course he didn't eat it, at first,  but being hungry soon made him change his mind.  Same today,  all bowls pretty much cleared.    He's trying to play up tonight, but he is being ignored.   He's darting in and out, while I freeze,  I'm sure they said that it was going to warm up.

It was the Big Painting Challenge final, and Paul won,  I thought it would be between him and Richard.  Both did excellent work in the final, but Paul just edged it.  Hope the BBC bring it back for another series.

It was art day for me as well.  I have really challenged myself with this piece.  First I had no confidence that I would be able to draw the hare,  but I managed to,  next was having the patient to do the background.  I'm getting there slowly,  it will be worth it in the end.  I really don't want to mess it up by rushing,   I'm looking forward to doing all the fur,  think it will take me the best part of the week to complete this. 

I ditched the landscape I was doing, it wasn't good,  I can do much better.  I'll use one of my watercolour books for ideas for a landscape,  but no tracing this time round, nope, it will be drawn by me!  Also picked up a tip on Youtube, this lady was using thinner to spread the coloured pencils,  have to try that, she was also using the same brand of pencil that I do.   The Derwent pencils allow you to use water, but the Faber Castell pencils are oil based.

She's finished, at least this version is.  There is a number two, which I am taking my time with.  But I picked up a flesh coloured pencil yesterday, it helped blend the other colours on her face nicely.   I'll have to get some really good quality paper at some point and see what difference it makes. 

This was one of the challenges in the Leisure Artist mag,  I will challenge myself to do a couple more.   Talking of the magazine and BPC,  there was another of the contestants interviewed, the poor chap that got voted off first.   It was nice to see his work, and that he'd had a positive experience on the show, plus he'd learned a great deal.  I hope they continue to feature the contestants, it's been interesting to learn more about them, and see their art. 

The lighthouse, finished!   I'd forgotten to complete the wall.  In the tutorial there had been a big tree, but I didn't want to do that, so I extended the wall.

The final tonight was from Dartmouth,  they had to capture the essence of the naval college, the draw the cadets marching, finally they had to do a seascape.  I felt sorry for the youngest contestant, she looked overwhelmed,  she didn't produce anything that would see her as the winner.   Nerves clearly got the better of her,  in the final piece she didn't even complete the painting,  she faffed about too much on one part of the painting.   I wonder if she actually stopped herself from winning,  was it all too daunting?  She is very young, and still learning, and like me, she hasn't found her 'voice', she will as she is really very talented.

Harvey is now in for the night,  and moaning about his food, well he can moan.   I've never known a cat to be so darned fussy,   I don't think he ever had any sort of regimen at his old home.   It will take me a few weeks,  but I am determined to change things so he is a much happier cat.

And it is East this week, how did that happen?   Seems to have come round really fast.   I'll be meeting up with my God-daughter this weekend, something to look forward to.   Enjoy your week.

Friday, 27 March 2015

A cat sandwich

Here he is, looking so innocent and cute, the bane of my life!    Yesterday he decided to turn his nose up at the chicken...   so I hand fed him the chicken, and he ate the lot!   Yes, go figure.  There is nothing wrong with him,  he is just being an exceptionally fussy cat.   Each night I've left him a bowl of either chicken or fish,  in the morning the bowl is licked clean.  He still wolfs down his treats.   But not sure I can take much more of his fussiness. 

Fortunately I have my art,  this I did over a couple of days.  It is my first attempt at a seascape in pencil.  Quite happy with the sky,  it took much faffing,  and thank goodness for the stubby blender.  I was a bit concerned about getting the sea right,  but think it turned out okay,  didn't attempt any white waves,  that is for another day.  The rocks need a bit more work I think,  which is the beauty of working with a pencil, easy to go back and change stuff. 

Got a new book,  it was a bit of comfort buying after Tuesday,  just needed a pick me up.   It is called Sketch365, and is very good, full of useful stuff for us artists.  I've already started sketching stuff around the house, and finally realising that it doesn't have to be perfect.   Not sure I'm brave enough yet to venture out to do any sketching. 

The final of the Big Painting Challenge is on Sunday,   can't wait, it has been a lovely programme so I hope they've recommissioned it.   It has also been very inspirational,  wish there had been more programmes, never mind wasting good money on that stupid Top Gear.  And I was glad that Clarkson got his comeuppance,  at least the BBC showed that no-one is above the law. 

Now trying my hand at a colour landscape with pencils,  it's a tutorial,  but very useful in learning how to plan a drawing.  I may try some of the pictures in my watercolour books,  done one already, so may go for the boats... 

Right, all from me for tonight.   Harvey's gone off in a huff...  

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Not a day to remember...

The day I've not been looking forward to,  it is the anniversary of my mum's death.  The pain is just as keen today as it was two years ago.   I wasn't sure where I wanted to be today,  anywhere and nowhere,   the weather was also against me this morning, we had really heavy showers.   In the end I just did some essential shopping, and came home.  Just wasn't in the mood to be around people. 

At least the drawing was more successful today.  I used my pencil to measure,  as taught to me on my painting course.  Then I sat and did the head portrait I had tried yesterday and got so wrong.  I'd already warmed up by sketching the large unit in the living room,  it was mum's pride and joy, and cost a lot of money.  I feel ready to move on to sketch real objects, rather than just work from photos.  

I do want my portraits to be in colour, hence I focused on this skin tones study as well.  Not bad, well I think so, for a first effort.  My practise of lips is paying off,  I also sketched a few noses!  

I also reminded myself to draw what I was seeing, not what I thought I was seeing.  That is one of my faults, and it is a habit I have to break.  

A habit Harvey has to break is being so bloody picky over his food.   I didn't need his fussiness today,   in the morning he was fine, polished off a bowlful of chicken with no problem, then had some fish at lunchtime.  The pickiness started this evening,  then nothing suited him.  So I've taken it all away except for his water.   He was trying to get round me, but he's given up and gone to sleep.  

I'm just glad this day is nearly over,   mother's day is also out of the way.  

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Spring has sprung!

Here he is, the villain of the piece!   He's now stuffed with chicken,  and looking very content.   Today he was tucked away in the airing cupboard,  so missing out on all the sunshine.   He emerged late afternoon and then chose my bed as his next sleepy spot. 

Just watched The Big Painting challenge, and they were in Liverpool, nice to see my city portrayed in a positive light.   Not so sure about the skyline anymore,  it used to be beautiful,  now there are some horrible modern buildings plonked in any old place.  The artists did well, having to first 'capture' the city,  it was their view point, some worked, some didn't, the next was a quick sketch of the Liver birds, then a cityscape.  It is the final next week, have a feeling I know who'll win. 

My challenge was to choose from four photos,  so I went for this chap, he has two things I don't like drawing: a beard and teeth.   I really need to work on my portrait technique,  I think tomorrow I'll devote some time to it and see if I can improve.   I end up with something presentable, but the start is a mess, too much of a mess I think.  Maybe I'm trying too hard.  I'm up to the portrait section of my 'how to use coloured pencils' book,  so I'm in for a challenging week.  

Also want to move onto pictures,  watching tonight's BP show made me realise that I'm not composing any pictures.  Time to do something about that, I think I may just go to town and do some sketches, and take photos. 

This went wrong, I didn't build up the colour properly,  I got a little impatient.  But it was a useful lesson. The white bits are supposed to be water drops,  and they look nothing like them.  The green I used is too light,  needs to be much darker.  

The BP challenge has been fascinating,  all the artists have been very individual in their style.   The youngest has yet to find her style, but I don't think she is that far away.   One lady used very vivid colours,   her background would be something like cadium red,  which would have scared me to death, yet she made it work. Sadly she was let down by her drawing skills,  in fact that seemed to be the main criticism from the experts.  That is partly why I have been focusing on my drawing skills,  I feel they are essential.  Also none seem to understand perspective,  which I thought would have been a basic.  Aside from that they are all very good,  I don't like everyone's work, but I can admire it. 

Looking forward to having a shower tomorrow, and putting some dye on my hair.  My mum had beautiful white hair,   and my aunt's hair was that lovely silver, what do I get - neither one thing or the other!   The natural look isn't for me,  just makes me look washed out. 

Many thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave comments.  Have a good week.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The eclipse

Well did you see it - the eclipse?    When I woke up it was clear and sunny,   and hour later the clouds began to roll in.   But I got lucky and there were a few breaks in the clouds so I managed to get a few pics,  which I wouldn't have done had it stayed sunny.    I've now seen about 3 eclipses,  the first was when I was in the infants,  I do remember that clearly as we were all taken out of class and given special glasses.    And I remember the 1999 eclipse,  I was at work,  but we were keeping an eye on the BBC website,  at the appointed hour we all went outside,  it was quite eerie, the birds began to roost and it went dark.  Yesterday Harvey went bonkers as the eclipse started,  no idea why,  then again he does this quite a lot.

I also got the smiley photo!    I only had my small lumix, so even on full zoom the pics aren't very big, but they're not bad. 

Harvey is eating,  I cooked him some chicken on Thursday and he wolfed it down.  So I got some frozen pieces from Iceland,  and cooked another piece yesterday with the same result.   He's also got some fish,  so he is at least eating something.   I can't blame him for not being keen on the cat food stuff, it isn't real fish,  just made to taste like it.   The pack of chicken fillets only cost £3, far cheaper than the cat food,  in fact a lot cheaper since I was chucking most of the cat food away.   I poached a few pieces today,  so as to keep it moist.  

No arty pics, in the middle of finishing two coloured pictures.   It hasn't been a good art day really,  oen portrait went badly wrong.  I've not done any portraits for a week or so,  I practised for a while and the knack came back.   Today was my lazy day,  my joints have all been aching like mad, my knees especially,  and my back, so thought I'd just take it easy.   On a happy note the shower is working again!   I decided to have one last go at fixing it,  I'd wired it up wrongly,  so with fingers mentally crossed I put the wires in the right places and switched it on - eureka,  it worked!    Very happy,  having a bath is nice, but not very easy for me,  and very awkward for washing my hair.  So glad to have that back.   Now have to find a new suite,  it can't be expensive, and has to be cat proof! 

All for today, back tomorrow with some art pics, I hope. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Some you win and some you lose...

Well on Monday I really did feel like throwing in the towel.  I saw my GP, got told I have cervical spondylosis,  she prescribed some stuff to help with the numbness etc.  I hadn't intended to go out, but I did, mistake...     got prescription,  then to Home and Bargain for a few essentials,  then decided to get Harvey a new bowl and litter tray.   Got back into car,  and, phut...   nothing, nada, zilch...  :(   Not amused.  Walked through to garage, which was in the next street, had to wait for cheif mechanic to return.  So froze for an hour,  which set off the Raynauds,  eventually car was rescued and towed back to garage. I hoped it would be something simple and cheap.  Nope,  the alternator had developed a fault, fortunately they repaired it,  phew,  new alternator would have cost all four limbs!    Car back with me...  meantime have to make umpteen phone calls to DWP about change in status.   

Even this drawing went wrong, the towel was fine,  but this blue vase is well, yuck.  Wrong dimensions for a start,  and not enough shine.   But hey, we learn from mistakes, right?  I knew what I'd got wrong with this,  reflections are all over the place for start,  but I was copying from a picture, which I thought would be okay.  Obviously it wasn't,  though if I'd concentrated on my light source then it would have been okay.   See I am still forgetting the light source!   But I did pay attention to the vase, so some you lose and some you win... one day I'll remember to remember it all.  I persevered with it,  but really wasn't happy with the result. So,  off to find a vase,  all of mine are glass, needed a coloured one, eureka, the one in the hall, perfick!

Yup, much better.  Real vase, real light source,  and not bad with the drawing either.  Next trick was to be patient and build up the shine.  It does take a while,  and use of lots of greens,  light, dark, inbetween...  felt much better with this effort.  It is also my first proper still life, didn't want to chance putting too many objects in it,  but it made me realise that I can actually draw, just need to trust myself more. 

Then yesterday I picked up the Art Therapy magazine,  a colouring book for us grown ups.  It is such fun,  and so relaxing, high time someone did it.  Today I went to buy a couple of tops,  nothing in M&S outlet,   popped into Bon Marche and found a nice poplin shirt and vest,  very fresh looking.   What I really wanted was a lint roller, but could I find one, nope.   Have cat, so need something to remove all the fur from clothes.  Talking of Harvey,  I cooked him some chicken, yes you read that right.  Funny though,  I put it down in the usual place and he wasn't interested, so I tossed him a few pieces which he gobbled up.  So put his bowl somewhere else and he made short work of the chicken.   I'd managed to tempt him to eat his own food by drenching it with biscuits. 

Hoping to see the solar eclipse tomorrow,  I saw my first when I was in primary school.  I remember being taken outside and given some special glasses.  Then there was the on in 1999,  it is quite eerie when the sun gets covered by the moon, the birds think it is night so stop singing. 

Well allfor now...  

Friday, 13 March 2015

The sound of silence

The sound of silence!   More on that in a mo.  In the meantime the drawing I was trying to do yesterday - a native American, which was the challenge.   I've somehow managed to do a younger version of him!   Think I also stretched the photo, so his face is longer.  The plaits drove me nuts till I revisisted a youtube tutorial on how to draw them,  phew.

Now working on a baby meerkat, and the colour drawing of the elderly lady,  only I've started that from scratch so I can make good use of the new skin tone pencils.   I think the second sketch is better than the first.

Didn't get much done on Wednesday because of the blokes drilling endless holes in the walls for the cavity wall insulation.  Harvey naturally disappeared at the sound of the ladders going up. 

Today it was back to the book,  and colouring an apple.  On the page it didn't look like anything,  now it looks pretty good.  Just need a really deep red. 

Oh lucky me!  The Big Painting Challenge  programme has brought out a book, I spotted it in Hobbycraft, but it was £20,  so I decided it would have to wait.  Then tonight I cheked out Amazon and, they have it for £10!  So it is on its way to me - yippee!    It had lots of tips and hints, plus step by step stuff,  my birthday present to me.  Well one of them,  got a few pencils today and thought I might pop to the art shop in town tomorrow.   Need a cheer up, not lookng forward to Mothers Day,  thought it was supposed to get easier?   For me it feels worse now than when she died.

My other nightmare is the roundabout near my home,  it worked fine,  there were a few hold ups at rush hour,  but you expect that.   Now they've gone and ripped it up,  no-one has any idea what they've done, or what it will look like when its finished.  There is now a road going right through it, of course that means traffic lights, so we go from a free flowing roundabout to numerous sets of bloody traffic lights - genius!  Then there are the 20 mph zones,  not just in the obvious places, like residential roads, but everywhere!    Today they'd put the signs up on an industrial estate - why?    What have they got against motorists?   They never improve the roads, just make them worse.

That's all for now, tomorrow's exercise is more fruit, a pear, then two apples and a pumpkin!   Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

A spot of beachcombing...

She sells sea shells on the sea shore...   Yup, that is where I was this sunny day.   Couldn't resist the thought of going down to the beach.   It was a bit cold down on the beach,  I was glad I'd remembered my scarf and gloves,   it was okay down on the beach, as opposed to up on the path, and the sun was warm.   I picked up lots of shells along the way,  my pockets were full!  I've never managed to find so many complete shells, especially the spiral ones, no idea what they are called.   The sea was very choppy,  lots of white horses galloping towards the beach,  it was lovely.

Then it was home for lunch,  fish for Harvey,  cheese on toast for me.  While Harvey went for a walk I got out my pencils and my new book, so much to learn.  So started at the beginning, a sphere, but had to use the coloured pencils to shade it,  quite different from using an ordinary pencil, and a challenge for me.  I'm using some very smooth paper,   it isn't ideal,  but want to keep all the exercises in one sketch book.  The shadow is rubbish,  the shading isn't too bad.   I used a compass to make the sphere,  no it isn't cheating,  the book said to draw round something.    Really not happy with the paper...   take two will be on my usual pad.

Ignore the wonky top,  a couple of months ago I wouldn't even have attempted to draw this.   Again another excercise in shading.  I was lucky in that my new pencils arrived!  They're skin tones,  ideal for this,   lovely chunky pencils.  I sensibly bought the right sharpener for them,  and relieved to discover that it also sharpens the spectrum noir pencils.    I stuck with the skin tones on this, starting with a base of white, then cream,  and slowly buidling up the shades, plus trying to remember the light source.   I know indicate it on the paper,  cos I am bound to forget.

This is unfinished as the light was fading.  But I drew this freehand,  amazed at myself!    As you can see it needs lots of work, and the paper isn't helping me at all.  I am sticking with the skin tones for this,   in the book the artist is using prisma pencils,   not yet found them in the UK.  I noticed on the Big Painting Challenge that they were using Derwent coloured pencils,  I've got a set,  and they are nice to use.  

I think I'm developing Raynauds disease.   The last few times I've been out in the cold, and in spite of wearing gloves my fingers are going numb,  today it was very bad,  as they warmed up in the car the pins and needles started,  boy was that painful!   I have a problem though,  I can stuff my right hand in my coat pocket,  but not the left as I have to use my crutch, so the left hand is really bad at times.   It seems as I get another year older, another bit of me goes wrong.  But on the upside the jeans felt a little looser,  my healthier eating plan is working.   I don't overeat,  it is just that I can't exercise like I used to,  I was also getting my portion sizes wrong.  I've got much better at cooking for one now,  fortunately I love vegetables,  the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned.   I think also switching to the Quorn has helped. 

Harvey is being marginally less picky with his food.  Last night I cooked some fish and he came running into the kitchen, he couldn't wait to eat it.  Seems he doesn't like the cod,  only the white fish, typical!  In fact he's a bit like Mufti, she'd only eat coley,  if she got cod she didn't like it.   I was happy that he was eating,  at least he went to bed with a full tum.   He did have an awful afternoon, the men came to do the cavity wall insulation,  the moment he heard the ladders he went into the airing cupboard to hide.  The flat will be like toast when they've finished all the insulation.  

Tomorrow is shopping,  then watching the rain come down.   Have a challenge to do, so will leave the exercises for a day.   All for now,  thanks for stopping by... 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Another week has passed...

An interesting few days,  felt very irritated and edgy on Friday,  felt it building through the week.  Even snapped at a friend, which is not like me.   Feel better now.  

I picked up my cope of Leisure Artist, inside was a supplement of 'challenges'.   I chose this one,  it's not finished,  my limited range of skin tones left me a bit stuck.   I've remedied that by buying a better set,  would have liked the Prisma set, but wasn't sure about ordering from the USA.  So the drawing is on 'hold' till the pencils arrive,  don't want to muck it up.  

There was an interesting discussion on the FB group about wanting to get things right, and that means practise.   Some said it took the joy out of their art,  but I thought they'd got the balance wrong.   I set time aside to practise,  then move on to some drawing.  In doing so I think I've really improved,  for example I would never have tackled this picture a few weeks ago,  I would have been worried about getting things in the right place.  So the practise has paid off. 

I watched the latest Big Painting Challenge,  this week they had to tackle a still life, perspective and a painting of Blenheim Palace.   It is a fascinating watch,  all of them are artists and have talent,  but some lack the basic skills which is letting them down in the competition.   This doesn't diminish from their enjoyment, which is a good thing, and nor should it.  One lady has only been painting for a couple of years so she should take heart from getting this far.     Others are very, very good,  a couple have training, the others are self taught.   Yet I think what I'm picking up from it all is that you can be a trained artist, and be able to produce a very nice piece of work,   but there is that 'extra' bit,  that which true, instinctive artists possess,  which turns their work into something really special.  

I've spent some time trying to find a medium that I feel totally comfortable with.  I was okay with acrylics, and watercolours,    but I never felt truly confident with either.  But the pencils,  well,  that is a different matter,  I love them,   I have control,   and can do what I want with them.  I've had a good scout round today for books on the subject,   and found a few,  two are now safely on my Kindle!  I know I have much to learn, how to blend properly,  get a realistic feel to the picture.   But nothtng beats an afternoon of colouring!   

Harvey is in a better mood,  he drove me nuts on Friday,  we came close to a parting of the ways.  He was being is overly fussy self about his food,  which upset me.  It reminded me of mum and how I was unable to help her get back her zest for life,  brought back that feeling of utter frustration and helplessness.   I love Harvey, he makes me laugh,  puts a smile on my face every day, but this food thing just drives me mad.   All cats can be fussy, but he takes it to another level.   Yesterday he ate all his meals, cleared the dish each time, today,  well he gobbled up his breakfast,   missed lunch,  and now he's back to being fussy.    If I am reading his body language correctly, then he is a content cat, he rubs around my legs, loves being cuddled, and having head rubbing with me...  he's chatty,  too much sometimes!   But the food thing,  well he's impossible, but nor do I need any added stress. 

Got a few things to work on this week,  quite a lot of exercises in the books to get my teeth into.   Going to set aside some money for more pencils,  a birthday pressie to me,   and tackle a few much needed jobs in the flat. 

Have a good week,  and thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Some you win, some you lose...

I'm chuffed with this,  my very first attempt at a picture using coloured pencils.   I'd already painted this picture, it is from one of my watercolour books,  but this time I drew everything from scratch.  This I think is more successful than the painting.  I was trying to get some depth into the picture,  it is coming along,  but think it still needs a little work. 

My first attempt on Tuesday was a disaster,  made the mistake of trying to draw the castle,  now you think I'm barmy!   I was trying to put in too much detail from the start, when what I needed to do was to block it in,  do a rough sketch then take it from there.   So I came back afresh yesterday and spent the afternoon drawing the picture, and colouring in the castle.   I did a smidgen of work on the grass, not much,  just the first layer of colour.    Today I completed it,  I was a bit scared of the water and the sky,  so went for very light strokes,  greys and blues,  first I put down a layer of white,  then built up the colour, and put in the reflections.  The grass was a multitude of colour, greens, browns, yellows, and a lot of blending.   Same with the sky,  a layer of white, then some pale grey,  which I slowly built up,  some blue, light and dark,  and a bit of yellow.  For the castle I used three shades of grey,    and used the side of the pencil to add some definition.  It's important to keep the pencils sharp!    Yep, pleased with this first effort.   It has whetted my appetite to try more pictures from my watercolour books, but using the pencils, and I've got some watercolour pencils. 

Less successful,  Beethoven,  a rubbish effort.  I know where I've gone wrong.  The funny thing is that when I was at school I did a whole project on Beethoven, and drew a fantastic picture of him.   So I shall be returning to this.  I'm liking his hair, and his nose,  but his eyes aren't right, or his mouth.  That is where I lost the picture... hey ho. 

I went to The Walker Art Gallery yesterday.   I'd been promising myself the trip for ages.   I took advantage of the fact that had to be up early for my blood tests,  the appointment was 8.30!  I got annoyed,  I arrived five minutes early,   and went in at 8.43,  the nurses had been chatting. I was unamused as I'd had nothing to eat.  With that done I went home to have breakfast,  unusual for me to have breakfast at a civilised hour,  Harvey was confused!    After a tidy up,  I headed off to the gallery.   There was a fantastic photographic exhibition with photos by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr, it was fascinating.  I really enjoyed it,  less enjoyable was the ongoing John Moores winners,  sorry but some are...    rubbish, and insult to intelligence.    I like abstract art, what I don't like is someone splodging paint on a canvas as if they've been cleaning their brush.  

I need to go check out the museum as well,  sadly my back wasn't up to it yesterday.  The sciatica is getting worse,   on Saturday my left foot was numb, then I got shooting pains up my leg.    I got mad with a friend tonight,  she's been moaning about her knees,  and had insisted to her GP that she see a specialist,  so she got her wish.  I'm sure she was expecting to be operated on,  instead she got told she has onset osteoarthritis,  and told that she had to learn to manage it.   She does need to lose weight, and has been told to,  I offered some sympathy but lost my rag when she started moaning!   She should try having my knees for a day.    

Had to laugh at Harvey today,  he was asleep near the TV,  a cat on the TV started miaowing,  Harvey woke up, he was looking around, confused,  then he sloped out of the room to see if there was another cat in the flat!   It was so funny.   He's also fascinated by shadows,  oh and did I mention how fussy he is over his food?    I bought him some frozen fish, now what cat doesn't like fish?   My old cat loved it,   in fact we switched to buying her a bag of fish every week rather than cat food.   But Harvey,  oh no,   he's enjoyed it, but not gone mad for the fish,  he's the same with his food, he picks at it.   I have a feeling he wasn't given a regular routine by his first owners.  When I asked what food he liked I was told he would eat anything, well that isn't true,  in fact he was quite skinny when I got him.  He's put on a little weight, I don't want him to be fat, but he is still on the skinny side.   Anyway I cooked him some nice fish and... he turned his nose up!   

Anyone want a fussy cat?     All for now,  Harvey is howling to come in... 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Keeping going...

 A cat gone wrong!   Not sure why.  The joys of sketching, some days it works, some days it doesn't. Today it didn't,  think I was put off by the England/Irish rugby match,  though being half irish I have a foot in both camps.  

I was watching, and learning, the Big Painting Challenge. Tonight it was portrait painting,  I've yet to tackle painting a portrait, not sure I'd know were to begin.   The contestents did a very good job,  well okay a couple were a bit dodgy,  especially when it came to the celebrity portrait.   I wonder if they were a bit intimidated?   But it is fascinating to see how they all work,  what they start with, a sketch or go straight for it.   All are very good artists, including those who've had to leave, but there are two very exceptional painters in the group.    

This is a more successful drawing, a masai woman,   wish I'd had the grey paper,  she had beautiful grey hair.   The earrings are a bit dodgy, but trust me, they were dodgy to begin with.  This was done a while back, and it has been 'edited' since.  That is one of the things that happened tonight on the Big Painting Challenge, two of the contestants knew they were going wrong and had the guts to start over.   Another lady didn't,  thinking she could put it right, she didn't and produced an awful painting.    I can't count the number of times I've started again,  even with paintings.   I'm also tempted to try oils,  that is what I started with years ago, well it was oils or water colour,  acrylic wasn't available.  

This was our challenge for the week,  members (brave members) submitted their photos, and we all had a bash at drawing them.  I uploaded my first attempted knowing it wasn't quite right,  and got a lot of very useful feedback that I could work on.  So this is the second attempt,  and I'm almost there!   At least everything, nose, eyes, ears and mouth are in the right place, that always helps.    Going back to the big painting challenge, from now on to be known as BPC,  commented on these things, and how vital it was,  get these wrong and the picture/painting goes awry.  One or two in the competition actually made those mistakes, which surprised me, but then not all are portrait painters,  or have used oils.  I admire their bravery, not only to attempt all the challenges, but to it knowing we'll all be sitting in judgement. 

A bit worried about Harvey,  he's never been a hungry horace,  for a couple of days now he's not been interested in his treats, which is worrying.   Normally he's desperate to eat them.   I got some fish on Friday,  white fish,  and cooked that for him,  he's eaten every plateful so far.   He's just a little quiet,   he has some spurts of life but,  something isn't right.   I'll keep him on the fish, see if he puts on a little weight.   My old cat, Ms Mufti, loved her fish,  once it was in front of her she made short work of it,  Harvey takes ages to eat a plateful.   My pins and needles did subside for a few days,  that was while I was resting,   but on Friday I did some dusting, changed the bed,  was a lot busier and bang, it came back.   I also attempted a walk to the high street,   daft idea cos I was in agony.  

Well England lost,   they did get better in the second half,  and they are still with a chance of winning the six nations.   A new week beckons,  not my favourite time of the year I'm afraid, coming up to the second anniversary of mum's death, and in my face is Mothers day stuff. 

Enjoy your week,  wrap up warm, the cold stuff is on its way back!