Friday, 31 August 2012

Week Word: Desiderata

I chose this week's word, desiderata, which means 'desired things'. 

It got me thinking about the things that we want or need (often not the same things) and that feeling of longing for something that is, as yet, out of reach. But how yearning itself can be sort of bitter-sweet; how sometimes getting the desired thing makes you wistful for the period of longing and anticipation.

A little introspective for a Friday... I'm clearly in need of a weekend!

Visit the other participants to learn a little about their desires this week:

And I'm going to bounce the Week Word ball back to John to pick for us next week.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Catching up...

Having a sort out of some of my mess, I've just realised I never got round to posting the last illustration from my art class.

The brief was to create a narrative in five images but, as we were off on our transatlantic adventure whilst everyone else was working on it, I interpreted it quite loosely. Rather than telling a story, I looked for a common theme in my holiday sketches and photos and created something based on that...

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

This Week's Word

Just as I was hunting around for inspiration this week, someone on a forum I used posted the poem Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. As well as being wise advice, the word also means 'desired things' or 'things that are wanted or needed'. So that's going to be our word this week - as serious or as flippant as you want!

Leave a comment on this post if you'd like to take part, and I'll do a round-up on Friday.

New participants are always very welcome and you can see the 'rules' here

Things that are desired...

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #27

Some favourites from the last month or so of my daily portrait sketches (although that first one is April - can't believe it's been that long since I posted any!)

Visit Emma to see if she's been sketching anything a little less self-centred this week.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Oh, look! #14

Recently I have been...

Messing about on the river // Rejoicing in breakfast
Horrified by this monster // Gardening!
(instagram: timballoo)

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for locals news*, so this blog of Angry People in Local Papers amused me.

* Nothing has ever thrilled me more than this story, from when I lived in Salisbury, of a terrifying beast that was stalking residents and described as 'a cross between a kangaroo, a leopard, a monkey and a cat'. And a bit raccoon-like. Oh, and with the gait of a monkey. Ah, Salisbury... 

Friday, 24 August 2012

Week Word: Widdershins

Carmen at Tales of a Biomouse chose our word this week, the very fantastic 'widdershins'.

My immediate association with this word is Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, where widdershins is one of the four directions (along with turnwise, hubwards and rimwards).

In this world it generally means anti-clockwise, the opposite way to the sun, or just the other way to the usual one. I also found a few interesting warnings about what can happen if you do things widdershins... walking widdershins round a church is very unlucky and might whizz you off to goodness-knows-where, and dancing that way round a ring of toadstools could result in falling under the power of fairy people. 

Consider yourselves warned! And visit Carmen (although possibly not till Sunday) to see who else is playing this week.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

EDM #2,3,4

My recent EDM Challenges:

EDM #2: Draw a desk lamp or other lamp.

EDM #3: Purses, wallets or bags

EDM #4: Draw your mug or cup

I'm really loving not having to think about what to draw, just how to best depict that day's challenge. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Hobbit on a Bicycle

Here's the gist of a conversation we had recently.

Watching the cycling at Box Hill... one of the British cyclists is obviously a lovely be-sideburned chap called Bradley Wiggins... we are people who like spoonerisms... Widdly Baggins... laugh like drains... Baggins = hobbit... sideburns = hobbit... hobbit on a bicycle!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #26

It's hot as can be here at the moment, so this week's sketch of a sunflower seems fairly apt. 

I didn't manage to grow this one myself, he was part of the bunch Nick bought to cheer me up after the aforementioned bike incident.

Emma hasn't posted a sketch yet today - hopefully she's out enjoying the sunshine - but have a look in case she appears with a last minute Sunday contribution.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Week Word: Transition

John chose our word this week, so visit his blog to see his take on it and find out who else is participating.

Pondering this word, I was thinking about the difference between change and transition. I came up with the feeling that a transition is more of a process, something that has definite steps involved. A change can come out of the blue, but a transition is more gradual and, perhaps, cumulative.

I then tried to come up with transitions in my life, and realised that I'm probably living through one of the biggest ones at the moment. Being engaged is actually a transition, as you move from being single and responsible only for yourself to working out how to be part of a marriage.

It's certainly something I hadn't really thought about till I found myself in the middle of it... I think I felt that I'd just go from single to married in one easy step and have done with it! But, actually, it's a more gradual thing; working out who you are going to be together, deciding what things are important and which ones you'll compromise over, planning a future where you're responsible for someone else's needs and hopes as much as your own.

(My bike and I had a bit of an altercation with the road yesterday, resulting in a fun ambulance trip and some glue currently holding a little bit of my head together. I'm fine (and so is the bike!) but my picture uploading abilities are a little disrupted, so apologies for this rather wonky photo of my sketch. I'll replace it with a decent scan next week once everything is back to normal! (Now done!))

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Everyday Matters - EDM #1

I think I mentioned a while ago that I've been reading some of Danny Gregory's books recently. Following on from one of them, Everyday Matters, the artist Karen Winters created a list of drawing challenges which I'm going to start trying to work my way through. Hopefully it will result in not having to resort to 'view out of my window' sketches for a while!

There's a facebook group where people who are participating can share their work - it's really interesting to see all the different interpretations of the same subjects.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Weekend in Pictures

What was I most excited about at the Olympic Park? The fact that they sold porridge!

Breakfast! I believe there was some sword fighting going
on in the background...

And that it was sunny and surprisingly (pleasingly...) bereft of hordes of people.

We also found time to follow the sporting example and took the bikes out for a ride. And a pub lunch.

So yes... sport... mostly just excuse to eat in different locations.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #25

A bit of the view from my window. I'm not sure if it's legible, but the words around the edge are what I could hear whilst I was drawing. It's quite bizarre how much there is actually going on when you think you're surrounded by silence!

Visit Emma to see what she's put on her blank pages this week.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Week Word: Inspiration

I chose this week's word, inspiration. But I'm not going to talk about sport. (I wonder if anyone will, or if we'll all try to come up with something different!)

Two things that have recently inspired me sprang to mind. The first is this quote from a letter Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother:

'I cannot tell you how happy I am to have taken up drawing again. I've been thinking of it, but I always considered the thing impossible and beyond my reach.'

Isn't that amazing? Van Gogh felt like drawing was beyond his reach but decided to ignore that feeling and get on with it anyway.

And the second is Shakespeare. I saw Timon of Athens at the National on Wednesday, a brilliant production and very appropriately set in modern-day London. Shakespeare's ability to have written words that still seem relevant and insightful so many years later always inspires me... not to write, necessarily, but just with the knowledge that although material things change around us people seem to stay fundamentally the same. I find that strangely reassuring.

Please do go and visit the other participants this week:

Emma at The Gift Shed
Rebecca at Purple Sparkle Days (a new Week Worder with a beautiful and already inspiring blog)
John at The Healing Seed (good to have you back, John!)
Margot at Tulsi Crafts (sorry to have forgotten you Margot)

I'm going to tag John to pick next week, to hopefully keep him with us for a while!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

New regimes

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I've had a little bit of a redesign. 

When I started blogging I thought I'd mostly be writing about books and interesting cultural things I'd done. I do mention those things occasionally... but it is quite clear that drawing has overtaken them as what I mostly like to do and what I mostly like to post about. It's always nice when you arrive on a new webpage to be able to see fairly quickly what it's supposed to be about, and hopefully that's a bit easier for anyone who stumbles across my corner of the internet now.

If anyone wants to let me know what they think, or make suggestions for other things I should change, that would be lovely! 

In the spirit of new regimes, I've also jumped on another bandwagon. I've read in a few places recently that apple cider vinegar does marvellous things to your skin and is generally good for your insides so, as it's cheap, I've acquired a bottle and had a tablespoon in a glass of water this afternoon. It, of course, tastes like diluted vinegar but I thought it was actually quite nice... If I remember, I shall report back on whether it seems to do me any good.

Monday, 6 August 2012

This Week's Word

Peggy tagged me to pick this week's word

I'm going to go for 'inspiration'. It seems appropriate with all the sporting achievements going on around us at the moment, but if running and jumping leave you cold then feel free to tell us what inspires you in any other part of life!

Pop a comment on this post if you'd like to join in and I'll do a round up on Friday.

An 'inspiring' chocolate cake... (because all blog
posts must have a picture!)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #24

I've been reading Danny Gregory's The Creative License recently, and trying to incorporate some of his tips and ideas into my sketches.

For this sketch, I started by drawing the outline of the whole thing first, then filling in the 'middle' afterwards. I would never have thought of approaching a drawing like that, but it turned out to be a really good way of tackling something complicated and made it seem much less daunting!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Week Word: Water

Peggy chose this week's word, water, so visit her blog to see who else is playing, and what they've come up with.

This was quite serendipitous for me as I'd been wanting to create a drawing of Putsborough beach in Devon, where Nick's family have been every year since the dawn of time (and probably will continue going until its end).

It turns out, though, that drawing the sea was more of a challenge than I'd anticipated. Resulting in the following rather down-hearted scribble in my sketchbook...

I think I got there in the end, though, once I realised a dry watercolour brush gives a stipply effect like the foam on the water.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Crazy Cake Golf

Regular readers may have noticed that I'm quite a fan of cake. Nick likes golf (a bit... he doesn't own any of those unusual trousers or anything). So when I heard that Bompas and Parr were putting a cake-themed crazy golf course onto the roof of Selfridges this summer, it seemed the ideal Sunday afternoon activity.

All the obstacles are London landmarks made to look like cake. They're not actually icing and sponge, that would be a recipe for melty disaster in the British summer, but they look pretty realistic. And you get a Bakewell tart scented score card to add to the ambiance.

There are ten holes, and they ticket it so there aren't queues or too much waiting around. 

Tickets are released in monthly batches,  so you can still go along if cakey golf's your thing.