Monday 31 August 2009

Bird Faces

I have just remembered-when we left the service station-where this photo was taken, somehow we ended up not going onto the motorway again, but down a strange single track lane, with a speed bump about every 10 metres, which was brightly outlined in white paint. The lane turned into another, slightly less narrow and more pretty, with little houses-some immaculate and some ramshackle. The whole of this lane was strewn with pears and sloes. We managed to find the motorway again-about two miles before where we had come off it. It was a bit twilight zoneish.
Today was a bank holiday but we didn't fancy going out-we went out yesterday-on a bit of a wild goose chase, looking for a lovely beach I thought was there which we never quite found.
Oh well.
The good thing about today has been delicious food prepared by Andy-he is such a good cook! I have been tidying, rearranging knick knacks and finishing a few things.
I love rearranging things-I have changed the cover on the sofa to two woolly ones and managed to make my stuffed Jay actually sit on my painted branch! He looks most pleased with himself.
Then I was taking a few photos of this and discovered the sepia setting on my camera. Then some extra bright flash. I really should have camera lessons and then I would know what I was doing. I found this site on stumble upon the other day which is really good if you are feeling a bit listless-it is quite fun! Don't be put off by the initial page which made me feel a bit woozy. Some of the pages are interactive and some not.

Lily relaxing on her holidays.

Sunday 30 August 2009


Photos I liked from my phone-I don't often download them so am always surprised at what I find.The pub last night.
Strange cloud.

Dollshouse with residents in the market.
Actors on Sherlock Holmes this week in Greenwich.
Phonebox in Denmark Hill.
Fish in Morrison's.
Great offers in Sainsbury's.
The cafe interior.
The moors from the car.

Saturday 29 August 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

It's just Tiger this week. She was so happy on the back doormat in the sunshine this morning!

Find more shadows here.

Saturday Morning

We went to the cafe for breakfast this morning and the first thing that fell out of the paper was a beautiful poster for this clothing company. I had a look at their website when I got home and whether or not I buy any clothes-(I would like to but hate the sizing difficulty of internet clothes shopping)-the website alone was pleasure enough. The way they have got the sound of the wind on the part I linked to is just lovely! I love catalogues that imagine a lifestyle as well as showing the clothes. Especially if they are beautiful and gypsyish like these are!
On a different subject-I am going to attempt to make our computer connection wireless tomorrow so if it all goes wrong that will be why I am not responding to any emails, should there be any! Hopefully it will not go wrong but I just have this feeling.
When we walked back from the cafe-via the Cat's Protection League charity shop-I found a great chalkboard/easel. Modelled on it are a crochet handbag from Greenwich market on Thursday and a gingerbread girl from the same stall. There is something so jolly about her that I loved when I saw her hiding at the bottom of a basket of various crocheted and knitted items. These are all examples of things that can be procured for £3!
The gingerbread girl is made by the Knickerbocker toy company of New York. The slogan on the label is 'JOY OF A TOY'. There is a lovely picture here of a gingerbread couple-with a girl like mine.

Friday 28 August 2009

Renee is someone I have met through blogging and she is the loveliest person who the worst things are happenning to, and I just wanted to send my love to her and her family. I am in awe of all of you. xx

Thursday 27 August 2009

Bird Face and Edie

I can't think of a good name for the bird with a face on it so bird face it is. This is the other side of one of the fabric birds from last week. I have drawn a watercolour pencil face then used water on that. I used gold interference medium-a fancy name for this lovely delicate pale gold paint, then some bluey greens around the edge. The bird is standing next to a little bowl of plaster eggs which are replicas of real birds eggs. I saw an article in 'World of Interiors' about this amazing real bird egg collection-and the article explained where these plaster replicas could be obtained. It is actually a taxidermy supply website-which I find fascinating. This is my second face on wood for the Suzi Blu class-now finished-I am way behind. Have a look at Janine's faces to see some really beautiful examples of-well-faces! She has done lots of work and it is all lovely!
I am quite pleased with this one, but stopped before the adding texture stage so it is basically pencil with a little acrylic, sanding and then more pencil. I watched 'Grey Gardens' last night-a fascinating and quite beautiful documentary film from the seventies. I have read a little about it but did not know what to expect. I loved it and can't wait to watch it again-it is one of those films that I think I will watch quite often. Anyway, the daughter wears headgear very much like this. I did this picture before seeing the film. It also looks like my cloth dolls that just have painted faces so it looks like they are wearing a hood/balaclava!

Richard Long

It is hard to describe Richard Long's work-it is much easier to experience it. He is an artist who uses the land and simple forms-lines, circles, spirals. His work is beautiful, calming and poetic.
It was strange to be in an indoor space seeing the exhibition but to feel so much like I was outdoors, in the wild places he explores and uses in his work. He records work in ways that are suited to it and the ideas it is about. His work is about being in the landscape and moving through it. He may take a photo, write a descriptive list or make a map. One of my favourite pieces of work was called 'Transference'. He took a three day walk on Dartmoor, listing some of the things he encountered. He then took a seven day walk on Chokai mountain in Japan where he experienced the same things in the same order-obviously-choosing to look for them in that order, but the fact that it is possible to do this showed the universality of places and experiences.

His work also relates to space, time and measurement and is almost a way of classifying experiences-through listing or focussing on a particular thing. For example he made a work called 'Dartmoor Time'-a continuous walk of 24 hours on Dartmoor. Two examples of Dartmoor time are

He makes books as a particular way to show his work and one of my favourite examples was a book containing only photos of pebbles on the beach he walked-one photo taken at regular intervals-they are all pebbles-single examples of the thousands on the beach and each in the book has its moment of exposure and importance. I just loved that idea.
Here are a couple of my favourite quotes from artist statements in the exhibition book
"My art is about working in the wide world, wherever. It has the themes of materials, ideas, movement, time. The beauty of objects, thoughts, places and actions. I hope to make images and ideas that resonate in the imagination, that mark the earth and the mind. My work is about my senses, my scale, my instinct. I use the world as I find it, passing through by design and chance."

"Of course, an important aspect of my work is just the pleasure of doing it, for me a walk is a great thing to do. It can feel like being outside the normal difficulties of life. Sometimes on a walk I can feel intensely alive or free or unencumbered or simply happy. Basically a road walk is walking all day and sleeping all night, and in hindsight the time of the walk seems to have passed very quickly as an almost out of life experience. I love the simple pleasures of eating, getting fit or finding a new campsite or B&B each night. I realise all this might be outside the experience or interest of a lot of people, which is fair enough" (I love that last little bit especially!)

I am almost tempted to go and see the exhibition again I enjoyed it so much!

Wednesday 26 August 2009

Just a note...

I have made a separate blog to put all of my work for the sketchbook project-so please have a look there every so often if you would like to see my progress.
The link is in the sidebar.

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Rat On The Run

Taken in Ruskin Park today. This photo is so awful that I like it. Blurry action shot of the fastest animal in the park. We (Joan and I) also saw pigeons (of course), parakeets, crows, squirrels, dogs and a dove-who was friends with the pigeons.
The Richard Long exhibition was excellent so if you get the chance go-it is only on until the 6th September.

Monday 24 August 2009

Monday Meander

I went into town today with every intention of seeing this exhibition. However, it is on at Tate Britan, not Modern-how could I be so wrong?! Anyway, I had a very pleasant walk along the river from London Bridge to the Tate and later to Charing Cross. I am meeting my Dad tomorrow morning at Kings College hospital so I might go to the exhibition in the afternoon!Icecream outside the Globe theatre. I love icecream vans, how they look kind of vintage, even the modern ones. I like the little flags and the large sign on the front. I am not that keen on icecream though-only occasionally.This man was very busy with his sand sculpture. He was earning a little money while he created. I donated £1 and managed to get it in his bucket which was about 10 feet away, earning a 'good shot' compliment from the man standing next to me. It must be all the years I played netball.This man is doing what I am just too cowardly to do-I hate all the attention you get when you draw or paint in public. At least he has chosen quite a secluded spot.Talking of spots, I saw these on Steven's Happy Accidents and then on Tiny Red. They are quite impressive but also quite tatty. They must have been up for a while and have lots of minor graffiti all over them.More skillful graffiti here.And some ironic graffiti here-this is back in Greenwich now, Blackwall lane to be precise. Poor old building.

Sunday 23 August 2009

Canberra, Nevada, Greenwich and Blue Skies

Sunday morning started with early phonecalls from freecyclers-one who wanted a folding music stand that I happened to be able to provide, and one who had this lightbox to give away and I was his chosen beneficiary! The lightbox came from Canberra Road. I have always wanted a lightbox-I feel it has many uses yet to be discovered. This is a home made one and is quite big. I am so pleased with it!
Later on we went into Greenwich, found our secret parking place that is almost always there, then had a look around the market.
A buddleia in Nevada Street.
This poodle was decorating a skirt in the market.
I liked this old fashioned police sign and all the trails in the blue sky. We are having incredible weather at the moment-consistently hot and sunny. Weird.
This stained glass panel was my bargain of the day. £2! I tried it in front of the light box but the light was too cold. I love it here on the window sill of the back room.
My other purchases at the market were two pairs of knitting needles and CUP that you can see above. The letters are wooden, painted pale blue, and about 6" high. Another stall holder had reserved the letters to spell HENS, for her hen house. So I must get a cup house and then the letters will have a purpose.
The part of the market I bought the window from is great-but quite small. Until recently there was a huge second hand market that had lots of little shops/businesses that had been there for years. It has been closed for some time now, and is going to be developed in some corporate kind of way-restaurants, 'proper' shops-I don't know the details. There are already plenty of restaurants and bigger shops and I think people come to Greenwich for the flea market as much as anything else. It is really sad that Greenwich has changed in this way-not for the better in my opinion-I just wish I had done some sort of campaigning or something to try to stop it.

Saturday 22 August 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Fabric Flock.
See HeyHarriet here for more shadows!

Mushrooms and Insurance

This morning we had to get up early to be ready for a man from Admiral insurance who came round to take a statement about a car accident we saw a few weeks ago. It was not a serious accident but was quite disturbing nonetheless. It involved a car in front of me in collision with a boy (of about 15) on a small motorbike. The boy was hurt but did not speak or respond to offers of help, and was just intent on getting away from the scene. He had no helmet or licence plate. I was almost relieved he went off so quickly, as I didn't have to practice my first aid skills on him! We found out today that he did in fact go to casualty, and the police caught up with him there. He had hurt his jaw. It was nice to know he was ok-the accident was weeks ago. Anyway, we had to give a statement each and they both took an hour. The insurance man, also an Andy, was very pleasant and efficient. It involved five A4 sides of handwriting for each statement. I remembered things quite clearly I thought but things such as distances and speeds can only be a best guess. I cannot imagine how people in serious accidents remember anything.
We had no breakfast before he arrived so two hours later were rather hungry, and I couldn't wait to make a lovely mushroom omelette with these little beauties. But I forgot to put them in-well-to cook them first, and was too hungry to start again, so they are still there. The omelette was still tasty-I used up some old cheese (sounds delightful eh? I bet you are sorry you missed it!)
I am currently torturing Andy by watching Sweeney Todd-cheap in the supermarket today. He hates musicals and this promises to be just the kind he particularly hates-where they make up songs seemingly as they go along-just like I do when I am doing the housework (minus the orchestra) I personally love that sort of thing! I was kind and turned it off as it was time to eat!

Friday 21 August 2009


I would like my bathroom to be like this. I love all the mirrors-I have enough-I just don't have this room! I can't remember where I found this photo-I discovered it when sorting out my files-but wherever I found it-I like their taste!

Thursday 20 August 2009

Tomorrow I might lay around and read a book

Holiday manicness (is that a word?) has taken me over. It is nearer to the end than the beginning and I have had a bit of a doldrums and am now having a manic spurt, where I can't decide what I should do first, and so have started all sorts of things at the same time. I have goals in my mind for my artistic endeavours, which, in reality may not all happen as there are too many. In other words I am in a mild state of panic and why? Because I have decided, with no pressure from anyone else, to do all these things. You would think I would learn but somehow I don't.
On the plus side though, I have knitted a scarf, learned to knit on circular needles and knitted some wrist warmers and am onto another pair, used some of my second hand fabric on some birds I am working on, made some tealight holders, reorganised the DVDs, filed and saved a lot of my photos (freeing up much needed space on the hard drive!), watched three films I wanted to watch ages ago, nearly made a doll for an Art Doll Quarterly magazine challenge, and baked a banana cake.
Having written my list I feel a bit better actually, that I have achieved something but I also worry about the Jack of all trades phenomenon. Oh well.
Second wooden face. I might stop here with this one, as I like it like that.This is the doll I mentioned-well her head. I found this piece of drift wood, with nail attached, on Sheppey. I gessoed it at first but the clear gesso dried white so I sanded it and discovered a beautiful soft grain in the charred wood. I applied the gold leaf ages ago and added the face today. The ADQ challenge is to make a wooden doll-or at least the head must be wood. I am making a cloth body.This is my scarf-very easy to make but I love it-and it almost makes me look forward to winter-almost. Speaking of knitting I enjoyed looking here today-have a look-it is lots of fun! (Thanks Anne and Tracy for knitting inspiration!)These are the tealight holders-not finished yet-idea from here. (Thanks Vanessa!)The sketchbook project-the very beginning stages-I will explain more when I have done more!A self-explanatory though not particularly exciting picture of the neatened DVDs! I watched Slumdog Millionaire today-one of the films I have been meaning to watch for ages-I really liked it.The birds-they will be stuffed and the other side (white sheet material) painted. Not sure if they will hang or stand yet.
I used fresh bananas for the cake and it tasted a lot better than when I use old ones!