Saturday, April 25, 2009
I really should be ironing and packing, but I enjoyed this portrait so much I didn't want to stop! For anyone who is interested, I've posted work in progress photos of it over on my drawing blog, here.
Yes, this is the face I was referring to in my last post, so the next two portraits of her won't be such a surprise! She is Julia Sawahla, an actress probably best know as Saffy in Absolutely Fabulous but also the voice of Ginger in (probably!) my all time favourite film Chicken Run! I think it's an unusual choice for me as I tend not to go for the beautiful but actually it was the lovely warm light that really inspired me here. Then as I looked at her face, I realised how odd it was that someone so beautiful can be typecast as the uptight spinter! She doesn't seem to have had much luck in the romance department either (Alan Davies?!) which I find really bizarre.
Anyway, I must see if I can find this colour paper when I'm in London. So far I've only found it in sketchbooks from Paperchase, but I'm feeling very cramped in this 6"x8" book!
Friday, April 24, 2009
...unless you are a lazy blogger, in which case 'out of sight, out of mind' applies! In the absence of any new drawings I'm posting a recent one because I was invited to submit a self portrait to a great new blog, created by Deborah Ross, called Artists Paint Themselves.
There will be a new drawing here soon. Inspiration has been a bit low of late but I had a flash of inspiration during the week and I've got three drawings lined up of one person. You might say it's unusual choice for me too. I'll take some work in progress photos and post those over at my drawing blog when the first one is completed.
However, I've got a trip to London next week which may mean I won't have time to post any drawings before I go. I'm going to see my mother in hospital as she hasn't been doing too well recently.
And last but not least, Bonny has been visiting Geneva this week, her first stop on a European tour, and we managed to meet up despite her having broken a leg and travelling with a cast! She very generously gave me this book -
and I swear she must have read my mind! I haven't been coveting any books in the last couple of months (unusually for me) until I saw this reviewed on Katherine Tyrrell's new blog, Making a Mark Reviews , last week. (Again, a really excellent blog, but that will be stating the obvious if you're already reading Making a Mark.) Anyway, it's a rare book in that it's written by an author who generously shares all she knows and provides you with practical information and not just eye candy, although there is plenty of that too!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Where did it go? The spring buds only appeared in the last week or two and now we are basking in summer temperatures! All last week the BBC weather site insisted we were rained under while I was toasting myself in the garden and sipping water to keep cool. As I write, the skies are clear, the setting sun still warm, the birds chirping, the neighbours stoking the BBQs and the BBC insists it's raining and 'visibility poor'!
With all this lovely weather, the only place to be is out so we did two long walks over the weekend - getting out early to avoid the
One of the houses. I like the door and also the way they planted fuchsia around the pots on either side.
We also took a walk across the border into France to find a wood we spotted on Google Earth! Turned out it wasn't that interesting but I took a shot of this on a stone seat - it says ' All the arms we need' underneath people walking with arms around each other.
On the way, a tree covered in mistletoe. I thought mistletoe was supposed to be rare but it's very common around here. One of my favourite plants too after I saw it growing on an arch in someones garden in the Cotswolds. The Jura mountains are visible here, still covered in snow.
Lots of produce grown around here too, this is lettuce.
There were very few flowers to be seen in the wood but Mark spotted this strange thing (the light stems looked more like thick roots) and couldn't identify it - I wonder if anyone recognises it?
someone is actually talking about the single biggest problem on the planet! Problem is, we should have been talking about it decades ago! At the rate the population is growing now, it's frightening to think what life will be like in only 50 years time. Why is it so taboo?
Sunday, April 12, 2009
It's supposed to be Lewis Hamilton but the eyes are not quite right. I just needed to get drawing again! Spring sprung quite quickly and last week it warmed up so much it was almost hot here in Geneva! So what with the weather and feeling good on my new diet, I wanted to be out and about doing things to shake off the cobwebs of winter.
The Formula One season is underway and was looking good - new rules have shaken up the old world order - but it's already been dogged by controversy and Lewis penalised for something that wasn't his fault...again. I'm not sure I can watch anymore but the MotoGP starts today and that's much more fun. This little brown Paperchase sketchpad is starting to look like a place for doing portraits so I'm hoping to catch a couple of those riders next.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
The weather is warming up and the garden is springing to life again. Our little Magnolia, above, opened it's buds in the last couple of days and looks glorious. Here you can see the winter cover is still on the pool but as there is now real warmth in the sun, it can't be long before it comes off. My favourite tulips are not yet open but the daffodils are finally out.
Another plant I'm very fond of is this little Contorted Hazelnut tree - it looks beautiful all winter long too, an added bonus!
I've always wanted to grow my own herbs and as of this week, I now have my own little patch (planted in a large trough). I've got thyme, sage, rosemary and bay, seen here, as well as lemon thyme, chives, oregano and two types of parsley!
The garden isn't the only thing springing to life though. After my two bouts of migraines and the sinusitis recently, I've had a radical 'spring clean' of my diet (as well as the kitchen cupboards!) and it's been nothing short of miraculous. I've got my energy back, the brain fog has cleared, and with another 2-3lbs, I'll be back to my 'normal' weight - the weight I was all through my 20's and 30's. I really can't believe how fast the change has been. It's similar to an Atkins diet (cutting out most carbs and sugars) but this time cutting out yeast, cheese, anything fermented and anything that may harbour molds too (like peanuts, black tea, ground black pepper for example). It's sounds limited but boy, does it make food shopping a breeze! With a few exceptions I can get everything I need in the meat, fish and veg section - and it's surprising, even shocking, how much space all the processed foods take up in the supermarkets!
Eating only natural food, I know from years of not eating wheat, makes eating out or eating when travelling very difficult. That, I think, says a lot about the state of our diets. I won't force mine on anyone, but it's up to us to be aware of what the food industry is doing to us because they sure aren't going to tell us! I was in a chemist yesterday, walking through the 'health food' section, and spotted loads of stuff containing aspartame. Not only is the food industry adding a load of nasty stuff to our food, but it's claiming it has health benefits! Buyer beware, as they say. I'm looking forward to getting my flavours from my new little herb garden!