Thursday, December 15, 2011
..and I have as much enthusiasm as this turkey! Actually, I don't dislike Christmas but I find the fake jollity, rampant and reckless consumerism and the 'let's pretend we care for' - family, frenemies, old people, starving children, insert relevant words here - only emphasises how daft the human race is. I'd much rather we were all more tolerant and caring all year round without prompting!
These are just two little drawings from one of the two sketchbooks I'm trying to fill up. Drawing has nearly ground to a halt this year so I decided to draw something that symbolised that.
At the end of August, I did something completely out of character - I joined a gym! In fact, when I dug out my old trainers, I couldn't even remember when I bought them. I do remember that it was from a shop on King's Rd. and I'd never heard of New Balance before so probably ages ago. Anyway, this year I decided that it would be a good idea to think about my health and actually do something. Not that I need to, thankfully, but it's partly a horror of approaching a big 0 birthday, and partly worry that drawing and quilting are not very active activities! Better to invest now and not have be advised by a doctor after a health scare!
I hope I don't offend any readers here, but the seed of this was sown a few years ago while I was in Kuwait. I was totally obsessed with quilting at the time and I travelled to England to go to a quilt show, staying overnight in a nearby hotel. I had a room on the first floor facing the front not far from the entrance. I went into my room, made a cup of tea and looked out the window as coach loads of quilters arrived to check in. What I saw really gave me a jolt - coach loads with a very high percentage of very overweight and not very agile women! OK, so quilting might be a wonderful activity to take up if you suffer from ill-health or you're retired and creative, but I really don't think that explains it.
Question of Sport is a quiz show that's been running forever on the BBC. I've been watching since the 70's and used to pride myself on always getting the 'mystery guest' right. (You would see a video of the person doing some silly activity but the face was partially obscured.) I used to know all the names back then, but these days I may not guess the names but I have a 99.9% success rate guessing what sport they do! I find it fascinating that each sport has a very particular body shape. In teams sports, there can be specific body shapes depending on what position they play. With boxing and swimming, even the skin shows clues.
So, I looked out of the window and realised that quilting has a specific body shape too and it was scary! I started noticed when I was reading quilter's blogs how many of them had health and mobility problems. Why wasn't it the same for artists who paint and draw? I think the answer might be in the way that quilting is so addictive. Drawing is about observation, looking up and back down at the paper and the need to take frequent breaks to step away to see the subject anew. With quilting the blissful monotony of piecing tiny strips of fabric or free motion quilting a bed quilt can take up huge chunks of time. Drawing may be done on location or standing at an easel. Quilting is always sitting hunched over a machine. To be honest, I'm not sure, but I am convinced there is a stereotypical body shape and I don't want it!
It took quite a while for that seed to take root and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to stick it out, but I wish I had joined that gym years ago! It's mildly addictive - being naturally lazy, I do have days when I have to force myself there - but I have a couple of quilt projects I want to finish and more to start so hopefully now I can get on and quilt without the guilt!
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
It's cold and overcast here, no pretending it's late autumn anymore. After a couple of stormy nights recently, there are barely any leaves left on the trees never mind any colour. So it was a lovely surprise when I popped out to the garden this afternoon to see our strawberry plants looking so vibrant and colourful! It may be chilly outside but that warmed the cockles of my heart!