Thursday 13 May 2010

Artless Interlude

My blogging friend, Paula Pertile, coined a great phrase this week 'Art Limbo' which summarised so well her feelings about where she is at with her art right now.  I think many of us have probably been in this place at some time or another.  For me, it signifies a kind of paralysis which sets in from time to time when the art stops flowing, the ideas dry up and the enthusiasm wanes - at least that's how it feels for me at the moment!  It's a waiting game with me, if nothing comes then I'll just have to do other things until inspiration strikes!

In the meantime I've been soaking up Springtime.......which means Bluebells!  We are lucky enough to have some ancient woodland virtually on our doorstep so I thought I'd post up a few photos of mine taken at Ashridge Park.  The bluebells are out for only about two weeks so when word gets out that they've 'arrived' hoards of people descend upon the area to see them.

My photos don't really show the true splendour of the scene and the light wasn't great.  You have to be there to drink in all the gorgeous colours and see the blue-violet carpet of all those bluebells.  Magical.             

Friday 7 May 2010

A kitty story and more politics

Inca.  8" x 8" Derwent Coloursoft on smooth cartridge paper.

I've been doing some boring but necessary admin, trawling through my digital photo stock of all my drawings, labelling and organizing them into some sort of recognizable order.  It has been interesting to look back at some of my early stuff and discern some of the changes in my work, and hopefully improvements, since then.  I came across this little drawing I did of Inca, my daughter's cat, about three years ago.  I was quite proud of it at the time and still like it.  Looking at it now, though, I see that it could do with a little more definition on the nose and those lighter areas.

Inca, believe it or not, is mum to our four black and white cats, Keith, Bob, Barley and Whiteface.  There were six kittens in that litter and all were black and white.  No prizes for guessing what the father must have looked like!  Inca has since been spayed and, until about a month ago, was living with us.  She was often hostile to her boys, even though they are all neutered, and seemed not to want them around.  I figured that maybe it was just her natural instinct to push them away and off into the big wide world.  So.....we took the decision to give her to a good friend of mine who had recently lost her own cat and was really keen to have her. 

We weren't sure how it would turn out......whether she'd miss her boys or they'd miss her....but kept the option open for her to return if it didn't work out.  At first we missed having her around but I'm pleased to say that it seems to working out very well.  She has settled in well with my friend who dotes on her and her boys seem unphased by her fact, they all appear to be far more relaxed now.  A good call I think.....phew!

And now for something completely different.  Hey, I live in a country which has, today, become a kind of 'government no mans land'!  The people decided to 'hang' the parliament after the General Election - the first time that's happened for about thirty years!  It was essentially a three-horse race and no single party achieved a clear mandate to form the new government.  The upshot of it all is that two or more parties will have to form some sort of pact, or coalition, in order to go to the Queen with a mandate to govern the country. 

As I write this, Cameron (Conservative) is talking to Clegg (Liberal Democrat) to see if they can do a deal.  Hmmm......that's gonna be tough as they disagree on some pretty crucial issues.   Gordon Brown (Labour), who came second in terms of parliamentary seats, is looking like 'Billy no mates' at the moment!  That could change, though, because there are so many different permutations possible in terms of how the government can be formed and it will take at least a few days to sort it out.

Personally, I think the hung parliament is a Good Thing. It is clear that the electorate wants change, not only in terms of who runs the country but also the voting system itself.  We seem to be heading for a more mature system of consensual politics, perhaps proportional representation of the kind they have in most other European countries.  Not before time I reckon.  There are people, including those in the media, who are impatient with indecision and the so-called 'chaos' of it all - they want certainty, they want things to be either black or white.  They want to herald in a new because then they will feel safe.  But I say let's stay in the 'grey' area for a while and work things through in a measured way.  After all, as we artists already know, there are lots of different colours in grey, aren't there?  Grey can be infinitely interesting!

I'd better get off my soap box now.  I'm not usually this interested in the political scene but I've been following the commentary on this all day and I kind of got hooked....can you tell?! 

Saturday 1 May 2010

Minnie Finished

Here's my final version of Minnie after a bit of tweaking here and there.  I so didn't want to overdo it and, to me, it still looks a little underdone.  But, I have paid heed to the comments of my wise arty friends here and decided to STOP before it's too late!  It is a joy working on Colourfix paper, I don't think I could go back to smooth white paper now.     


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