Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunflowers for Kate

We had some lovely friends from England, (now living in France, lucky things) to stay last week.

We were not the best of hosts. One crook back (P) and a weird lurgy (me) were unwelcome visitors at the same time. But it's always a spur to get out and about, and show off our lovely, very different part of the world. I wanted to show Meg the Fremantle Arts Centre which is a great resource for learning, teaching, exhibiting and community events, housed in a magnificent and historic limestone building.

In the bad old days, it was used as a lunatic asylum for women. You could be incarcerated there for the slightest of reasons, menopausal, PMT-related, perhaps - your husband / doctor just had to write a convincing enough letter. There is misery in those walls!
But today it is a thriving and happy place.

I took some photos of a little display of those whizzy-dizzy mobiles-on-sticks, planted into a little garden. They were made from old plastic water bottles, and looked so amazing, whirring around in the breeze.

This is what the accompanying sign says.

"Sunflowers painted by students of Fremantle Primary School.
Mobiles made using recycled materials by Michael Alvares.This project celebrates the 30th anniversary of the gift of 43 artworks by
Kathleen O’Connor to Fremantle by the artist’s family in 1978"
Cathy Gatland was doing something with children in her church, using these mobiles, and I hope she'll enjoy the images.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

VSD for October A Trio of Pears

A trio of pears: I think they might call them that in a restaurant.
I was not going to enter a sketch this month, having had a week inconducive to creativity, but hey! - a lazy wettish Saturday afternoon, a lovely photo of three pears with interesting shadows and suddenly I am on a mission.
Thank you Belinda (aha, see my linking skill!) for the irresistible subject.
Mine is watercolour, 12"X9", on Arches rough 100%cotton 140lb.


Thanks, Cathy, I think I have got it. Never looked at those symbols before.
I will try.
My sister Cathy is a fabulously talented artist. Everyone should see her work.
Gillian leads a busy life with her young family and hardly ever picks up a pencil. When she does, she knocks your socks off.
Oh this is easy.
I owe links to lots of people... especially Claudia and Kari and Laura.
Now I will link away with the best of you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cobweb in the leaves

Laura has had to say goodbye to her old cat.
Thinking of her put me in mind of cats we have known and loved, and who have graced us with their presence.
Cobweb was a pretty calico cat who loved to sleep in a pile of dry leaves, where she was well camouflaged, and from which she would emerge smelling all sweet and leafy.
She was our eldest son's 12th birthday present, and, gratifyingly, always loved him the best, tolerating the rest of us, probably because of our competence with a can opener.
I did this painting of her for our son.

Tagged and mystified

Great Scott! I have been tagged by a Scot!
Thank you to Claudia Massie, (http://www.blogger.com/profile/12668693477996054929)a very talented young artist, whose blog everyone should visit, as her Scottish landscapes are throat-catchingly sublime, (and often brrrrrr). I am honoured to be nominated by Claudia, but a very poor choice as I still can't work out these links.
When I "copy shortcut" to her blog (and some but not all others), instead of her name, up comes a long blogger number. Can anyone help? How do I just get the name to highlight and link back to her? GPH you gave me some steps earlier, but I can't find them, and I don't have my children here to lead their poor old mum through the techno fog. Also , if I put in say Matisse, how do I get this to link to Matisse-world out there?

Anyway, having been tagged, I am obliged to follow the 'tagging' rules, namely:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

OK here are 7 facts. This is very difficult. Easy to find 7 facts about husband, children, grandchildren, incredibly talented nieces and nephews, similar dogs, but moi ? Oh no!
1. My best ever dancing partner was our last dog.
2.As a kid I could have lived on peanut butter and golden syrup, spread thickly in just the right proportion on bread (no butter). Would love to indulge now, but the waistline forbids it.
3.Favourite artist varies, probably Matisse or Diebenkorn (this week).
4. Currently reading Julian Barnes "Nothing To Be Frightened Of" ... his amusing musings on death, which sounds macabre, but does not reflect a problem here .. except I like J Barnes .
5. I do not always follow the rules.
6. I can really hold a grudge.
7.When I travel I seem to come home with lots of photographs of trees.

Weird enough?
Now for 7 poor people to tag on.
I don't think I will do this (see fact number 5.)
But please do refer to my rather short blog list for some I admire , as well as http://shiftinglight.com/archive.php

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I have been working away on this, and it has changed a few times ... whizzing round the colour wheel a bit while I try to remember and find the warm golden light and lavender shadows of Vichy! The lawns were certainly not so lush and green! There are still lots of rough bits... lady's left hand and duster, bags, bike, etc., but I am 'over' it for now. I always wanted it to be 'broad brush', so should not have to tweak detail, but I am SO inconsistent, so the background is more fiddly than it should be, if the faces are not described!
Overall, I have to say I like the jolly nature of the scene, though it is a bit of a caricature.
I like stripes very much, and a grid, and am pleased to have incorporated these.
I THINK I have achieved a bit of a triangular composition, though the apex could be better emphasised (I want it above the red head). And I think the white bits provide a bit of dance and movement.