Sunday, 25 September 2016

Practising perspective.

We were allowed to venture outside for my last day of drawing. It was a rare sunny day and not to be missed. 
All that theory on perspective I'd been learning and now I had to put it in to practise. It's knowing where to start!? I started drawing right in the centre where the river disappears. I was sitting on some steps looking down on this scene. My river seemed to be flowing upwards! This first drawing took about 20 minutes so I felt I was quicker and more confident. Then I worked on it at home from the photo I took.

The river still looked like it was flowing upwards but overall I was pleased with my efforts.
Drawing class has finished now and it doesn't start again until September. I'm supposed to be practising drawing at home but so far I haven't lifted a pencil.
It was May Bank Holiday and time to get out. I'll have to try taking a sketch book out with me.
I'm sure that must be what Edith Holden did, I love her nature notes and drawings of the countryside.

For now I'll just record the nature with my camera.
You're very lucky here in NI if you get a good weather day for May Day.
What did we get? Freezing cold wind and rain showers - but there was a bit of sunshine. 

This time I ditched my proper camera in favour of some 'I phone' photography.  My photos go straight on to my phone and I pad and then it's simpler to upload photos on to the blog. 

We went for a walk in Moira Demesne. I found it hard to see anything on the screen with the sun shining. I just guessed at what I was taking. There were some nice woodland paths with wild garlic growing.

Bluebells and celandines.

I spied this field of yellow but I couldn't get close to it. I think it's rapeseed growing.

A bit of camera shake, mostly because of the wind, gave me this blurry photo. I liked it.

I always like the noise of the rooks and their precarious nests swaying high up in the branches - the trees against the blue sky looked lovely.

Along one of the woodland paths there was a rogue tulip growing.

On our walk we pass a long narrow pond with terraced steps that is very overgrown and neglected.

A poor specimen of Campion.

Good old daisies and dandelions will find anywhere to grow.

Cherry blossom.

All my photos give a false impression of how chilly it was!
We finished up our May Day at the Ballinderry Antique Shop. This room is huge and there are so many more rooms to explore, I could easily spend a whole day here. 
About twice a year we go for a look around,  in fact I've been going here for over 40 years and it has certainly expanded over the years - I've never seen so much stuff packed in to a place. It's almost too much to take in!


Saturday, 9 April 2016


Here's the thing. I've realised since I started drawing that I know very little about art, or famous artists. These days my mind is just a confusion. For the past three weeks at my drawing class we've been tackling linear perspective.  I found a book in the library suited to me.

I thought I had an understanding of the horizon and the vanishing point as my teacher was talking and demonstrating it all to us.

 Then when it came to drawing a pile of real life boxes, well I didn't have a clue how to go about it.

I studied my library book briefly, then gave up. I'm not inspired to do any drawing at home.

This week we moved on to 'breaking the rules' of perspective.  That sounded like more fun. 
However, it just looked like another still life to me.

For this drawing we had to change our point of view and combine different points of view in the same image. 
I'm not sure if any members of my class understood.  I drew the still life for a few minutes in one position then moved to another part of the room and continued my drawing.

ended up with two teapots and lots of lemons! 
I'm sure I am not interpreting correctly what our teacher is attempting to get us to do.
'Cubism' was mentioned. That's when I realised I knew nothing about art and artists.
I drew the tulips in a more geometric form but I still didn't have a clue. 
Then I came home and read up a bit on cubism and Picasso and Georges Braque and now I know a bit more than I knew before. 
I'm tempted to cut up my tulip drawing and piece it together now.
I might just break the rules. Isn't that what my teacher said? 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The passage of time and a retirement hat.

I've been reflecting on the passage of time again. There's been a reason that I haven't had time or inclination to write my blog.
I've written about dealing with my mum's different problems over the past few years, and all the time it took up!  My brother- in - law, my sister and me shared the load, but my brother - in - law did the biggest share by far.
During that time, for the last 4 to 5 years, my sister was receiving treatment for cancer.
Endless hospital appointments, operations, radiotherapy, chemo, hair loss - she went through it all with great dignity,  not wanting people to know about her illness, she just wanted to live as normal a life as she could. So I respected her wishes.
I'd say she managed to mostly keep it to herself,  the family and a few close friends. She kept going right up until last Christmas Day. Although she was exhausted, she made the effort. Then on Boxing Day it was almost like she'd had enough.
I went over to England once again on the 29th January to help look after her.  While I was with her there was never any talk of dying, we just got on with it,  then on one of the last days she said,  "I can't do this anymore".
She died at home, on the 6th February, 66 years old. One of my son's read a poem at her funeral. It reflects on how you live your life - 'the dash' between the year you are born and the year you die.

Another event that involves a passage of time is your working life. It seems like my husband has been working for almost as long as I've known him and now he's about to hit retirement age!
Last year I made a thinking hat for my son's 30th birthday. My husband was extremely jealous!
He's been going on about it ever since!
So I promised my husband a hat for Christmas. Well that didn't happen, I was worrying about my sister too much and couldn't settle.
So this week he's got a big birthday coming up, he'll be 65 this Friday, and I've finally got around to making the hat.

I had this remnant, costing 1/6d in old money.  I inherited a lot of fabric from my mother-in-law's stash and I thought it would be nice to use it to line the hat.


I quilted the lining and made the hat in much the same way as my son's hat.

Somehow I managed to cut out and stitch a hat that was far too small! So I had to make another one.
Maybe that small one will fit me. His and Hers.

The braid also came from my mum - in -  law's stash. It's old.

I made a tassel.

Then finished it off by stitching his initials.

I'm calling this one the 'retirement hat'.      

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Where does the time go?

The passage of time. I remarked upon this just this week when we had to say our goodbyes to the family dog, Snoopy. He wasn't my dog, he belonged to my son and daughter in law, but I looked after him quite a bit over his 14 years.
He happily attached himself to anyone that would take him for a walk and all the family loved him. One of his favourite walks with me was over the fields. He knew the way there and he knew the way back even better and when it was time to come home he would lay down and refuse to move!

We'd all noticed a change in Snoopy lately, he was becoming an old man and, after a visit to the vet last week, was diagnosed with bladder cancer. They advised it was time to let him go.
Time has to move on.
RIP Snoopy

Time can be a healer too and just before Christmas I was back over to England to visit my mum. 
Between Christmas 2014 and Christmas 2015 my mum was lucky enough to be given two new knees! So with time, and healing, I saw a good improvement in her overall health. Not bad for 90!

I'm hoping time will improve my drawing too. 
This was what I had to draw for our last and final class.

I don't seem to get much done in class and I find it difficult to concentrate. I end up taking a quick photo and then working from it at home. There's a whole lot wrong with this drawing and I need help!
So now I'm going to have to enrol for more classes and see if I can improve on my drawing skills.
Time will tell!