Friday, 29 October 2004

Time for a Refreshing Change

After all the detailed work on the portrait it's great to be able to let loose on this big canvas. Chester is a city very close to my heart and I love painting it.

I'm off there tomorrow on a girly shopping trip, not forgetting the spooky Halloween night I've got lined up for Sunday.

Speaking of the Halloween show, Richard was on 106.3 Dee FM this morning, playing mind games on the presenters and plugging his show. He came across really well on the radio.
Currently on my Easel...

Wednesday, 27 October 2004


I've been for a great walk this morning. Part of it was along the River Weaver where I used to row for Northwich Rowing Club. It brought back loads of memories especially when a couple of scullers paddled past. I really miss it, but it takes up sooo much time and you can forget your weekend lie-ins. Rowing is a lifestyle. Practically every summer weekend is spent in a tent somewhere else in the country. It was great at the time and I made some fantastic friends (and met some absolute witches!) but I don't think I could do it now. No, my rowing days are over, for the moment anyway.

I'm supposed to be playing squash tonight against my friend C. The last time I played I couldn't walk for a week because my foot skidded across the floor and my body refused to follow. She is probably going to annihilate me.

The River Weaver, Northwich.

Monday, 25 October 2004

Monday, 18 October 2004

Close Up Posted by Hello

I've also refined the 4th figure quite a bit Posted by Hello

Portrait Progress

Here's the latest on the family portrait.

I've changed the third figure quite a bit. I wasn't happy with the likeness and felt her head was a bit too big. Still not 100% there with it yet. I'm finding it hard going on just one photo when I haven't met the people. The last thing I want is for it to look stiff and unnatural.

I'm going on to refine the blond haired girl next.

I'm terrible like this. I find it so hard to decide when a painting is finished. I usually hang them on the wall for a few days so I get a fresh look each time I walk in the room.

Saturday, 16 October 2004

British Isles: A Natural History

I've been for a walk in Wales today with the folks. A weird place called Minera. Apart from stopping every other minute to look at some plant specimen (Dad's a full-on botanist) we came out at this huge limestone quarry. There were small rocks for as far as the eye could see.

So in true Alan Titchmarsh style (think I'm starting to turn into him) we started to search for fossils. Dad found a couple of fossilised shells and I found some good coral. Amazing to think that it was all covered by a tropical sea.

Can you see the shells top left?
Alan Titchmarsh

Friday, 15 October 2004

Woohooohoohhoo Hallowe'en Here We Come

Last night at our dancing class I approached Richard (who is the kind of man who has his business fingers in many pies) and asked for 2 tickets to his Hallowe'en night to be held at the most haunted building in Chester. As well as being our dance teacher he's into Derren Brown type psychology and is going to try and scare the pants off everyone after plying them with champagne.

ps. I've just joined the Blog Explosion band wagon. It's supposed to send your blog loads of readers. Hello Blog Explosion readers!

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

Where's the fairy?

Dewy Morning

Little Budworth was gleaming with dew this morning. There is sooo much fungi in the woods and on the heathland. I love Autumn.

I actually remembered to take my camera and went clambering through low and broken branches like Alan Titchmarsh to get you this photo of the UK's favourite fairy toadstool.
Little Budworth

Monday, 11 October 2004

Portrait Stage 5 (Still more to do)
Portrait Stage 4 (Still a lot of work to do)

Celebrating Autumn

Recently I've been grumbling a lot about how we always seem to go straight from Summer into Christmas (that's what our local garden centre would have you think). What about Autumn, my second favourite season?

I was excited yesterday when we made the journey to Attingham Park to find a celebration of the humble apple in full swing. There was an apple/cider press where layer upon layer of mulched apples had the juice crushed out of them. They couldn't fill the bottles up fast enough for the queue of people waiting to buy it. Of course it didn't taste anything like the cartons of apple juice from the supermarket, it was in a whole other league. It tasted like apples which was a good start.

There was also a willow weaver, lots of different organic apples and veg, very curious apple leather, and a very enthusiastic story teller for the kids. P couldn't drag me away. I made another apple pie when we got home. It was just as rustic in appearance as the first but tasted much better. I am in full Autumnal swing.

Tuesday, 5 October 2004

More requested photos

The photos below have been requested by Thanks, hope you find them interesting.

I know this isn't a photo or painting as requested, but it's my favourite wall hanging. It's a clock by Claire Sowden who imo is a very talented textile artist. The heart in the middle spins round with the seconds. I bought it from Onset in Chester.

This is the current book I'm reading. Both my dad and my sister love this series of books so I decided to find out what all the fuss was about. I'm almost at the end but it's not really my cup of tea. I'm not sure if it's the writing style that I can't take to, or just the characters. A bit of both I think.

The basic story centres around a woman just back from WWII who steps through a stone circle in Scotland. She finds herself in 1743 just before Culloden. It's mostly a love story though.

The best book I've read recently is The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman from the His Dark Materials triology.

The view from my painting room

Photo Requests

Ok pj, I've decided to go with your suggestions. As requested 3 photos of the place where I work.

Flashmobbing sounds interesting but be seen in a large group of people in the countryside which quickly gathers & disperses and you're in danger of being mistaken as a hardcore twitcher.

Yes, I'm a bit messy...

I use a white plate as a palette. The black tray is partially filled with water - I rest my brushes in it when I'm painting with a different brush and it stops the acrylic paint from drying and clogging up the bristles. The white bottle in the centre is my spray bottle (see September's arachnophobia post - the spider was in the lid lying next to it).

My easel and my computer where I'm currently sitting.

*Mr Landlord please note I'm protecting the carpet.*

My poor neglected plant

Monday, 4 October 2004

Wooo hoooo!

Wow, I've got 2 readers!! Hello, thanks for commenting! I'll wait a bit longer before I post requested pics to see if there are any more.

Saturday, 2 October 2004

Joining In

I've just read the new craze is asking readers to think of 3 photos they'd like to see posted to your blog. (Things around your house or whatever.)

So, I don't know if anyone even reads my blog but I'm inviting you to take part if you exist!

Friday, 1 October 2004

Twisting the knife

I've just been to the front door and someone has shoved an NSPCC collection envelope through the letterbox.

Bad Day

I phoned the gallery. I've been putting it off and putting it off because I was so nervous that my painting wouldn't have sold in the auction but finally plucked up the courage and...

... the painting didn't sell and I feel really crushed :((

Christine at the gallery told me very few people turned up. She said (in a sad voice) nobody wanted to support the NSPCC.

It doesn't make me feel any better but I suppose I'll just pick myself up and carry on.