Value my tools – comment 17

I use my rotary cutter frequently when working with fabrics. Today I couldn’t find it! It was then that I realised how much I needed it.

When I found it (in the place it should have been and where I looked first) I looked at it with new eyes and decided to draw it. Deceptively simple, but it’s circular blade and smooth lines were hard to draw without wobbling. But then cutting smooth lines without wobbles is just what the cutter is so good at. I appreciate it all the more now.,


Do the same again – comment 16

In a sunny moment between the rain showers I headed outside to gather some winter leaves to eat with our meal tonight. The Swiss chard provides a bright splash of colour on a grey day, and I thought I might draw the leaves before cooking them.

But then I discovered (thanks to a Facebook reminder!) that I drew Swiss chard exactly one year ago on this blog!!

I can’t do the same again, I thought to myself. But I did. Well I used the red Swiss chard leaf as inspiration, but this time I drew with my sewing machine on fabric. The same but not the same.

Do something different – comment 15

Perhaps the hardest time of any kind of January art/creative blog challenge is about now. This is when I begin to think “what can I do today?” and feel I am having to search for inspiration. This is the time energy wanes and I run out of steam. To renergise I wondered what I could do today that was a bit different.,

Just outside my window the winter jasmine is flowering with courageous little yellow trumpets undeterred by gloom and rain. I have drawn it before, but today I decided to brush up my free machining skills, and trying drawing it with thread instead of pencil. And I know that watercolours can dry very pale and insipid on fabric, so I thought I would try some new inktense colours I had been given as a present.

Result? Well my free machining needs some practise, the inktense colours are certainly bright, but they lack subtlety and weren’t the best for blending. But at least I tried something different!

Nothing is nondescript – comment 14

We walked along the beach this afternoon in some lovely wintery sunshine. The tide was out and it was easy walking on the flat sand. I picked up some shells thinking I might draw them. Nothing too difficult, simple shapes, not complicated.

“A bit nondescript in fact “, I thought when I picked up my pencil, “and quite similar”. But I was wrong. Although the shells are roughly the same size and shape, the textures and colours are beautifully subtle and everyone is different. Another little lesson for me to learn in my attempts to draw them.

There’s no such thing as “nondescript”!

Take your time – comment 13

Aaagh! This was so difficult to draw! My silvery wrist watch, with all the flexible segments in the strap, reflecting light all over the place. Why on earth did I try it?

Well it is so much a part of my every day life, I look at it a lot. I arrange my day according to its golden hands and where it says I am, and where I’ve got to get to. And the round faces of watches and clocks are not the only way I measure time, numbers are displayed digitally on my bedside alarm, and as a countdown on my computer. Counting the seconds, minutes, hours.

I didn’t get this painting right, and I feel reluctant to post it. But perhaps it is a reminder that for all our attempts to measure time we won’t always keep to time or be on time. And perhaps there is no need to hurry any way.

So let’s just take our time.

Don’t take things for granted – comment 12

When I received these lovely pink lollipops from a friend earlier in the week, I was delighted and resolved to draw them.

Now that they have opened a little I sat down to really look at them and their apparent simplicity was revealed in all its complexity. Their shapes change every time I change my position. It makes me realise just how many assumptions we make about about things, perhaps friends too.

Don’t take them, friends and tulips, for granted…

Enjoy the process – comment 11

Yes I know it’s a bit different – odd even. But contemplating circles, wheels and spirals this morning – we have a wheel bearing going on our car – I thought I would experiment with a free hand spiral design. The outer circle was drawn around a sellotape ring but apart from that I drew the inner spirals “by eye”. Much more difficult than I had imagined. And in fact I had nothing to look at and observe. I was judging the lines, and spaces between the lines, as they emerged on the paper. I needed the eraser a few times until I began to understand a bit more about the relationships between the lines…

Sometimes the process is much more interesting than the product!