house portrait

From May 2020, when I first started my part time illustration course. I am still quite pleased with this drawing. Physically, I was fitter and could draw without shaking too much. I tend to add less details these days too. I’d like to get back to drawing outside. Maybe meet up with urban sketchers again. Even though I havent caught Covid, it’s done things to me mentally. I guess I got a bit of cabin fever during lockdown, and since then it’s been easier to avoid people – you never know if you will just burst into tears… I think I’m OK, god knows what its like for people living through wars or famine. We can still do things here, well some of us can. I worry for people in food poverty or who can’t afford to heat their homes. It all spins round in my head. which is why I’m writing this at 3.11am…. must go to bed.

In the second world war and afterwards they had ordinary people just writing down their everyday lives in diaries. They were collated to record what had happened. There is a film called “Housewife 55” or something like that, which starred Victoria Wood. If you can find it, it’s worth watching, very poignant. maybe they were their own kind of bloggers.

Moon closer?

There’s a new film out about the Moon getting a lot closer to the Earth. Its by the same director as ‘Independence day’ and ‘the day after tomorrow’ I think?

There is also a video on Instagram showing the Moon closer and instead of being tidaly locked with the Earth (one face always towards us), it’s shown wobbling irregularly.

Thinking about it I wondered what would happen. Unless it was hit by something very large it wouldn’t move closer to us. But if it did I think we would have massive tides and earthquakes. The land rises as the moon passes over it. The question is how close does the video or film represent? The closer, the worse the effects. I know the moon is slowly moving away by a few centimeters a year, its been measured with a laser fired at mirrors left on its surface by the Apollo missions. If it was knocked away the Earth’s tilt would become worse and our spin unstable. Either way not good news…

Loving Vincent

Attempt at Vincent Van Gogh’s style

I saw this film late last night and was enthralled by it. Each individual frame is hand painted in Van Gogh’s style. The son of the postmaster where Van Gogh used to live goes off to try and deliver a letter from Vincent to his brother Theo, after his death. When he finds the brother is also dead he decides to take the letter to the Doctor who was treating Van Gogh before his apparent suicide.

The film covers the year after Van Gogh’s death and shows in black and white flash backs incidents that might have happened between Vincent and the people around him. This is told through a series of conversations between the postmaster son and various characters.

This is a visually sumptuous film in Van Gogh’s style. The Polish/British co-production is stunning and intriguing. The gradual understanding of what happened makes for a satisfying investigation of the circumstances surrounding his death.

Release date: 2017 (United Kingdom)Directors: Dorota KobielaHugh WelchmanMusic by: Clint MansellBox office: 42.1 million USDAwards: European Film Award for Best Animated Feature Film

Frodo

Another one of my digital drawings that I did on the Sketchfu website (closed a few years ago). This was Frodo and his sword Sting. I’m re-reading the Lord of the Rings and they have just come through Moria where Gandalf falls into an abyss with the Balrog. Reading a book is different to seeing a film, the story is visualised by you, not by a digital animator. Frodo looks like your imagined hobbit, not someone acting him. That said I did like this actor, Elijah Wood, but I also liked Ian Holm who played him in the BBC radio series.

Aragorn

One of my old digital drawings on a now defunct website called Sketchfu. I drew it when the Lord of the Rings came out. I have forgotten the actor who played him although I know Orlando Bloom played Legolas. I know the actor also played a long distance horse rider in a film about a horse that races over the Sahara. The horse wasn’t pure blood but one of Americas wild mustang horses. I can’t remember the film name! My memory is getting full of holes….

The Colour Room

Mural of Clarice Cliff umbrella tea set I painted at the leopard Hotel.

I’m excited, a film about the life of Clarice Cliff, the Art Deco pottery painter and designer has just come out on film. I’ve also found out some of my friends are extras in the film! I want to find out if I can go and see it at a local screening.

Clarice Cliff is famous for designs such as “bizzare” and other geometric shaped pots painted in colourful and stylish patterns. She was working in the 1930’s at the same time as other paintresses such as Suzy Cooper. Apologies for my lack of information. If you look her up on Wikipedia or perhaps the museum services at Stoke-on-Trent City Council. She is very famous here. X

Digital Marilyn

A digital drawing I did of Marilyn Munroe a few years ago. It was very hard to get her features right. I’m not sure what film the image was taken from but it might have been ‘some like it hot’ which also starred Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

The story is that they are escaping gangsters and escape by dressing as women and joining a woman’s Jazz band. Marilyn is the singer of the band. If you ever want to cheer yourself up I would recommend the film.

The good the bad and the ugly….

My hubby is watching an old spaghetti western ‘the good the bad and the ugly’ and suddenly the theme music is playing, ah ah ah ahh wahh ah wah.. Wah…

Memory of a junior school dance class. Having to try and do an interpretive dance to the music. It must have been when the film came out. I remember having to do the same to music from the film ‘Oliver!’ I remember I didn’t have an interpretive bone in my body.

I’m watching a film set in a dusty desert. The music is great, but I hate the dubbing of voices on the film. I hadn’t realised it stars a young Clint Eastwood. I don’t think I’ve ever watched it before.

Favourite A Christmas Carol film

There are lots of film versions of A Christmas Carol by Charles Darwin. Of them there are several that I really enjoyed. One with Sir Patrick Stewart starring in it, and also Micheal Caine in Muppet Christmas Carol. But my favourite is Scrooge: A Christmas Carol, starring Alistair Sim.

Made in Black and White in 1951, it tells the story of the transformation of the miser, Scrooge, following his haunting by first, his deceased partner Jacob Martley, and then the three ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

Over the course of the film Scrooge learns that his ideas of how people should live are cruel, uncharitable and miserly. He suddenly realises that he can change.

Alistair Sim’s portrayal of Scrooge is a revaluation. He goes from mean and grim to happy (and giggling). His face shows his emotions, you can see what he is thinking. It’s a wonderful piece of acting.

The DVD is out!

Humanus, the film we are extras in, has been released. Its a comedy, musical, romance, mystery, horror, zombie movie. Made by members of inter-theatre last year, it stars people of different abilities and including Niel Baldwin (Nello) who was the subject of the BBCs ‘Marvellous’ film.

I don’t know if it’s out on general release but it did win some awards at a film festival. If you want to look it up its called Humanus, directed by Steve Mitchell.