Xie Xie, thanks in chinese.


I was just sitting in my local Chinese takeaway restaurant and decided to draw one of the fish they have swimming round in a large tank. When I had done it and the food was ready I showed my drawing to the lady behind the counter. I explained that it was a quick sketch as the fish kept swimming. It looks a bit worried but that’s just my drawing.

I asked how to say thank you as the food there is always lovely and the people in the restaurant said xie Xie and wrote it down next to the sketch. They are Mandarin speakers. I had asked if they were Cantonese. But they said no. The words are very similar in both languages but that the writing of Chinese script is the same in both languages (dialects). I think I remember reading that in a friends blog here, that even if the words are pronounced differently the script is the same.

Anyway it was a tasty supper and it’s nice to communicate even if it’s only with a few shared words.

Thinking about it the words I have learnt in other languages like Greek and Thai all tend to be the ones meaning please and thank you. I must have been bought up right!

Llandegla fishery

Up in the hills between Ruthin and Wrexham in north wales is a little fishery called Llandegla. Its almost at the top of the hill  before you get to the top then drop down into Wrexham, on the road, on the left hand side ( there is another fishery further down the road on a side road).

There’s a cafe and camp site for small caravans in the grounds of the fishery and the opportunity to catch fish if you want (Vegetarians look away now).

We had lunch there, hot smoked trout with new potatos and mixed leaf salad, which was delicious.

I kept up my habit of sketching, and did a few pictures, one of them I gave away because a boy there was interested in doing art.

So day trips continue, where will we go tomorrow?

More animal drawings

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I have posted some more of my old drawings for you. As you can see I have lots of ideas, some of them come from photographs I have seen in magazines, others are from my imagination. I have a few more left, so I might post them later in the week.

I hadn’t seen the slideshow option before, hope you like it.

I do like dolphins, I swam with a wild one a few years ago. We were on holiday and came back to the caravan site in the late afternoon. There were a pod of dolphins in the sea. I got in the sea …I only took my shoes and glasses off…. then swam out about 20 yards. One dolphin stayed near the beach, it kept swimming near me. There were people in wet suits further out, and people in the shallows,  me in the middle…..I can’t say it was spiritual, but it was amazing.

The next day there was a warning sign saying that the dolphin was called Georges who was an adolescent male. He had hurt himself because he was too curious and had been hurt by propellers on boats.  Apparently you could catch illnesses like pneumonia from the damp air from his blow hole.

I didn’t care…. I had a wonderful experience.

Dreaming in Blue and Orange

Sometimes you just need to use colour, doodle, feel free, mess about.

I did these three in the Sketcher for Galaxy app. The first one was going to be a beach and sunset. I had just seen a painting by Monet of a seascape and sky and the colours were deliciously luminous.

However it didnt really work even when using the smudge tool, so I decided to add a grey figure, depicting loss or contemplation. The result looks quite ghostly.

Then I decided to add the white horse, quite randomly. It was more about the challenge of getting more light into the image. I am also learning to control the tools which are being drawn with my right middle finger. At times my fingers catch on the screen, resulting in the line dragging and jumping. Then it’s a case of going back a step or two and trying again.

Finally I decided to draw a fish. I wanted to really emphasise the blue and orange colours. So why not have a blue fish and orange water, I could imagine the sun setting over a pond reflecting its orange, gold rays. The fish could be a trout instead of a Koi which I usually draw.

Other problems are choosing the right brushes to get the effects you want. Keeping the opacity of the brushes low so you get a more transparent feel. Trying to get the line thickness thin enough. (I think I must get another stylus). There are limitations to the programme and I do sometimes have trouble saving images. Also the image size can cause a problem when saving to sites like instagram as there seems to be a height or width limit and I often lose parts of the picture because of it.

Getting ready for a stall

20180306_225311After a couple of weeks struggling with a cold I’m now preparing work for a stall at an  international womens day event at Burslem School of Art on Saturday.

That basically means getting paintings together that I can display for sale.

The last time I did something like this was when I sat inside at Spode Studios last November when it was almost as cold inside as outside!  I only sold a few tiny paintings. I have also had a stall in the winter a few years ago. It was cold and I did not sell much. So I have to say I’m a bit nervous of doing it.

At least I have some new business cards and labels done. I’m trying to be more professional.  Is there anything  I should think about?

There should be quite a few crafters there on Saturday. Hopefully it will be a good day.