Begonias

One of the best things this year have been the begonias in the hanging baskets.

I’m not certain, but I think there are male and female flowers. Because some are big and blousy and the others are smaller and more simple. Whichever they are, they have been beautiful this year. The colours are subtle and amazing. They have also lasted a long time. I’ve only had to dead head them a few times. I’m hoping the weather does not get cold too soon so I can enjoy them for a few weeks longer.

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Going a bit ‘van gogh’

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I looked at last night’s sketch and wondered what I could do to maybe tie it more together? I decided to use one of the style options in photodirector. This is a phone app that allows you to edit your photos and drawings¬† and change their appearance.

I was very pleased with this. I definitely think it has a Van Gogh feel to it. Probably having the chair there with my easle on it adds to that feeling.

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Patterns

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Patterned background, created digitally, with a figure of a seated woman added. I like playing with pattern, seeing what I can find hidden in the depths..

I added dark lines then shading and lightened areas to give the figure a bit of definition. I guess it’s a little more abstract than I normally draw. I changed the hue in it a couple of times to. Making it more green and then more red. I enjoy experimenting with art.

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After Hokusai’s Great Wave

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my attempt at the great wave after Hokusai.

I’m writing an assignment about the artist Hokusai and his ink and wood block print, The Great wave, or The Great Wave off Kanagawa produced around 1830. He had previously painted two other great waves in 1803 and 1805. There is a collection of 36 views of Mount Fuji by him.

I found out that he had been influenced by an artist called Shiba Kokan, who in turn had been influenced by Western Art. The Portuguese first started trading with the Japanese as early as 1543 and later the Dutch came along and started to trade with them in 1609.

Hokusai’s first waves were not as stylised as the Great Wave, but over the intervening 30 years he honed his style. His wave painting has a low horizon which gives it a more western and also menacing feel. The wave towers over three fishing boats, threatening to swamp them, Fingers of water claw the air in a very fractal pattern, and a tiny Mount Fuji sits in the background, apparently encircled by a threatening sea and lowering clouds.

Did you know the wave emoji is based on Hokusai’s work, and this in turn is linked to the waving hand emoji. There is a site called emojipedia that gives lots of interesting facts about emoji icons.

I wont go into great detail about the assignment, but I had to link in semiotics and other ways of critically appraising art works. I was up till 4am trying to pull it all together!

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Horse

horse woodcut style painter

I’ve just downloaded a trial of Corel Painter Essentials 7

In English I mean I have downloaded a drawing package onto my computer. I hope it will be easy to use, I have got to explore it. What I ended up with after five minutes of playing is like a cave painting! so I guess that’s appropriate as I’m learning.

There are lots of things you can set on it, various AI things (artificial intelligence) like an AI Van Gogh. But I haven’t sussed out how to use them, I clicked on the buttons but wouldn’t say that I could¬† see any difference to the mark making.

Later I’m going to read “Where the Wild Things are” by Maurice Sendak (if that’s how its spelled). Its a book I read in my childhood and I am interested in using it as part of a case study for my course, what fun!

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Necklaces

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I got some of my necklaces back from a gallery that closed down last week. Most of them are quite chunky. I had a few small ones that were being made (my friend does wire weaving) but with the lockdown I haven’t been able to get some of them back.

I promised a couple to friends and I’m very disappointed they haven’t been able to have them yet. It’s only because of covid 19 that I haven’t been able to pass them on.

Green woman?

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I love green. I’ve done a painting of myself as a green woman, and this is a selfie I did in the garden today. I was trying to complete a challenge with a group of friends to post an image of myself with different colours of the rainbow. Today the colour was green. I started out wrapping a pale green scarf round my head, but it didn’t work very well, so I went outside and stuck my head through the leaves of various bushes.

Are you doing any strange challenges or being prompted to do things you wouldn’t normally do?

Art you enjoying doing some crafts or art work. What occupies your time in these odd times?

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My friends book…

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Image by N. F. Mirza from her book.

I don’t do reviews…

But (you know one was coming). I just sat down to read ” Swinging Sanity” a book of poetry by my friend N. F. Mirza, who I know as ‘stoneronarollercoaster’ at WordPress.

I’ve known her for a while and found out she was a writer and now a published poet. Her book is a small volume. But it’s full to bursting with poetry full of emotion. As she moves through life, using it to discover her mental health and wellbeing.

The poems are forceful, I’m no poetry critic, but I found them easy to read. Some of them touched raw nerves, and you can see her heart torn open in many of them. I particularly liked Ocean and I become one.

ISBN 9798618202992.

Sonnets

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Digital drawing of Partick Stewart as captain Picard from Star Trek. Drawn on the sketchfu app a few years ago. I was quite pleased with the result.

I’m currently watching Partick Stewart read Shakespeare’s sonnets on Instagram. He is reading them from lockdown, and I think he is on sonnet 54.

I love his voice, it is so impressive, I think it has ‘gravitas’ and he has a thoughtful way of putting the words across. When I’ve had a stressful day his reading calms me down.

I do not know the sonnets, I’m hearing them all with a fresh ear. I don’t have expectations of how they should sound. Listening is like a meditation.

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2.45am

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I can’t take a photo of a bird in the dark so this will have to do.

The dawn chorus has started. I’m not sure what bird is singing , but I think it’s probably a robin based on its liquid and melodius song. All my windows and doors are double glazed, except one above our front door, that is a single glazed half circle with a stained glass window inside it. But it is enough to let the wonderful sound through.

I can’t tell if it’s one bird. There is a tiny hint of a response, but too far away to hear clearly. There are gaps in the song as if the singer is listening? Maybe we will have a Robins nest in the garden for Spring?

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Good night