Friday, 30 March 2012

What happened to March?

Time is going so fast now it's almost a blur. I've hardly got any drawing done the last couple of weeks as I've been so busy. But don't ask me what I've been doing - I can't tell you...I don't know! I've not even been procrastinating (hardly), I've just been keeping on top of all the day-to-day stuff and am genuinely perplexed when I look at my watch and it's already midnight.

Last Tuesday I thought I better get out of the house and attempt to draw something other than my baby. So I parked the pram and plonked myself on a bench in what I fruitlessly hoped was an inconspicuous part of the town square. I really admire people who draw openly in a public place and can deal with curious passer-bys. I look less an artist and more a furtive scribbling weirdo. And if I'm trying to draw people then I probably resemble a furtive staring pervert. So, doing my best to ignore the dubious characters drinking out of beer bottles two benches down, I decided to concentrate on a building, the Rathaus (town hall).

I find architecture a struggle at the best of times and true to form the interruptions started almost immediately. Three minutes in, two young, good-looking men came up and asked... no, not to see my etchings and no, not for my phone number...they wanted to know where the next butcher's was located. After dealing with this rather random request I returned to my subject only to find the view blocked by a woman with pram. These self-absorbed mothers! Tchaah! She toddled on eventually and I was just starting to concentrate when a voice right in my ear asked if I was concerned with the state of our society full of drugs and crimes. Feeling tempted to commit a criminal act myself at this point, I turned was a Jehovah's Witness. She had sneaked up silently from behind on her mobility scooter. A mobility scooter! That's just not cricket, is it? I doubted I could outrun her with the baby in tow. And using my only daughter's pram to ram her would just be wrong - it was an expensive pram and I wouldn't like to damage the chassis. So I braced myself. Actually she was a nice lady, albeit a rubbish evangelist. She quickly agreed that it wasn't be worth taking a magazine if I wasn't actually going to read it and moved swiftly to a topic closer to her heart - her granddaughter in Canada. I started to wonder if she actually was a Jehovah's Witness; maybe she just used that as a ploy to launch herself on potential listeners. Fortunately a prior acquaintance/victim came along and she turned her full attention to him. Just as well as I had started to slump and drool.
I turned, without much hope, back to my sketchbook. Sure enough, I have bared wiped off the dribble when Elaine decided she'd had enough of this nonsense and it was time to go. 

So it was a pretty hopeless sketch which I attempted to improve with a bit of watercolour at home.
Kempten Rathaus (the thing in the foreground is a fountain, still boarded over for winter)
Even if a sketch doesn't work out, it helps you see more. For example, the second, lower, round disc is not another numeric clock, as I always assumed but shows the astrological signs. The Rathaus has been restored at some point in the fairly recent past. I don't know if it had bomb damage from the war or maybe it was just in need of age-related restoration. Here's how it looked in 1929 (from a postcard image):
I wasn't too lazy to draw the windows - they don't exist anymore - and the steps are different too.

This week I only got this naptime drawing done (photo's not the best unfortunately) of Elaine entangled with her bear:

It's now 12:45 am (how did that happen?!) so I'm off to bed.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Jags and stealth rolling

Whipped out the pencil last Sunday night whilst half watching Upstairs Downstairs. Elaine was out for the count so I got the coloured pencils too. The poor lighting in the living room is getting the blame this time for me unwittingly giving her a rather jaundiced/orange look. She woke up before I could fix it.
11th March

On Wednesday she got the second round of immunization jags. Despite getting one in each leg she barely cried at all. She slept a lot for the rest of the day. This is her in the car seat.

Today she's rolled (twice!) for the first time from her back to her front and I missed it both times! I was there - in one case I was right next to her but had my back to her (staring at the evil TV, doh!). When I turned she was on her stomach. Stealth rolling. I've been trying to creep up on her to see her do it but it hasn't happened again. 
Tonight the rest of the family and virtually all the salon staff are at the Runway fashion show while I'm left here with baby. Going to try to use the time productively and do some sewing. Will not be distracted by the ridiculous chat on 'Take me out', I won't!

Friday, 16 March 2012

It's not art, it's just life

Apologies to anyone with a queasy disposition viewing this post but some things have to be recorded for posterity. It's probably just as well that smells can't be archived though.
5th March
Haven't had a level 4 Apoocalypse since last Thursday. It happened, of course, in public. Some of the women from my antenatal class had organized a get together to compare babies and smugly decide own offspring is much more advanced/attractive/intelligent exchange experiences and chat. This month in was in Petra's home - an amazing and completely spotless two-storey apartment (in a converted farmhouse with views of the alps and surrounded by scenic countryside, by the by). I can't emphasis how clean and super tidy this house was. There was not one item out of place. No clutter whatsoever. The kitchen worktops were home to a kettle, a soda stream...and that was all! It wasn't even that she'd done an emergency tidy and hidden all the random stuff in one room. I know for sure, because she gave us a tour of all the rooms and they were equally tidy. Unfortunately I wasn't left alone at any time so I couldn't have a rummage in the cupboards and closets but I suspect there would be no mess to rummage through anyway. Now I think of it, there was no wardrobe in the bedroom, she had a walk in closet full of neat rails and precisely folded clothes. Gaaah! It was like a mini Benetton store. 
These pristine surroundings inspired Baby Elaine to a 5 minute performance of red-faced grunting and screeching culminating in what can only be described as a fecal explosion. Changing her was more traumatic than usual as I desperately tried to avoid getting poo on any of the shining surfaces while battling loss of consciousness due to the fumes. Fortunately, Elaine's clothing had soaked up most of the overspill so the floor was saved. Phew.

11th March
What with that meeting, having to work one day in the salon, baby massage class, meeting Heidi and her cute twins, didn't get much else done last week. And I wasn't even procrastinating. Hardly. Above are some scribbles done in a few grabbed minutes in between doing other 'stuff'.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Not a hugely productive week...

...but something is better than nothing, right? I do seem to spend my days feeling very busy, rushing about from home-bank-supermarket-dry cleaners-office-salon-post office-home, etc. etc. I think I'm busy but not very efficient!
From the sketches, you'd think Baby Elaine only sleeps but she's getting more energetic every day. She can't roll yet but she's started bum-shuffling and boxes the toys hanging from her activity gym like a loony. 
After the Elephant man drawing I decided I was trying too hard and am going to concentrate on drawing for short periods - 3 mins, 6 mins, 20 mins. Maybe I'll eventually speed up enough so that I have the courage to draw outside in public places.
24th February - two 6 minute sketches. Today was our first session at baby massage class and it seemed to really knock Elaine out.
26th February
Today she grabbed Christoph's finger and stuffed it so far into her mouth that she puked! Didn't seem to disturb her though.
27th February - 17 weeks old - she's spent most of the day playing like a fruit loop with the activity gym. I tried to capture her in motion...she's just a baby but it's still too fast for me!
1st March 2012  - Elaine has so many clothes but I always seem to draw her when she's wearing this stripey babygro. It's my current favourite anyway.