Thursday, 31 May 2012

Last day in may...

so I better get one more post in. Elaine is almost crawling now. This is her checking out my new mat for using with my sewing rotary cutter. Both were my birthday present from Mum...thanks Mum! :) Elaine christened them with plenty of drool before I used them to make her a summer weight sleeping bag.
Her head is that big...but she doesn't have the big black line through it. Doh!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

For beautiful sketches of the Umbrian & Tuscan countryside...

...please look elsewhere because there are none in this blog entry. 
Yes, once again the good intentions for lots of holiday drawing went out the window. Here's one done on the campsite in Talamone of Christoph holding Elaine. He's wearing her sunhat and, no he's not got drag queen lipstick on, my hand just slipped. He only puts lippy on when going out of an evening.

I have started a watercolour view of Talamone village but I don't know if I'll be able to finish it. I find landscape sketching and painting incredibly difficult. I'll have to do a course at some point because I lack the basic skills for watercolour. I tend to just draw then colour in, rather than paint.
On the return journey to Germany the motorhome, despite only being 5 months old, broke down (turbo problems) twice, was towed away twice and spent time at 3 different garages. Now, if I was a quick-thinking, dedicated sketcher like Lynn, I would now display many sketches of Italian mechanics gesturing with thumb and four fingers together and saying "Domani, domani!" and "Now mezzo-giorno! Ritorno 4 o'clock!", etc. Sadly, I'm not. We had to move to a hotel so I grabbed baby bottles, baby food and some other essentials from the motorhome but forgot to get my sketchbook as I was too distracted with thoughts like "Bring handwash detergent or just turn underpants inside out and hope the thickness of my denim shorts blocks any unpleasant odours?".*
The one piece of good luck in the whole breakdown business was the the hotel we were forced to stay in during the 'repairs' was lovely: Tenuta La Lupa country hotel If you're ever in the Livorno/Pisa area I wholeheartedly recommended. The food was amazing.
Here's some sketches done between face-stuffing on the only paper I could find:

However I have to bow to the artistic ability of the anonymous previous guest in our room, who had filled the other side of the paper:

The hotel also had a lovely outside pool.  Being Scottish, an outside pool is, and will ever remain, exotic and exciting. Usage is therefore obligatory. Even if the temperature has cooled considerably over the last few days and there is a breeze creating an exciting wave effect and making legs look like freshly plucked chicken drumsticks. We had to go back to the van on the 2nd day anyway so we picked up swimsuits and my sketchbook. Happily, there is no record of me in my goosepimpled glory, just one drawing of Elaine:

*Less robust-stomached readers may be relieved to know that I chose the handwash option. This choice was probably only regretted by hotel owner, Fabio, as I proceeded to drape dripping underwear over the chairs on our terrace, somewhat ruining the rustic charm.