Thursday, 30 May 2013

Holiday research

Only two 'sleeps' until we head to France and (please, please!) better weather. I have cracked open my new watercolour Moleskine to make some notes. We are going to the Ardeche region in the southeast. As you might discern from the map below it's not got anything (cities, landmarks) super-famous in it but that (I hope) is part of the charm. It's one of the least populated areas of France and full of gorges, rivers, forests, weird rock formations and picturesque villages.

But it is France, so obviously there's going to be some wine...
 And I even may get to do something cultural in between the boozing so I've been trying to increase my knowledge of French history a teeny bit. (I was about to say 'fill the gaps but it's less of a gap than a gaping void. The little I know about France pre-4th Republic I've learnt from the Sharpe novels. Tsk, tsk and hang head in shame).

Monday, 27 May 2013

First haircut

Christoph gave Elaine her first haircut the other week. Due to the way her thicker toddler hair is growing in she has a natural mullet (she is half German so I suppose it was inevitable) but at least now it's a well-groomed mullet. I decided to boldly use a pen so it's not the most flattering portrait (for some reason Christoph here reminds me of Fagin from Oliver Twist). However I wasn't much kinder to myself in my quick watercolour effort: nice shadow 'tache!


Sunday, 19 May 2013

The moleskine

Hurrah! The moleskine sketchbook, started in (whisper it, 2009) is finally filled. The quality of the drawings isn't great but it's full of memories and personal interest for me as I used it mainly when I was travelling. There are drawings done in Shetland, Blairgowrie, Sutherland, Beauly (Scotland), Naples (Florida), Kempten (Germany), Kleinweisertal (Austria), the Yukon (Canada). I simultaneously find that pretty cool that I saved those memories in drawn form and disappointing that I didn't do more drawing of those places. It's hard to prioritise sketching when there are so many new things discover or old friends to meet. 

After the exotic(ish) places mentioned above, the last few pages were...shall we say homely?

There's an annual spring jazz festival in Kempten. This drummer was part of a trio playing in the square near our house. It was a lovely sunny Saturday and all the cafes' and bars' outdoor tables were crammed full. I'd love to say I sketched this from a cafe table, sipping an ice cold glass of good quality Riesling but in actual fact I was wrestling with a toddler intent on escaping from her buggy. I snapped a photo.
I'd planned on only using coloured pencils  here - the expriment went wrong) so that's why Elaine looks like a pantomime dame. Howeverwhen she gets into my makeup drawer (a frequent occurrance) this is pretty much how she ends up).
Saturday night in the camper van.

Peace at last

Friday, 17 May 2013

Wonky Donkey etc.

Some randomness this time. First up, a donkey...drawn from photos taken at the petting farm.
 Next, a little ghost. Lately, Elaine has taken to grabbing items of clothing (or any kind of fabric she can get her hands on) and flinging it over her head. I can't decide if she's trying to dress herself...or if she's just a bit loopy. In this case she took one of my tops out of the (dirty) washing basket, fully covered her head with it and then proceeded to run around the flat at high speed, laughing hysterically. Somehow she managed to miss the furniture. This drawing was also done from a photo (c' there really any chance of my drawing from life these days?!). Elaine manages though (sigh...):

Well, actually this next drawing was done from life. It's....a bread pretzel. Hmm...inspiration doesn't always strike!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Parents on the couch (in a non-Freudian way!)

I haven't posted for a while and was foiled several times this week by Blogger/my internet connection refusing to upload my photos for some unknown reason. My parents were here for a couple of weeks so I had a couple of different unwitting victims models. 
Dad with I-Pad. He must have realised at least subconsciously that I was drawing him as he kept moving his legs about.

Poor Mum never comes off well in my drawings! She started off knitting but then either the effort of counting stitches or following the plotline of 'Endevour' got too much for her and she dozed off! (Although how anyone can make it through Endevour or Inspector Morse fully conscious is a wonder).

Finally, I completed this table runner ages ago but I'll share it with you now as these are the only remaining photos which I have managed to upload. I thought straight line quilting would be so...straight-forward...that I could do it easily by eye alone. How wrong I was! But it's for myself so the wonkiness doesn't bother me too much as I am easily distracted by cuteness. The lambs! The bunnies!