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Saturday, 24 November 2012

sickly end to the week

Well, here's the almost finished piece. I am surprised by how much I have enjoyed both creating it, and also considering the multitude of interpretations it engenders. Keeping looking, keep thinking.

Farrier came on Monday for the yellow horse, who managed to hold onto all four of his shoes prior to the change, for a change. What happened on Tuesday and Wednesday? I have absolutely no idea... just a minute, let me think, no, I am sure, the weather was absolutely ghastly, and I stayed rooted to the kitchen table on Tuesday working on my skool essay, and professional practice notes. Wednesday found me in a junior School again, for my final Workshop. This week I took peacock and pheasant feathers with me for a sketching class, and also an entire pheasant wing ('Oooh Miss that's really horrible - can I hold it?') and a dead but complete and perfect dragonfly. The children worked beautifully, once again, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with them. I may go back in the New Year as a honoured guest!

Thursday found me at College, polishing the above piece, ordering wire to make more models of 'ladyparts' and in a tutorial assessing my 'Masturbation as a Performance' essay. I am living life on the wild side!

Friday, Friday. Early start at College on Fridays in a Professional Practice Tutorial, and I felt really ropey by the time I arrived. By the end of the session I was wobbly dizzy and the proud possessor of a heap of jaw hinge pain. Tottered off home, breaking the journey to rest and pull myself together. Still feeling under the weather. I don't much like not being at full strength!

Now for the plusses. A lovely lady who had one of last litter's pups came this morning and has spoken for the 'big girl' puppy, as a companion for her dog. They will look like peas in a pod. Lords know how she will get on with two hairy,, wild beasts in her tiny car!

Second girl has just been reserved by a lovely family in Richmond near London, and the chocolate boy has three families waiting, the first family considering photos as I type. Fudge, my lovely cocker, it might be your last litter, but you have made lots of families very happy indeed.

I have mucked out my studio shed, which seemed to be full of an accumulation of art materials that no-one (i.e. me) had put away all summer. All spic and span now, and the stove lit just for the hell of it. Evening beckons, my swimming head needs an early night (and possibly a brandy). Let's hope tomorrow brings a full recovery.

This week brought me a minor laptop catastrophe, and my Samsung laptop (19 months old, out of warranty) is now languishing, unloved, and back to factory settings so completely and utterly wiped. Lots of photos lost and corrupted, and rescued documents all over the place on assorted memory sticks and sd cards. Sometimes, I hate technology. What I need is a state of the art Mac. What I can have is the use of Hugh's little Dell. Oh well. Keep on dreaming! Just spoke to the Big Boy on the phone. He's alive. And he tells me his brother was with him last night, so can confirm, at least last night, that Baby Boy alive too. Good to know. I did ask when he would be home for Christmas. He's considering a night or two in London prior to Lincolnshire, and thinks he might go to Edinburgh for New Year. Oh, to be young, footloose and fancy free....

Mucho (in a sickly kind of way) X

Sunday, 18 November 2012

6 days old and lookin' fine

Everyone now more or less recovered from the casearean trauma. The lady herself is taking normal walks and slipping off for a bit of light rabbitting. I think, therefore, that we can assume that she is feeling much more herself. She has plenty of milk, and the pups are, once again, growing before our eyes. I think that one of them is already spoken for, although the prospective owner doesn't know whether to choose the brown boy or a black girl. She's coming next weekend to decide. The remaining two will be £600 each, to lovely homes. Would I say no to a doubtful home? You bet I would.

Today I baked a cake which probably rates as the best I have ever lifted from the oven. Looked like a photograph and tastes amazing. Lime & poppyseed. Wierd, slightly crunchy texture and tastes like a dream. Its all very well me practicing my baking, but I then have to consume the outcome. Therein lies the problem. Pity.

Off to fetch in the hippo-like yellow horse for another spin around the country lanes. Frost lifting and it bodes fair to be a wonderful day.

Adieu. X

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Did another stint at School for my Professional Practice yesterday. On arrival I spied this display on the wall of the corridor. Chuffed? I nearly burst.
Have been working on this wall art in my college studio for some time (just the red mannekins). Today I decided it needed something more. Therefore, I created this opening, which I shall paint white tomorrow, and cut out some red mannekins to be rushing to and from the orifice. Interesting. Any similarity you can see to anything else at all is purely purposeful.
The arrival of the new puppies means that we are hardly getting any sleep, so, for now, that's it folks. Mucho, mucho. X

Friday, 9 November 2012

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Monday saw me join 7 other Fine Art students for a 'group crit'. We wandered around each other's studio spaces alternatively supporting and criticising each other's work. I was the final student of the 8. By then I felt so crushed by the skills of my fellow students that if I had had a match in my pocket I would have set fire to my space to save myself the embarrassment of public scrutiny! The gods know how I will cope with full public inspection and comments next year! As it happens, my fellow artists were very, very kind, I think they took pity on me, and I shall be chasing some of them up for further tips and advice later in the year!

Tuesday found the Farmer and me inspecting the brown cocker closely, and deciding not to go too far from home for the next few days. More news about her in a later blog.

And on Wednesday: I delivered my Art Workshop to a lovely bunch of 10 and 11 year olds for the first time! I had sooooo much gear I couldn't carry it all. We discussed potraiture, they produced some wonderful artistic interpretations, and then, I read The Jumblies by Edward Lear to them to close the session. It was a joy. Returning next week for more of the same. Excited already.

Thursday and Friday have found me missing college, and sitting at home, mostly looking at the brown dog. Also, in momentary lapses of concentration, banging words into the laptop in some sort of order for my 'big 2nd year' essay about masturbation in performance art. Its coming together nicely. And, additionally, the more research I do into this quite tricky subject, the less alarming it seems as a performance. I emailed a young artist who 'did it' in 2004 whilst he was still at college, and bless his cotton socks, he emailed back within half an hour to give me a little bit of first hand info on why and how etc! My hero.

So, the weekend starts here. Dining with ladies tonight, though hoping for an emergency call home vis-a-vis the brown dog. An invitation to a wonderful firework event tomorrow evening hangs in the balance vis-a-vis the brown dog, and Sunday should find us meeting up with our baby boy and the lovely D in Lincoln, where he is taking his team of novice rowers for their first competitive outing. Unless, of course, the brown dog prevents that too. Ho hum. Fingers crossed one way and another.

my lovely little school artists at work
another giant doll, her head was under construction! I have also bought her a much nicer little rara dress. Photo in later blog.
the little one-eye doll enjoying herself down on the farm! She might have to bring a few friends...
Off for my dinner date I go, hi-ho, hi-ho. X

Sunday, 4 November 2012

8th week, first semester

Weeelllll, time keeps marching onwards. Seem to be about half way through the first half of my second year as a Fine Art Student. Still finding it hard to believe:

1. that I gave up working to go to University in my 50's.
2. that Fine Art does not appear to be related to learning much about my own drawing and painting techniques.
3. that Art (including mine) encompasses so much absolutely unbelievable rubbish.

There. I have said it. Sometimes, in the dark of the night, I reflect on the stuff I am producing now and feel a great wave of anxiety and disappointment. Other times, its exciting and entralling. What a switchback journey. Here's a taste of last week's work:
Playing with size and scale, I have made/am making a few of the mannekins at 7ft tall! It's quite a different experience meeting them when they are  'embiggened'!
Two photographic sessions in a fully equipped studio setting with the small mannekins. Trying to work with shadows was one theoretical idea. A bit dissapointing really - I think that each doll is such an interesting little story in its own right, that bundled together with its mates it just becomes a confusion of pattern and colour. Loving the focus on faces though.
The 'Big Wahoonie'. This frame is 120cmx120cm, so quite large on the wall. It has not been particularly well received as a completed piece of work for a variety of reasons. The cut outs are not exact in their lines, and I have wired 2/3 of the front as a slight and fragile representation of barriers or confinement, which is considered not to be 'working'. Even the structure itself, with the hardboard back and forward framing has not escaped criticism. *sigh*. Back to the drawing board!
After a group 'crit' on Monday (practically quaking in my boots about that), all the cut-out mannekin work is being taken down and put away until marking, which, I think, occurs just prior to Christmas. After that, well, I guess it's going to be the big fire again!!!! Must remember to film the destruction this time. Making work out of work. Marvellous.
After long consideration, and much background research around contemporary performance and body art, I have made a surprising (to me) choice for the subject of my 3500 word essay. Brace yourselves. Its going to be some sort of analysis and discussion about masturbation as performance. Yup. You read that right. Any number of 'artists' do it in public on the slightest of pretexts. Sometimes even on very creditable grounds..... this learning curve is sssttttteeeeeeeeeppppppp!!!!!!
Signing off, slightly dejectedly, think of me reading all that arty porn....X