Sunday, 10 June 2018

How To Grow a Rose Faerie

Okay so maybe not actually grow a Faerie...it's my artistic license coming out and waiving itself about, so bear with me...

I have been asked how I 'come up' with ideas 'where does the inspiration come from?'...so...
I will let you into a little secret...I never come up with any ideas and I do not have any inspiration at all...naaah, that isn't true...the opposite is.
I can never ever shut off my damn brain and ideas for subjects to create are everywhere, always pulling at my clothes and nattering in my ears...they are doing it right now, telling me to move away from this evil machine and go and create something!
So, before they pull me into their dark, mysterious lair, I will share how this little lady came about...

1. Find a willing model...this is quite easy as the Fae are naturally vain and love to be sketched, if you do it quickly! If you're too slow, then forget it!
This lovely lady was sketched out on a big sheet of A3 paper with lovely black charcoal which we both enjoyed smudging and then getting covered in it.
She later washed herself in the birdbath...:o)

I then completely forgot about the sketch and went and created something else...
(I think it was either a miniature hatbox or an Art Doll...see what I mean)


I found this sketch tucked away behind the cupboards where it was covered in cobwebs, that's how long she had been forgotten...that's why she looks a little accusingly at me :o)
2. Find a pretty flower...this should be easy, there are plenty around...but not in the hay fever season oh no, because of the nasty pollen...and winter is a little too harsh for many flowers to poke their noses up...mmm...so that leaves the spring and autumn...but this is Wales, it rains most of the time...spring is always soggy and everything is droopy with rain...okay, so spring is out, that leaves autumn...nope, by then I have forgotten about wanting to paint a flower and am painting pumpkins instead...sigh...and another sigh...
So, look through your photo's and see if you can find one which will do for inspiration instead! :o)
No, stop looking at all of those other pics, you're looking for a flower, maybe a nice rose, not pictures of your children when they were little and cute...so very cute...sigh.
So, after a while you may find something which might do, if you squint at it, or use a lot of imagination...

This is Gertrude, not the most beautifully named but she smells divine :o)

So, now we have a model and a flower...what shall we do with them?

No.3 Try to fit your subjects together into a pleasing composition
Okay, sorry, that sounded like 'art speak' and we don't allow that here...
Because my charcoal sketch is big and I want to paint a small A4 picture I am going to have to get the old sketchbook out and see if the Fae will come and sit on the rose.
Easier said than done...although as the rose is so sweet smelling she eventually consented and it didn't turn out too badly. (Who needs critics when you can do it yourself?)
The sketch is now A4 and done with pencil, so that the lines are clearer-ish, (I never can stay tidy), so we are about to reach the next stage...unless some little squirrel in very shiny Armour comes by, then we will be off somewhere else with the Fae and this will become yet another forgotten painting (I should know, those armoured squirrels have sucked me into their dark wormholes many times).

 No.4 Decide which media to use... 
Although I love painting in oils best, for this picture I thought watercolours would be nice so everything in the sketch was copied onto watercolour paper and tucked away in a file to keep it nice and clean and away from cobwebs...can you see there's a pattern here?...
Then I went outside to play with the squirrel knight...

No.5 Remember the painting you started ages ago...
So, you're looking for something to do and because you don't know what you want to start, you go around tidying up your workspace...
And guess what you find?
Not just this picture but loads of other UFOs (Un-finished objects), just lying there in a box, who would have guessed there would be so many lovely things all ready for you to paint?
So, you say cheerio to Sir Squirrel de Wormhole and make a cup of tea and try to choose which one you fancy painting...
Because there is a rather pouty-looking faerie glaring from a big rose, you decide you should maybe choose her... and so the painting begins...after you have found a cookie to go with your cup of tea...

Almost finished, just a little blushing of the cheeks to do ;o)




I use old rescued plates and dishes as palettes, hence the rather fancy gold-rimmed painting equipment! he he he :o)

So, there we are, she just needs a little more eye-liner and she's good to go...I think...maybe I should add a little more shading here and there?
Maybe a little more green on the leaves or more creases on the petals?
Can you have too much paint?
Or, maybe I should just be happy that this one is finished at last...and she isn't looking too grumpy, well, not for the Fae anyway...

Do you think she has forgiven me yet?

Now I really must get my squeaky Armour oiled up...Sir Squirrel awaits...
I may be some time...:o)




Sunday, 8 May 2016

Invictus...or trying to keep your spirits up...


I am battling with myself at the moment, I don't want to get all heavy with details as I do not want to be known as the 'miserable blogger'...I don't want to be that guy. ;o)

As we all know misery loves company and I do not think it fair to share mine with you, so in that spirit I will try to be uplifting.
One night last week I was having fitful sleep and as I tossed and turned, lines from the poem Invictus rolled around my head.
Next morning I re-read the poem and began to smile...some part of me, or from outside of me, was trying to help.
I am feeling a little better now, I am in a good place and I am feeling stronger.
We all have those Dark Nights and can find ourselves in a place of sadness from time to time.
I thought I would share the poem with you in the hope that it may help, if you too visit that place of sorrow.



A strange thing happened shortly afterwards...
I was contacted by someone...you know, the type of person who has nothing to say to you for years and years and then sends messages of misery.
If this message had arrived at a dark time for me, I do not know what I would have done.
Thankfully, it arrived later.
And like the poem says...
'I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul...'

William Ernest Henley is still a fascinating character, his life was so full.
He was also the inspiration for 'Long John Silver', (seriously, how cool is it, that he was also a pirate?), Robert Louis Stevenson was his friend and wrote the character based on him, because of his inner strength (it helped that he also had a wooden leg) :o)
Henley's little daughter was also the inspiration for 'Wendy' in Barrie's play Peter Pan.
Margaret would call Barrie 'Fwendy'...sadly she did not live to see the play, but, like Peter Pan, little Margaret lives on...she has become immortal...
What more could we wish for? :o)

So, remember, you are the master of your fate.
You...are the captain of your soul...
And I shall return soon with some pretty pictures...:o)
Bye for now...




Monday, 29 February 2016

Unsocial Media and His Evil Plan for World Domination, or Where Have All The Bloggers Gone?




When I first started using the Internet (many moon tides ago) and discovered The Land of Blog, I thought it was so fab. (You can tell where I live just from my accent can't you ;o) ).
It was like going through the wardrobe and entering Narnia.
All those pictures and words written by all of those 'bored-at-home' folks; their dreams, their new family members, new creations, new fur babies...also their stories..such stories.

Sadly there are now very few of us around.
Other Unsocial Media has claimed us for their own and added us to their many denizen.
Instead of writing our thoughts and ideas down in our very own personal space, we now prefer to post on platforms along with masses of others.

 We write small snippets of, mostly, uninteresting product placements or quick adverts of our own lives.
'See what I've just created, it's for sale on blah blah, don't forget to like my Page!'
(I'm not knocking anyone here, I've done similar things too).
'I'll like you if you like me, share the love!'
(I don't do that one though!) :o)
We wait in long queues while other snippets are in front of us, wondering if anyone will even reach us before the store closes and our tickets are invalid.

What has happened to us all?
We have loads of 'friends' who 'like' us so much, in our own very superficial ways.
We have no real substance, we just exist there.
Like a big faceless store, full of cheap knock-off items.
We know they aren't the real thing but we buy them 'cos they're cheap.
Think of the worst shop you possibly can...now fill it full of 'Actors'  kissing each other on both cheeks in an overtly 'lovey' way.
Have them handing out free samples of 'like-me-darling'
Does it really taste like the real thing?
Do we really believe in the hype?
Would we prefer this over the market leader?
I don't think so...

So, what can be done about it?
I have absolutely no idea...what?, I'm not 'Super Blogger' come to 'Save the World from Unsocial Media and His Evil Plan for World Domination'.!
I'm just 'Clueless Blogger come to Drink Tea and Eat Cake'.
I can mange that, the other...well...
But there's one thing I do know...that if we desert our blogs completely, if we turn our backs on our own personal space within this Land of Blog, if we just post to other media...then 'Unsocial Media and His Evil Plan'...will have won...

So, in this spirit I am going to try to fight it.
I am going to think of things to actually write, longer things, maybe even some paragraphs!
And I am going to grab my cup of tea and my slice of cake and return...I shall not let my blog die!
There is still life in it...Unsocial Media will not destroy the Land of Blog.
Not while Clueless Blogger has cake!
And a pot of tea!
I will be back...
You have been warned :o)