I was watching a video today and remembered one if our old cats, Gemma. Like the cat in the video she would ride round on my shoulders, and was determined to stay near me. I once visited a friend in the street and went in through the front door. I came out the back way after the visit and could not see her so I went through the entry (passageway) back to the front, and there she was, sitting on my friends doorstep, waiting for me.
We first met because she had been going to my friends house and eating the dog’s food there. I had recently lost my old cat, he had died of old age, so I agreed to take her. We booked to have her neutered but she was pregnant. She was fine up until the birth but did not bite through the umbilical cords, When we got up in the morning the kittens had been born, but one had died. It was a shock as I had not realised there was a problem. We were saddened by the kittens death.
As there were three kittens left we kept two and gave one away. This was because it was an odd eyed white cat, and we didn’t think living by a main road would be good for it.
Her two kittens, a male and a female lived with us too. All of them lived long lives, I think they had a good life with us.
Anyway we had not realised how bright Gemma was. I have a painting I did of her from a photo. If I was outside with her and tapped one side of the gate post she would jump across the gap to me. She was so good at it that I could take a photo of her in mid air, this was the basis of a painting called Gemma leaping.
Her happiest spot was sitting in the sun on the window ledge upstairs. This is my favourite cat painting, and most loved image if her.
I dont live in a country with wolves, but a lot of the stories about them attacking are apparently mythical. However I would not want to be bitten by one, they could carry diseases like rabies. Wolves are powerful predators, they are pack animals and follow a dominant male and female pair. I would love to see a real one in the wild, but not in captivity. I saw the pelt of one at the weekend at a Saxon reinactment. I hope it was old and historic and not a recent purchase.
Howling against the dark and wind feels like how it would be, icy cold, your breath turning into ice crystals. The feeling of wide spaces and high hills. Freedom, Beauty, life.
I wanted some objects to add to my new bathroom which had been painted in a lovely sky blue. The green and gold bowl is glass made at the nearby Portmerion factory in Stoke. the cats head was from a friend, I dont know its origin. I placed it above the bowl to look like it was lapping. The blue bottles are an old medicine bottle and an old gin bottle. The yellow glass bowl came from a place called Amerton farm, the small pinky bottle with a stopper was from a jumble sale. Finally the brown and turquoise bowl was a raffle prize. The fern is one I grew before we had the bathroom done, it had to come back in. I do like the combinations of colour.
It’s been a mixed year for my back yard flowers. The handling baskets wilted in the heat but then I thoroughly watered them and fed them and they came back quite well. The Begonias, Fushias and Petunias have flourished but the Lobelia and small flowered plants have struggled. You can see a towel rail in the midst of it all, that’s because the tomatoes have flopped, and its supporting them and a cucumber plant.
Next year I want to tidy up the space first. Next doors wild blackberries are sneaking through the fence, but we just pick the fruit and have them on our cereal in the morning.
I love mixing colours and the whole yard sparkles with blues, reds and oranges, I hope the bees like it as much as I do.
To be honest I know very little about Buddha or Buddhist principles or the religion. I tend to think of it as something that is very peaceful and kind, although recently there has been news that thus is nit always the case.
Being brought up in a western country you dont tend to find out the ins and outs of the rest of the world’s religions, and I have just gleaned small amounts from various news stories and documentaries.
The idea of seeking enlightenment seems very sensible to me and also the understanding that you do not need to surround yourself with worldly goods. We seem to have too much baggage and stress in this country. I was interested in The fact that the boy’s who were stuck in a cave for several days in Thailand went into a monestery after they were rescued for a short while and became Buddhist novices.
I find the image of Buddha can be very appealing, we go into a Thai restaurant called Sawadee in Stoke and there are Buddha’s everywhere, so I decided to do a couple of sketches, one before we had our food, and one afterwards. The food was so good I gave the owner one if the drawings to say thanks!
One thing you can do with digital art is change your ideas. These three drawings are all worked on from the dot drawing I initially started with. Not exactly joining the dots, but smudging them together and changing the consistency of the pens from plain to metallic.
The app I was using was a galaxy apps called ArtRage oils (free) and Layout which is linked to instagram.
Being creative means I like playing with different techniques. I remember the thrill I got when I first saw a drawing package at a radiography conference. It was a big screen to draw at, with a large computer to control it all. I could see the potential for art even then. This was in the 1980s and things have come on massively from then. I think the stall holders at the conference were surprised by what I could do.
These drawings are very crude, but they are effectively finger paintings. Even with a stylus they are not exactly good. Other drawing packages on proper graphics tablets can be phenomenal. Here is an example of a drawing I did on one of them….
It’s still crude, but there are many more tools to use to get different blending. I think this was done in Photoshop on my wacom tablet. Im considering doing more of this, the trouble is my little tablet is too versatile and I don’t have to so at a desk and keyboard to use it. I guess it’s a case of what effort I want to put in.
Take a drawing, a few dots on a page and turn it and multiply it, change the colour balance, then use another tool to swirl it, crop a shape from it, then place each next to each other to get a final picture.
These are iterations, each one a slight change, adding to the complexity of the images. Sometimes multiplying can loose detail as the patterns start to merge because the pattern shrinks each time, which is why I like to change the colours and the hues of the drawings.