art on marble – and selling

Its about time I got back into the groove!

I’ve finally tidied up the house (enough), sorted paperwork, filed stuff, set up corners with various projects awaiting my attention, and got back to painting. On marble to start with though I have some upcoming paper projects too.

Today I’ll share the newest marble paintings before I step outside and decide if its warm enough to go for a swim. The sun is out. No wind to speak of. I think its warm enough.

Not sure the white background (in my tiny photo box) works well with white marble items… I’ll try black next or go back to the table top and radiator background.

Anyway, as I said, I’ve spent a ton of time on the phone today trying to work out stuff for Aunt 1 but turns out I can’t do a lot of it on the phone. I need to go into town. Today is the only day this week when I don’t have to go into town so I’m putting it off till tomorrow. Don’t they say ‘don’t do today what you can put off till tomorrow’? No? I got it backwards? eh. I’m on a greek island… give me a break.

I mentioned I got my paperwork underway to get a business license in Greece so I can start advertising my dog grooming and artwork, I just can’t give tax receipts till I get my receipt booklet or whatever its called. However, I’ve already started looking at ways I can sell stuff online as well as starting to talk to people with shops who might be interested in selling for me.

Today is the day I try out the WordPress Simple Payment method. Bear with me while I try to get this thing to work…

SOLD

125mm x 115mm Original watercolour on paper. Special low introductory price. Free postage.

€8.00

Ok… the block only shows a small version which doesn’t look like it opens the original image, so here it is:

Maybe I’ll have to put in a large photo with the payment block underneath it… I’ll give that a go next time.

I also just found out that these new blocks aren’t supported by Android, so they don’t appear when I look at my blog on the phone… Wonder who else can’t see them?

Of course, selling work on marble online is tricky cause its not really the kind of thing you can post easily. Its heavy. And postage is expensive… so I’ll most likely only sell those pieces locally (unless someone really wants something and is willing to pay postage for it. Let me know if that’s the case).

Below is a contact form I thought I’d try out… It also doesn’t work on Android.

All this new stuff to try out… And as always, half of it doesn’t work.

Anyway, the day’s a wasting. Time to get off this chair and move to another chair. Or better yet, walk to the beach with Lainee!

z

difficult days

The cat above was meant to look surprised… instead it looks sad and kinda lost. Not to mention ugly…

Its been ‘those’ kind of few days.

I’ve been run off my feet as always, but I’ve also moved Aunt 1 into a nursing home so there has been less of that responsibility. I know it was the only solution, I know its for the best, but I still feel like a gigantic heel for doing it.

Of course she hates it. She began calling me the same afternoon, asking where she was, could I go get her and take her home, where was she, she didn’t know anyone, she wanted to go home, if I didn’t come pick her up she would kill herself and it would be my fault, if I wasn’t there by tomorrow she would take a taxi and come home. Naturally she doesn’t remember begging me to take her somewhere to be cared for and ‘made better’.

She managed to speak to my mom who’s been very upset over it all and its not doing her any good. I got calls from one of my uncles and Aunt 4 telling me she’d called them too and hinting that Aunt 1 should never have been allowed to keep her mobile or a phone book cause she will (if she hasn’t already) be calling people outside the family telling them we’ve locked her up and abandoned her to be tortured.

I’ve spoken to the staff numerous times. She is fine. The doctor saw her already, she had her COVID19 test yesterday and as such is still in quarantine which is probably what’s making it worse. Once she’s able to mix with others my hope is she’ll be much happier. She loves company. You know… more people to complain to!

And I had to ask the nurses to ‘misplace’ her phone and phone book. That when she wants to make a call, they are to make sure she only calls me.

Meanwhile I’ve been tidying her house, putting away all the nicknacks that gather dust, washing everything to put away and generally starting to think of the daunting task of renting it out. We need the rent to pay for the nursing home. I’ve already spoken to an agent and have someone (a good friend’s niece and her husband) coming to see the place tomorrow… I obviously want someone in asap as we need the rent, but I have to find somewhere to put the furniture or sell it. The niece has her own stuff.. If she doesn’t take it then we’ll look at renting to students and they may want to keep some of the furniture. We live close to the university and there are always students looking to rent.

Either way, I have a ton of quotes to get and work to organise – from a distance as I’m leaving for Paros on Monday.

I’ll end this post with the finished picture of a pretty cat. All I did was add a bit of detail to the eye and add whiskers. I love the fluidity of this one.

z

not another whiney post

I won’t bore you with the goings on around here lately. Suffice to say its not changed. Same old routine, same old complaints. Nothing new to add.

However I did find time to do a little painting to get out of my own head for a bit. Problem is I picture something I want to try, have a go t it, but it never works out quite the way I want it to.

For instance the angel. Not quite right…

The cat however is looking good. Its not finished yet, but it could stand on its own without another brushstroke. I’m happy with it.

I am so much better at doing animals. Maybe I should stick to that.

z

friday

Its been a stinker of a week. Today the temperature reached 35 degrees C and the worst is still to come with 38 over the next couple of days. What fun to be in Athens and not near the beach.

I continue to go not-so-quietly insane with all the crap that landed in my lap suddenly. I lived most of my life in Australia, thousands of miles from my family and all responsibility to anyone but myself. (I liked it that way!) Now I’m buried up to the eyeballs in it. Responsibility up the wazoo, decisions to make, paperwork to organise, you name it, I got it.

Making it worse of course is that I’m in a country that not only doesn’t make sense to me, having lived in a civilized country for most of my life, but that doesn’t make sense full stop! Add to that that the paperwork is all in greek and you enter a whole new dimension of f%”kuppery.

I speak greek fine, I read greek ok, I write greek badly. But forms in medical or legal language are doing my head in big time. And I’m in charge of finding, collecting, photocoping and putting together a ton of it to give to the nursing home and the solicitor. Oh boy, am I having fun!

Today the heat just about wiped me out. I got home from running around all morning and virtually passed out till Aunt 1 woke me up asking none of us cared at all and if we had all forgotten her. sigh. It was all I could do to walk Lainee and grab a frappe to wake myself up before coming to see her so I could open the windows and dust her bloody bedside table cause she’s well enough to be annoyed by the dust.

I did manage a couple of positive things for myself today though… I took Lainee for a long walk up the hill once it cooled down a bit which helped clear my mind a bit, and I reworked the latest two paintings.

The cut fig is still not quite right, but the others are much better. Overall I’m happier with it now.

I had a play with the sea urchins using the image transfer medium and some newsprint. I’m not entirely happy with the result. It didn’t transfer all that well and in some cases the paper wouldn’t come off as easily as they said it would and I ended up rubbing off the paint as well…. and almost made a hole in the paper at one stage!

Lesson: not a good idea to try to transfer over a painted image. Unless you seal it first. Maybe.

I love the look of the print on the urchins, don’t like where the medium wouldn’t come off and left marks. Still… for an experiment, not too bad.

I do love the print inside the image. If I can find a way to work that and incorporate it into my work without the globs of paper which refuses to leave I’ll be pleased. Then again, if I can’t find a way to do that I’ll find a way around it!

z

experimenting

Experimenting with drips, washes and general sloppiness that is.

Today I brought my paints downstairs to Aunt 1’s house so that I could work while I kept her company a while. Its not the ideal atmosphere in which to work, but at least I can try. Hence the experiment.

Once again, its on a small piece of paper using water colour paint and pencils. I’m not entirely happy with it but there are areas of it I do like. For instance I kinda like the fig on the left but I wouldn’t eat the one on the right… Maybe if I can get the colour and texture right it would be edible, but right now it looks downright sickly.

At least I have something creative to share, even if its a fail. Maybe if I keep working on it I’ll save it. Maybe not. You just never know… (queue mysterious music).

I mentioned buying some supplies, I bought image transfer medium and am playing around with that to see what it can do (or rather how I can incorporate it into stuff I do). I also bought a box cutter to sharpen the pastel pencils I brought with me cause the sharpener is useless… the pastel center keeps breaking! Maybe tomorrow I can have a go with those. That’s if I can sharpen them without ending up with nubs and a pile of pastel dust.

Other than that, its been HOT. Not lovely swim on the beach hot, but stinky Athens hot. And today I had to walk quite a way down the road to pay mom and Aunt 1’s mobile phone bills, up a hill cars struggle to get up and go to the laiki market and buy a ton of fruit and vegetables. Not something on my list of favourite things to do in the heat.

On the bright side, last night mom found her old electric fan and I put it in my room so no more stinky diesel smells, no heatstroke in a closed room and the noise covered the hoards of teenagers hanging out causing chaos in the park opposite. Mom said they kept her up till someone went out and told them off or threatened them or something at around 1.30am. I know he didn’t kill them cause I didn’t see any bodies when I took lainee out at 7am.

That’s one thing I will never understand… people who live in cities all their lives, surrounded by other people, sharing walls and breathing space with lots of others, yet have no respect whatsoever for other people’s peace. I don’t get it at all. When living in an apartment I’m always careful that my music or TV isn’t on too loud to disturb the neighbours. When I have visitors in summer and we sit outside I try to keep the noise down and never keep it going late into the night. If you wanna stay up chatting and laughing out loud all night go inside! And close the windows while you’re at it! Sheesh. What is it with people? And its not just the teens. One of the neighbours opposite does it all summer mom says.

That’s why I like living in the country.

z

what is it with fish?

Yep. Another fish. So what is it with fish anyway?

I dunno. I just like them I guess. I like their big flat eyes, their shape and the colours. Plus they kind of suit island life and I am working towards selling them through a shop on Paros… as well as online.

This last fish was done using ink pencils and watercolour an I’m liking the crispness. So was the one below.

The sea urchins look a little bit too colourful, like candy, but the photo I was working on had them in all colours. I don’t know if that’s natural or if they were dyed. Here in Greece I’ve only seen black, green and grey ones.

So sea urchin candy it is.

When I get back to Paros I will be going back to my paintings on marble as I love the way paints sits on that surface. However working on paper has its benefits too… for one thing paper is much easier to post overseas. Cause all my work is for sale unless otherwise stated.

I’m really looking forward to trying a few different techniques but I have to buy a couple of things… I had planned to do that today but time just flies when you’re having fun. I have to take mom to the doctor tomorrow so I’ll pick them up while I’m out. I try to combine trips as much as possible.

Other than that, nothing earth shattering to report. No new gems from Aunt 1. Just the same ol’ stuff.

I’m sure she’s improving physically though the whining continues at Olympic level. Pity there isn’t an event in that cause she’s a sure thing for gold.

Ok I’m off. Rest and some more painting as time allows.

z

OFFS and a little art

If you don’t know what OFFS is don’t worry… I’ll give you a hint: Oh for f^&¬£ sake.

So, you know how you think things are getting better but they slide right back to crap again?

Since yesterday I’d noticed Aunt 1 getting better. She no longer cries out when she gets in and out of bed, sits on the toilet or on the stool to eat. She still whines and moans but things were looking up. Or so I thought…

Then she called me three times today, each time starting the call with something along the lines of: ‘don’t you pity me at all?’ or ‘come down here or I’ll fall over and kill myself’ or similar.

Once down here I have the pleasure of hearing how no one cares for her, God no longer loves her, she can’t take it any more, none of us understand pain, why can’t we call a doctor, she will pay whatever it takes (it took 100 euros for one to visit the house – she’s on a 400 euro a month pension to put that into perspective), why can’t we take her to a hospital, are there no decent doctors in this country, what kind of government is this anyway? why don’t I have someone who can take me to a doctor? If only my dear husband was still alive, but died young (he died at 82) he would have taken care of me, why couldn’t I have fallen and died, where can I fall from to kill myself…

The obvious answer to that is ‘from the roof… think you can make it up two flights of stairs?’

I really am not cut out for this but there’s no way I can let mom have anything to do with Aunt 1 ever again. I’m younger and healthier and I’m already on the brink of losing it.

I just wish I didn’t feel guilty and sad that she’s in pain and has dementia otherwise what I really want to do is leave her a note saying ‘you pissed off Zefi and she left.’

You know, it wouldn’t be so hard caring for her if it wasn’t for the accusations. She never asks something, she accuses. If she simply said ‘Did you give me my meds this morning?’ or ‘Did you call the doctor’ I could handle it. but its always ‘You never give me my pills’ and ‘No one cares enough to call a doctor.’ I kind of can’t help but lose it.

I did notice that while she wore a mask at the medical center she was quiet… think she mask trick will work a home?

I’m sorry to bore you with it. I’m simply not cut out to be a nurse. Just ask Wayne. When he had surgery I sent him to friends to recouperate. I couldn’t handle the abuse people in pain hand out. I am a bitch!

I’ve tried painting again. So far I’ve done 4 small watercolours on paper. I’m only sharing 2 of them cause the others are woeful and talentless!

I’m so not used to working on paper at the moment. The marble and rocks I’ve been working on the last month or so aren’t porous and don’t absorb the paint so I can work in layers, even with watercolour. The paper sucks it all up and I have less time to play with colours. This is one I did yesterday. Its flat and dull.

The second one I did this afternoon is better. Its on acrylic paper rather than watercolour paper and maybe that’s better for the way I’ve been working. I think that if I’m going to work on paper I’ll have to start using acryics again. Or pastels which is my preference.

I love the way the watercolour pools on the acrylic paper. It gives it a crisper more vibrant look. Much better.

Stay tuned for more experimental art! (hopefully)

z

paros day 45: art and cages

I’ve finished the poodle portrait I’ve been working on and tomorrow it will be on its way to its new owner.

I have to admit I was really nervous about this one because the last poodle portrait I worked on the owner hated. I’d sent her a picture of it ‘in progress’ and she was really rude about it, totally ignoring my explanation that it was unfinished, so my confidence was quite low. To be honest I’m not sure I’ll ever finish that one…

Anyway, today I put up the bird cages. They’ve only got starter plants in them for now but I got them up on the wall. Only one minor incident to report: one cage came off the hook and landed on my head covering me in potting mix… But all good now.

I had some mossy stuff I’d bought to do craft projects with (real moss) so I lined the bottom of the cages with that. The idea being that the moss will be alive and also hold in some potting mix for the succulents to grow in. Two birds.

At least that’s my theory.

Now all I gotta do is get a couple of droopy succulents and wait for them to grow.

z

paros day 40: paintings on marble

I really haven’t got much to say about today.

I went for a long walk in Parikia with Lainee cause I had to go down to the post office this morning. Bought farm fresh eggs off the one guy at the little market. Came home. Ate leftovers. Painted a while. Watched some Netflix. Painted a bit more. Took Lainee out a couple of times. Chatted on the phone with some cousins.

I tried to make a photo album on my Facebook page with items for sale but ran into a hiccup and gave up. Nothing like giving up at the first sign of something not working…

Really… a pretty quiet day.

So here are some paintings on marble to make up for the lack of news.

I’ve been enjoying sea life lately but I think I need to do something different next…

z

paros day 38: dog portraits

I got a message from my friend in Athens this morning. Winston has arrived and is making himself comfortable in her home till he can take up his position as guard in her tattoo parlour.

Today I thought I’d share some dog portraits I just finished. These are an order from another friend. Her dogs. And so darn cute too!

This little teddy bear face is my favourite.

I worked from photos sent in Messenger but that’s fine for me (and cheaper than buying printer ink!). I just set the tablet up on my table and work direct from the image on that.

I’m very pleased with them. Hope she is too.

Meanwhile today has been a rather odd day. I watched some comedy on YouTube while I painted, did some washing, began working on another podcast and put some chicken in the oven to roast.

That last one is rather tricky as I’m not a roasting kind of gal… I’m not particularly good at it. I can cook, I can bake, but roasting seems to get the best of me most of the time. I guess I’ll see if it worked this time very soon. It smells pretty good. Though perhaps a bit heavy on the garlic… Eh. I’m not kissing anyone these days!

My Netflix viewing has now moved on to Money Heist Season 4. Love that show, its really gripping. And I love the code names. Of course I can’t watch it and work at the same time as I need to read subtitles (hence its music or comedy today), but I’m eager to get back to it tonight.

Meanwhile we haven’t taken any long walks today cause I’ve been working, but its windy again outside. We get a couple of good days and back to being blown about for a couple more at this time of year. The simple task of walking the rubbish down to the bins is an exercise in gravity vs wind resistance. Lainee doesn’t enjoy it that much. Especially when she was trying to poop…

I guess I better go check on the chicken… and work on the podcast some more.

z