a big fish called mitso

Finally. My big fish is finished!

I began this guy back in the first lockdown but got sidetracked with other projects. He did take a long time to make, but it didn’t have to be two years!

He began as bits of scrunched up newspaper, lots of masking tape and cardboard. Then came home-made paper pulp (with drying time) and air dry clay (more drying time). Then came the paint (yet more drying time). Then came the seaweed scales which meant collecting seaweed from the beach, washing it, drying it (still more drying time), cutting it into scale size and finally gluing them on one at a time with hot glue (at the cost of a few fingerprints).

Lastly came the base.

That was a hard one. Originally I wanted him on a block of wood but didn’t have anything suitable. Then I decided to hang him on the wall where he spent a while, not looking quite right.

Then one day while walking Lainee on the beach, I found the perfect piece of driftwood! Complete with nails and bits of paint. Perfect.

(Lesson 1: walk Lainee on the beach more often. Lesson 2: never leave behind anything which might come in useful one day.)

I already had some rusty bits of rebar (I mean, who doesn’t?) which became the official fish ‘holder uppers’. A bit of drilling, a bit more gluing et voila! Done.

I’m calling him ‘Mitso’. A good greek name. Mitso the fish is now sitting in Cecelia’s Art Gallery in Parikia, along with some of my painted marble. He’s waiting for his forever home if anyone is interested!

I must say, I feel a sense of accomplishment having finally finished him and moved him off my kitchen table!

z

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life drawing – the early years – pt 1

Continuing along the lines of sharing my old drawings, here is some work from high school art class… complete with bell bottoms galore!

Again, blown away by my sense of proportion and the sure-ness of my strokes.

Sometimes I can’t believe things come out of my own hand, but seeing these really has impressed me, even if I do say so myself!

I’ve had to split this post into two as I was having trouble uploading. Part 2 is on the way.

z

i was an artist from way back – the early years

While sorting the chests and boxes upstairs in the laundry I discovered a stack of old sketchbooks and drawings from my childhood and teens.

Some of the stuff is very childish obviously, but what amazes me, looking at them now, is how I had such a great sense of proportion even as a 10-11 year old.

Here are some of the drawings from the age of 10 to about 13. I had a thing for fashion (thank you Betty and Veronica), horses and dogs (surprise surprise!)

Then there were the Holly Hobby years, when I sketched little girls everywhere and made hand painted cards for Christmas…. (I was also very much into letter writing back then.)

Here are some later drawings. Some were obviously home projects, others ‘en plein air’ and still others copying from magazines or whatever else took my fancy.

This post is already very image heavy it will take forever to load and I apologise. I’ll share my life drawings in a separate post.

z

choco portraits

I got a commission to do two portraits of a gorgeous little cocker spaniel called Choco. I did the first one over a month ago but stalled on the second one. Not to worry, they are delivered now so I can share them.

Both were done on 2 of my last 3 sheets of Art Spectrum pastel paper – a lightly sanded paper which I have come to adore. Pity I can’t get it here… well, not that I’ve ever seen anywhere online.

The second one I started weeks ago but stopped working on it for ages. I do that. I begin something, hate it and stop, let is percolate for days or weeks while I look at it in disgust till one day I have inspiration (or nerve) to tackle it again, having worked out what was wrong.

In the end I love it better than the first. Its a much looser, more expressive work than the first. Though both make you wanna kiss the cute puppy with the huge soulful eyes.

z

cats (and more) in pastel

Slightly blurry pic. Sorry.

Sometimes I actually DO paint. Or draw. I never know what to call it really. I mean pastels come in sticks, but apparently you ‘paint’ with them cause you layer the colours on similar to paint.

Whatever.

These are two kitties I did recently. I did the Halloween one below for the mini art competition we had last month and while I was in the mood I did the black cat as well.

Both of these were done on coloured board which I’m finding is a great surface for pastels. Luckily I have a source for these boards so I can get them for free. For the show I bought some ready made frames and framed them. I now have them sitting in my living room like all the other projects I’ve made cause…

I think I might put them in my etsy shop… there is only so much space in here.

Last week I also attended the first life drawing session I’ve taken part in for many years. It really is a great way to sharpen those observation skills. Quick sketches to start with, 1 minute poses then 5 minutes, so that when you get to 10 or 20 minute ones you feel you have so much time! I only took a photo of my last 20 minute pose cause I gave that to the model.

z

meet patch

As promised, here’s Patch. He’s the first ever dog sculpture I made – this time using the same system for the armature but hand sewing the body for the finish.

He turned out great and I love him. He’s about twice the size of my usual dog sculptures and he took way longer to make due to the hand sewing. I want to make more like him but they are very time consuming, and I also love the glued fabric look… hm… Then again I love the hand sewn patched look as well… Oh the dilema!

Whatever. I’m really surprised I couldn’t find him on my blog yesterday. I was sure I’d shared him. Obviously not. Either that or I called him/the post something totally unrelated so he didn’t come up in my search.

Odd.

z

a little donkey

I thought I’d try something other than dogs a while back and just finished this little guy the other day.

This is how he started – newspapers, DIY paper pulp, foil, toilet paper rolls, cardboard and tons of masking tape.

And this is him finished. Air dry clay for the details, fabric and a bit of colour to finish him off. He’s a very solid little guy, not heavy but chunky.

This guy is actually bigger than the dogs, about twice the size. More the size of my first fabric dog. I can’t find the post he’s in so here’s a pic.

Ok… I think I never shared this guy… I can’t find him on the blog anywhere… so I’ll have to share him soon!

Other than that, its back to work tomorrow for a few weeks. No idea for how long, we’ll see. Summer is more than halfway over now. Time flies.

The island is full. Traffic is horrendous. We have one main road that runs across the back of the old town and getting from one end to the other can take almost an hour when ferries are in the port (which is almost all the time from about 10am till mid afternoon). Meanwhile if you want to get to the other side of town you best go by 9am cause traffic starts to build by then… People drive like total idiots. They overtake on bends and on double lines. One guy went around me at an intersection, then cut in front of me as I turned!!!! Ambulances rush around the island picking up people off the road where they’ve crashed their motorbikes or 4 wheelers. Its constant. And yet our powers that be in their infinite wisdom think bring MORE tourism to a small island via an international airport is more important than building a hospital or shoring up the infrastructure that already can’t cope with the swelling population of the summer months.

Enough of my whining. I have to live with this shit since I chose to live on an island/tourist destination which is growing and being plugged as the party island thanks to the German reality TV series shot here…

But enough.

Winter will be here soon and with it the calmness of only people who live here driving like idiots.

z

marble paintings

As I said, I’ve been busy using my non-work time to do some of my own work and finish some projects I’ve had sitting around the house in various degrees of incompletedness. (Ok, I don’t know if that’s actually a word but its working for me.)

Here are some of the paintings on marble that I’ve done over the last week.

Its been really windy lately. And I mean so windy there are no mosquitos or flies outside when I open doors. I love that. The wind, not so much when its this strong. However, I’m not complaining. Its been so much cooler with the wind to cool us down. I hear we’re heading for another heatwave this week – just in time for me to head back to work. Wonderful.

My back has been killing me for the last few days. I think it might have been sitting at the computer for long hours to get some work done. Ugh. Hopefully that will heal itself before I have to head back to work. A heatwave and a sore back won’t be fun.

I’ve been loving having this time to myself though, to be able to get stuck into my own work and my own home. I even mopped the floor! A useless exercise as with this wind everything is covered in a fine layer of dust the minute you finish. Oh well. Such is life. At least mom can’t complain that I didn’t make an effort.

Lainee has been much happier in the cooler weather, jumping around and playing when we go out for pees. I love that. She never used to do that when I first got her, nor did she cuddle in bed. Now every morning she wakes me up with kisses and demands belly rubs and cuddles. I love her.

Well, back to work. Can’t sit here and chat all day!

z

another sea rope basket

I am loving these guys. They take ages to make but its very satisfying to see them come together. Problem is that during summer there isn’t quite as much rubbish on the beaches as there is in winter so the pickings are slim. I’m almost out of rope bits I collected in winter now so once I use them up I’ll have to get creative to make more baskets.

I’ve had some of my baskets placed in a local gallery now (1 sold already!) so I’m afraid I can’t list and sell any on Facebook till the season is over. Ditto with my marble paintings. I have opened my FB shop to see how it goes and I may re-open my Etsy shop as well. Every little bit helps!

I’m still only working part time (ie I work full time for a bit, then stop for a bit…) great for having fun in the sun, not great for the wallet.

So, Lainee and I have had some fun times. Here she is having a fancy dinner at a beach bar.

And here at a beach side restaurant.

And enjoying a sleep in at home.

I’ve had a lot more time to myself this last week as I wasn’t working, but I used a lot of it at the beach. However, I did use some to finish projects I hadn’t touched in ages, just to be able to set them aside, put them in a gallery, or whatever.

So. That’s my news for now. More later as I share projects finally finished.

z