Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Life Studies gear ...

Thoroughly enjoying my Life Studies club.

My very favourite female model is still posing which made me very happy when I went last Saturday and discovered she was to be the model for the day.

The week before we had a male model - a new one for me. I found his poses to be very interesting. They were very challenging. Spoke to him between sessions and after and he told me he's only been posing for 3 years. He also added that he likes to think of poses that will be interesting to the artist - he was damn right with that.

From where I had set up two of his poses meant he was foreshortened and that's always a real headache trying to get them down looking anatomically correct.

Once we hit the 5 minute poses I switch over to water colour. I find it a good medium to work with especially for this. I don't sketch an outline I just let the paint go as it will.

Last time I was in the club I made my own watercolour book and decided to do the same again this time around.  I still haven't been able to find an A4 book with 300gsm pages. You can buy pads with a few sheets in them but I want something that will last me at least 2 terms.

When I made it beforewith only 200gsm and it just wasn't thick enough, the paper tended to buckle. This time it's 300gsm.

I've packed some soft pastels in a container to take next week. I find pastels excellent for skin tones. I did a series of self-studies a few years back and love the translucent effect you get with soft pastels.

So now my burgeoning bag is bursting at the seams - I've also added a pastel pad. I have to carry all my pads and sketch book in a tote while all my gear is in my bag.

 On the subject of my bag - I bought a fabulous real leather laptop bag specifically to use for art. It's perfect to fit everything in. I love it. Expensive but well worth the cost.

I've actually ordered a large overnight leather bag from the same place. Should get it by the end of the month.  I'll use it when I go away in May and of course I'll be taking all my painting gear as well as my Surface Pro to write on.

So that's my plan - just have to execute it .... lol

Friday, 19 February 2016

Coloured Pencils ...

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know as well as being an author, I am first and foremost an artist.

Not only am I an artist but I am addicted to art supplies - paintbrushes, paints, charcoal, pencils ... you name it I have to have it, usually in multiple quantities.

A look at a small part of SOME of my paintbrush collection gives you an idea of my addiction.

Anyway a few years back I decided to start using coloured pencils so I snagged myself a bargain and got 120 Prismacolor pencils on Ebay. That kind of started the coloured pencil obsession. I already had a full set of Derwent Inktense watercolour pencils so I could add these to my ever growing collection.

So over a few years I've added to my supply of them as you can see (that pic is only part of

Now last week I saw someone was selling 120 Prismacolor pencils for half price!

Now some places out here sell them for as much as $430 and the average price is around $300-400 so when I saw the price I started coveting them. I mean ... $180 for pencils worth over double that!

Anyway this morning my lovely delivery man handed me a large package - I raced inside and tore it open.

Mmm pencils.

Mmm pretty coloured pencils.

Mmm pretty, pretty coloured pencils.

After I got over the initial hit of seeing and touching them, I took their picture (as you do).

Let's face it. Aren't they pretty?

So many colours. I just know they are going to love living here with all my hundreds of other coloured pencils .... *snicker*

Hello. My name is Suzy and I have an addiction ..... hahaha

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Sketch Club and Planning My Next Painting Holiday ...

A few years back I went to a weekly life studies sketch club for a year. It was great fun and I really enjoyed it but I ended up missing a few years because of ill health/operations but now it's back on so I've signed up again and -touch wood - I'm healthy - so I'm raring to go.  Starts this Saturday.

I really love working with a model - it's a whole different ballgame.  And the good news is because there are a number of us we share the model hire cost and it doesn't cost each person an arm and a leg.

Probably take me the first session to get back into the swing of 1 & 2 minutes sketches but I'm really looking forward to it again.

So I've dragged out my sketch pad, my travel watercolour box of paints, my pencils, charcoal, pastels and watercolour block - I'm all ready to go.

* * * *

Been looking for somewhere to stay for a week, want it on the coast but no more than 4 hours drive. I want an unrestricted view of the water - no trees or buildings.

Think I've found somewhere and only about an hours drive too!

This looks exactly what I'm looking for. A nice secluded beach, only a narrow private road between me and the grass then the sand. A nice covered verandah to work on. Not as close to the water as the last place I stayed at but I think that was a rarity not the usual accommodation.

But just look at that beach! It's perfect.

This looks like somewhere where I can paint all day and write all night if I want to and that's exactly what I intend to do.

It is a two bedroom place with self-contained fully-equipped kitchen. Plus dining and lounge areas as well as a bathroom with huge double shower.

It also has a BBQ. Nothing to take except my clothes and paint gear.

I could go for one with a Spa bath but they are set back a little more from the beach - although it's probably only a matter of maybe 3 metres.

Last year I went to Murramurang and I have to admit I was tempted to go back there because it was simply the perfect spot for me.

But then I figured I'd try somewhere different.  The good thing with this place is there is a rainforest just 20 mins drive away. It's a nice drive too up into the mountains.

Love going to rainforests and this one is particularly wonderful.  If you sit quietly you're bound to see Lyre birds and other wonderful animals.

I haven't booked it yet but doubt I'll have any problems because I intend going in May again - less people, cooler weather.

Of course I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that one of the days I'm there the wind gets up so I can get a lot of angry surf photographs ... lol.

So unless I find somewhere that fits all my criteria that's where I'll be come May.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Mrs Brown's Boys ....

Sitting here giggling .... last night I went to see Mrs Brown's Boys. Oh boy talk about a riot. It was so funny. The audience was in stitches the whole night.

Brendan O'Carroll (Mammy) seemed determined to make sure Rory Cowan (Rory) couldn't get one line out without laughing and I'm pretty sure he succeeded.  He had the cast in just as much hysterics as the audience.

The show was a combination of maybe three episodes of the show but with lots of very funny and very suggestive bits added. It was mainly Granddad's fake funeral.

At one point he made a comment which dissolved the cast (and the audience) into laughter then he realised what the next line by Jennifer Gibney (Kathy)  was.  He looked over at her and said 'fecken just realised what your line is...'

She nodded between her laughter then managed to get it out.  That did it!

I think everyone was hoping their bladders were strong enough to cope with that joke.

He even told everyone to get the phones out and take pictures when they lined up at the end of the show so of course I did.

If you get the chance to see the show like I wholeheartedly suggest you do - you won't regret it.  He'll be back in 2018 with a brand new show and I'll be in the audience!

The entire cast came out to sign autographs after the show and I thought about getting some but the line was so long it would take hours. Got home about 11:30 - still snickering at some of the jokes and funny lines.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Memories ....

It always surprises me how the brain works. How we can forget things, remember things, remember things differently to the way they actually occurred - I guess it's all a part of how we cope with things.

I thought about this lately when something that had happened a few years back was brought to my attention. The person who reminded me obviously had either forgotten the truth or had changed it completely in their memory.

Their version actually didn't take into account how over a period of many months maybe years after we parted company some very hurtful, hateful and cruel things were said and written to me by them.

Now maybe this was part of their mechanism for coping with things that happen but it reminded me that everyone sees things in a completely different manner. While this person had obviously ignored or forgotten what they had done, I painfully remembered it all. Yet they wondered why I didn't want to remain friends or have contact.

It got me thinking about the brain. About how we handle information, how our memories can become distorted or ignored.

I recently saw a documentary that showed a number of people the same thing. They were asked to describe it immediately after then a week later. It was amazing to see how some changed what they saw to something entirely different yet others were able to accurately describe the event.

Anyway it just goes to show how some people will change the past to suit themselves but others will recall it with painful accuracy.   Me ... I remember and I won't forget the lesson. Who needs friends like that? Definitely not me.