Wednesday 30 June 2021

01 07 02021

Way behind schedule... St Pierre yesterday and a day off. Peter Dunn and I sat in the back of the car while our partners shared the driving so chattered art none stop. Most helpful.

Sea freezing :)


Monday 28 June 2021

29 06 2021

 Started work on an overdue oil, Lots Wife turning to a pillar of salt. Ridiculous thing to do as I'm a few watercolours away from finishing the set of souvenirs of strangers. Been having domestic interruptions which will continue today so not really focused. 

I suppose its the refugee reference that is attractive. Heart-breaking and rather horrid story. 

Sunday 27 June 2021

27 06 2021

Usual caveats...

frustrated as today (being Sunday) and tomorrow have distractions that must be dealt with. Not many more to go though have lost count. 

Then - quelle horreur - on or around the 9th of next month I must be in England. Family stuff, which I am looking forward to - but the thought of England really scares me.

Lots to deal with before I go... finish this set, then in quarantine (10 days, OMG) I can design the whole thing. Would like to finish stripping the archive room. Would like to finish getting material ready for the site Bob has commissioned. Would like to finish the two tentative oils I've started.

In the meantime, off to buy lunch. 


Friday 25 June 2021

26 06 2021

 Did the bus to Carcassonne run, quite successful - reminded of Jan Pienkowski  who encouraged the ability to draw under tables. Such a generous man. 

(He took a year out of illustrating children's books to open a studio as a painter, where I spent a lot of time with him. Fun year - where the distinction between fine art and design was often examined. I remember concluding that you have to spoil the picture at least once, which Jan was incapable of doing)

Sitting on buses looking out of the window will cause the mind to wander. Anyway, have enough studies to make the pack. Which is where the problems really start, no doubt. 

Thursday 24 June 2021

25 06 2021

Heroic spurt yesterday which means there are no models left. Well, one but I don't like him. Thought of drawing from the TV but seems that inconsistent with whatever I'm doing. Alors; bus to Carcassonne. 


24 06 2021

Yesterdays' bumper haul - v hard work, but really want to crack on. Triage still looming despite having to junk two yesterday. Becoming more orthodox in technique; clean brushes, clean water, essentials. 

 My little book is selling - and it seems I get 0.08 cents per copy, wahey. Its Saints in Paint, by Vanilla Beer, on Amazon. Since its the catalogue for the exhibition of the paintings of the saints, which is unlikely to happen before September, c'est pas grave.

Tuesday 22 June 2021

23 06 2021

This has cheered me up - feel more 'on path' now, despite having to junk the two subsequent portraits.

 Good shopping in Carcassonne, got a much need portfolio, some reduced Lefranc and  Bourgeois paints I was low in, some watercolours ditto (gamboge!  what a difference it makes to everything -) gummed paper for stretching... and in cultura the paper I wanted, now re-branded as Manipak Aquarelle. Staff assure me its the same stuff.

I've now done 25 portraits though if I can, I will drop some. Which means 30 (ish) to go. If I could do 5 a day, the end is a week away. However, the first two of the day - and sometimes the last one - are the only ones that seem to work.

Remember an old artist- Humphrey Ocean* - at a workshop, telling me the work was good but to take it more slowly. 

*just looked him up to see if he's still alive - he's only my age, a slip of a geriatric. Like his work.

Monday 21 June 2021

22 06 2021

 Extremely useful dream. Realise the portraits are about that old saw Thanatos and Eros and that's the tension I should be addressing overall. Cheered up.

And off to Carcassonne to buy varnish and watercolours and culturabasics aquarelle, with Peter who is shopping too and with a list from Kat who needs stuff.

21 06 2021

 Had to bin yesterdays work. Decided that the images were getting static, looking dull. So changed tactic to photography, OK, why not, and to cartridge paper to avoid letting the beautiful watercolour paper doing all the work . Images copied from photos are inert, cartridge can't take watercolour without pooling and blotching in ungovernable ways.. Results vile.

Next option - if I'm to finish the set, and I'd like to - is to give it a rest.

So to prepare a couple of canvases. See if these days have fostered any new things.

Friday 18 June 2021

19 06 2021

 Yesterdays work indicates my state of health - toothache!

Painkillers and dozing and wondering why my dentist hates me.

Thursday 17 June 2021

18 06 2021


Worried that this collection is of survivors, a celebration - none of them look very cheery :)

need to find some new models soon so will focus on that aspect of  things.

Wednesday 16 June 2021

17 06 2021

 Thought I'd been using a 425gm Waterford paper but it seemed a bit light - checked and I'd taken out the wrong stuff, or at least different stuff. Culturbasic Aquarelle, 50 x 70, 300 gms - its perfect! Not too happy with erasures but hey. Must re-stock when the chance arrives.

Virtually does the work for you.
Perhaps its another trap and I should try something less agreeable. BUT NOT TODAY .

Tuesday 15 June 2021

15 06 2021

studio not unbearably hot with skylights open - and the watercolours require very little movement (unlike a largeish oil) - so plodding on. 
changed the blokes eyes so it looks like he's got some. 
Its funny, none of these people know (as far as I know) that they were being 'done' but I have this little fantasy that some/one will recognise themselves, happening across the finished collection by accident -


Sunday 13 June 2021

14 06 2021

oh well - the triage will be the time to sort the difficulties.
Day out, with family, to the coast! Will see how finding models pans out. 
Packed a notebook of lovely paper, made by Eva from paper salvaged from the water damage here. 


Saturday 12 June 2021

13 06 2021

Problems, all the C's:




It'll all come out in the triage at the end.


Friday 11 June 2021

12 06 2021

 Haven't actually looked at any of yesterdays stuff yet - got a fragmented day looming and want to keep my powder dry - but it went well. 

Most challenging. 

Started at a cafe by the station where I knew the table by the window would  overlook the diners and it did - got three possibles there. EVERYONE masked except when eating or drinking so only possible way.

Thence to the centre of town, the big square ringed with cafes. People so engrossed no one watches an elderly womans' activities. Got confident again. Though shaking with caffine and sugar! 

Carcassonne is an endless resource, packed with strangers who are available. The bus is an hours' ride for 1 euro. Can do this often. Though the proof of the pudding...

Thursday 10 June 2021

11 06 2021


That's hubris, eh. Having thought I can do four a day I totally f#d# up everything except this one. Which may not be finished. Drawings ruined. 

Or am I being too precious? Might try overworking on a primer of some sort

Wrong paper, for sure - watermarked with a cockerel, can't remember the name of the stuff - surface too loose, too absorbent.

Whatever. Now have nothing to work from so am about to take the bus to Carcassonne where I can sit in cafes and draw. Life could be worse but this is frustrating.

10 06 2021

 Interesting, the unexpected problems. 

How to find and draw strangers? Got 4 yesterday in Quillan, sitting in the cafe looking out to the unmasked there. Poor drawing, currently trying to re jig in some way. Then it's all colouring in?? That can't be right.

THEN I had thought to make 52 and get them made as a pack of cards, emphasising the elements of luck that has caused the survival, that its a game that can be celebrated.  (And 52 weeks in a year. Though the pandemic was longer and indeed continues). So wooly thinking abounds, dammit. 

Not sure I can physically do 52 either. Thats, erm, 13 days of 4 a day - IF I can find the models. Actually that's only 2 week, easy really (IF I can find the models)

Not much energy today, it's hot as was yesterday (20th wedding anniversary) and while lovely it makes me move sluggishly. On the plus; new book arrived, beautifully printed, no errors, v. happy. Must now plan launch and send out copies. But not now.

Monday 7 June 2021

08 06 2021

 encounters with strangers/ forgotten rendezvous - at last, a real sense of direction. Have to take to the streets and draw found strangers. The survivors of the pandemic. A celebration of the living.

07 06 2021

Chasing the notion of strangers and random encounters, from drawings done at the market. Small. Rather Womens Own Illustrated Weekly but might develop. Nice to be doing people.