In which I talk about the joys of painting, drawing, knitting, cats, music, living in London, and whatever else takes my fancy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Where do ideas come from?

Following on from my last post here, here is some of my current food for visual thought.

The drawing is a quick sketch I did on Twelfth Night (6th January) of how an outsider might see the Christmas tree being taken down in our household.

A very quick impression, but one that is staying with me mentally, so I sense that a more worked drawing up is brewing. What I like about this drawing in particular is how I've captured something of the character of Toby, who is a very inquisitive and bright cat, as well as being large, fluffy and solid! He'd only lived with me for six weeks at this point, so was still very much learning about me and what I do.

Then here is a small collection of recent acquisitions that are feeding my creative imagination!

The book is "How to Draw in Pen and Ink" by Harry Furniss, originally published in 1905, and discovered by me in the Oxfam shop in Cirencester over the new year holiday.  I've been drawing with pen and ink for years, and I found some useful tips in this book, plus interesting observations on the composing of illustrations at the point in time when photographs were becoming more frequently used instead in newspapers and magazines.

The small plastic character toy was another charity shop find, and was used as the model for all of the plastic figure toys in the "Sebastian's Sink City" I made. Being able to study the construction of joints, and exaggerations of body proportions to enable the toy to stand, etc was very helpful.

The wonderfully evocatively shaped "nest" ball of yarn is currently home some tiny owls I knitted last year

Friday, January 28, 2011

Painting, knitting and planning to combine the two

Here is the illustration I have mostly been working on this week: an improved version of "The owl and the pussy cat", with an anatomically correct cat! Previous versions included an elbow, which a kind friend reminded me cats do not have. I also prefer the tortoise shell and white colours for the cat.

Knitting-wise, I've had fun making this log cabin square for The Log Cabin Blanket 2011 to help with fund-raising for the excellent Medecins Sans Frontieres via p/hop.

I'm also intending to knit a couple of squares for the barn-raising blanket; then if I am brave, for the crochet one, too!
Planning to combine painting with knitting led me to visit the fantabulous Loop this afternoon to photograph some lace-weight Wollmeise for next top secret at the moment painting!

Oh, and while I was there, a lovely sea blue ball of Lima found it's way into my bag, so will be casting on later.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Humpty and the Windmill

A humpty has found his way into my drawings!

 This is a pen and ink drawing project that I had begun before Christmas, when I was ill with the bronchitis, but refusing to give in and simply be ill. The conseqence of this was that when I looked again at my work when I was well again, I discovered a fundamental flaw in the composition, plus that I was thoroughly bored with the project. Not good, and thankfully, very unusual for me. So, I began again, and began again, etc, and was still stuck, and increasingly frustrated.

Then one morning I had the bright idea of actually making the cleaner bottle windmill, which miraculously solved my artist's block!  Now I am pleased with how the drawing has turned out, and will be happily adding to my portfolio.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Love Bites Wrist Warmers - completed!

These really were the perfect project to take with me to my dad's over New Year, and the joggless stripe method worked a treat!  Also achieved success with the cunning plan I had thought out to knit the little fair isle hearts:  the challenge there in knitting in knitting the mitts in the round is that the yarn for the hearts ends up at the wrong end of the motif on every other row! I solved this particular problem by slipping the heart stitches; then reversing my knitting and purling the hearts; then turning knitting back to right side,  which leaves the heart on the left needle, and needing to be slipped to the right needle; then slipping the heart stiches onto the right needle, carefully undoing and re-knitting every other stitch so that I could hook the main stripe colour yarn along the back. Fiddly, but worked well, and only had to be done on three rows.  

I am a confident knitter, so was not daunted by the prospect of fiddling this way. However, an alternative way to achieve the same visual result would be to knit the wrist warmers without the hearts, then darn them on afterwards. Thanks to bluestockingstitching for this suggestion.