Sunday, April 23, 2006


Today was the day for our EDM International Oxford sketchcrawl. Sadly, thanks to railway engineering works, there were no trains to Oxford today, and Rick needed the car to get to the London marathon.

Undeterred, I dug out a postcard from the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and spent ages drawing it. I mean ages.

It was amazing how much I saw by actually drawing this image. It is the detail of a painting on the inner lid of the coffin of Irterau, daughter of Esamenopet from West Thebes, Egypt. It represents Nut, a protective goddess, with outstretched falcon wings. The coffin dates to 720-650 BC. While drawing it, I became aware of the balance in the patterning and colour, and my imagination had a go at reading the hyroglyphics as I was copying them. They were pretty good artists, our ancestors.

I've also copied below some sketches that I did a week or so ago in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford when I went for my hearing appointment. I meant to go back and do more today, but best laid plans ...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Assignment deadline looming

I've been trying to write stories over the last couple of days. I found it really hard to get started, because I've now got all these 'shoulds' in my head from the workbook chapters. It's got my critic on full red alert and constant vigilance. However, the deadline is looming so I started to write something, accepting that it would be total dross. I've now got an idea and a structure, and am writing it in bite size chunks. Hopefully I'll be able to glue the chunks together at some point without the cracks being too obvious. I'm so glad I'm not doing this for marks. I would be pretty stressed if this was counting towards a degree.

Meanwhile, Spring is moving on. We have a blackbird nesting patiently in the ivy by our front path. We did have a thrush nesting in the back garden, but today I went out and saw a fledgling lying motionless underneath the nest. It is the saddest sight, and has quite spoiled my day. I saw the thrush later, gathering nesting materials, dropping them again and flying off in disarray. Or maybe I'm just attributing human emotions to her.

EDM#63 - Nature walk

I found this on a previous walk, and have been sketching it on and off. It is terribly difficult to draw. Today I tipped it up to explore different angles, and these lovely delicate seeds fell out. So I drew them too.

EDM#62 Using an unfamilar medium

What is it about mugs that they are so hard to draw? They *should* be easy. Anyway, I drew this using oil pastel, simply because I hardly ever use that medium. I realised that if you press quite hard, you can get a wonderful colour intensity. Otherwise it is like using wax crayon!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

EDM#61 Draw a Grouping

I'm cheating a bit with this, again using a previous drawing. I drew this just before I went on holiday. It is a pile of receipts. I was in one of those 'I want to draw something but I don't know what' moods. So I drew what was in front of me.

EDM#60 - Automobile

Funnily enough, I drew these before I knew about this challenge. I often wait in the car while Rick goes to Tesco, and fill in the time by sketching. Yes - I know I'm a lucky woman!

EDM#59 - Signs of Spring

Well, what else could I draw but these gorgeous blooms from our garden? I enjoyed the smell while I was drawing them, too. I'm pleased with my attempts to draw these, but disappointed with the watercolour. I'm not sure that I'm cut out for watercolour.

EDM#58 Draw a Hat

Rick's sister, brother-in-law and three nearly grown-up nephews came to stay at the weekend. Nephew Joe bought this hat for Rick, who wore it all weekend and walked like a rastafarian when he wore it. This is all the more amusing when you know that Rick is ginger, and somewhat challenged in the hair department.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Joys of Spring

It's such a beautiful day today that it warrants a blog entry. Blue sky - proper, cerulean blue with no clouds. The sun is out and getting higher in the sky every day. I'm feeling weary from a long bike ride, spinning past daffodils at their golden prime; lambs curled up in the sunshine or racing around with each other; and primroses blooming in gardens. Gorgeous.

I've also read Chapter 8 and managed to write some pieces for a tutorial on point of view. Still got all the Chapter 8 exercises to do though, and one left from Chapter seven. And no ideas at all for my next assignment as yet.

I'm planning to do some drawing later as I am falling behind badly on EDM challenges. And I've got a stack of art holiday homework to do. But it's all such fun! How can I complain at a to do list like that?