Saturday, July 31, 2010

Big fish, little fish.

We are back to cold wet and very windy conditions today.
So a bit of by the fire relaxing with a pen and pencil before I go on to finishing my knitting.
In early to the market this morning, I feel so sorry for the stall holders when the conditions are so awful.
I met up with a few people I know who busily told me I looked as if I was going to climb a mountain, I explained it was my ski gear and by the time I left they were asking could they borrow it.
John between showers was cutting back a huge plumbago which he thinks is where a fox climbed in, It all looks quite good out there now.
I have been doing another lino cut and have made a mess of it which I am not too pleased about, still it may be useful for something.
I think I am not settled at the moment and that is the problem, I want to do something but cant make up my mind what.
I have been going through India Flint's wonderful book Eco Dyeing and am sad that I had to pull out of her workshop. I think I must have a go at some of the recipes she has as they dont look too hard to do, but at the moment with it being so wet I will have to wait until I can go out and find leaves etc to have another go at it.
I quite like this haiku by Basho, but its not quite as cold as that here.

Light the fire -
how about this,
a giant snowball.

Friday, July 30, 2010

From my sketchbook

The first are some beach houses that I want to try and turn into a lino cut, I am not sure how clever I am but will give it a go.
The next two pages are from The drawing Lab again, this exercise was to draw something, tree, flowers, face, cat etc without taking the pen from the paper. I did a few boo boos but finally got into the run and fun of the thing.
This was such a fun exercise and kept me amused for quite a while.
I have hardly been home.
Wednesday was pretty depressing, I couldnt understand what my mother was saying when I visited her, and I also got tangled in the media scrum for the PM when I went to get her flowers and I have to say I was not amused. What should fhave taken a very few minutes took ages.
A visit to the dentist didnt help either although seeing the Waterhouse prize entrants for Natural History art in various mediums was great and uplifting.
Yesterday I did mundane things like blood tests and then went and had a lovely few hours with a friend, sewing and chatting.
Today we had a long walk and my knee and hip are playing up but at least John is burning off the rubbish in my supposedly fox proof fowl yard, I wonder in there is a den under all that rubbish!
After this mornings walk I thought this haiku by Basho was a bit appropriate!
Old legs, still eager
for Yoshino's
flowering slopes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I am SO cross!

It appears that in broad daylight a blasted fox came and took one of my hens, no body but very agitated ones left, cant find the little Japanese bantam rooster who lives with them and loads of feathers.
It probably was the only one of the old girls who gives me any eggs too.
John found one hen on the wall around the garden and finally managed to get her in, I found only two others and there should be four.
They are now confined to quarters.

Pestilent introduced
my hen in broad daylight

Monday, July 26, 2010

Inland sea

Oh dear, I still have spots on my scanner, I have tried and tried to get them off to no avail.
this is wet on wet background with the trees splodges from a cut up sponge. I had fun doing this. I may not see the floods that are now coming into the center of Australia but this is rather how I imagine it would look.
My sky isnt showing up terribly well, I find it hard with my very minimal program to get some colours to show well.
I walked up the paddocks today and have done Monday type chores inside so a bit of a boring day apart from the walk.
Still cutting shapes out of ezy cut to print with, I cant believe how easy it is compared to the lino cuts!
Not sure this Basho Haiku is totally appropritate but here it is.

Year's end, all
corners of this
floating world, swept.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I saw this yesterday when we were walking. John asked if it had a caterpillar on top smoking a hookah, no it didnt, just a cap of different colour.
John has been fishing and come home with some fish, I have been carving out new lino cuts but they are not quite finished.
Trouble is that I spend a lot of time bent over which is not terribly good for my back.
I also planted out some shasta daisies a friend had given me, I cant believe I lost a heap last summer it was so dry, but it is still a bit dry and I had to water them in. No rain for a few days but we did have some very welcome sunshine.
here is another Basho Haiku.

Loneliness -
caged cricket dangling
from the wall.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Bluff from the cliffs at Petrel Cove

Sorry about the spots, I scanned something that had glitter on it and try as I might I havent got it off the scanner face which is a nuisance.
This little watercolour does not have spots on it!
We walked along the cliffs this morning, a wonderful morning, very still, very grey, with thumping waves and it was hard to tell the difference between the sky and they sea.
One of those magic mid winter mornings which you try to remember when it is not so nice.
I do hope the sun comes out tomorrow we havent seen it for days and days.
There are more photos on my other blog.
(See the side bar).
A small Haiku from Basho, I was trying to find something relating to the sea and this is the best I could do.

Plunging hoofs stir
Futami sand - divine white
horse greets New Year.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I dont think I ever worried too much about monsters when I was young, or if I did they had no form, were just a malevolent presence.
Any way this is another of the exercises from the drawing lab and it started with drawing an eye and then let your pen go from there. I rather liked doing this and then coloured it with Inktense pencils that I then wet.
I have had a busy couple of days and bits were great fun and bits rather depressing, my mother does not look at all well.
I could rant about the things that are done but I wont.
I think playing with the drawing lab takes my mind off things for a while.
The weather has not been terribly helpful either, depressing grey and drizzle. My joints dont much like the cold either.
I did have a lovely fun filled lunch yesterday so I am so grateful to the friends I have.
A bit more Basho.

While moon sets
atop the trees
leaves cling to rain.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Silly but fun

I am loving that book. She suggests if we paint from our imaginations we must like what we are doing, I loved doing this little one, all the things I like, sea, exotic buildings, a boat (badly done!) trees and rocks.
I would love to visit.
Not too sure about the next one, it is a variation on yesterdays but done with sharpies, I dont much like sharpies and they bleed through the paper, but this looked a lot more interesting after I had coloured it in than just the bare lines, not picasso but more a monster I think.
I dont think I am game to do any more of my doggerel so here is a haiku instead, by my favorite Basho.

Old pond,
leap-splash -
a frog.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Drawing lab, picasso animal

I am not sure if this an animal or what but it was fun to do and to colour in.
I told you there would be some odd stuff appearing and this is the first of what could be many.
The idea was to draw say an eye and then turn the page 90degrees and then another part of an animal etc always turning 90 degrees and see what you have at the end.
Fun to do when not doing much.
It rained in the night and is back to cold so I am catching up on some housework and cooking.
I even planted some pots that have been waiting for a damp day, only trouble is the soil 3 inches down is still dry.
I cant believe it.

softly falling,
damp soil,
new plantings.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I have been doing a bit of nonsense sketching inspired by this book that arrived yesterday. I think it is a great book for getting one going and it would also be great for teaching children although often children have more idea than we do of how things should look and how to go about doing it.
Any way I love it and you may see more odd bits of nonsense coming from my pen.
It is funny, once I thought I had to go by the rules of drawing, painting and sketching, at the ripe old age of 70 I am now realising that if I like it who cares about other people, I can do what I want and not aspire to be the best painter, sketcher or whatever, I know I will never be.
I like to please myself.
Is that selfish? I tend to think not, I think it is a way of freeing ones self and going where one never went before.
I admire those with more imagination than I have, who can use colour brilliantly and who paint beautifully, but it is not me and I must admit there are times when I look at what I have done and think, hmm thats not too bad at all.
I will admit it doesnt happen very often, but just occasionally...

This is a pretty awful bit of doggerel.

To paint and sew,
by the rules,

as others do,
is not my lot
but the freedom of playing is
far more enjoyable for me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Fast asleep in the sunroom, a quick sketch.
He leads a good life, on a favorite chair in the sun.
Housework today.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Its time for fires

We have had some very vigorous cold fronts roaring through, dropping some rain but certainly dropping the temperature.
I decided to practice painting a bon fire, well in our case it is called 'the heap' and every so often if we can get a dry day in before the bushfire season opens we burn it, all the hard garden rubbish and any thing else that will burn quickly goes on it.
Not today but painting a fire did warm me up a bit.
It is freezing out here where my computer is so back to sit by the fire in the sitting room, to warm up before I have to go out and feed 'the animals'.

Fire, so good to warm us
in winter,
so bad when out of control
in summer.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Seals in the bay

We walked this morning as the sun was out and not There were three seals playing and looking for food and it was lovely to watch them, a head would bob up and then some tail flippers, a roll and a flipper in the air.
This very sketchy sketch was quickly done.
I had a pretty busy day yesterday, a meeting I dont want to talk about, so sad when something you have nurtured begins to sour.
I saw my mother briefly and then home to friends for an impromptu and very lovely dinner.
Seals chasing squid,
frolicking in the shallows.
I have dived where you did.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Getting old!

No sketch as it is on my other blog which you will find on my side bar.
How did I do that?
Perhaps it was because I was listening to the last moments of a very close football (Aussie Rules of course) match.
I am glad to say my team won but that really is no excuse.
Perhaps age really is catching up with me, although I hope not.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Bird, unnamed and unknown

Having a bit of play time, I cant go out so I am playing and not exactly getting much done.
I think I feel a bit better but trying not to think about it.

Small bird,
in a bright shirt,
unknown and unnamed.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


I have this pot, one of many pots in my sunroom.
I sat and enjoyed the sun and sketched it.
I have been to the doctor and am about to be on some antibiotics.
I am drinking and staying inside and I hope I feel better tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Managed some colour

He does look very startled and the colour is not what I painted him in.
I still cant paint roosters!
The cold has moved to my chest, no moving away from home for a while.
Freezing cold mornings and the occasional burst of sun. Thank heaven for a nice warm fire.
Its not quite as bad as the bit of doggerel below.

desperation. cough. breath,
tomorrow I will be better.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Whale watching

The whales are in the bay and people are out and about watching them, I dont think many realise that if they look carefully near the rocks below them there are seals working as well.
We watched the seals and saw the whales blowing, flippering and an occasional head coming up. I think at the moment we have a mother and her clalf and possibly a male.
We had an enjoyable walk and a coffee and watched a wedding on the little jetty at Horseshoe bay really quite incongrous, and walked back.
I had done a quick whale watching sketch if you want to see the photos go to my back valley seasons blog.
Sunday walking,
whales and seals,
a wedding

coffee, satisfying.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Cheese dish doodle

This really should have been straight, but somehow it wasnt. I have a collection of old cheese dishes but none actually have this design on them.
I felt I needed to do something and looked at the shapes and went from there.
Still cold, we have had some heavy showers as well, now they are talking about frosts overnight, maybe, just maybe we are having a good old fashioned winter, although it needs to rain a lot more really before that happens.
Apart from shopping I didnt do a lot today, except get gilding flakes all over the place, but I am still working on that.
I did have a nanny nap in my chair, I dont often fall asleep but was looking at the new Welsh Pony and Cob Society journal and well off I went!
We have just had a delicious dinner, fish and chips and cauliflower cheese, sounds awful but the combination on a cold cold night goes down well.

Fish from the sea
chips from the soil
and cauliflower cheese, yum.