Anyone recognise me from this portrait? My mum painted me in oils when I was about seven or so, which makes this painting around 48 years old… Mum was an art teacher before she got married, so being drawn or painted wasn’t a particularly unusual occurrence in our house!
I distinctly remember the pale yellow cotton party dress – sleeveless fitted pin-tucked bodice and a full gathered skirt with a net underskirt that itched – and I remember sitting for the portrait (on the kitchen stool, in the kitchen of our farm cottage, while mum painted). People have often assumed I was sulking, or in a bad mood, but even now this is my natural resting face.
I’ve always been surprisingly fond of this painting, although one thing I’ve never understood is why mum chose such a god-awful background colour to frame me with? It’s certainly not representative of our chaotic kitchen, and is not particuarly flattering to my pale hair and skin colouring, or the colour of my dress! 🙂
My husband picked me up a Lizzie Mary Cullen ‘Magical City’ colouring book for next to nothing in a charity shop the other day, with only three out of 70 designs lightly coloured in by the previous owner. I’d never thought about colouring in city-scapes before, but I’ve made a start on going over the three half-heartedly-done (by my standards) designs in my own rather more heavy-handed style.
I’d already finished re-colouring the first one (of London’s Baker Street) before I realised I should probably have taken a picture of it before I began, as well as after… Oh well… Oops! At least I took pics of the other two to compare…
Anyway, here is a little gallery of the book cover as well as my before and after colouring in shots (minus the one I forgot). It turns out I’m really happy with my second-hand colouring in as well as with my otherwise pristine second hand colouring in book – definitely something creative to smile about this week, and for the month ahead at least! 🙂
So Fandango’s One Word Challenge today is ‘Movement’, and I decided to go out for a walk with my camera to see if I could capture any movement – it still feels odd having spent years teaching myself how not to have camera shake or fuzzy movement, to then deliberately create it in a shot. I was initially thinking people, or cars, or buses zooming along the road. But it’s hot and sunny and bright and not really long exposure weather, and anyway as I’ve never really got the hang of sucessfully using my ND filter I gave up on that idea.
Instead I went for a walk in the local woods, where there’s always a bit of shade to be had, lots of dark and light, and played about for a bit experimenting in taking oddly moving pictures of trees – obviously the trees don’t move, but with the right settings a bit of camera trickery can provide the motion! Aperture priority, aperture closed down ( experimenting with different levels), ISO fixed at 160 (lowest my camera can do), and plenty of deliberate camera movement on my part.
To start with I tried my usual zoom bursts, holding the camera steady and zooming the lens from wide to tele, but they looked quite boring; then I tried holding the lens steady and moving the camera instead; then moving the entire camera and lens in a circle; then up and down; then back and forth; and finally in any odd shape I fancied. Overall I tried minimal abstraction (so the grass and trees are still reasonably recognisable), maximum abstraction (where it’s all just random green fuzz) and an in between, neither-one-nor-the-other kind of melting-forest dream-state effect.
I took loads, so here are some of my favourites in all three categories:
So altogether I’ve ended up with some very different views of my usual walk through the woods, and perhaps cheekily have also created a rather different take on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge prompt of ‘View’ – what fun I’ve had with this today! 🙂
Over the last couple of months, while due to ongoing digestive issues I’ve been trying to fix my lifelong habit of emotional eating, I’ve tried distracting myself with colouring something in instead of eating whenever I get stressed. It’s kind of working, my comfort colouring – well, most of the time anyway. So as a result I’ve been doing loads of bits and pieces of colouring in lately, mostly with gel pens or using both pens and pencils in the same design, but to ring the changes I’ve again gone back to the old school staple of using basic coloured pencils. I do tend to love the bright, strong confident colour tones created by using relatively heavy pressure on the page rather than the quieter almost pastel shades achieved by using gentler, softer strokes – hope you like them too! 🙂
I decided to mix and match gel pens with coloured pencils in colouring in this circular design – I first used a metallic gold gel pen to create an outline framework, then continued with gel pens for the smaller fiddly bits. I chose coloured pencils to fill in the larger inner areas, then finished off with gel pens again around the border 🙂
One of the benefits for me of colouring in with gel pens rather than coloured pencils is that I can colour all the really fiddly, finicky little designs that my well-used pencil points always find so frustrating to fill in. I’ve looked at this particular mandala design so many times and have resisted starting it, knowing that it would take some time to do – but here it is completed, and I’m really delighted with the way it’s turned out 🙂