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Blogging’s difficult when you haven’t got a computer, let alone internet access!

Well, the title says it all, really. And I’m still not sure when I shall be getting my internet access, or even my landline at the new address. Why are these things difficult? The people who lived in the house before me had a landline, and internet access. But it doesn’t just “sit” there waiting to be picked up, as far as I can tell…… Perhaps I was being overly optimistic, or maybe naive, in the belief that I would just ring up someone on my mobile and they would attach my debit card to their phoneline (or however else they get you to pay, blood sweat and tears?) and – as if by magic – the phone would work. But no, it’s not that simple (it never is!). I have had to ring up the new provider, who tells me that they can’t find the line (well, it was there last week, where has it gone since then?!) so I have to ring up the Post Office to get a line set up by them, so then the new provider can take it off them. Which certainly begs the question, in my mind, as to why they couldn’t have done that themselves in the first place! But, they can’t. So, there’s a ten working day delay whilst they do all of this (bearing in mind that the line was there for thre previous people only a few days before all of this!). And added to this will be the new telephone provider having to wave their magic telephone wands to enable them to do their telecommunacative stuff (so I’m not getting my hopes up regarding all of that happening at breakneck speed in nanoseconds after I ring them up!).

There’s a lot to be said for carrier pigeons…………….

Anyway, in the meantime, there are still a multitude of jobs to be done in setting up the house. Somewhere to paint pictures, would be nice! And an office to work from (even if it does have a big gap where the computer should be until I can move it there). So, to that end, I’ve been hunting for furniture. And found some, quite amazingly! But, the multitude of boxes that are currently residing in the office-to-be will have to be moved to the hall, and then all moved back in again after the furniture has been set up……. so that’ll keep me busy for a while!

But, it was great to go to the art workshop last Saturday and see all my arty friends again after the summer break. Good to catch up with their news, and to see their faces again, and to join them in the great creative outpourings that make up for these days!

I’ve missed it.

And loved getting back into the swing of it again. It was about inks and being creative with them – and the tutor certainly made sure we were kept busy all day with it. We did three paintings in the six hours we were there – all with different ways of working with inks – the first was painting with Quink ink – which has some strange chemical properties that means when its painted onto wet watercolour paper, where it is deep black it stays deep black, but where it is painted thinly, it dries golden yellow, to great effect if you can plan what you want to paint with it, and how you want it to turn out….we did a black yacht silhouetted on a lake, with forebidding black clouds above which really looked great with the yellow effect adding to the atmosphere of the clouds and thundery sky.

The second painting was done drawing black ink pen onto watercolour paper, this image of a French courtyard garden, with many pretty flowers and a variety of shapes and textures of foliage. After drawing the image out, we painted the colours with watercolours – a pretty way of painting, and very effective for the subject matter.

But the third picture we did was my favourite – it was done by drawing out an image of a stone cottage (and for us each to decide whether it was creamy Cotswold stone, bleak Scottish stone, whitewashed Welsh stone, or mellow Mediteranean stone) and then we used a mix of watercolours, acrylic inks, heavy black Indian ink, using various effects that incorporated candle wax (to make a wax resist pattern), or using straws to blow the paint and ink around, splattering, tilting the paper to move the paint around, using different implements to make marks, or even as a last resort, to just paint with a brush – whatever came to mind was fine, and added to the overall effect.

Which makes me wonder about the conversation I had earlier with my friend across the seas, who went to an artshow at the weekend, and sent me some photos of his visit – all nice to see, very familiar, and certainly interesting. But, the most surprising image that stuck most in my mind, was the one of the pastel painting being completed by a woman. She was copying a photo of a man on a bike in a street scene – but for me the surprising thing was that she hadn’t done any under-painting – which is so familiar for me to see, particularly with pastels. She was just painting the colour on the white paper and working down the length of the paper starting at the top. That’s really odd! Because the white paper looks so stark next to the colour that your eyes “read” it differently, so its normal for an artist to do an underpainting of colour (which may be muted tones of the top colour, or a contrasting colour to give the top colour some zizz through colour mixing on the paper). Very strange! She wasn’t “painting” the picture from the photo – she was COPYING it. And doing it in an amateurish way – as you could see by the straight line of diagonal leaves on the edge of the tree to the left of the painting. How odd!

And how different from the day I spent at the weekend, being encouraged to be so creative, that anything was acceptable. So long as it was arty!  And inky!

Yep, black fingers again…..