Monday, 29 June 2009

The No-Mow Lawn

There are certain times of the year when we take a break from mowing. In Spring when the bulbs are flowering under the orchard we mow meandering paths through the lush glass and nodding heads of daffodils. Then it's full stream ahead with our lithium battery mower until the end of May, while the grass grows as fast as the blades can whirl. If we are lucky to experience a hot and dry June like this year, we retire to the terrace with the cocktail shaker and admire the lawn weeds, that come into flower under the baking sun. Bird's-foot-trefoil, red and white clover, hardy geraniums, ox-eye daisies, self-heal, wild thyme, speedwell, scarlet pimpernel, harebell, willow herb, lady's mantle, everlasting pea, red champion and ragged robin have all made our lawn less grass more meadow. In fact everything a well kept lawn shouldn't be, but the bees love it and so we excuse ourselves on their behalf!

Soft fruit blog soon, along with the best Raspberry Sorbet recipe ever, a promise! One added benefit to a no-mow lawn, Nick has time to manicure the vines.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Glastonbury Via Woodstock, Goodbye London

A good year to be there. With a stunning performance from Neil Young last night and Crosby, Nash and Stills today, what treats! It goes an old hippie's heart good! My new chum Luke Jackson sent me a great video today, a fine piece of animation, and music's not bad either! While I was studying computer animation 15 years ago, when digital imaging was still in it's infancy , I learnt the importance (and difficulty) of good lip sync and I think this illustrates it well. Enjoy!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Life - As We Know It

There is a buzz going through life drawing classes up and down the country this week, the BBC have a treat in stall for all us non-holidaying sketchers, five half-hour episodes of Life Class, each devoted to drawing or painting the naked figure, each starring just two people: the artist and the model. The camera we are told will be on the model, allowing us at home to join in.
It's unbelievable in this day and age that this nudity issue is still able to cause a negative reaction, as in shock, horror, full frontal on daytime television, a sentiment a tabloud recently voiced. I thought we had put all this behind us the 60's and 70's. Only last year my drawing instructor was ordered to remove nude paintings from Harrow Arts Centre by the Local Council which maybe, at a push, I could understand, if I lived in a small, intolerant, illiberal, conservative society or community, but we are talking about London here.

Life Class: Today's Nude is on Channel 4 from 6-10 July

This has reminded me of my pledge to post life drawings good and bad or indifferent. I've pictured a few recent daubs and scribbles just to show all the different techniques I've been encouraged to try. Sometimes, I have been less than enthusiastic in taking up the challenge but I needed a more disciplined and bolder approach to form, so hey, ho.
3 x five minutes charcoal

3 x one minute (coloured pastel only)

5 minute LEFT hand only

30 minute watercolour

30 minute pastel only (no pencil)

3 x one minute sketches walking around the static model

30 minutes pastels