Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year

 This was earlier this afternoon, getting away from painting. It feels very strange to be so mild and calm. I met my neighbour around the lake with her huge Mountain dog. She said that Christmas was sweet this year. I had to explain the bundle of copper wire under my arm that I had found in the bins, we have communal bins here that often contain treasures.

Last sunset of the year.

Part of the wall has disappeared after the snow and rain, it's happened on the farm too. More work for the spring.

My new tufty mohair cardigan, thrifted.

The farm showing the traditional long barns.

Yesterday was springlike.I sat out with my coffee. I wonder what kind of year we will have. It's been an odd year for me. I haven't been far and I lost a dear friend. I feel like I achieved a lot around the farm and I feel a lot more capable. I really need to work outside more painting in the open. I also feel a bit cut off so I want to change this a bit. I hope everyone has a wonderful New Years in. It's going to slip by here, perhaps I will see a bit of Jules Holland. 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

My kitchen window, the floor is below ground level here. Above a traditional hatch leading to the attic. There is a grill to the left of the window. This leads down to the cave where the geese and ducks sleep at night. I can hear them in the mornings getting restless wanting to get out. Their squawks are muffled but still I hear their need to explore their garden.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Block printing

Cross stitch pattern 

It's been snowing a lot. We had a trip to the shops yesterday to stock up with essentials. It already feels like a long time ago... Now we are holed up I am looking for things to cover in print. I am still cutting out shapes from old styrofoam trays that I have already used once for raising seedlings. I paint the shape with a brush and press onto old sheets. I am using Water Soluble Silk Screen Ink. I'm finding simple shapes most successful and just seeing what develops as I go along.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Styrofoam Printing


I like repeat patterns and particularly in combination with the slightly uneven, graininess of block prints.  I had in mind Christmas but somehow I arrived at Christmas Roses. Not really recognisably Christmas. I was trying to achieve the snowflake feel. Styrofoam is used a lot in packaging. The ink I use HERE is linseed based and I clean up afterwards using vegetable oil. No solvents. The ink is really good, great colour and stays tacky. I use it a lot to do mono printing.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Paper Cut outs

I am trying to design some cards to send out for the hols. These cut outs are magazine paper with printing ink in silver and crimson rolled over. I studied printmaking would love a print press, making do. I like to get a bit festive at Christmas. It's an excuse to be a little indulgent, change things around a bit. It has taken me a while, nearly 48 years, to realise a really serious Christmas creature begins to sort things out early. The sales are a good time to start. I bought some great candles last year for 25 cents each. Metallic balls, in silver, green and gold. George wondered why I was buying baubles, I have a collection of old ones I have had for years. I am now beginning to regret not buying strings of lights I saw in the charity shop. I am already realising I am not that serious about it.
 I have been unable to blog lately as my screen has stopped working. I was hoping it was more serious and I would need a new tower with a bit more power and perhaps an English key board. French key boards are a bit strange and then all the instructions which flick up are in French so it can be frustrating. Although a change back could also be a bit confusing.

 I am going through a strange shift at the moment with French speaking and understanding too. I don't profess to speak French but I do now visit French people, know what they are saying and I am replying back in French. Something has clicked.

My charity shop/ warehouse is shutting today until April! I have been 3 times in the passed 9 days. Still I regret not buying a carpet, a copper mould that really was splendid. I think the carpet was in the way of my buying the copper mould. I did buy some strange things like a small crocheted cushion very sweet but more like the size of a large cake. I bought these Camper boots. (I have never found anything so good before I think.) Otherwise balls of wool, reels of cotton on wooden bobbins; bamboo style framed mirror. I must take pictures.

I was trying to upload images earlier onto blogger and I was told I needed to upgrade as I had reached 100GB of memory. I am not sure how I reduce my storage yet, perhaps delete some old posts. Put the images in Picassa? Not sure.

The 2 images below are from a book on my friends table. 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Chalet Bellevue

The park with glimpses of the Spa.

Abandoned tennis courts.

The old club house.

An old garage, now a workshop for double glazing.

I had another trip to visit my English friend at St HonorĂ©. It was a day that began in a bit of mist then quickly it disappeared. I have to drive a short distance along very up and down lanes past small farms and cottages. Many cottages are empty, for sale or owned by Dutch people here for the Spring and summer.  The sun shone for most of the day and we went for a walk and then headed to Fours, means 'Ovens' in French. Fours has a charity shop. I only know of 3 here. I bought some heavy hiking boots, leather gloves and quilted jackets for my winter country wardrobe. Very happy. We returned back to my friends house and the door was strangely locked and the key wouldn't work. All a bit dramatic but fixed eventually by the Gendarmes who just broke the tough door glass. The door is a very substantial oak 30's style with wrought iron over the glazed area.  Anyway by the time I drove home there was spectacular mist to rise above. I must head out this way again shortly to sketch these wonderful hills. It's near a place called Sanglier which is French for Wild Boar. I'm pleased I realised I have new areas to paint around here. Familiar but not so familiar. It's just the kind of views and landscape I love.
I have started putting a few things on Facebook too. Do try and connect there if you like. I hadn't thought of it till recently. It seems a bit more chatty.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Ghostly Geese

Ghostly Geese

I posted 2 of these on my Facebook page. They were well liked. I immediately liked the way in dull light the  long exposure caused this strange  effect.

A friend said it would make an interesting alternative style of Christmas card. I like quick drawings that show movement. I might use these images somehow. Hmmm.