Saturday, 30 October 2010

Arrived Safely!

Well I did it. I moved in with my poor unsuspecting boyfriend... The week of the move was exhausting, the week after the move was exhausting, and much time was spent trying to find a home for stuff. For a standard British 3 bedroom home this one is surprisingly roomy, although its probably about the size the average American uses to keep half a dozen chickens in. Still by local standards it's spacious, what it does not have however is storage. Cupboards, none, kitchen, nothing to speak of, DIY jobs outstanding, several billion: at least we won't be bored.

Wow, is that an art studio I see at the bottom of my garden? How convenient...

Still, we have got it into some kind of temporary order and the living together thing is going fine, I feel very at home here, probably helped by the fact that the house was not new to me, boyfriend having moved in a few months before me. The trick to living together I have decided is just to be gracious sometimes. For example, when my boyfriend explained to me this week that he had reversed his car into mine on our very narrow drive, and that it was my fault for 'parking too far forwards', I immediately apologised. It was, I admitted,very careless of me to strike the back of his car with mine, particularly as I was sat on the sofa indoors at the time. I was watching that show on the Sky nature channel: When Stationary Cars Attack. Anyhow no damage was done to the car, and I happily stored the experience away for future use when I reverse into his car, men being so understanding about matters involving their vehicles.

The teen was grumpy and overly dramatic about in the time leading up to the move, but she was away when the big move took place, so we ensured her room was straight and as soon as she saw all her old furniture and books she was perfectly happy, and immediately set about her favorite occupation; doing nothing.

A few days after I moved in the paper models company who used me for some illustrations last month gave me another commission, so it was back to working on the dining room table again, frustratingly the whole time I was working I could see my new (not ready) studio at the end of the garden! The commission this time was Norwich Castle, which I thought would be a doddle, it just being a big square. I couldn't have been more wrong, it is neither square, nor symmetrical; not a window or an arrow slit is in the same place on any of the sides, plus several parts of it I couldn't even find a photo for, not even on trusty Google maps. Time for some artistic license...

Here is a picture of a front detail, this is just one tiny part, the areas where the paint has bled out are for tabs which will secure the model together:
No castle is complete without a few characters, here is my peasant:
I also produced a jester, knight and maiden. You won't believe the stuff that comes up on Google Image search when you type in Medieval Maiden. But in the end I managed to make mine look chaste, not slutty...

Once the commission was done it was back to painting the studio with emulsion, while boyfriend attended to yet more cupboards and fittings. Its not done yet but so far we have:

Blinds at the windows:
A sink, as yet unconnected to water:
Worktop and shelves:
And a corner bench seat with lift up lid for storage:

Currently we are fitting the alarm system, then computer and finally a large work-table with built in storage underneath for drawing boards and paintings. Then it's just a small matter of catching up with 6 months work.

This week I also took part in the 'Big Draw' which aims to get people all over Britain picking up a pencil. I was based at Colchester Castle, and despite a horrid rainy day, half-term ensured a never ending stream of children and a few adults to have a go with dip pen and ink. The ink was permanent so I put it into tiny glass eyeshadow containers, which work fantastically as small, safe ink wells.

This was my work area, it took some time for my my eyes to adjust to the dark 'museum lighting', the photo makes it look a lot brighter than it was:
I was on the upper floor with a great view over the roofspace:
I would love to show you a photo of all the kids working, but as I have lamented on this blog before, one cannot innocently snap photos of kids nowadays, 'tis not the done thing. However, one nice lady let me take a photo of her daughter's drawing; I cannot remember the young girls name but hi, and thanks so much for participating on Tuesday!

At the end of a busy week I was faced with preparing for my Saturday class, 'Night pictures in Pastel' was the subject I happily set a few months ago... of course Thursday evening saw me in the usual last minute panic, desperately trying to take photos in the dark, leaning on the roof of my car for stability, with a grumpy teen who I had just collected from the bus station. The teen wanted dinner, not a tour around town with her crazy mother apparently...

However I got some good photos and this was my favourite: (No that's not a lake in front of the church, it's the reflection of the roof of my car!)
It was a good subject for Halloween as it turned out and the class did amazingly well, I will be posting photos of their efforts in a few days. Now its back to the studio, it really does feel like we are on the home run, I cannot wait until it is finished.

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