Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Daily drawings | Not drawing, but painting (and knitting)

I've been having fun with these: tiny canvases to do quick paintings on (I chose a Galway theme). If I make the Daily drawings a regular feature, I had better change the title to include painting.

I find myself using the colours of recent evening skies:

And another colour pairing: I only noticed when I started knitting with this yarn that it matched my nail polish.

My sister and I are preparing for a crafts fair this weekend, and in my usual fashion I am doing lots of last-minute projects - painting by daylight, knitting and crocheting at night.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Jumbo book is here!


Jumbo Wants to be a Hippo arrived last week, and I am very happy with how it turned out (thanks to Conor, who designed and put it all together and added the subtle colour to my drawings, 'colour-coding' the different animals). Thank you to everyone who has bought the book so far. We really appreciate your support.

If you know me in real life and would like to purchase a book, I am selling them here in Galway, directly and via bookshops and crafts fairs. An online shop is on its way (slowly).

There is more information on my website.

This collaboration with Lionel and Conor has been so much fun (and there are two more stories to be published; it is a trilogy), and I am lucky to have more illustration projects waiting for me. This week's chapter in The Vein of Gold is guiding me to find out what I want to be doing more of and which directions to take, but I already know that illustration is high up on that list.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Daily drawings | Wool

Another work-in-progress. Just playing around with Graphitint pencils, following the pattern of knit and purl on a moss stitch wrist warmer - the kind of drawing that is trance-inducing.

And noticing all the green around me moving towards a more muted palette among November's greys. 

I am wearing my green coat, knitting green socks and eating my greens. 


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Water, stars and scents

Birds bathing on the roof outside Matt's apartment

"When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don't seem to matter very much, do they?" 
Virginia Woolf 

"If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I'll bet they'd live a lot differently." 
Bill Watterson

Looking at the stars (on evening walks, or when I get home and it is dark, I make a point of stopping and directing my gaze upwards at the night sky), water in various forms (swimming, baths, steam room) and breathing into my back (here is a post on the topic on Rejuvenation Lounge) are keeping me afloat at the moment. My problems are indeed small and insignificant, but I do have to remind myself to stop catastrophising.

I have been worrying and fearing and getting upset over unfairnesses (and as a result been hypersensitive around certain issues), and my body has responded the way it always does - aches at first, and then being properly ill.

So this weekend is for resting. And, having a reason, I do not have to feel bad about taking it easy.

Other things that have helped are rubbing geranium oil into my hands and then pressing my palms onto my face for a minute. You cannot not relax when being enveloped by this scent. Along the same lines, my favourite two Yogi teas at the moment are Rose (same effect as geranium) and Green Balance, a blend of green tea, kombucha, peppermint, lemon grass, elderflower and lemon verbena that is silky and delicious.
In her new book Ann Patchett describes going to the swimming pool at lot when she was upset over her disastrous first marriage. She says something to the extent of how being in the water let her dissolve in a cathartic way, and I feel the same when I am a ball of anxiety over something. Salt water is even better, and really I should try being in the ocean under a starry sky more often.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Daily drawings | Work-in-progress

I like the idea of regular posts with a specific theme, but so far have never managed to incorporate any in this space. Featuring my daily drawings here (but only once a week) might provide me with the self-imposed accountability that I often need in order to stick to a new habit.

A while ago I committed to drawing something just for fun every day, but when there are other projects to work on it is too easy to let it slip. After a busy couple of weeks I sat down again today, with fresh inspiration from a visit to my sister's house. 

Matt and Branwell were reading the paper together, and Branwell was all eagerly outstretched front legs and eyes. I am working on several drawings of this scene. Fathers with their babies are always a heart-warming sight, but for an animal lover who doesn't want children herself nothing beats a man holding a tiny four-legged.