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I painted some beasts.

The art class has been working on an exercise involving a painting of hedges and mud, and I did not feel inspired by that (I get enough bare hedges and mud at this time of year!), so I went back to try doing a previous exercise involving painting fur and animal faces as a semi-abstract.

I felt it came out quite well.  Here is Rosie Roo looking at a squirrel. 

And I also decided to try painting Gothmog kitten with a packing peanut. 
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Colour & tone

I went to an artists group meeting yesterday evening where someone was talking about her art (silk-screen printing using old maps and letters) they were pretty, but not entirely to my taste.   I liked the idea of them, but visually they were a bit too... similar, I suppose.  But perhaps I should have seen them in the reality : she had brought a slideshow, but it's not the same.

Anyway, after that bit, we did a painting exercise looking at colour and tone : the idea being that when you are looking at colours, it can be hard to work out if the tone is a pale one or a dark one. She gave us a black and white card, and we had to paint the tones in it using colours, with the aid of a phone, which we used to change the colours to black and white so we could see the tones and not the colours we were painting with. 
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Practicing silk and colouring and a face.  Beginning to get near to my idea of what Maedhros might look like?  Maybe.

I still have this sodding cold.  I am sick of coughing and feeling exhausted.  Dragged self along to art class today, but kind of regretted it.  Still, I got this painting finished, and that's an achievement.

Shambling continues apace

I have reached the stage in the cold where everything feels like it is very steeply uphill.  But I did do some painting this weekend.

Angrod, Aegnor and a friend on the beach near Alqualondë.  

They were building sandcastles with Finrod and Turgon, but it all got a bit intense and competitive so Angrod and little Aegnor decided to go off and talk to a mermaid instead.

Gothmog kitten feels that photographing paintings is dull, and that I should be photographing HER. Read more...Collapse )

A shambling snotmonster writes

We did have some snow today, though it was very much just slush.  I've been slowly coming down with the cold that Pp already had and today I gave into it and just went to sleep on the sofa with small Gothmog curled up on my feet.   Fankil came to inspect me: I didn't move but merely observed, and apparently that passed the inspection.

Am annoyed with myself : I took the car in to the garage because the dashboard dials had stopped working. It was booked in and I told them what the problem was when I phoned to book it in, but when it came to actually handing the keys over, the guy who does the work was busy with something and the garage's Dad was there and said 'does he know what it's in for' and I, overcome with cold and without a voice nodded and pushed the keys gormlessly at him.

Anyway, I tried phoning a couple of times later to double check they actually knew what it was in for and make sure they had my number, but only got voicemail.  So tomorrow I shall have to try to extract car from garage, and I hope they will actually have done something about the problem, since a speedometer and a petrol gauge are pretty essential though the car itself is running nicely. 

Here are some photos of New Cat Nenya. 
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uuuurgh.  Snf. 

A collaborative fiction thing

martial_quill has a long story with the premise 'Maglor is Tom Bombadil' and has somehow managed to make this strange idea oddly compelling.  We were chatting about this, and the idea of writing a story where Maglor and Goldberry get drunk together in the Second Age, and Martial_quill said, would be fun to do that, but I don't fancy writing drunken Maglor talking in verse.  So, I said, why don't I write drunken versifying Maglor, and you write Goldberry (called Neniel in this Second Age version) and we'll set it in this weird universe you have made.

So this was all rather ridiculous from a certain point of view but we ended up with this  :

now let the song begin which contains among many other things, a poem about Maglor stealing honey from bees of which I am rather absurdly proud.  And they do make a weirdly sweet couple, and Martial_quill has put one hell of a lot of effort into Avari worldbuilding, no question.  


Repaint, A Large Hole, A Cat.

I took my Scottish scene along to art class, because something about the composition bugged me and I couldn't quite work out what it was.

Colin the Art suggested moving the figures left and making them slightly larger, so that they would be outlined against the  and the pier would draw the attention along to the skyline. And also that the figures should be wearing brown, not black, because that would 'bring them forward'. So I did that:
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On Wednesday I went out to lunch with my Mum, and we found a tunnel we had never visited before, which is odd, because it runs very nearly under one of our favorite cafes.  It was originally built by Brunel as a railway tunnel and opened in 1859, and that's approaching the height of the mining boom, so I'm going to tag this as 'mining' on the grounds that no doubt it was the mines that made a railway up to Tavistock seem a good idea.

No railway to Tavistock any more though, so it has been left to moss, stalactites, and cyclists and walkers on the new Drake's Trail which runs into Plymouth along the old railway route.   When you stand at one end, the other end seems Very Far Away. There's a good echo, too.

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We have adopted our third cat!   After extremely long negotiations, she has been named Nenya.  Fankil, obviously, hissed at her, despite their closeness last time they saw each other... Cats!   She has retreated under the sofa for now, but she does seem like a friendly and confident girl. She's met Rosie, who behaved impeccably, and Gothmog, who was a little alarmed, but not for long. 


The Ghost Comes to Light

Fankil kitty has been slowly emerging.  First we started seeing him a bit more in Pp's study, rather than being wedged behind the printer cabinet all the time.  So we decided to let him out for a bit.  It took him a few days to dare to do more than venture just past the door then run away,  but he's now got to the stage where he's racing around the house playing with Gothmog.  He's still pretty wary of us, but I've seen him sitting on the sofa with Rosie.  This morning he even ran through the living room in broad daylight!  Sadly I didn't have my camera to hand.

Here they are this evening.  I had put food out, and of course Gothmog had to eat first.  See Fankil politely waiting for her to finish.  She's definitely the boss despite being smaller.


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We have... decided to adopt another cat.  When Fankil was at the rescue, his best buddy was a little white cat who had come in pregnant.  They were obviously very close when we met Fankil at the rescue (he tried to hide under her and trod on her tiny kittens!) Now the kittens have got big and she's ready to be spayed and find a home, so we decided that we'd offer her one and reunite them.   I wonder what Gothmog will think of her?
Pp and I just put up a floating shelf.  It was hard.  The prong things fitted perfectly until they were screwed to the wall, then, mysteriously, they would not engage with the holes in the shelf.  I hit them with a rubber mallet in the end to make them fit.

Now my arms feel like two bendy straws.  Floating shelves : not worth the hassle.  Stick to brackets.

The painting below was for an exercise where we had to paint something for the words 'zeitgeist', 'ephemeral' or 'subliminal'.  I thought of approximately 999 very depressing things I could paint for those words, but I wanted to paint something more cheering, so in the end I went for 'Ephemeral' and painted one of our old copper & arsenic mines which were once both deadly and blighting, but now are overrun with plants and beautiful in their own way.

Then I decided to push my luck and added a pair of balmaidens for 'zeitgeist' - either literally as time-ghosts, or in the sense of 'well, things may not be perfect now, but at least girls are not routinely expected to take jobs working in arsenic mines at the age of 7 or 8 years old'.   I used some of the photos on http://balmaiden.co.uk/ for clothing/ tools reference.

I'm quite pleased with how this came out, and may paint some more mine-ghost pictures.  The girl is holding her bonnet in her hand, i'm not sure if that's clear.

Somehow I sold myself this idea...

That Cirdan, the ancient Elf who watches the coast should fall in love with Lalwen, sister of Fingolfin the High King of the Noldor.  These two characters may not ever have met and yet somehow and frankly, most uncharacteristically for me, I am convinced they are made for one another.

So I wrote this :  Use Well the Days.   Lalwen knows exactly what she wants. So does Círdan, really, though for him it's more complicated.

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February 2019



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