Tuesday, 14 October 2014

three months old today

My little grandson is three months old today. It has been a very busy three months.
How quickly they grow and become aware of the world around them. This little guy has perfected a particular type of cooing when he wants me to sing to him and I am so grateful to have had such a close association with him that I am able to tell that is what he is communicating. He enjoys when I sing and i enjoy singing to him. I found a book of 1001 popular tunes in an op shop just recently, the newest tune is from 1967 and the oldest was copyrighted in 1887 and interestingly I know a large proportion of the songs in the book. My grandson is beginning to learn them too. He doesn't like songs in a minor key and he is not keen on slow pieces. He bounces about and smiles, waving his arms and cooing loudly if I sing upbeat bouncy tunes in a major key. Already he is developing his own tastes. These early developmental stages are so incredibly important in setting the foundation for our children and their future. I was especially happy at an announcement by the government that in establishing a national curriculum, music will takes its place again as a foundation subject at the early stages of schooling. Music is such an intrinsic part of our world culture that it seemed almost insane that previous governments and school systems would devalue it and even remove it from the curriculum. Music stimulates the brain as no other activity can. I am doing my little bit and singing to my grandson.

So Inktober continues and here I have days 9 - 14 for your viewing pleasure. One of the difficulties with being away from home is that i can only take a limited amount of my art gear and I am reduced to uploading my art via my mobile phone, which is not idea for many reasons not least of which is my strained eyesight however I am pleased that I have a short amount of time each day to dedicate to producing some art.
 Day 10 theme is Cycle so I drew the water cycle; that old standby of science teachers everywhere. I think I will enjoy doing a colour version of this for grand baby's wall at some time.
 Day 11 Lock, many of the participants drew some magnificent locks including water locks. I used fine tip markers for my lock and key. Unfortunately this picture does not do it justice and I will have to scan it properly.

Day 12 is Fresh. and I decided fresh breath fitted the theme. Once again using fine tip markers. Day 13 was Dragon and I do like my dragon on a turret.
Today I am drawing some fern leaves for the day 14 theme, Fern. I am not finished yet and I have some other art to complete for a deadline so I will get that done shortly. 

Portland has been interesting. I found a set of stairs going up a cliff and decided I needed to jog up them. I made it to the first landing after about 25 steps, wheezing and gasping and clinging to the rail. A gentleman passed me at a slow and steady pace and wished me a good morning. I managed to gasp out a response and said I hoped I made it to the next landing and off I went. Eventually I made it to the top of the cliff with the gentleman passing me at his slow and steady pace going up and down. My thighs screamed protest at me as I began my descent. My lungs almost went on strike and as for my pour pounding heart well it put the percussion section of the greatest orchestra to shame. The gentleman suggested slow and steady and build up to jogging. I crawled across the sand of Nun's beach, narrowly avoiding nesting plovers in the small grassy islands and gasping dragged myself into my car vowing never to exercise again. 

 How do plovers survive? They lay their eggs on exposed pieces of ground in the middle of parks, beaches, playgrounds, highway median strips and schools then think some squarking, fake injuries and occasional swooping with deadly intent is going to help them raise a brood of chicks? Crazy birds but they are around so something works for them.

This morning I backed the car out of the drive at 6am, began to drive toward the east and flipped down my visor. This landed in my lap, or its twin did. I hit the brake only it was the accelerator and did some fancy break dancing and hit a note somewhere at c above c above middle c almost shattering the windscreen, found the brake, leaped out of the car doing yet more fancy dance moves and brushed the poor creature onto the bitumen and watched it go into the spider equivalent of the foetal position. I apologised to the spider for the agony its innocent leap landed it in, climbed back into the car and drove on. Irrationally I could not then flip the visor back down, knowing the spider was gone I could not bring myself to flip it again. Totally irrational behaviour but I simply could not do it. 

Interestingly my blood pressure was very high around the time I made it to my doctor appointment. Hmmm I wonder what caused that?

So more art. This week the theme for the 52 week challenge is Black and White and here are my contributions.
This one is titled 'friends' and is inspired by a photograph of two models. I will add the link to the original when I locate it again.
 This is a Gown and is done on bleed proof paper with liquid ink and brush as well as finger smudging. Then I used fine liners and a white ink pen. I didn't like the paper.
 Masque. A mixture of graphite, ink, fine liner, markers and pencil on bleed proof paper again.
 This is the cover of my black sketch pad. Occasionally I like to explore white on black and I was using my white ink pen on the plastic cover of the pad. It was an odd sensation drawing on plastic. This is titled Moonlight.
The happy and sad theatre masks are done in fine liner on cartridge paper.
This week my friend Melissa is having a launch of her book 'Swallow me now' at the Oakleigh library in Melbourne. I would love to be there to support her but I may still be in Portland and not sure if I can do the 7 hour round trip in a day. The book Invitation to a book launchcontains a number of pieces of art by me. The girl on the cover, 'Sam', is my creation based on the character in the story.
When: Saturday 25 October, 2014. 1 – 2pm
Where: Oakleigh Library, 148 Drummond Street, Oakeigh, VIC, 3166
Children and adults are very welcome to attend!

 So a busy week as usual and of course I managed to come up with an idea for 12 x 12 October picture book. Now I just have to develop it and write it up and do a few drafts and then see if I can send it out into the world. So far this year I have managed about 45 ideas with some research, some rhyme, some prose and some complete drafts. Some of the stories are in their tenth draft, some have gone out to critique groups, some are gathering dust motes and some are just waiting for the right moment to jump out at me.

I am going to do PiBoIdMo again this year and see if I can come up with 30 more ideas in November along with SkaDaMo(30 sketches) NaNoWriMo (a novel in 50,000 words in a month) and of course RWA 50/30 except this year I will make NaNoWriMo and RWA be the same 50k.

I am going to finish off with some pictures of the curators cottage in the Portland botanic garden.
 This is the entry gate to the gardens.
 The cottage itself is a little museum filled with interesting items donated by locals and cared for by the historical society of Portland (Sorry Gwen and Margaret if I got that wrong) and of course open to the public for a nominal donation to help with upkeep. It is personned by wonderful volunteers who share their wealth of knowledge about the items on display, the cottage and its occupants. Their enthusiasm for preserving this little piece of history is commendable. Thanks to Gwen and Margaret for giving your time. The offset chimneys are noteworthy.

According to the tales, William Allitt and Henry Hedges had no children but Joseph Couch did and according to local legend it is said when he asked where his children were to sleep the local council replied "We are not in the business of housing children". They did however pay to have the cottage extended from one down stairs room to two. Three rooms in all, two downstairs and one upstairs, a narrow flight considered dangerous to the public in today's litigious standards, plus an out house, a camp oven and a woodshed. It makes me appreciate my modern abode. What a garden for the children to play in though, with two croquet lawns and  all the trees they could climb.

On that note my lovlies I shall finish up and drive back to Portland. Farewell and have a wonderful week.