Friday, 20 May 2016

Approaching 50 (Self Portrait)

12 x 9 inches, charcoal, 2016.

I turn 50 later this year. No big deal. What is a big deal is the decision I made with my consultant a couple of weeks ago to start dialysis and have my kidneys removed. I have Polycystic Kidney Disease, a hereditary kidney disease  where cysts grow on the kidneys (and sometimes other organs).  The kidneys grow in size and eventually stop working. My kidneys are still functioning (about %25) but are now so large they are causing a lot of discomfort and are squashing other organs. Hence the decision to remove them. So, by the time I hit 50 in December I will be dialysing three times a week and may well have had both my diseased kidneys removed. It will be a big change but hopefully I will feel more comfortable and have more energy. Maybe by the time I'm 51 I will have had a transplant. There is always hope - roll on 50!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Life Drawing Session 7 : Clowning Around

So at last night's life drawing session, after a few warm up drawings, Nikhil painted a clown face on the model, which added some drama and a little creepiness to the drawings :). All drawings are in charcoal and from 5 - 15 minute poses.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Life Drawing Session 6 : Fun With Dummies

This week's session involved ropes and dummies! The gentleman who stepped-in to pose last time agreed to model again. After some 10 second poses we settled into 10 - 15 minute poses for the rest of the evening, tied him up, then tied the dummy up and created some scenarios. Another fun evening!

Friday, 29 April 2016

Life Drawing Session 5

Today I went to a different life drawing session, "Life Drawing Happenings" which was In Hemel Hempstead and organised by Kelly Pedlar. It was a bit more structured than the evening sessions in Watford and Kelly is enthusiastic and there to help if needed.. It meets monthly and was quite busy. We started with 10 second poses (drawings 1 and 2), then some minute ones, (drawing 3), some longer ones experimenting with colour, and finally an hour long pose (drawing 8).  I shall certainly be going again!

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Life Drawing Session 4

Last night's life drawing session was fairly straightforward after last weeks "Truth Mic" fun. The life model scheduled to  pose did not turn up but a gentleman who had actually come to draw volunteered to step in as he had had some experience of life modelling. We were very grateful. He was actually very good and interesting to draw. All the drawings are 10 - 15 minute poses except the pose at the desk which was 30 minutes.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Golden Girls

I was a big fan of The Golden Girls series back ni the Eighties and have been watching repeats on the TV recently. The comedy still stands up well today and I remain terribly fond of those characters, So decided to paint them!

Blanche Deveraux (Rue McClanahan, 5 x 7 inches, watercolor and pencil.

Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur) 5 x 7 inches, watercolor and pencil

Rose Nylund (Betty White) 5 x 7 inches, watercolor and pencil

Sofia Pretille (Estelle Getty) 5 x 7 inches, watercolor and pencil.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Life Drawing Session 3

It was another interesting life drawing session last night. The perspex screen was in use again but this time it had the words "Truth Mic" across the top in black tape. A microphone and stand was behind the perspex and a bench in front of it. Sadly only a couple of us were there last night. Anyway, the model posed on the bench while Nikhil went behind the screen to use the mic to express his "truth".  It made for a very interesting evening, somewhere between drawing and therapy, as not only was I responding and drawing what I saw in front of me but I was responding to what Nikhil was saying and including that in the drawing too. Drawing 3 was the most successful in this respect. I declined the offer to go behind the screen and express my "truth" but maybe in the future, who knows!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Life Drawing Session 2

Last night I attended another session of life drawing. There was a few more people this time and Nikhil, the organizer, had set up a white perspex window which the model went behind to pose. She was lit from behind in two directions so through the perspex we could see a distorted silhouette and shadows. In some poses parts of her body touched the perspex and at the end of the session she moved in front of the perspex and Nikhil stood behind. All the initial poses were 1 - 2 minutes, then there were some longer ones but nothing longer than 15 minutes. I felt my drawing was a little more confident this week. Looking forward to the next session!

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Life Drawing Session 1

Last night I attended a life drawing session for the first time in over 20 years! Life drawing was my favourite thing when I was at school but on my degree course the only life drawing sessions were outside of classes and with all the other work there often wasn't time to fit them in. I last attended a life drawing evening class when I lived in London in the early 90's.
I was a little trepidatious about going but it was actually terrific. The artist Nikhil Nathan Kirsh holds the sessions in his studio space at the Attico Art Centre in Watford. It was very informal - aside from the model there was only three of us drawing and a photographer.
Nikhil had an idea he wanted to try - using a projector to place photos from the previous week's session (of a male and female) over the the model to create all sorts of shadows and layers. It did feel a bit like diving in at the deep end but I was up for a challenge! The only trouble was that the lack of light made it a bit gloomy - after a while Nikhil got out some candles which helped a little. We did a quick warm-up followed by two longer poses and then another quick one at the end. I really enjoyed it, even though I'm VERY rusty having only worked with photos for so long. I can't wait for next week! I'm going to post my drawings each week and hope to see improvements as we go!

All drawing are in charcoal on A3 paper.

Drawing 1

Drawing 2

Drawing 3

Drawing 4

Friday, 5 February 2016

Liz Taylor (AHS)

Liz Taylor, 7 x 10 inches, watercolor, pencil and gouache, 2016.

A portrait of Liz Taylor from the TV series American Horror Story: Hotel, as played by Dennis O'Hare. It wasn't my favourite season of the show but Dennis was fabulous as Liz.

Friday, 29 January 2016


"Pascal - Love Runs Through His Veins" by Asher Meekins, a vampire story for which I painted the cover, is now available for the Kindle from Amazon. A print version will be available soon...

Thursday, 28 January 2016