Thursday, 6 August 2020

Back in the saddle



Lock-down began here in Scotland on Monday 23rd March 2020, initially for three weeks but it kept being extended until 29th May, when Phase 1 of easing the restrictions came into place - that's 10 weeks, or 67 days, when we were all asked to stay home and not spend time with anyone outside of our own households, only buying the absolute essentials once a week at the shops, only going outside for 30 minutes a day for physical activity, washing our hands with soap or anti-bac frequently and, unless you are a key worker, don't go to work, but by all means work from home if possible.

So, what did you do during this time, apart from all of the above?

Well, I was lucky, I found time to reconnect with my first true love: art.

I started working again on a project that had been abandoned due to over commitment in other areas of my life, which all suddenly vanished as C19 lockdown appeared. I re-engaged with the project and started to make progress, and this in turn started to motivate me to be do more.

I, like so many others, signed up for many creative  on-line classes and zoom webinars and soon my entire days were filled to the brim again, but with things that filled my well for a change, allowed me to think about how to improve my own skills, allowed me to dream about how I truly wanted to spend my time. 

I think this will be an experience that resonates with so many people this year as I've read and heard countless tales of people changing careers and taking early retirement during these past few months.

On Monday 4th May I set myself a challenge, aptly named #iamartist, to post an image of my art work every single day for 100 day in a row. Due to me being a bit dyslexic and getting my numbers wrong (yes, I was simultaneously trying to count both down and up from 100 at the same time - wtf was I thinking?) I think I am due to end on Wednesday 12th August, 102 days from beginning the challenge!

Self-promotion, as any good west-coast Scot will know, is not a thing we go in for much here. If people are confident we say they are 'sure of themselves' (with a negative connotation) or they think they are 'pure gallus' (again, quite negative). However, I have to admit that posting not just posting the work day after day, no matter what, but mostly the engagement this has given me with the people commenting on the work, has been my absolute utter saviour during these past 5 months. It would seem getting yourself out there is good for the soul.

So, that's it - I am back and ready for action!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

last minute january

yes, indeed, my january has been all a bit last minute to be honest - it's just so dark still and i'm constantly tired....yawn......

really looking forward to spring!

in the mean time, i realise i've left uploading my december 'iamconsumer' offerings until pretty much the very last minute of january - what a slow slow loris i am, sorry!
but, which did make me think, ocht i'll just wait till january is over and upload the two months at the same time....genius!
i thought this mainly because my pc is heading on for being twelve years old (!!! i know!!!!) and it does take forever to crank the old dear up, before i can get scanning....
and even then it's a rickety, shockingly slow affair....
so i try to put it off as much as possible, as you can imagine.....
that's my excuse, not a good one really, but at least it's a true one!

so, instead, until january ends, i thought i might advertise going to see another of my art works - yes, you can see it with your bare eyes!!! argghhhh! blimey, yes - and perhaps, depending how gallus you are, you could touch it or give it a poke even!!!!

hahaha! actually forgot to tell you where it was - this is an edit to my original post, hahaha!
you can tell i don't have a trumpet, can't you?
Royal Scottish Academy

the show is on till 31st of january, so best get your skates on!

if you have no skates and no desire to poke the piece, here is a pic of my big gurning cheesy grin up close to it....

the work is a hand embroidered footstool depicting the life of Arabella Stewart, contender to the throne - the technique is known as blackwork and was a popular style practiced during the time of Stewart's life  (1575-1615)

catch you all in february - till then, stay warm xxxxxxx

Monday, 24 September 2012

as promised - two for the price of none

aw bums! - i wrote this blog about 2 weeks ago and forgot to post it...what a numbskull!

anway....indeed, i did upload my drawings for both july and august's iamconsumer at the start of september in a one-er - woo!

last week (actually 3 weeks ago now!) i had to deliver 4 examples of my art to a church in the west end at 7.30pm and leave the building for an hour and a half while the works were judged - seeing the long list of names in the lady's hand who ticked my name off i realised i had been the very last person to arrive, eek, never a good first impression is it, being last to arrive?

but, instead of wondering around biting my nails and humming and hawing over what may or may not be being discussed i decided to go to the supermarket and get food to take over to eat at my partner's brother's flat in partick...

in my mind's eye i pictured some veggie burgers in sesame seed buns with salad and relish was exactly what was called for in the circumstances, but could i find a veggie burger? no, unfortunately not, but what was even worse was that there was an old lady who smelled really really badly, gawd bless 'er, really really really overpoweringly badly, no word of a lie, and so much so, that i had to run away as soon as she came near...... but she kept wafting up and down all the aisles constantly, so my shopping navigation was all to pot!

in the end, a decision to grab some very cheap raspberries and raid the frozen pizza and chip section was made and then run like the wind to the till and blow the joint - at which point i realised that we still had to get to the flat, cook the food, eat the food and then get back to the church to pick up the art - ahhh! 'running out of time' time again!

anyway, as it turns out, i managed to make the pizza and chips (not burned nor undercooked, phew!) and we scoffed them before my partner and i hot-footed it back round to the church to pick up the work - mine were the only ones left in the hall, and the lovely lady who had been left behind to wait for me was very generous and kind of spirit, but i was aware that (even though i was actually bang on time for the time i was told to return!) being the very last person to turn up never looks good when you're being 'judged' does it? especially when that's the last person to turn up twice in under two hours!!!

anyway, we removed the work and hot-footed it back to the flat to eat the raspberries and ice-cream - ah, lovely!

so that was last Wednesday (three Wednesdays ago) and yesterday (two weeks ago) i received a big brown envelope through the post and on opening it i was super pleased to discovered that i have been elected an Artist member of the unique and wonderful Glasgow Society of Women Artists! hurray!!!

and.....on Friday night (actually Friday there) I went with my brother and his pals to the Darroch Bar in Gourock to see my uncle's band, the Heavy Metal Kids play

there i was chatting with my brother's flatmate, Tony who was organising an event for last night (actually last night!), get a room in the Brunswick Hotel in Glasgow and asked if i'd like to contribute....i said yes of course, and then spent 6 hours on Saturday and about 6 hours on Sunday hand-drawing a wee animation to play on a tv in one of the rooms.....hand cramp!!!

the animation is only 10 seconds long and features a fox sleeping and waking up to the sound of a meteor shower (drawn by Innes) in the middle of it and then going back to sleep again - the 'theme' i was given was DISCO, so the idea for the animation came from the fact that there was an actual meteor shower on Friday night (which i missed as I was watching my uncle's band, but which Tony saw as he was outside having a snout at the time) - i felt this meteor shower must be sort of like nature's own disco to the native wildlife......

anyway, so although currently the fox in the animation doesn't currently dance to the meteor shower, he just wakes up and sees it in this version, this animation will hopefully be extended to about 20 seconds and incorporate the original impetus of the fox having a boogie! and i will of course share that with you once i have uploaded to vimeo....

it's nearly october, so i'll be blogging again pretty soon, so till then,
toodle pip


Monday, 6 August 2012

(in)voluntary experience

my it is late in the year - i apologise!!!

i have been severely distracted from blogging it up! i have been doing my drawing, there has been no slack there...
just not really felt like sharing my experiences of late...but now seems like a good time to reflect and share, so i hope you enjoy and can join in and add comments too....

i have managed to almost (NB - almost!) put the whole of iamconsumer project up on my face book page - it runs from the start of 2009 until the end of June this year - so, yes, that does mean that it's August and therefore July should technically be up there too, but it will be very soon, I just couldn't face the 30 minute warm up of my decrepit old pc (10 years old and still going - all be it very very very slowly!) - i will make the effort at the end of August and get both months up simultaneously, forthwith, i promise!

here is a quick highlight, linking to one drawing from each month i've been working on this project...with added memories!!!
january 2009 - this is the day after my friend's Shona's birthday, for which a bunch of us were up in Aviemore celebrating
february 2009 - this is a large stack of cat food, one of the usual suspects in this project
march 2009 - this is a big shop day, complete with the price of everything
april 2009 - i like this page for several reasons: firstly, i got the date wrong - for some reason i still thought it was march, but my friend, who is actually called April, has corrected me and put it a note to say it's her birthday! secondly, because i features the dvd volver, which coincidentally i watched last night, for the very first time!!! wow!
may 2009 - ok this one features the day i bought the sparkly silver glitter resin toilet seat which still adorns my bog at home and some floor paint and plant food - nice!
june 2009 - this is my shopping from when i was at the Annecy Animation Film Festival - i think this was the first time that i had gone there with other folk i knew (Jess, Claire, Ulli, Steven and Scott) - it was a fantastic festival, great fun, thanks guys x
july 2009 - this features a tea towel in the background which i gave to my friend Lou for her birthday and which i bought in the Collins Gallery, part of the University of Strathclyde's campus - i went to this gallery last week actually and discovered it had been closed down, which is a great shame, it had some brilliant exhibitions in it - anyone know why it closed?
august 2009 - this one features kitty litter, another usual suspect in this project, but also 8 bottles of beer...
september 2009 - i chose this one simply because it is so weirdly laid out - it's funny, most of my drawings consist of me trying to find space on the page o fit things in - for some reason, on this day, i obviously decided there was another way to approach drawing altogether!
october 2009 - wow, this is lots of things! bought on a trip to London to visit my Uncle John and other friends
november 2009 - i like this drawing because, it must've been one of the few occasions when i'd discovered i had no book with me to draw in - yikes! what do you do then? ah, draw on something else and stick it in the book after of course, phew! this was in waterstones in Edinburgh - i'd been through to visit my trainees and ended up running too late to get the off-peak train back to glasgow i think, so was wasting time dinking and eating cake, yeah!
december 2009 - lots of goodies to make christmas presents with! plus dinner for me and the cats :)
january 2010 - ah, this one just reminded me that i used to scour the charity shops for classic paperbacks which i would then redesign and hand-draw a new cover for and give away as presents - i still have a few of these, i should put them up on etsy or something....
february 2010 - this shows what i bought for my mum's birthday - i've no idea why i hadn't actually seen her on or at least closer to her actual birthday, but there you go - only 2 weeks late!
march 2010 - this one shows how difficult it is to record purchases when out at social functions, ha ha! that and it's tea and scones! luckily it was a meeting with Heather and Evy for c/o:minx, the first all female group of comic artists i was involved with (and still am!) good work girls! thanks for not eating or drooling on the scones before i got them sketched up xxx
april 2010 - this one is round about my first week or so working at Once Were Farmers - i went out and had a top treat from pret - oooo, check me!
may 2010 - this one features the male grooming kit i bought for my lovely partner Innes's birthday - he still uses it, so that's good!
june 2010 - big shop day!
july 2010 - terrible to admit it, but this features paint that still lives in my kitchen unopened!!! i did use the one on the left in this drawing in my living room, but the one on the right, no, sorry, not yet....
august 2010 - not a very good drawing i apologise, but again, time constraints - this mug was a birthday present for my boss Will at Once Were Farmers - i was sneakily drawing it under my desk before i gave it to him, ha ha!
september 2010 - i remember this day included a trip to Paisley for their Open Doors Day - the 4 rhubarb pies were eaten by Innes, Sinc, Allan and myself in front of Paisley Abbey as Allan was doing a Pie & Abbey project, ha ha! the link to Allan's blog for this is here.
october 2010 - this was a day trip to Edinburgh - i think Innes and I were through to drop off something at the RSA maybe, can't remember, but i got these brilliant empty cigar boxes by making a donation to save the children collection at the tobacco shop on the Royal Mile - nice! and also, this wig i got for Hallowe'en down the Grassmarket - i remember the woman in the shop said i wasn't allowed to return it if i bought it  which i thought sounded a bit ominous....turned out the wig does look bugger all like the image on the front of the box! it does not in any way resemble Dolly Parton at all unfortunately... oh well, you live and learn - if the person behind the counter gives you a warning, you should probably heed what they say!
november 2010 - woops, this isn't actually meant to be up but never mind, it shows the actual sketch book off a treat :)
december 2010 - old habits are hard to break....
january 2011 - ah, what a glorious piece of equipment, no more squatting down in the bath getting sore legs because the over the tap version is so ultra short - what is that all about, why is it so short?
february 2011 - this is pretty regimented drawing - it's funny how my drawings change like the weather...
march 2011 - this was my birthday, so here you can see the shoes i bought and also the sweeties and bottle of lambrini i bought to take into the cinema - i went to see that Simon Pegg film with the alien in it, Paul, but was disappointed i'd already seen ALL the funny bits in the trailer already, hmmmmpft!
april 2011 - this image has quite a strange snaking composition - it also features the bargain priced MDB shoes that have made me fall over on a number of occasions - they are not for running for buses in, no!
may 2011 - this is Innes's birthday - it features good food and some mixed nut called 'ding dong'!
june 2011 - it's a creative time of the month, what can i say?
july 2011 - this one features a musical cow toy i bough for my friend Mark's new baby boy, aw!
august 2011 - this was the day i had an interview in Edinburgh at the Skills Academy - it was a really big day for me as i really wanted the opportunity, but unfortunately i was not successful on this occasion - boo!
september 2011 - 1st day in Slovenia celebrating Innes's 40th and enjoying the Graphic Biennial - great days!
october 2011 - this was the second last day in Slovenia where many presents were bought for friends and family back home
november 2011 - kitty litter and kitty biscuits - just exactly what my kitty likes!
december 2011 - down in London on the last day of the year - those cakes were superbly scrumptious and bought at a small cafe/patisserie called coco-maya - YUM!
january 2012 - things purchased in China town in London town - i do so love going away places! this time Innes and I were down for a wedding...
february 2012 - St Valentine's Day - what better than a good veggi-sosage roll and a trip to the theatre? we went to see the Davenport Brothers at the Citizens featuring Gavin Mitchell amongst many others, great!
march 2012 - double milk!!! arrrrgggghhh! it's even drawn in a dark corner! i've drawn an awful lot of milk in the past few years, you'd think i'd be good at drawing it, but i think it's the fact i can't really bear to look at it anymore that makes my observational skills dwindle and shrink back and therefore so pitifully dire! sorry!
april 2012 - it's Easter! time for lovely presents all round - a chance to celebrate something and get away from the intense film project i was working on at the time for GMAC
may 2012 - the day before Innes's birthday and we are in Edinburgh buying comic books, yeah! this page features one comic that has two front pages, so i drew both sides - one side is drawn by Gillian Hatcher and the other by Adam Smith, both good friends - i have to say it's quite a weird experience trying to copy an image one of your friends has drawn, let alone two! but it's an experience worth having for sure - go do it now!
june 2012 - this was part of a trip to Loch Lomond to celebrate Mr Allan Miller's birthday - i seem to have just bought some strange!

that's it for now - hope the comments help flesh out the pictures slightly more

until next month, when i'll be posting up two for the price of none,


Monday, 23 January 2012

Welcome to 2012!!!

yes it started 23 days ago already, i know! there is so much i need to fill you in on, which i will do very soon i promise, however, in the mean time let's look to the future when you, yes YOU!, could come and holler abuse and hard questions at Gillian and myself at the GLASGOW FILM FESTIVAL on Thursday 23rd February.......

details here..... Women in Comics


Sunday, 24 July 2011

two for the price of one

hey hey hey - roll up roll up roll up - today's special offer is indeed two for the price of one - hurray!

well, it's only because time has alluded me once again and i managed to by-pass May somehow... how did that happen? anyway, i have uploaded a-drawing-a-day for May and a-drawing-a-day for June on my facespaceplace...

so, what has been happening?

....still not heard from BBC about being the new Miss Rolf Hart, which in tele speak is a big fat NO - they are all a bit too busy in tv to update each and every big fat no, aren't they?
ocht well, just let me know when you have a slot free and i'll pop over and perform in your living room instead - payment in tea and biscuits (half up-front, half at end of stint)....

....i decided to combine making an info sheet to help with GMAC's application for funding to first light with my c/o:minx homework for june, the subject of which was 'give us a clue' and came up with this...

....i also took part in the comic con as Team Girl's graphic facilitator during Gillian Hatcher's talk, which you can see a wee bit of at about 1:21:00 in this BBC report and BBC 2's Artworks Scotland at about the 04:45:00 mark - woo!

....i took one of the characters i made for the comedy sting in april and placed it in a frame and entered it, along with a collage of my friend Marianne, for the Jerwood Drawing Prize

...i had a crazy eventful day on the day of delivery - the drop-off point for all submissions in scotland was at WASPS in Edinburgh so i was all set to pop into my studio and pick up a couple of other artists' work, as well as my own, and have a day in Edinburgh looking at the galleries - it didn't quite happen like that
....i headed off to the bus stop about 10am, and about 100-150 yards from the bus stop i saw the bus coming, so decided i should run to catch it, at which point i fell completely flat on my face - it was amazingly fast how it all happened - the pavement just came up and smacked me good and proper right in the face! - ah! still suffering flashbacks....urgh!
anyway, i bust my chin, both my lips and scraped my nose and hands badly and also managed to sook up an entire muddy puddle into my top, which was covered in blood, and so therefore looked like i'd just been in a massive fight - i thought i'd knocked out my front teeth, but they are thankfully still in place!
luckily for me, my most lovely other half was with me and took me back up the hill to my flat, where i had a shower, put on fresh clothes, some plasters and we started off again on our journey.....
we did eventually deliver the work, but didn't really have any time whatsoever to nosey round Edinburgh's galleries, so instead a good walk back through Stockbridge, which is full of some really funky happening wee shops and boutiques well worth checking out, and back to Glasgow to the opening at the Glasgow Project Room.....
i didn't get any work selected unfortunately.....
the moral of this tale - do not try and run in MDBs!!!

....another not so happy tale is, that my volunteer time at Project Ability is up - AW!
i've been volunteering once a week on a thursday since february and have had a really great time working with all the staff and participants - thanks guys! x

....on a much much more upbeat note however, last week saw me applying to Screen NETS (which is now based at Screen Academy in Edinburgh) to possibly become their animation trainee for 20 whole weeks!!! and.........i got through the first part of the shortlisting and have an interview on 12th August - oh my!!!! that is uber uber exciting!
on that very same subject, Jess Ashman, one of my trainees from the Generating Animation Skills Programme, that I used to manage for Scottish Screen has become the FIRST EVER filmmaker on to win 3 awards at Limelight - including £10,000 production prize for her next project - GO JESS GO!!!

....i also stumbled upon a really old blog entry for Forbidden Planet from December last year, where there was an advert for interns to work with Gary Erskine - i know it's like 7 months since the ad was posted, but i decided to email Gary anyway and see if he was up for squeezing me in...i met him the following day - what a lovely man i must say! i don't think i knew what to expect really, but his photo on his blog looks a bit like Shawn Ryder (no offence intended Gary if you don't like Shawn!) so i think i thought he may have Shawn's personality too for some obscure reason - no he doesn't, he is possibly the opposite, in ALL the positive ways, phew!
anyway, i got 3 pencils to take to my studio and work on inking up - MAN!!!! this is possibly one of the most hard things i've tried to do on a long long long time! blimey!
my attempts are, so far, incredibly dismal and fall way below an acceptable level, but i do have a obstinate persistence about me that means i want to crack it - i will not let it lie - i will defeat the ink demons!
the only way to do that is.....
practice, practice, practice!

which is exactly what i am off to do now - how exciting!!!


Monday, 23 May 2011

here is the long awaited May update!!!

well........long awaited by me anyway - not sure about you guys, hee hee...

anyway, i don't know what's been buzzing round my head for the past month disabling my blogs, but let's hope it's buzzed off now - i've had a fair bit to say too and i've done lots of drawing, but somehow for whatever reason i've been unable to blog it out there - mince!

so, deep breath, here goes......i decided quietly to myself, probably due to the 28 drawings later escapade in february, that i would upload a drawing a day over the next year, so feb is done, march is done and i've finally just uploaded april - may is going to be up next week already, as it will be june, eek, eek and triple eek!

i've also uploaded some photos of props i made for a 15 second animation tv sting to flickr

what else have i been up to? errrrr, um... oh yeah - i'm going to be at free hetherington zine fair event on thursday 2nd june, 3-7pm, with a bunch of my iamconsumer booklets, a few postcards and a small selection of prints all for sale if anyone fancies coming along to check it out

i've also been working on getting the new web site for glasgow independent studio & glasgow project room up and running - there are still quite a number of gremlins to iron out, but it is actually live now, phew!

another thing i did that was brilliant once i'd done it, but was one of the most scariest experiences i've had in a very very long time (being a proper mature grown up i tend to steer clear of all scary challenges, i just do straight forward non-threatening challenges usually) - but here was me, in front of a camera for the bbc, undertaking a screen test!!! yes, indeed! i was showing off my 'on-screen presence' and art skills for the chance to possibly be the new tony hart for an on-line educational resource for teachers - to be honest, i was so much more like rolf harris!!!

i've got my fingers crossed for this job - it would indeed be a dream come true for me to be the new tony hart or rolf harris - i would love so much to do that, but it's been a couple of weeks and i've not heard back so my happy little cheeks are beginning to deflate sightly with each day unfortunately....

ocht, not to worry - i can always just come round your house and do it live instead!