You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Other Links’ category.

First of all, I’d just like to announce that the winner of the 100th blog post giveaway has been chosen, and it is Nancy Robinson Mullins 🙂 Congratulations, Nancy!

For this 101st post, I thought I’d share some non-painting bits of creativity that I’ve been up to, which I am quite chuffed with. The most recent was inspired by some posts I’d seen floating around Pinterest, of making lanterns out of empty food jars with some gold “leading” and glass paints. We have a new garden (more on that later in this post), which we have been decorating slowly with solar lights so that we can sit outside on nice summer evenings. But I wanted to do some candle holders or lanterns that we could string up outside as well, you know, like a little garden party for two. So I saw the idea for these faux Moroccan-style lanterns and gave it a go. I’m quite pleased with the results, although somehow I thought the patterns would be more visible when they were lit. Still nice though.

Lanterns (Unlit)

Lanterns (Unlit)

Lanterns (Lit)

Lanterns (Lit)

I’ve also been trying out some crochet crafts. One was a sweet little flower wreath that I put together, inspired by this one from the brilliant Attic 24, to decorate a particularly blank bit of wall in our bedroom.

Flower Wreath

Flower Wreath

The other was this pony, using this gorgeous Fatty Lumpkin the Brave African Flower Pony pattern, that I gave to a friend of mine as a Christmas present. Time-consuming, but I think the result is quite nice. My friend named him Roman and apparently the ladies at a craft group she goes to tried to nick him!

Roman the Pony

Roman the Pony

Lastly, that garden I mentioned… We live in a block of flats with a communal space out in the back. It’s a concrete space that had been neglected for over a decade and had become a communal dumping ground. There was even a derelict TV set out there for ages! Starting last summer, hubby and I started work on transforming it into something akin to a garden. It was difficult work as there was no soil, it was all totally concreted over. So hubby built a bunch of raised bed boxes, and we started putting together a container garden. It’s still looking a bit rough, especially with all that hideous concrete, but it is sooo much better, and we are really enjoying watching things grow. For the longest time I was convinced I had the blackest thumb on earth, but even I have managed to grow things! There is hope for us all! 😉

I should have taken pictures before we even started clearing up and building the first boxes, but unfortunately it was so embarrassingly hideous that I didn’t bother until after hubby had already done most of the hard work of clearing up most of the garbage and built the first raised beds. So trust me when I say it was much worse than this even when we started:

Garden (Before)

Garden (Before)

And now, things are going strong! We have a climbing clematis in an obelisk, a rose bush, raspberry canes, a cherry tree (attacked by aphids sadly, but getting better – but we ordered some ladybirds so those should be a happy addition soon, and will hopefully help control that problem!), strawberries, spinach, daffodils, tulips, heather, pine trees, cabbage, radishes, wild garlic, and so many more plants growing out there! We are very proud 🙂

daffies

Daffies!

Garden (After 1)

Garden (After 1)

Garden (After 2)

Garden (After 2)

Solar Fairy Lights in Garden

Solar Fairy Lights

tulips

Tulips

Working garden

Working garden

I’m finding gardening takes a lot of creativity and planning and patience, and I think it’s teaching me new skills and new lessons about creating, so it makes a nice change to painting, as does the crafting. I like the practical nature of it too, that I produce something that doesn’t just hang on a wall somewhere, but results in food, or a lantern that is both pretty and produces light. I can recommend it 🙂

Vintage Vote poster by Obey

Vintage Vote poster by Obey

I’ve only done one other ‘political’ post before (about Aberdonian politics) which proved popular actually, but it isn’t what this blog was created for, so I want to keep it to a minimum.  However, I feel strongly about the upcoming US election and felt I wanted to say something about it before people go to the polls.

Just to give some context to where I’m coming from, I had a very multi-national upbringing.  My father is Hungarian, my mother American, my half-sister grew up in Germany, as did I for the first eight years of my life.  I have family members through marriage from Iran and Turkey and now Scotland, where I now live with my Scottish husband.  When we moved back to the US when I was just about 9 years old, I was really confused about my national identity.  I’d been taught some things about my American roots and spoke English (with a slight German accent apparently!), but having lived in Germany from infancy, I didn’t really feel American, although to be honest, I never quite felt German either.  When I was fresh off the boat in the US, going to school for the first time in the US school system, it felt odd and I felt like an outsider.  But I threw myself into it.  I remember memorizing the Pledge of Allegiance with my mom with enthusiasm, wanting so badly to fit in with my American classmates.  We moved to California (after brief stints in South Dakota and Colorado) after that, where I discovered that America is the melting pot it is purported to be.  Most of the kids I went to school with were first generation Americans, or had moved from other countries themselves.  I didn’t feel so odd anymore, so many of us were immigrants.  I once asked my dad if he felt like he stuck out – as I do here – every time he speaks with his accent.  He said no, because so many people in California have accents, it’s the norm.  As time went on, my identity as an American grew, but so did my identity as a citizen of the world.  We are all just people.  Boundaries are manmade and false.

That said, I love the US, and I’ve tried to defend it from some ignorant British anti-Americanism that I’ve come across since moving over here.  Being an expat once more in the UK has taught me to appreciate the little differences between cultures and geography.  There are things about the UK that are superior to the US (e.g., universal healthcare, better work/life balance, dairy products – seriously, people, the dairy in the UK is amazing…) , and there are things that the US does better (e.g., customer service, mixer taps, non-dry-crappy-cake, laundry equipment, Halloween…).  Sorry US & UK, but that’s the way it is. The grass is greener on both sides of the fence, but only in patches.  And although I no longer live in the US, and don’t have any immediate plans to return to live, my parents and other family members from my mom’s side are all still in the US, as are many friends.  I care what happens to them.

I’ll just admit right off the bat that I’m a firm Obama-supporter, and voted for him with my absentee ballot a few weeks ago.  If that makes you feel uncomfortable, read on.  I’m not the rabid liberal type – in fact, I used to be quite a lot more conservative than I am now – and my purpose with this post is not to try and convert you to my cause.  With one day to go before the polls open, most people’s minds will be made up really.  I’m appealing for restraint and sanity, to remember that we’re all Americans, that we’re all just people, and we’re all in it together.

This morning I watched the video that’s been floating around with Romney supporters in Ohio.  It’s pretty appalling, with some extreme ignorance on show.  But it also clearly was edited, and as we all should know by now, editing can make all the difference.  Yes, there are some morons out there supporting Romney, but perhaps this lefty media project purposely cut out the more logical-sounding Republicans.  So I had a look at the side bar to see if there was a similar project with Obama-supporters, and found this video of the same interviewer (who seems very Strong with the Force) interviewing more liberal people at Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity a couple years ago.  They sound almost as dumb.  The point being made by this interviewer is an important one that I wish more people would pay attention to.  There are a lot of people at these rallies because they just want to be a part of something, but they don’t want to do the work to actually inform themselves about any of the issues or facts that support them.  Romney’s camp has said that they don’t want to be bothered by fact checkers.  I’m not even going to dignify that with a comment, except to say that this kind of idiocy is rampant on both sides, the Republicans just seem to be a bit more blunt about this.  Many people vote based on nothing more than emotion and instinct, or a gut reaction to the candidate and the party they don’t like.  There are too many polarized red people and blue people.  Too many people taken in by spin and propaganda on both sides.  It’s not those people who are going to decide this election.  It’s the folk in the middle who are a bit more discerning.  There’re a lot of people making fun of undecided voters, but I can see how it could legitimately happen.  Someone might be fiscally conservative but believe that Romney will set women’s rights back by 50-100 years.  Or maybe vice versa, I don’t know.   Or someone who is ultimately really an Obama supporter but feels depressed and let down by their own high hopes last election, who can’t seem to get the energy up to care either way this time around.

I have one final message for my American friends ahead of this election before I shut up and let things be what they will be.  This election is incredibly important, and you can’t afford to just let this one slide and let other people decide one way or the other.  There are 2 Supreme Court justices nearing the end of their terms – the next president will likely majorly influence that branch of the government with their choice for many many years to come.  I have my own strong opinions of who is the better candidate, but that doesn’t matter just now. I just want to encourage every American to vote and express an opinion – people fought and died for that right, so make the most of it. And make sure that your opinion is based on facts.  Neither the liberal nor the conservative news agencies are telling you the whole truth.  Read and watch across the aisle, read sources from outside the US, no matter how uncomfortable it may be to face the opposition’s alien-seeming point of view. Play devil’s advocate. Try to get as good a picture of the whole truth and the global, long-term picture as you can. Try to sort the propaganda and rhetoric (and both sides are guilty of that!) from the kernels of truth hidden within, and then VOTE with your conscience. It’s the best any of us can do.

And now, commence nail biting…

A lot of people have asked me about the TBC exhibition, how it was going, when they could see the finished pieces. I have been keeping things under wraps until after the actual exhibition to encourage as many local readers as possible to visit the exhibition itself. Now that NEOS is over, I can share the finished paintings with you guilt-free. In the end, Limousine Bull ended up hanging only three of the five paintings I did for this exhibition due to curatorial factors. I only got out to see the exhibition once, as I was away on holiday in the far north of Scotland for most of the week.  I just got an email from LB saying turnout was good and people seemed to enjoy the booklets. Judging from the weather during the NEOS week, anyone who did make it out probably should receive a medal for battling through the rain and wind to see art. A huge thank-you goes to my hubby, and friends Shona, Drew, Mike and Louisa, for coming out to the opening with me; the support was very much appreciated. And once more for good measure, thank you so much to all of you who contributed such great ideas in the beginning stages of this project. Those of you whose ideas I picked to paint have been contacted, and as soon as I sort out my printing/computer issues, you’ll be receiving your free prints, I promise.

One of the most gratifying parts of the exhibition for me was reading the comments people had written in the booklets afterwards. I was delighted to see people getting into the spirit of it and adding their thoughts to the mix. I’m not usually one to go in for the whole conceptual/interactive artwork thing, so it was a new and interesting experience for me, and I really liked reading what people saw in my paintings, and how their thought processes and memories triggered were sometimes quite different to my own.

Since two of my paintings (TBC1 and TBC4) didn’t get to make their debut at this exhibition, I thought perhaps I could do my own little virtual version of the TBC exhibition with all five of my paintings together, here on my blog. Feel free to add your comments to the virtual booklets… What do these paintings make you think of? Do you see how the TBC theme relates to them?

TBC1

TBC1

TBC2

TBC2

TBC3

TBC3

TBC4

TBC4

TBC5

TBC5

In other news, I am just returned from a whirlwind of a trip up to the far northern “mainland” parts of Scotland (Ullapool/Thurso/Wick area). The weather could have been better (to say the least), but we still had a great time and saw some amazing sights. Scotland luckily can be beautiful even in inclement weather, and all the fog, wind and rain actually just made the isolated, lonely, dramatic highlands look really atmospheric and moody. I drank a LOT of hot tea, fell in mud twice, wore two wooly sweaters non-stop and took millions of photographs of mountains, lochs and heather and overall had a lovely time. Also, I’d like to give a shout-out to the absolutely fantastic holiday lodge we rented for the week, at Highland Glen Lodges. Highly recommended if you’re ever in the area! Speaking of which, I did do one painting while away on our soggy adventures – of the stellar view from our lodge. It isn’t the greatest painting, but given it was done in about 20 minutes over morning coffee, it’s not bad, I think.

View from Highland Glen Lodge

View from Highland Glen Lodge

I really really should be working on the TBC paintings. But I have made a little bit of headway, and am now pretty much done with two and have another two about halfway done, with only one more to start from scratch, so I’m on the way – at least that’s my justification for taking some time off to procrastinate and do some other artwork just for fun ;). August sure is zipping by very fast though, and the September 5th hand-in date is looming!

I miss doing art for art’s sake though, I must admit. It might be a while again before I decide to do a show where I have to work on anything specific – I don’t like the pressure I feel like it puts on me – makes it feel too much like work! So I took a break and decided to finish up the koi painting. Before doing the bubble background on the koi, I decided to test the technique out first on a sheet of blank paper, so I ended up with a blank sheet of paper with a bubble background. The shadows under the koi were bugging me – too dark – so I scraped off a layer of the crayon. I’d left the other sheet of blank/bubble background paper underneath my koi drawing while I was scraping off the dark crayon on the shadows, and afterwards I discovered that a bunch of the crayon shavings had stuck to the paper underneath. The serendipitous little black flecks on the blue background got me thinking that I could do something with silhouettes with that piece of paper, and I ended up deciding to do a drawing. I haven’t done much drawing over the years, but I’ve been inspired lately by the lovely ink drawings of some of the Forecourt Art Group members – Anita Inverarity and Esther Green – to try my hand at some drawing. I know it’s still not my forte, but I enjoyed doing something other than my usual painting, even when I found it a bit frustrating.

Murder

Murder

I suppose a red or violet sky would have worked better than this sort of cheerful blue, but part of me thinks that makes it creepier somehow, heh!

Here’s the koi picture finished. I’m still not really happy with the shadows, but I don’t think there’s anything else I can do to salvage it.

Koi (Finished)

Koi (Finished)

In other news, my first exhibition since school is up and running with the Forecourt Art Group, and apparently off to a good start (although sadly I missed out on the opening night – though I hear it was very busy! – because I was away in Glasgow). I have yet to get out to see it myself, but I was told that my Sheepies painting sold the first night :)! I have a sort of invigilating shift this Sunday the 14th, so if anyone’s interested in dropping by when I’m there to say hello, if you’re in the area, I’ll be there 12-2pm. The Forecourt Summer Exhibition is on at the Peterculter Heritage Hall every Sat & Sun afternoon this month, ending the 28th.

I had a little cottage industry going, making up box sets of greeting cards and prints.

Cottage Industry (Forecourt Summer Exhibition)

Cottage Industry (Forecourt Summer Exhibition)

Paintings framed and ready to go…

Sheepies/Highland Autumn Framed

Sheepies/Highland Autumn Framed

Autumn Walk Framed

Autumn Walk Framed

I also will be doing a third exhibition this summer at the Belmont Picturehouse Cinema here in Aberdeen, beginning August 25th. I’ll only have about six small paintings in there (likely my sky series and some water ones). Here’s a poster (opens a PDF) – if you wanted to print it out and stick it up on your noticeboards at work or wherever (if you’re in the Aberdeen area), that would be gratefully appreciated :).

And now, I’d better get back to that procrastination… 😉

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

First of all, forgive me: I know I started this blog to talk about my art. And in a way I am, but this will mainly be a rare political aside. I feel there should be a warning before I begin: the opinions expressed here are solely my own, please don’t blame the artwork if you see something you don’t like in this one solitary post. But of course, the art is the artist and vice versa. Perhaps I ought to start up a separate blog where I can get on my soapbox about non-art topics, but since I plan this to be a very rare occurence, it isn’t worth it, so you will have to endure this one aside about something that has been bothering me for some time.

It’s a sad lovesong of sorts to Aberdeen. That sounds really overly dramatic, but it’s true. I know Aberdeen never makes anyone’s top 10 list of places they want to visit or live, but having come to Aberdeen 6 years ago as an outsider who had hardly heard of Aberdeen before I moved there, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Okay, the monochromatic colour scheme gets a bit tiring when the weather matches the buildings, but the architecture around the Castlegate area, the sunken Victorian garden in the centre of town, the cobblestoned Lilliputian villages of Fittie and Old Aberdeen, the wedding cake gothic frenzy that is Marischal, and the beaches… Aberdeen does have some real selling points.

Or it did. For my American and other non-local friends, I will attempt to summarize what has been happening in Aberdeen since I moved here. It is a list of disturbing and systematic destruction of many of the things I first loved about Aberdeen by the government and those with power and money (often times, one and the same thing).

First of all, Marischal College (where I used to work in the conservation lab) was taken over by the city council for their new headquarters. Mind you, their current headquarters were…… right across the street from Marischal. Literally. In a perfectly sound, if not particularly attractive, building. But they decided that the millions they were already facing in city debt wasn’t quite enough apparently, so instead they took on another major refurbishment project to the tune of at LEAST £80 million (MTA: apparently it came in at under budget at nearer “only” 65 million or so ) – this at a time when they are shutting schools and social programmes and even considering shutting ALL of the city’s parks due to budget problems. They gutted the building entirely, leaving only the Disneyfied, polished facade standing. To be fair, the interior of the majority of the building was going to ruin, so in a way they have preserved it, but only by ripping out all of the original fixtures and putting in modern glass and concrete and all the other bland, characterless office space features.

The second tragic property deal to befall the area was when Donald Trump decided he’d make a trip to his ancestral home of Scotland to bulldoze the Balmedie beaches with their stunning dunes (housing complex and unique ecosystems – the only ones left in the WORLD) and threatening to forcibly evict people from their long-standing homesteads to create a giant golf resort. Because, you know, that’s something Scotland just does not have enough of… The dunes of Balmedie were classed as SSIs, “sites of scientific interest”, and should theoretically therefore have been protected by the government. But something odd is happening there – the government are the very people who have turned around on their own laws of environmental protection and slapped Trump on the back like old cronies, done the secret masonic handshakes with him and said, ‘Sure, go ahead and tear down those dunes! Scotland needs more golf courses!’ Apparently it was because they were dazzled by promises of economic revival through creation of over a thousand jobs for the local populace, which now looks unlikely to materialise after all. The poor residents of Balmedie who were at first threatened with compulsory purchase orders and are now I guess “just” being harassed and pressured to leave have – bless them – been fighting tooth and nail to stay put. Sadly, though, given that the Scottish government is seemingly in bed with Trump, they aren’t winning (MTA: apparently the compulsory purchase orders aren’t going to happen now, thankfully, although there are other ways to make life unpleasant for the residents…). There’s a new documentary film, ‘You’ve Been Trumped’ out about this travesty of a project, which I saw yesterday afternoon.


It was brilliant, but I left the theatre even more angry and scared than I already was by the gobsmackingly unbelieveable extent to which money and celebrity seems able to get around the law. It’s not that I’m against the golf course really (as unnecessary as I think it kind of is), just not on the dunes of Balmedie, and not if you have to bully and torment a whole neighbourhood of people out of their homes to manage it.

And then there’s UTG (Union Terrace Gardens). Ah, UTG… The issue of what will happen to the UTG has made it blatantly clear what the state of democracy is in this day and age, in this city. Union Terrace Gardens, the lovely, big sunken Victorian garden in the very heart of town was one of the things that really took my breath away when I first came to Aberdeen. I am a sucker for sunken gardens in general, but in a place like Aberdeen (which I like to lovingly call Gotham City), leeched of colour by the invariable granite of which all the buildings are built, the green centre is an incredibly necessary oasis of nature and colour. It was starting to get a little frayed around the edges and not used as much as it should have been, so a local art group came up with a plan to revitalise the area, by building an art centre into the side of the gardens. They raised all the money necessary for the building and had obtained planning permission. Suddenly, out of the blue, one of the local billionaire businessmen, Sir Ian Wood, threw a spanner in the works. He did not want an arts centre, or anything else that preserved the sunken garden, he wanted to level the whole thing to street level and build… a mall around a concrete piazza. Now, Aberdeen has… 5, yes 5! shopping centres in the city centre already. I’m not sure how much more a city really needs, especially since the existing ones don’t look all that well attended when I’ve been there… Wood pledged to donate £50 million of his own money to the project (with the rest of the £140 million to be paid by the taxpayers of Aberdeen…), and thus began a fight over what to do – the art centre or the city square (meanwhile time was running out on the funding for the art centre – it was eventually stalled long enough that the art centre lost their funding). Long story short, they held a vote of the people. 55% voted against Ian Wood’s city square project. Aaaaaand… the city council and the various groups involved in lobbying for the city square project decided they’d ignore the majority of people who said they were opposed, and do it anyway. Ah, democracy… I just came across a post on a blog I sometimes read describing a third option for how to keep the gardens but revitalise the city centre. It’s well written and worth a read, and it got me thinking, yet again, about something that’s been bothering me in general, and which I find bothers me in general about what has been happening in Aberdeen, and indeed the world.

I am not a religious person, but I am bothered more and more by people who seem to worship at the temple of money above all things; I would rather that they take up some Bible-thumping fundamentalist sect religion, quite frankly, at least it might teach them some scruples. I realise a certain amount of money is necessary to comfort and happiness – a decent living. But people seem to be running themselves ragged just to make enough to get the latest gizmos, and whatever the Joneses next door have, and those with money seem able to do anything they please, no holds barred. My soon-to-be masters/PhD thesis topic is on ‘flow’ which is about the ‘good life’ – living in such a way that you enjoy what you do intensely, something that enriches your life, the lives of others, and which is about the thing, the activity itself, not the profit to be turned from it. But I feel many people see this topic and think I’m being too idealistic, too soft, too bleeding-heart-liberal touchy-feely new-agey or something.

After all, everyone wants to be rich, right? Money is king, money is why we get up in the morning and drag ourselves to our jobs, no matter how tedious and soul-sucking they may be. So we can have the latest iPad gadget thingummy, the flashest car, designer bags and a plastic nose just like Nicole Kidman’s… That’s all that can be expected or wanted from life, right? To get so rich and bloated that all you have to do is sit on a beach lounger all day on some beach somewhere (not Balmedie though, even if the weather were warmer…), playing Angry Birds and watching your stocks in Donald Trump’s toupee company rise on the NASDAQ or whatever. Nevermind nature, it always seems to find a way to bounce back from the myriad ways we mistreat it, right? And never mind history, it’s old and boring and so 10 minutes ago. Why bother preserving, saving, making the most of what we already have when we can have a new glitzy headquarters, a golf club, or yet another mall? Because what would we do with ourselves if we didn’t have shopping, golf and gadgets, right?

So yes, I used to love Aberdeen. But whereas I once thought, naively, that all that oil money might be spent on things like a more beautiful city, with parks and art and culture, it turns out that all the rich people of Aberdeen seem to want is to shop and play golf. I painted the above painting when I started to realise that about this city. For a long time I defended Aberdeen when people maligned it as the poor third cousin of Scotland, lonely and grey and boring up at the NE corner of the island, a place no one would bother to go if they could help it. But I honestly think that as soon as I can, I am going to move somewhere else, where people value some culture and creativity a bit more…if such a thing still exists in our modern age. The oil tycoons seem to be labouring under some strange misconception that the reason people don’t come to Aberdeen is because there’s just not enough golf or shopping. We have plenty of these; what we’re lacking is a viable art scene and an environment where culture is fostered. The oil that made this city rich has not made it more beautiful or more cultured, it has made it more and more grey and uniform, in a way that has nothing to do with all the granite.

So why don’t I get more involved? Why am I this armchair activist? I’ve been asking myself that question for the past few days. I joined all the Facebook groups for the UTG campaign, I even wrote to MSPs and signed petitions. But whenever there were marches or protests or events, I didn’t bother turning up, because ultimately the pessimist in me feels it’s hopeless. I fear it will take an uprising far greater than a tame, peaceful protest to make any kind of change these days, but the pacifist in me can’t really get too eager for guillotines either. I just wish something would open the eyes and shame the people who currently are turning their backs on their principles and decency for the sake of money and make a change in the way people see things. Aberdeen could be so much more, but it’s becoming a corrupt, hopeless, even more colourless place to live. It may ‘just’ be buildings and urban development at stake here in Aberdeen for the moment, but it’s about a lot more than that. It’s about the rich controlling our governments for their own means and steamrolling over democracy, and it’s the beginning signs of something by which we should all be very very frightened and angered.

P.S. If you feel you want to help with the Trump thing, one thing you could do is to donate to the ‘You’ve Been Trumped’ filmmaker’s crowd funding campaign to take the film to New York. The filmmaker Anthony Baxter apparently remortgaged his house in order to make the film, as it was mostly self-funded, so any help you can give the man to get it some publicity would be great. It’s a really powerful film I think everyone should see, even if they don’t care about the boondocks of Aberdeen specifically (MTA: The crowd-funding campaign was a success! Anthony Baxter has gone to New York, and there is a showing at the IFC Center on July 7th – if you’re in the area, please go! And spread the word!). While you’re at it, rent ‘Capitalism: A Love Story‘, Michael Moore’s latest. It’s a great film in a similar vein, important for all to see.

So, I’m sick again. A mere 3 weeks after the last cold/flu bug, I’m back to hacking my lungs out and knocking myself out with NightNurse. Fun times. My immune system hates me. Anyway, I spared my colleagues the gift that keeps on giving and stayed home today. But, being sick at home yet again is rather boring. There’s only so much dragging yourself from bed to kettle to bed again you can do before you go stir crazy. So I decided to do something useful that didn’t require a lot of energy: I painted.

Now, what do you want when you’re sick? Your Mommy? Yes. But she’s 6000 miles away at the moment. So what’s next on the list? Why, tea and kittens of course! Something comforting and something cute…always does the trick.

Recently, I found out about a website called, well, ‘Tea and Kittens‘. It is so very very British. Where there is tea there is hope, doncha know. Anyway, aside from the fact that they really do need to put in a few more images of tea and kittens to keep it interesting, I could just look at this all day. Especially the kittens. I’m starting to get sick of tea, honestly… Even more amusing, they offer a plugin for Firefox and Chrome browsers, Kitten Block, which, when you are about to go to something on the DailyMail or Express websites, redirects you to Tea & Kittens instead, for your sanity’s sake. I have installed it on my browser, although I can’t say that I often end up on the Daily Mail site anyway. But the concept amuses me. And who doesn’t love tea & kittens?

I saw some watercolors recently of cats that I found flippin’ amazing. Cats are hard to render right, a lot of artists who are otherwise really good screw up when it comes to painting cats. I don’t know why that is, but it’s true. And I am one of those people who in the past has struggled when trying to draw a cat, so I haven’t for many years. But inspired by this guy, I thought I’d give it a whirl today. So I got out my least labor-intensive paints (watercolor) and masking fluid, found a picture on the Wet Canvas reference library that I liked and this is the result, which I’m pretty pleased with, all in all:

Wishful Thinking

Wishful Thinking

HELP JAPAN – 60% of proceeds on 2 prints to go to Japan relief fund

Additionally, I would like to also point out that I am currently donating 60% of proceeds on two of my prints – ‘Black Cherry’ and ‘Snow on Bennachie’ until June on all three of my shops – Etsy, Folksy, and RedBubble – to the British Red Cross’ Japan Earthquake/Tsunami relief fund. So if you were eyeing either of these two prints, now would be a good time to get art while also helping Japan. Please spread the word. Thank you.

Black Cherry

Black Cherry

on EtsyFolksyRedBubble

Snow on Bennachie - HELP JAPAN

Snow on Bennachie

on EtsyFolksyRedBubble

And if you’re sick of looking at my art (heaven forbid!), there are other artists also offering their art for Japan. I have put together a treasury of artists on Etsy who are offering all or part of their proceeds on their crafts and artworks for various charities in aid of Japan.

There are also some other resources I’m aware of for artists/crafters offering art/craft auctions for Japan:
Art Auctions for Japan Blogspot
Daily Paintworks Help Japan Challenge
The Collective – jewellery auctions for Oxfam

If anyone else knows of any others, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

Additionally, you can always donate directly. Here are a couple of major charities you might consider donating to:
Second Harvest Japan (Japan’s first food bank)
British Red Cross
American Red Cross
There is a Japanese Red Cross, but I think the only way to donate to them is through one of the other two, so far… correct me if I’m wrong.)

Join 17 other followers

Shops

Buy art on RedBubble
Find me on Folksy
Find me on Etsy
July 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31