Saturday, 16 June 2018

Art Class: Cranes

I think this is the best painting I have done so far! This is from the final two sessions of my art class. It is of an interesting building site near the library in Aberdeen where huge cranes are erecting a modern building around a ruined church spire. I like the contrast of old and new and the feeling of excitement and enormity which reminds me of my wanderings in London, a city that was always being destroyed and rebuilt. 
Painting is in acrylic with an extra big one inch flat brush for doing a dynamic sky.
I tried to follow the instructions of my art teacher in deciding what the important thing to look at is and making the other features less dominant or focussed. Put touches of all the colours around the painting and look at moving the eye around the painting with different features. Use contrasting colours such as yellow on blue within a limited range. Make the brushstrokes varied and vigorous. Have dark, light and highlights and think about where the light comes from. Don’t be afraid to crop. Don’t be afraid to get more abstract as you go along just enjoying the colours and process. Think about the mood.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Oxfam Project

I admit it, I bought a lovely new tshirt today from Fatface. But I think this counts as core wardrobe as it is a dark cocoa colour so is neutral.
Second hand I got a great black tshirt, new and unworn, from Firetrap, in a heavy jersey and a crazy giant bead necklace which looks like it could be from Oliver Bonas. I find I am increasingly drawn to simple clothes and statement jewellery. I ummed and aahed over a turquoise linen jumper from Monsoon in the same shop, but it was very loose which is not flattering on me.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Useful Recipes

A busy week! But I thought I would post up a useful recipe which I make all the time, and am making today for a quick dinner before my art class.

This hummous recipe is based on the one in the excellent cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

In a blender or a bowl with stick blender, mix tin of chickpeas, juice large lemon, clove of garlic, two teaspooons tahini. Water down to consistency. If you miss out the chickpeas this makes a tahini sauce which also makes a great dip or can go on chicken or fish.


Saturday, 9 June 2018

Self Portrait

A self portrait is always an interesting project. Especially if you do them every few years. It is hard not to flatter yourself. This is in conte crayon and watercolour, three colours only except for the green for the eye.  It’s all about my beady eye. 

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Aberdeen Docks

A quick marker pen sketch from a sketch done at the drawing class at the docks. I like the geometric colours and patterns of the ships and their reflections.
This one cracked out after three glasses of wine and a viewing of the excellent and inspiring Waldemar J Art of the USA series.

Italian Food Library

I discovered the huge and luxurious cookery book section at the library! Joy! Aren’t libraries brilliant. But you have to be careful not to get food on them so I am mostly just reading them and writing down ideas. So far I have borrowed:

Two Kitchens: Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome by Rachel Roddy
An evocatively writtten cookbook with simple, delicious recipes, mostly Sicilian. It is arranged by ingredients which is brilliant. All the aubergine recipes are together, all the tomato, all the lemon etc.

Made at Home by Giorgio Locatelli
Good for ideas but some obscure ingredients! This one is a bit more cheffy. 

Tomorrow I am doing an Italian food selection to enjoy with beer. Recipes from Polpo by Russell Norman, a Venetian cookbook.
To include: carta de musica semolina flatbreads. Tinned artichokes wrapped in speck or parma ham. Chickpea and anchovy paste on bruschetta and goat cheese, grapes, walnuts and honey also on bruschetta.
Leftover ingredients to reappear on pizza, for my lunches or in mezze later in the week.

I recommend spending a long time cooking one particular cuisine, to really get a feel for it. Year of Italian is a good choice as the food is simple, delicious and healthy.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Oxfam Clothes Project

Aha! Scored my cheapest garment yet, a lovely navy cotton sateen pencil skirt with white polka dots. One pound! From the Cancer Research shop reduced rail. I think it’s so cheap because someone cut out the care and brand labels, but I washed it and it was fine. 
This skirt will replace my very comfy but deeply unflattering grey linen gathered skirt. You know thise things you like but they look terrible on you? Especially in photos? What to do about those? This skirt and a grey waterfall cardigan I often teamed it with made me look like a bag lady. No definition anywhere on the body. And the baggy greyness, in theory chic, just made me feel dull.