Sunday, 19 November 2017

Drawing Horses 2

Finally got around to painting in the cowboy drawing I did at the horse drawing workshop. I tried to use colours like on the classic cowboy novel covers. Bold colours with lots of contrasting opposites. I tried to go as strong as possible. I used to watch a lot of cowboy films as a kid with my brother and Alistair was always a big fan of cowboy novels by JT Edson. I still enjoy the genre.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Westminster Abbey

And there is also an art post. Westminster Abbey as requested by my friend Stacie from my old work at the gallery. I often walk past this if I am going to meet Alistair from work. It is a jawdroppingly lovely building which always seems bathed in sun and always looks to be at the end of every street in Westminster.
My drawing ink here is Winsor and Newton nut brown rather than my usual black india ink and I like the effect of gentle age it gives.

Sewing Update

One of my main hobbies is sewing clothes. I love this as I enjoy vintage fashion but actual vintage tends to be very tiny sizes and very expensive. Also seeing how things go together interests me. And I can make things with pockets. Women want pockets too! 

This year I have made:

Dark green jersey wrap front dress. (I like it but it is a bit gapey at the neck)
Striped jersey raglan sleeve top (failure as looks terrible and cheapy fabric)
Black vintage satin midi skirt (so beautiful but no idea when I'll wear it)
Blanket coat in blue check mohair (wearing this constantly, so warm)
Black and white 50s sheath dress (smart except for bodgy zip)
Grey jersey 50s wiggle dress (so chuffed with this)
Tartan pyjama trousers (always good especially for xmas)
Check summer dress (for when it was briefly insanely hot. I seem to like checks)
Thai silk summer dress (lovely vintage fabric but frays unbelievably)
40s tartan day dress (inspired by Agent Carter, love this one, pictured below)

Mostly I like sewing 40s and 50s style clothing but in more modern fabrics so they are wearable without looking like I am part of some lifelong reenactment project.  

This is my skirt in 50s vintage embroidered satin, which is an exception. 

And here are my pyjama trousers which I finished yesterday.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Drawing at the Mews

On Saturday I went to a horse drawing workshop at the Royal Mews given by equestrian artist Jennifer Bell. We learned the basics of drawing the horse anatomy and then headed out to the stables to draw from life. I like this picture as it catches the personality of the horse who seems a bit bored and exasperated by all the public attention. I have always loved horses and drew them constantly as a child. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Refresh your Look

Sometimes you are in a time of change. And as well as doing new things it is a great time to look at yourself. 
Try a visual reboot:

You may be older and want to look more sophisticated but it's still a good time to try new things, shopping in new places, try some things that are in fashion. Try shopping with different people. Experiment with new looks using second hand or cheap clothes before committing. I have spent years in a vintage, librarian chic mode but am trying to find vintage looks that are more interesting and less girly. Try new colours, choose ones that suit you rather than just colours you abstractly like. Avoid novelty prints, cute things, frills and other youthful stuff. Try more unusual fabrics and shapes, indulge yourself with a glamorous look or one with a strong attitude. Take stuff from the back of the wardrobe and wear it again in different combos. Purge anything you don't wear anymore or that is wrong for you. Try altering or dyeing clothes to renew them. 

Review your make-up, the current look is all about a strong brow. Eyeshadows should be matte as you get older but try a strong lipstick, maybe matte also. Nail polish can be fun in a dark or in offbeat colours like greys, browns, metallics.

Have you changed your look or bought anything new lately? 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Alternative London Highlights

A list of the most interesting or unusual to contrast with the earlier list:

Restaurant: Mosob in Notting Hill. An Eritraean restaurant where everything is eaten from a springy flatbread used as cutlery too.

Museum: Sutton House in Hackney. A lovely building in a beautiful historic area in an Untouristy area of London.

Tour: a psychogeography walk in Kensington Gardens, including sensory activities, barefoot walking and poetry reading.

Religious site: The Buddhist Stupa in Battersea Park. Giant golden buddhas by the river.

Journey: a nontourist journey to Piccadilly Circus on the 94 bus. A great way to see the city.

Bar: Little Nan's in Deptford, a parlour style bar full of weird nicknacks with cocktails served from teapots.

Historic site: The abandoned tube station of The Strand.

Famous person spotted: Helena Bonham Carter in Hampstead.

Shopping: the occult bookshops of London, list available online. Some cheery with crystals and comfy sofas, some creepy with paintings of Alastair Crowley and weird noises from the basement. 

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Lost London

Sometimes you come across a remnant of something from earlier London. It could be the Roman walls in Aldgate or the amphitheatre under the Guildhall. This is the York House Watergate by the Strand.
The watergate would have been a grand entrance, by boat, to the river Thames. It was built in 1626 for George Villiers the Duke of Buckingham. Sadly both his grand home and the water are now long gone and the watergate stands in Embankment Gardens, a reminder of when the River, not the road, was the centre of the city.