Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Twenty Minute Challenge

At the weekend, I had a lot to catch up with after all the printing and posting I'd done during the week; things like my Tax Return, people I needed to get in touch with, the ever-present ironing, the lawn needing mowing and the batteries in my doorbell urgently needing changing - the usual list of tedious tasks that seems to get longer rather than shorter. But I was determined to fit in some painting as well so I decided to see what I could achieve in a very short time in the way that artists on the 'Twenty Minute Challenge' website do.

My wallflowers are coming to an end so I, naturally, wanted to paint them before it's too late and I picked a bunch of assorted colours for my subject, set my timer and got stuck in! By the end of 20 mins I had easily finished the painting part of the exercise and my wet paper was decidely less wet. Unfortunately, I didn't think what I'd produced was worth photographing and it was still too wet to scan; so I can't post the result of the first stage. But after I'd had a quick lunch and done a few more 'odd jobs', I went back to look at what I'd done and decided that, now it was completely dry, there might be something worth salvaging if I defined the shapes of the flowers with a brown fineliner pen.

Not that it would ever be likely to become a greeting card design, but it might have some future on a white mug or even some more shoes! (These are obviously becoming my favourites when it comes to 'creating' products for my Zazzle store!)

I'm not sure that I learnt anything from limiting myself to 20 minutes as it is normal for me to work very fast and I never spend much time thinking about what I'm doing. In fact I'd probably have stopped painting sooner if I hadn't set the timer. But I did feel frustrated by the fact that I wasn't able to produce a really transparent but vibrant yellow. I tried several but they all seemed to turn murky and more like yellow ochre when they came up against the reds and merged with them.

My Keds shoes with a photographic image of wallflowers won a Today's Best Award but I actually prefer the slightly riotous look of my watercolour wallflowers -

On the election front, I was beginning to feel a bit better about it when I read that Charles Kennedy had stood by his principles and felt unable to back the LibCon Coalition. But then I was disheartened again last night when it became clear that the women members of the BBC Newsnight's focus group had voted according to the 'fanciability' - they actually used the word! - of TweedleCam and TweedleClegg! And the men had almost all voted for them because they were more 'young and modern'! If this is what the election came down to, obviously Gordon didn't stand a chance!

Fortunately a spell of catching up with The Artistic Curmudgeon's blog, that I had neglected lately, went some way to restore my sense of proportion, as did happening upon these -

And the jug of wallflowers, even though they are starting to droop, are still giving off a delicious fragrance - pity I have developed some sort of allergic reaction over the years that causes me to lose my voice around my favourite flowers!

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