Thursday, 20 October 2011

Hand Blenders and Sushi

Is a hand blender really a girls' best friend?

The other day I was asked, in on online survey, how often I mentioned my hand blender in my blog posts. I have to admit I laughed....out loud. The idea that I would regularly post about my hand blender and my relationship with it still seems fairly preposterous......yet here I am. I can't promise that I will mention it in every post though, even if I have made some lovely soup with it. I do feel a bit of a story coming on though so watch this space.
Finding the newspaper to draw on was a bit of an accident, I think it fits was from an article in The Guardian about the inventor of the Orgasmatron (yes it really did exist outside of the film Sleeper). Wilhelm Reich, a pupil of Freud, believed that any mental health problem could be sorted out by a good seeing to (I may have paraphrased.....) Anyway it's an interesting article.

Sushi Ascending to Fishy Heaven

I have been thinking a lot about sushi this week, because of the food zine Cakes and Canapes for which I am a contributor. I wrote a story too called 'Remembering Sushi'. I might even have a go at some stained glass sushi.

Remembering Sushi

Of course her name wasn’t Sushi, she wasn’t even Japanese. Sushi had just become her nickname when Adam had realised the strength of her obsession with the stuff. It began as a jokey pet name but she had kind of liked it and so it had stuck. At first he’d found her love of Japanese food adorable, it made her different and quirky, and if he was honest he really liked the food.
That was in the beginning. Gradually, sushi had taken over her life. She judged a day good or bad depending on how well her sushi supper had gone, and she was a harsh judge. It never mattered what Adam said. He had tried once to suggest that they eat something other than ‘rolled up raw fish’ (his exact words) ‘perhaps something with gravy?’ he’d followed lamely, shrinking beneath her hard cold stare.
The row they’d had then was ferocious and she’d ignored him for days, until he’d been unable to stand it any longer and apologized. For a while afterwards things were ok and she started to make him exquisite bento boxes to take to work for lunch. Adam enjoyed the care and attention, it made him feel loved and cherished, and the food was wonderful.
One morning he woke up at about five to find that he was alone in their bed; he got up and padded to the bathroom, but turned when he heard noises in the kitchen. There she was, in her pyjamas and thick socks, hair dishevelled, looking heartbreakingly beautiful. She was assembling his bento box, moving swiftly and surely, as if she’d done it hundreds of mornings before.
‘Sushi, lovely, what’re you doing up so early?’
She’d turned then, and he’d seen that her eyes were over bright and wild.
‘I’m making your lunch, silly. I do this every day. Didn’t you know?’ She frowned slightly as she asked the question.
‘’ Adam had said, putting his arms around her waist. ‘You don’t have to do that; I’ll get a sandwich from the van outside work.’
He was unprepared for the ferocity of her attack. She launched herself at him screaming, her hands clawing at his face, then at the last minute she’d turned. She left the flat soon after, slamming the door violently behind her.
She didn’t come back. Adam called all of her friends and her work but no one had seen her. He called the local hospitals and finally, the police. Weeks passed, then months and still he heard nothing, until one morning he received a letter from her parents asking him to visit her.
The building was one of the few Victorian asylums still in use and the walls of the day room were painted a sickly institutional pink. There she was, sitting across the room. She was rocking slightly, hands moving as if she were making a sushi roll, her eyes blank. Adam hesitated; he turned, his face wet with tears, and slowly walked away.


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Dancing the homage to Fat Freddy's Cat

I found this beetle squashed on the floor near my house and I was reminded of one of my favourite Fat Freddy's Cat cartoons. In the cartoon the cat was asleep and twitching, as cats do. His owner (Fat Freddy) comments that he is clearly dreaming of being chased by a dog. The cat is seen to be thinking 'No you fat fool, I was dancing the Fandango with Carmen Miranda.' I like to think that this beetle spent its' last seconds doing the same thing.....
This picture was done using the same technique as I always (ish) use, the texture is very different though and that is because I used very cheap emulsion paint on the background. Which was a mistake. The surface is much too absorbent, it sucks in the oil bar and makes it very difficult to move around. The only plus is that it creates a nice crackle texture, on top of acrylic. I'm not sure it's worth it though....

the beach huts of doooom

I am always taking photos of the gaps in between beach huts, I think 'the space between' has a lot of mileage in terms of ideas, so it probably won't be the last time it crops up here. Again I struggled with the oil bar on the cheap emulsion surface, it was more of a fight than usual! Lesson learned. Buy proper primer.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Tis the season of the pumpkin...

In keeping with the spirit (ha ha) of the season, I have become mildly obsessed with pumpkins. No surprise then that today's images are pumpkins. The first one is a glass tealight holder (available to buy for around £30 or to swap for other artyness, do let me know if you're interested!!)

room for one tealight, 80mm x 100mm approx
I went through a phase of making little houses, there is a haunted house, a christmas pudding and a gingerbread house, I may think of some more.....and I will of course post pictures.

On to the second image, I've been experimenting again, this time because I wanted to reuse an old piece of board. I covered the board with white emulsion mixed with interior filler. I wanted texture and I wanted to start to draw the image in texture before applying any colour or detail. The board had already been covered with acrylic medium and the emulsion mix went all crackley in an unexpected and nice way.

I am a pumpkin...honest
The problem with using interior filler as a ground for drawing is that it isn't very hard wearing, it's soft and absorbsent, good qualities for toilet paper I think you'll agree, but less so for drawing on. I may have to redo this on on a better surface. The oil bar dried too quickly and it's hard to get subtleties in tone, because it is so easy to just gouge chunks of filler out. Well, lesson learned....I will use proper primer next time.