Monday 28 October 2013



Let me introduce Horratius, 
who comes from a land where almost everything is purple and green, 
including all the inhabitants.  

And if it's not purple and green, then it's green and purple.

Horratius had been lucky enough to inherit a little money from his Great Aunt Decorrus.
He decided to spend it on going abroad for a holiday.  
And he booked himself on a package tour for a week of tuition at a Dancing Academy.

In the first lesson the teacher, 
who had a misplaced sense of fun, 
introduced the students to - 

Poor old Horratius.  
His knees went in when they should have gone out, 
and his hands seemed unable to find his knees.  
He felt such a fool! 

And as everybody stopped and looked at him 
he suddenly realised 
that he was the only purple person in the room.  

He was so embarrassed by his lack of Charleston ability 
and his outstanding skin colour 
that he felt hot all over and went a very deep shade of red.

In addition he was so jealous of all the other students 
whose knees and hands went just where they should.

Like a chameleon, 
the red of extreme embarrassment quickly changed colour to green, 
so full of envy was he.

But all at once everybody smiled and laughed 
and they all applauded his performance.  

And when the music started again 
they all began to perform the new dance Horratius had invented.  

Even the teacher joined in, 
taking careful note of the moves
so that he could include the dance in his future courses.

Horratius, back to his entrancing purple shade,
led the dance,
and was the most popular person on the course for the rest of the week.

Linking to Take a WordPaint Party Friday and Manon's Paper Saturdays

Wednesday 23 October 2013


Three quick sketches today of silly ladies, with a little touch of doggerel added.  Sketching quickly like this without a preconceived idea of what I am going to draw is always fun, and I hope you enjoy them.

Digital drawing on 'Brushes' App - Jez

Click on the image to enlarge
Pen and Inktense Pencils - Jez
Pen and Inktense Pencils - Jez
I think Miranda is my favourite, she really knows how to enjoy herself.

INSPIRATION AVENUE reminds us that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  My niece died very young from breast cancer, and as life has gone on some of my friends have also died.  I am so glad that since those days of many years past, the treatment for breast cancer has improved tremendously and can now save women's lives.  My entry for the challenge is very simple, but I hope it is a reminder to 'Think Pink' and take action early.

I had a lovely surprise last week.  I had won the September prize on Try it on Tuesday with my 'Dotty Man' -

He was one of the faces I had drawn for the 29 Faces challenge in September.  I had experimented to see if I could create a face using only dots, and when I saw the TIOT challenge was 'Dots' he seemed just right.

I don't know what the prize is yet, but just winning the challenge is enough of a pleasure.  Thank you Try it on Tuesday.

Linking with Inspiration Avenue, Art Journal Journal 'She Art', Paint Party Friday and Manon's Paper Saturdays .

Tuesday 22 October 2013


Take a Word this week asks us to include Orange in our work.  Immediately thoughts of orange ran through my head - heat, bright, noisy, a 'shout-aloud' colour.

Why go with the first thought!  I decided instead to try and use orange in a peaceful, calming way, and I think I have managed it.

Watercolour on watercolour paper - Jez
We don't have an aquarium, but watching goldfish swim slowly around a very large aquarium is always relaxing and therapeutic.  That's why some hospitals, business offices and dentists' waiting rooms install them in the belief that it will help people to relax before their appointments or meetings.

Watercolour on watercolour paper - Jez
Even painting these two fishy ladies (or perhaps they are gents) was relaxing, so I hope you feel I've achieved what I set out to do.

Linking to Take a Word

Saturday 19 October 2013


The challenge from Artists in Blogland is called a Scavenger Hunt, and the theme for October is Windows and Doors, both subjects I am always drawing and painting.

Time being short at the moment and not being able to get out for a few days, I decided on a real scavenger hunt at home and searched through past travel journals for a few relevant sketches.

This window, surrounded by foliage was sketched on a holiday at Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales, a great spot for sketching, full of quirky little corners and lovely gardens.

Another view of Bodelwyddan Castle, a great arched doorway with one door just visible, open against the inner wall, and a tiny window up on the right.

Try as I will, I just cannot remember where or how I sketched this little group of colourful cottages.

I do remember a holiday at this hotel on a hill in the Lake District, looking over Windermere.

And this quick sketch is of a barn on a lane not far from home, which has now been turned into a house.  Although it may be sad to lose these old farm buildings, it is much better that they are turned into a home rather than falling into dilapidation because they no longer have a practical use.

These arched windows and doorways were created, or perhaps constructed is a better word, with various small stamp pieces from a children's 'Architectural' stamping set.  I bought this when my youngest grand-daughter was a child and we had some fun with it - this was one of my efforts.  Unfortunately the set vanished long ago, probably discarded during one of our home moves. 

And lastly - a photograph:

I had finished adding my sketches to this post when I remembered a photo of a fascinating window I took in Liverpool a little while ago.  I have kept meaning to use it in a piece of artwork but haven't done so yet, so it seemed just right for the Scavenger Hunt.

The photo is exactly as I took it, with the weird colouring of the brickwork - NO digital altering of the colours.

Well, I've enjoyed this Scavenger Hunt and the way it sent me back to leaf through my sketchbooks.  I hope you like one or two of the sketches too.

Linking with Artists in Blogland and Manon's Paper Saturdays

Friday 18 October 2013


We've had a rather difficult October and since finishing the 29 Faces challenge I haven't had time to draw, paint or blog.  My BT email is not working, and all sorts of other problems have abounded.  

Last week poor Dev had four consecutive days of hospital clinics at three different places.  On two days he had blood tests and the third a venosection (giving a unit of blood).  At 80 a few days like that are very tiring for him.  

On Wednesday this week he had his second cataract operation, and the fact that it seems to have worked wonderfully has cheered him up.  He is counting the weeks until he gets new glasses for close-up vision and can see well enough to read and draw.  Although I usually take advantage of the hours of waiting all these clinic visits take, I have been so tired with the month's events that I haven't had the energy to use the time.

Last Sunday I found I had just about half an hour with nothing pressing and was determined to draw 'something' - just the thought of getting my pen on to paper was enough, it didn't matter what I drew.

For days I had been looking at the little pots of mini-clematis I had bought in the hopes of drawing them.  Clematis are my favourite flowers, so lovely individually and as groups, in pots or in the garden.  In the little woodland area at the end of our road, less than 10 minutes away, small groups of tiny clematis nestle among the greenery at the foot of the trees.

I bought three little 4" pots of mini-cyclamen from Morrisons supermarket a week or two ago at 50p each, lovely strong plants full of flowers and buds, each plant a different shade of pink.  They look pretty on the kitchen windowsill.  The ones I have drawn were the contents of just one pot - what good value.

Each flowers is lovely, like a butterfly, but when the flowers group together in a mass it's difficult to see where the individual flowers are.  I find the only way to do it is to start with one petal, and then keep adding another, then another and so on, rather than thinking of the whole shape.  It's quite difficult and takes a fair bit of concentration.

There was just time for another quick sketch, and on my desk there was a tiny photo from a magazine of a Roman mask/helmet.  I didn't try to copy it, but just let my pen take on the general air and added my own twiddles.  Just making those two quick sketches made me feel better.

Yesterday I decided to add a little very quick pencil colouring, simply because after phone struggles with BT, the bank and then the pension company I felt exhausted and colouring inside the lines with coloured pencils is so soothing and relaxing.  I'm just hoping that the pace of life will slow down now - just one clinic visit for Dev next week to check on the cataract operation.  So I'm hoping to get back to visit and commenting on as many blogs as I can.  I hope life is treating you all well.

Linking to Paint Party Friday and Manon's Paper Saturdays

Wednesday 2 October 2013


I was inspired to collect all 29 of my 29 FACES together as one montage by seeing that other 'Facers' had done so when they had completed the challenge.  Their collections looked so good that I wanted to see for myself everything I had done during September in one place.


Click to enlarge image
Looking at this block of faces I am amazed - I can't believe that I did it, but I'm so glad I did.

Linking with Paint Party Friday and Manon's Paper Saturdays