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Archive for the ‘Maureen's Recent Work’ Category

But I Too Often Lose Sight of It

Sometimes I go weeks or even months without sketching, and I’m not sure why. Considering it seriously I think it comes down to three factors: distractions, just plain sloth and the Great Pandemic Excuse. I don’t have to tell you how many ways there are these days to be distracted. We are living in the Age of Distraction. That’s what came between the Iron Age and the Age of Extinction. Formerly, to be distracted you had to have a shower, change your clothes, get in the car an,d go out. You saw people and places, movies and shows, the beach, the library, the golf course and the tennis court, the gym, the birds and all the other creatures that creep and run, including your grandchildren. Nowadays there’s very little of that.

Big Communications has seen to it that, for a price, they can provide you with versions of almost all those things you used to do in person, without setting foot outside your house, And it’s a good thing they did. Where would we be during the Covid 19 lockdowns if they weren’t providing us with YouTube and Netflix and all the rest? Nevertheless, they’re still distractions and have to be managed as such. As for sloth, that’s easy. It comes automatically. I discovered a long time ago that the less you do, the less you can do. How do you break that chain? You do something, of course. Then, poco a poco, you do a little more. The handiest, easiest, healthiest and most rewarding thing to start with is walking. Mike used to be so annoying on the subject. He never let up. Finally I started walking with him. Then I started feeling better, with more spring in my step and in everything else. Now I badger him to go walking.

Is Your Essence in Your Sketchbooks?

Having been around art and artists for many years I have seen a lot of sketchbooks. I often find the work you see in them is better than–or at least different from–the stuff they frame and hang on the wall. Fresher, more daring, more fun, more portable… Mike loves my sketchbooks. He thinks I should publish a book of facsimile copies of the best images in them. That sounds like too much work, but I would consider posting some of them here. I wanted to know more about what painters and printmakers do with their sketchpads, so I googled “publishers of artists’ sketchbooks,” and there are a few of them. So, if the spirit moves you…

The site I found most fascinating belongs to a guy called Danny Gregory. He has a long and distinguished history as an advertising art director but some time ago he left advertising in order to dedicate himself to his own art and an online art school site. I found him very engaging. You might, too. Here’s a link to his self publishing site: from there you can find more material that you might find useful. Before I forget, here are some images Mike captured off my latest sketchbook:

How’s the Virus Treating You?

I hope you’re being careful and looking after yourself. The stakes are so high. We had a nice note today from Gina Miller, Ross Miller‘s wife. They live near Melbourne, Australia. She paints and he sculpts. Gina says they’re just coming out of a five-day lockdown but now everything’s OK as cases and deaths are back down to zero. What envy. How is it that some countries have the virus under control or virtually exterminated, and others have become giant mortuaries? The virus, itself, doesn’t play fair, either. It keeps moving the goalposts. Even so, there’s still room for optimism. I had the first Covid virus vaccine shot last Friday and had no unpleasant after effects. We shall see.

Aside from that, it’s business as usual here. Our big galas are every other Monday when we do a supermarket, laundromat, car wash commando raid. (Mike insists on the latter, says it maintains his mental stability. Boys!) María José, my helper, and her lovely daughter, Sylvia, were here today. We worked on the text for my upcoming portfolio of favorite recipes, illustrated with prints. (Before it was a portfolio it was going to be a book, but that started to look complicated. The portfolio has the advantage that you can add more recipes whenever you like.) We all had our best masks on, of course. We looked like bank robbers in a western movie. Mike made lunch. It smelled so good when I walked in the door. In the end it turned out to be a big tin of fabada asturiana, an Asturian bean stew. And there was a lovely green salad with it.

So, may your beans always smell great and your salad always be green. Take much care and I’ll see you next time. I’m looking forward to the time when I can say, “We had a great time last night with a lot of laughs with friends at our favorite fried-fish tapas bar! Come and join us.”

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Thanks for sharing.

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