Monday, July 29, 2013


New poured acrylic experiments, using my own pouring medium.

Post script
Since doing this video and these pieces, I've now realised that the 'fissure' effect I was interested in, is actually a process called 'CRAZING' and a big no-no.  (Smacks hand very hard)
Crazing can be stopped by applying a clear gel (like the one I used for finishing the pieces without Liquitex Pouring Medium in) in thin coats, layer upon layer.  The only big problemo that I can see with that technique is that brush/tool marks are going to be left behind on the surface and it will look uggerly.  So ... back to the drawing board.  I am determined to come up with my own recipe for a gloss finished pouring medium that I can combine successfully with acrylic paints, it can't be THAT hard can it?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

all the signs are there ...

My Aunt sent me a card with a newspaper cutting advertisement for the train trip that we are going on in October.  I didn't read it straight away, only in the car whilst waiting to go into the school to collect Ewan.  I had to do a double take and in order to explain why, it's necessary for me to back track a bit to last year March/April. 

When we were in South Africa and I'd watched Series Two of Game of Thrones, plus read all George Martin's books, I started working on a romantic story and erm ... cough ... loosely based the hero of my story on Rory McCann (as you do, when you have an obsession).  Of course, I was the heroine but at age 30.  Ahem, moving on.   

Anyway, I have always had a yen for really out of the way places, the more desolate and unpopulated an area is, the happier I become.  I purposefully looked for a location to set my story in that would be considered 'remote' because my lead female character had issues she was running away from that needed an isolated, off-the-beaten-track setting.   I searched all over the world, but eventually concentrated on the Northern hemisphere  because I had already decided that there had to be a lot of snow and as I'd been to Scotland many times in my youth, I focused on that country ... eventually stumbling upon a place called  Thurso, which is the northernmost town in Great Britain, I believe.    

I got stuck into research, Google Earthed the place to death - i.e. walked up and down the coastline, designed maps etc. etc. and wrote up about 30,000 words ... the story  was going along at a cracking pace. I even enlisted the help of the guys over at Ultimate Subaru to give me technical advice on certain things that my heroine did with her Scubby Forester in the snow (that sounds rather odd).     Anyway, all this aside, I eventually had to mothball the novel (novella?) due to the hectic preparations we had when moving out from South Africa to here in Norwich.

The trip I'm going on with my Aunt in October eventually goes out as far as Dunrobin Castle, John O'Groats ... with a break in Wick and ... Thurso.   
Is Karma messin' with me again? 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A bit too much planning ...

It's warm and muggy, so why not a few words hey?  
I have begun planning my daily activities list for the school holidays (all six weeks of them) which start next week.  In between occupying the kiddies and trying to avoid the outbreak of World War III,  I do also need to do a bit of my own work from time to time.  I can't actually believe that it's only 6 weeks away from me being able to work full day for myself.  September has always been seen as a kind of mystical milestone month this year, in our collective family mindset and it's fast upon us.   I think my life will change quite dramatically once the kiddies are at school full day.  

I got to talking to two mummies this morning when I dropped Ewan off, one of them is a child-minder - a really sweet girl with the most infectious smile; I've often wondered when seeing her wandering around the village with a large brood in tow if she was a child minder, turns out I was right.
The other mummy is about to pop with her second child and I think she's Polish, have to ask her next time she decides to speak to me.  Anyway I have found a child minder who would be handy to know if I needed any more breaks away in the future when I'm off  'travelling with my Aunt'.   I've got the child-minders' name and telephone number and she seemed quite keen to look after Ewan and his sister - she's met both of them before.

Anyway have to dash.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Scotland ahoy .. och aye.

Well I'm off up to Inverness in October with my aunt for a wee jaunt, as they say in the classics.  God, wouldn't it be absolutely magnificent and splendid (pleeeeeeeeze Dear Karma person) if I bumped into this personage:


 Heck it's only about 60 odd kilometres from Inverness to Wester Ross (where Rory hides his boat, I understand).   You just never know ...  maybe if I say it enough, like a mantra ... 'I will meet Rory McCann in October' ... and in extra large Italic Font, it might just happen.  And if it DID, then we all know that it would be as a direct result of the years of meticulous planning I put into it (not stalker planner,  ordinary good person planning)   

It's not much, in the general scheme of things when you think of it.  People ask for and get much bigger dreams coming tru on a daily basis.  I'm not asking to win the Euro-Millions - well not this week. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

New painting ... busy drying

This was done on an old canvas as a 'tester' ... using Liquitex Pouring Medium and soft body acrylic paints.  I think I'm going to be using this technique lots in the future.  It's just somewhat expensive, so whatever I do will have to be planned carefully beforehand (i.e. colour combinations and size).

Edited Mountain Acrylic ... final version

After messing about with heavy gel, my own modelling paste, purchased fillers, acrylics, more gels, surgical spirits, turpentine ... the thing below has ended up looking like it does now here on the left.  It's sealed, so effectively I can't do much more to it now ... maybe a good thing before I completely destroy the canvas! 

I purchased Pouring Medium and Gold Acrylic professional spray paint yesterday and it arrived this morning, so I'm going to be getting stuck into that in coming days.  The little bottle of pouring medium is very expensive, so will have to be a bit careful!  Something I'm not used to.   Anyway, looking forward to it.

Here's a few close ups of the texture detail:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

some words

Well I'm slowly settling into life in the UK - every now and then I have a panic attack and can't figure out why - I suppose it's deferred stress.   We were under so much stress on a daily basis in SA that it's taken all of 6 months to get to a state that I would call semi-coma-relaxed.   

Looking after the children is taking more out of me than I initially thought it would and I have periods where I am really tired and just want to sleep. I thought last week that I was ill or something because I just felt like I could fall asleep anywhere.  That said, I think it's a really good thing that I have this responsibility and that am interacting with them both on a daily basis and wouldn't want it any other way.  I am sure that if I wasn't looking after them on a fulltime basis, that I would degenerate into a doddering old wrinkly person.   Ewan has me doing all sorts of crazy things on a daily basis and I often laugh to myself at how vital and energised he can make me feel.   Just this morning he decided that I had to show him how the inside of cars work. No problem - so I had to lift up the thingie that sits on top of the inside of the car that makes it goes fast ... and show him inside.  'Wow!' he said when I lifted the bonnet,  'Where's the long thingie nana, that you pull out ...' he was talking about the oil level thingie of course.

I think that I am happy.  I know that there are things I am not happy ABOUT but I can't change some things, so just have to get on with it. Are we ever really blissfully happy? Is there such a thing even?  I go through periods of hazy contentedness - almost like I'm on some hippy mind-numbing trip. Then I am slightly depressed at not being able to share in some event/ occasion/emotion that is happening back in SA with my other family.  Then I shrug my shoulders, speak to them on Whatsapp, Skype or XKinect and feel a bit better ... until the next time.  My youngest son stated that he was missing out on the children growing up and he felt very sad about that - which in turn made me feel sad, guilty, angry and sad again  - all at the same time.  We have done the best thing by coming here to the UK, the small niggly little things that aren't so great about the UK don't matter in the big scheme of things because the positives far outweigh any negativity.

In a couple of months my second grandson will arrive ... my son and his wife have chosen names for him already (well they had done before we left SA!) ... but I won't type his name out until after he is born, I'm superstitious of that type of shit.
I know that's going to be hard (i.e. not being there when he's born) ... but hopefully I will be able to see him in December and then after that I'll be his 'virtual nana' - I think that's rather fitting (considering he's my eldest son's child - and my eldest son, as we all know is an IT geek of note) and pretty cool actually.