Figures of Fun

Have you been watching The Big Painting Challenge? This week the artists were concentrating on painting the human form. Ten year old Waif was inspired to get out his artist’s mannequin and begin sketching:


I thought it looked like fun so I had a go too:


Next step, to try some real life figures I suppose!

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Prompt60 #3 Green

prompt 60 #3 full spread

prompt 60 #3 lhs

prompt 60 #3 rhs

This journal page is my response to Daisy Yellow’s Prompt60 #3, which was about creating a collage around the colour of green and baring in mind the principles of book page design. You can read the full information about the prompt here.

I enjoyed pulling together lots of green ephemera. In fact, I discovered that a large proportion of bits and pieces that I had saved in my collage box were green, so I guess I am drawn to the colour. The chap on the right hand page is Milarepa, an ancient Tibetan yogi and poet. He is sometimes referred to as the “Green Yogi” as it is told that, after subsisting on a diet of nothing but nettles, his skin turned green “and even the hairs on his head became bristly and green.”

After making the collage, the prompt suggested journalling some words in the margins. I feel my words may owe some explanation! I am reading Norman Fischer’s “Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong“. Lojong is a Tibetan Buddhist practice, training in generating compassion and wisdom with the help of short slogans. The first slogan is “Train in the Preliminaries”. Fischer suggests this can be interpreted in three main ways:

1. Recognising that regardless of what has happened in your life and why, it is your life and you are the only one equipped to deal with it.
2. Practice meditation. Daily if possible!
3. Follow the traditional set of reflections – I have written these around the edges of the right hand page. (The rarity and preciousness of human life; the absolute inevitability of death; the awesome and indelible power of our actions; the incapability of suffering)

One of the questions he suggests asking of yourself has really struck me and that is “Am I a force for good in the world?” and this I have written in the bottom right hand corner.

I hope this goes some way to explaining the possibly slightly unusual (and some might consider, morbid) phrases in my journal page!

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Prompt60 #2 Teeny Tiny Doodle Mandala

I need something to reignite my creative flame!

What better place to find inspiration than with the lovely Tammy over at Daisy Yellow? Tammy is putting together 60 prompts that she says will “challenge you with sparks, ideas & quotes

The first prompt was to simply start a documentation notebook. I have started my notebook with this prompt #2 which was to create a teeny tiny doodle mandala (instructions here). It was great fun!

prompt60 #2

Better still, 10 year old Waif joined me and did one too:

prompt60 #2 doodle mandala

Obviously when you are a 10 year old boy, skulls and radiation symbols figure heavily in your doodles :-)

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Listen to the Ear(th)?

The assignment: to draw something beginning with the letter “E”.

I like how the scale is from one extreme to another.

I also like how we could make the metaphor “listen to the earth”…

Here’s my drawing of an ear:

beginning with e - v

And Waif’s drawing of the Earth:

beginning with e - r

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Foolish Houses?

I love this whimsical little drawing by Waif (10). Though perhaps we need to revisit the teaching re wise men and foolish men’s house building habits?

whimsical scene by Waif (10)

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Down on the Farm

This week’s theme for Sketch Tuesday was “farm”. If I had a farm, I would definitely keep goats. They are much more interesting than cows or pigs. And well, I do like a bit of goat’s cheese on my salad :-)

farm - v

Waif thinks a tractor would be a fine addition to the farm:

farm - r

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And Sewing Too…

Slowly, slowly, slowly, my creative mojo returns.

I made this cushion cover using some lovely batiks my sister bought me last year, and my favourite “liberated log cabin” technique. In fact, I was so liberated that I didn’t even rotary cut the strips, I just tore them! Quite cathartic and slightly terrifying.

batik cushion

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Care to Join Us?

It’s been…[cough]…a while since I posted here. I’m not sure if I will have any readers left. But if you are here, perhaps you would care to join me for a nice cup of tea?

drink - v

Or maybe you’d prefer a hot chocolate? With marshmallows, no less.

drink - r

Yes, this week’s Sketch Tuesday assignment was to draw something you drink. How did you guess?

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This week’s Sketch Tuesday assignment – to draw something orange. Like Mr Crabby, the bath toy:

orange - v

Or a Lynx bottle (yes, there is a teenage boy in the household ;-)) and a Vitamin C container:

orange - r

And to update those that asked, Gman is getting on fine at school so far…he’s especially enjoying Geography, Maths and PE lessons :-)

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This week’s Sketch Tuesday assignment was to draw something with batteries. Having been woken in the night by the smoke alarm battery-low warning beep, this seemed the obvious choice for me:

batteries - v

Waif likes drawing things with lots of buttons so he went with a remote control:

batteries - r

Observant readers might notice that there is no sketch from Gman this week. That’s because of this:


Yep, after six years of home education, Gman has chosen to return to school. Six years ago, I thought that taking Gman out of school was one of the most terrifying things I had ever done. Six years later, I feel as though sending him back to school is one of the most terrifying things I have ever done! It’s funny how things go. For the last week, I have had a David Bowie earworm: ch-ch-ch-changes. I think it’s only fair to inflict it on share it with you:

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