Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January... the month when I really need to just accept that I'm not going to get anything much done, and get over it!  With the madness of Christmas over, I always have this silly idea that I'll be able to get cracking on some creative stuff.  But with January comes the searing heat that just seems to suck all my energy, and makes it impossible to spend much time outside, and school holidays don't end until the beginning of February.  So much of my time is spent trying to keep munchkins amused indoors, while simultaneously trying to limit the time spent in front of the TV.  And get the housework done!

So that's my excuse anyway...for the 3 week long lack of posting.

So we've been out and about, finding some cool refuge in the movie theatres and galleries.

We went to see 'Tin Tin', and enjoyed it immensely (I think it was Beloved who really wanted to see it though, being a longtime fan of the comics).

We went to the Art Gallery of Western Australia to see the 'Princely Treasures' exhibition, of marvelous pieces from the V&A in London.  I bought the girls a 3/4 size guitar for Christmas and have been teaching them some VERY basic basics, so they were rather fascinated with this piece.
Joachim Tielke Guitar, Hamburg 1693.

We read 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' a few months ago, so were very excited about seeing the movie 'Hugo'.  It was extraordinary (though a little long for smallest), filled with wonderful original footage of some of the oldest films.  A remarkable film, it was actually worth seeing it in 3D (usually just bothers the heck out of me), and I'd like to see it again.  Though biggest decided that actually, the book was better.

The next day, we went down to Spare Parts Puppet Theatre again, to see Shaun Tan's 'Arrival'.  Something I didn't realise, is that Spare Parts developed this production in collaboration with Shaun, while he was still creating the book, and the production actually opened before the book was published!  A beautifully made piece of theatre, without a single word of dialogue, and without needing one.  If you haven't seen the book, it's a masterpiece, so go out and find it.  

I don't usually make new year's resolutions, I know myself too well and it never works.  But I've made a sort of do more sketching.  It's something I just don't do enough of, I've completely got out of the habit over the years.  So I'm trying to do a sketch of something every couple of days, and to try NOT to care what it is, or how it turns out.  It's the doing that matters.  We took the girls to Kings Park on Sunday afternoon (when it was actually overcast and blessedly cool) and as they played at 'Dinosaur Park', I sat and sketched a tree.  I decided to do it in pen rather than pencil, to deter myself from getting the urge to 'rub out' any bits I don't like.

Today the girls and I went into Perth on the train to see the 'Extraordinary Stories from the British Museum' exhibition at the WA Museum.  Only a tiny fraction of what is actually in the British Museum in London (I spent a day there about 20 years ago and would have been quite happy to camp there for a week) but I was very excited to actually see this in the flesh (so to speak) after seeing pictures of it for years.

Biggest munchkin was very taken with the Queen from the Lewis chess set, as she started learning to play chess in 'clubs' time at school last term, and got a little chess set for Christmas (I probably shouldn't admit that she can beat me!)

After we finished looking at that, we went down to sit in the lovely new, light and airy and COOL main foyer, and all did some sketching of the replica dinosaur the towers over the seats there.  With my sort-of-resolution in mind, I thought the museum would be a great place to do a bit of sketching, and the girls were keen to join in, so we took pencils and sketch books with us.  I think we should make it a regular thing, as there's so much to draw, and being able to walk around a stuffed bison or deer, or look at a dinosaur skull from different angles, draw skeletons or fossils or birds in flight, would be marvelous practice.
My dinosaur foot...again with a pen so I can't rub out 'mistakes'.

Biggest munchkin's dinosaur sketch.  She was a bit confused and thought that everything in the museum had come from the British Museum!

The Lewis Chess queen.  Now if any of you with sharp eyes and photographic memories are wondering why she's holding her left hand up to her face in the drawing, when the actual chess piece is resting her face on her right hand, it's because Biggest munchkin was actually drawing it from the poster hung up on the window and facing outwards.  So a reverse image.

Littlest did a couple of great sketches of the dinosaur heads, and the foot as well, but she's off to stay with her grandies tonight, and took her sketch book with her to show them, so I couldn't scan them in.

Phew!  This weekend, we have Beloved's best mate, and my in-laws coming to stay.  

I think I shall spend the first day of school (Wednesday next week) on the couch with my feet up and an iced tea balanced on my belly!


Julia Kelly said...

You might not of gotten everything done in the studio you wanted- but time with the kiddos is what really matters- I do know what your mean about resolutions- my only one is do more art!

Jess said...

Great sketches! That was one of my new year promises, I'm just a bit delayed that's all!
I love to see beautiful musical intruments such as that guitar. I'm going to see some in Oxford on saturday, I'm very excited about that.
I've seen the film Hugo too and I loved it. The way it was filmed was wonderful, I could watch it all again!
Jess xx

Windsongs and Wordhoards said...

Blimey you've had a busy time! Wow, I'd love to see the Snettisham torc up close, and the Lewis Chessmen!
I've always loved the story of how they were found, with the digger running terrified that he'd disturbed a Sidhe Mound when he saw the baleful faces staring out... Superstition runs deep I guess.
I keep meaning to try and go to the British Museum, I would love it so much but I'm so scaredy of travelling to London. Perhaps by the time I get round to going, the Torc will be back again...
Great sketches by all of you, something I too must endeavor to do a lot more of!
Carrie... :)

Mo Crow said...

good to see your new sketches Christina & girls! Shaun Tan is my hero (my best treasure is a beautifully signed copy of Tales from Outer Suburbia with a tiny illustration he did right before my eyes) & we loved Hugo in 3D too, interesting that your munchkin thought the book was better will have to have a look!!

Charlotte said...

Even though you have the heat you have had some adventures. We share a similar taste in films and objects.

I am teaching the kids at school about Anglo Saxon Europe at the moment, so we are writing a play version of Beowulf, Illuminating letters and learning about one of my favourite periods of Invasion history.

Love the drawings, the skill runs in the family.

Ms. said...

What a fertile account...I had such enjoyment of it...the sketches are brilliant--the dragons foot sublime (and you know the dragon is Jude's newest 'beast'). This time with kiddos has been very well worth it for all of you I suspect, and for all of us out here no doubt. Thanks for this wonderful post.

PS I am slated to see HUGO with a friend February 1st (been wanting to)--Now I want to read the book!

Valerianna said...

Goodness! Talk about a full-on January!! Sounds inspiring, beautiful and HOT. I'm with you, I melt. We are having winter, then spring, then winter weather here. I LOVE your tree drawing - the way the lines find the contours and describe the form in an exploratory way. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your sketches, wonderful!

herhimnbryn said...

Don't children take us to wonderful places?

Are you coping with the heat? My studio is like an oven, so I have left it to bake!

Barry said...

MIA _ I agree with VA - your month seems incredibly full; but love that you have set yourself the sketching goal - very portable art form - bit like iPhoneography. Go well. B

Beth Niquette said...

Wow--what a great blog! I love your drawings, was fascinated to read about your life.

It is cold and raining where I am. Sometimes the cold does the same thing the heat does--just drains the creativity away.

Take care and have a lovely week!

Ruthie Redden said...

All the delicious things you guys have been doing sound like perfectly good enough reasons to not be posting ;-) Mr O so wants to go see Tin Tin too, especially as Poppy is a wire fox terrier just like Snowy.
The V&A has to be one of my most fave places I could happily get lost there for days, haven't been for years, Im like Carrie a bit scared of going alone!

I love that you are doing more sketching, do you find you are more likely to just “go for it” when you use pen instead ? I so need & want to do some sketching too, though I am at last going to life drawing, have been for a few months now, and loving it!

Angharad Barlow said...

Phew....your January sounds like mine, I had left both Jan and Feb clear to concentrate on my own projects in the studio and here is half term already and i haven't stitched a single thing of my own! Sub zero temperatures and frozen fingers doesn't help but lovely to read and imagine such hot sunshine. :)

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