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!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year music!

Well, not specifically 'new year', but I just found that a friend of my brother's has uploaded a couple of videos to YouTube of Roddy singing with a friend, and as I'm very proud of my very talented 'little' bro', I couldn't wait to share.  He's one of those incredibly annoying people who can pick up any instrument and play it after about half an hour.  He learnt a bit of guitar at school, then gave it up, then picked it up again a few years later, and taught himself to play.  He also learnt to play the drums (thanks to dad), learnt to play keyboards (with a wee bit of help from yours truly when I was about 16 and he was about 12...I showed him some basic chords), bought himself a mandolin so now plays that, has been known to get quite a decent sound out of my flute (poor old neglected thing that it is...4 years tuition at school and I've barely played it since), plays the 'bush sax', and has lately added the cello to the mix.  These are a couple of videos of rehearsals, working out harmonies and playing around, so a bit rough, but this is just the tip of the iceberg of what he can do (do I sound like an indulgent big sister?!)  He's composed music for stage and writes songs...and is also a very talented actor.  And he can bloody draw as well...not fair!!! ;-)

Sigh!!! If only he didn't live on the other side of the country now!
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