It's been a Bad, Bad Winter, Charlie Brown

I learned that I was fooling myself to think I was getting used to living with depression, so I'm back to the drawing board, with new books and plans to read up and approach my GP more intelligently. But I have a group of friends with different knowledge and experiences (or lack thereof) with depression which has been a blessing. So though it's nearly the end of July, there's very little to show for in what I've managed to get done this year.

Stash Room: The new bookshelf will be secured this weekend, so I can sort books and sketchbooks on the weekend, but the hardware store hasn't gotten back about the shelving parts, so I'm not sure about the rest of the stuff. We might move everything into the stash room and move the bed back into the bedroom because I am throughly sick of sleeping in the living room, cold or not.

Figure/Life Drawing: Term III resumes tomorrow. We have to submit one piece for the exhibition, signed and all, and I spent the day looking at everything I drew since the start of this year. I still like the extreme close-ups and will choose one of these.

Of interest to me is the contrast of the two B/W works; the larger one I did first; I worked with willow charcoal on gesso, which after a certain point starts to rub off, so I applied pit charcoal for darker areas, and white pastel and eraser for the lighter areas. Because I was learning as I went, it exudes an unexpected wild energy. When I drew the smaller, rectangular piece a week later, I knew which media I could use and what effect I can expect, and unintentionally the outcome, well, came out smoother and more polished. I like the wild one better, I think, which is strange because I like polished-looking textiles. With drawing, I have no preconceived goal or expectations, and I love the unexpected and I don't feel responsible when the work is "bad". Which is probably why I've felt more enthusiastic about drawing than weaving for a while.

But my favorite is the yellow neck - that would suit the new stash room well!

Weaving: Yes, I have been, more or less to supply the galleries and to finish off long-suffering warps that have sat on the looms for upwards of 10 months. And I have a few more to go.

Design Studies: the book is much easier to read than expected, but because I've been concentrating on the stash room and finishing warps, I've not made a serious effort. Embarrassingly little in fact, except reading and taking notes, as I've had to report back to Ali this morning.

Miscellaneous: Back in May when we were in Wellington, I found a book on French design motifs with loads of visual and very little writing; what little it had was on Rococo. I wanted it but didn't think I could afford it so I didn't get it. Last week I couldn't stop thinking about the information and inspiration that must be packed in the not-so-large volume, it so I contacted Unity; I couldn't remember the name of the book nor the author nor the publisher, but I knew the price and could describe it and knew exactly where in the shop it was. Well, they had every staff on a lookout for a week but couldn't find it.

Yesterday when I was waiting for the museum shop to open, I came across Australian Vogue Living magazine's May/June collector's edition issue and it had loads of photographs of the kind of motifs I was after so I rushed to the magazine shop, then to the bookshops, but to no avail. I asked the cafe owner if I could buy it when they decided their copy became too old, and she might let me have it if none of the staff wanted it. I've googled about back issues all morning, but haven't found the right url. If you have a chance, have a look at the Australian Vogue Living and Vogue Travel and Entertainment; they are beautiful and have lots of photographs you might be able to use as a design starting point. Or just nice pics to stick on your fridge.

When I delivered the scarves at the museum shop, Andrea asked me to be on the lookout for certain textiles at charity/op shops. Op shop peeking is something I've started recently, partially because I'm strapped for disposable income, but partially because friends have found terrific material to rip and paint and sew to make amazing creations from their finds. I didn't find what Andrea wanted, but for NZ$2, I got these six pieces of upholstery fabric samples; they're too small for cushions, but I'm tempted to do something more than just putting them on my bulletin/cork board.

Money: I mention this only so we can laugh together. After finally paying off the renovation, Ben needed his first multi-focal eye glasses, and the car needed new transmission. I might need a new pair of glasses, too. He also has so many holiday days left over and since we haven't had an alone-together holiday since 2003, we'll probably go on a South Island road trip in early spring. Yes, we worry about the money, but boy, we can use some R&R.


  1. Australian Vogue Living et al sound like mags I'd love to get my hands on for collage! It's hard to find good mags here -- I try to get them used because the good ones are unbelievably expensive -- we've got too many consumer oriented publications with too many ads, etc. So enjoy the good ones!

  2. Oh, for collage purposes, may I humbly recommend NZ's own Dish magazine also for food pics? More ads than previously found, but still, it has spectacular photography. And good recipes, I think, but I get it for the pics...

  3. Oh, Connie, another Aussie magazine I would love for you to have a look at, if you could find a copy, is Craft Arts International. http://www.craftarts.com.au/ I love it as much as I love Ornament, but it's not cheap, so you're best to track an old copy. It's more varied, but the photographs are spectacular.

    NZ art tends to be either very conservative or VERY out there, with not a lot of "beautiful"-ness I like, so I'm not a fan of NZ art magazines for the photographs, but NZ House and Garden has some nice pics.

    If you lived near here, I could give you a few boxes of old garden mags - I have a decade's worth of NZ Gardener I'm going to give to charity.


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