Self Portrait in coloured pencil

Friday, 14 July 2017



It has been another difficult week. 

There is a belief that when one tries to do something valuable or important, obstacles arise. 
I thought that my badly bruised knee was bad enough but it has not healed as quickly as I expected because of misbehaving cats. 

Life normally has a gentle routine of painting and drawing during the day, interspersed with taking care of the animals. I have two dogs and three cats. 
The dogs are well behaved except when our friend Annette, visits. Then it is playtime and treat time. Annette thinks they are badly behaved with visitors but they know she is the only person with a pocket full of treats. 
Cat number one, Pumpkin, is best described as a "gentleman". He has impeccable manners and has the run of the house. I don't let him out. He is old now 
Cat number two, Fliss, is in the photo above with Bryn. I had her from a kitten and taught her to pay attention to me but I don't trust her to be left loose unsupervised, so she is shut in the spare room when I am working and at night.
Cat number three, Jet, is a rescue. He is feisty. He is opinionated. He has teeth and claws and is willing to use them. I can't work with him around. He sits on anything I am doing. This week he decided he will go to bed when he wants to and I have been kept busy stroking him for hours which has been stressful for my knee. And tiring. I have been getting to bed very late and I haven't got much work done. 

Last night Jet refused to be put to bed at all. I don't know where he decided to sleep eventually. He certainly spent hours outside my bedroom door making strange noises. As I expected, when I got up he was desperate for the litter tray which is in the spare room. He was probably very hungry too. I took the opportunity to shut him in for the day. 
Fliss was loose in the studio today. She was interested in the palette of oil paint. I was interested in keeping her tail out of the paint but I did get some work done. I had to scrape some cat hair off the painting. Luckily it wasn't a delicate piece of brushwork. 

This week I bought myself two more ceramic palettes with lids so I could work on three paintings at once. I like ceramic palettes more than any other kind. The paint doesn't dry so quickly or hard on them and they are very easy to clean. They each live in their own air tight food storage box. These boxes are also cat proof. 

Next Friday is the Private View of the Dufton "Art in the Hills" exhibition so I will be late writing my blog. I will take photos. The three portraits that I am struggling to finish despite knee and cats are to be in the exhibition. I have to finish them by Wednesday morning when a fellow exhibitor (and good friend) will pick them up from me to deliver them to the Dufton village hall. 

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