Monday, 29 September 2014

Elder care and a new sketch challenge

Since I last posted, we managed to find a placement for Dad in a Nursing Home.  I've been taking Mum up to see him almost daily so my days have been quite full with little time for much else.  When I do get days to myself,  I'm usually catching up with housework, etc.  There were some very emotional days once we settled Dad into his room at the Home. Dad seemed so sad. Mum and I even brought him back to his own home for a couple of days thinking we'd made a mistake but, after only one night, Mum quickly realised that she was unable to cope with Dad's high needs care.  Dad will have been a resident of the Home for four weeks come Wednesday and he does seem to be more settled now.  They have activities daily for the dementia pod and it makes us happy to see Dad included in these as he has never been a mixer.  He waves hello to staff and other residents; some of the staff even get hugs.  Of course, I'm sure he will still have his down days but, for the most part, things seem to be going well.

Beau (#2 son), Dad, Bradley (#1 son), and my Mum.

Believe it or not, in just under two weeks of being in the Home, Dad was whisked off to hospital and ended up with a cast on his forearm due to a suspected broken wrist from one of his many falls.  Yes, he's had quite a few falls at the Home but we're not surprised. Dad is a very high falls risk.   As soon as he stands up, he's at risk of falling due to his stroke-affected side so, no, we don't blame the Home. He had many falls even before he went into the Home. The staff can't be with him 24 hours a day as they have other residents to care for too.  I can say that they are doing everything they can to prevent or lessen the amount of falls he does have.  A sensor mat on the floor by his bed, adjusting his bed height so it's lower to the ground making it impossible for him to stand up from the bed without assistance, and keeping his walker out of sight are three of the main ones.  While a walker aid may be great for some, it's a danger for Dad unless he has someone assisting him.  If Dad sees the walker, he tries to get to it because he thinks he can manage alone...he can't.

Me, Bradley, and two lovebirds. hehe

The Home has a cafe within the facility with a nice rockery fountain setting (seen behind me in the photo above) which I plan to sketch at a later date.  Speaking of sketching, I took on a new challenge recently....

365 days of daily sketches!

Just call me crazy!

I have been sketching but I haven't had time to transfer them all
from my camera to the computer 
and then re-size them all for uploading.
So, for now, I'll post the first 14 days of sketches. 

I sketch mostly from life, on location,
and I always sketch directly in pen,
only occasionally will I sketch from a photo.
I will also use watercolours, PRO or PITT markers,  
or more rarely, coloured pencils to finish the sketch. 
I'm currently using my quad-rule Holcroft travel sketchbook.
I'm happy to say that it seems to handle the watercolour 
reasonably well and, unless I really overwork an area, 
it does not bleed through to the other side.
I'm impressed considering the paper is recycled
and quite thin at 120gsm.

Some sketches are rushed and simple,
others more detailed. 
I sketch as time allows each day.

I must also apologise for the awful photos.
The lighting was terrible
and I just didn't have time to re-take them.

I will try to upload more over the coming days. 

I know I'm a little late but I'm linking up to Sunday Sketches 
and The Artist's Play Room for this post.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Drawing buttons

Another busy week has passed by,
with lots of visits to my Dad who is still in hospital.

Aaron (#4 son) started a new school and loves it! 
One less thing to worry about. 

During the course of the week,
I managed to find five minutes here and there, to draw some buttons.
This was homework for Andrea Joseph's klass in Sketchbook Skool.
I drew one button at a time, using various blue ballpoint pens, with no final composition in mind.
I also used a touch of coloured pencil after the main drawing was complete.

I loved Andrea's klass! 
I had drawn with ballpoint pens before 
but it was nice to focus on them once again 
using Andrea's approach. 

Linking up with Sunday Sketches and The Artist's Play Room today.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Fun with continuous line contours...

It's been a busy and emotional two weeks. 
My Dad ended up in hospital and is still there. 
His Parkinson's and physical dependency is now at the point 
where he needs 24 hour care. 
To be honest, he was at that point a year ago,
so we had to make the painful decision 
to find Dad a placement in an aged care nursing home. 
It breaks my heart but we have to put his needs first 
and we know he will get round-the-clock care in a nursing home.
We will be able to visit him regularly 
and it will be much easier for my Mum also. 
Emotions are still raw and painful;
I've shed many tears and,
no doubt, it will get worse before it gets better.
Still tons of paperwork to wade through 
and applications to lodge.


I have managed a little bit of sketching here and there. 

This jug was my first attempt at Brenda Swenson's 
We had to pick a still life subject and, with a pen only,
draw a continual line contour without lifting pen from paper.
Certainly not easy but lots of fun. 
This exercise is very good for hand-eye coordination. 
After I did the initial lined shape, 
I added some extra lines to suggest shading and shape.

In the next exercise, 
we had to do a continual line contour of, not one, 
but three still life subjects of our own choosing. 
Note, that all three subjects are connected by one continual line.
Then we added watercolour.

I plan to play a lot more with this continual line contour exercise. 
The result may be loose and wonky but I quite like that. 

I bought a couple of Schmincke metal palettes recently. 
This is the larger of the two.
I also bought empty half pans and full pans 
so I could add some of my own tube colours. 
I LOVE metal palettes!

I am linking up with Sunday Sketches and Artists Play Room today.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

A tribute sketch of an art friend

I was shocked to find out that, Jorge Royan, an art friend
 I have known for some time on Facebook passed away on the 7th August.  
He underwent what was deemed low risk surgery to replace a valve in his heart 
but, tragically, he suffered a stroke during surgery and his heart just gave out. 
He was placed on an artificial heart but it was only temporary 
as his only chance of survival was a heart transplant. 
It did not come and his body slowly shut down. 
He was only 61.

Jorge was such a kind, generous, and giving person.
He adored his family and I'm glad that he was able
to see his son graduate as a civil engineer recently. 
He was so proud as his son was continuing in his father's footsteps.

Jorge went out of his way to share his art knowledge and skills with others,
expecting nothing in return. 
He was an expert on perspective and I found his explanation very helpful 
in making the topic much easier to understand for a novice like me.

Although I never met Jorge in person,
his love of life and care for others touched me. 
He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. 

To honour his memory, 
I sketched a portrait of Jorge using a Pilot G-2 gel pen 
and a Pentel brush pen in my journal.

In memory of Jorge Royan (1952 - 2014)
May he rest in peace.

I'm linking up to Sunday Sketches HERE.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sketches, pens and pencils...

No urban sketches this week but I have been sketching other things, namely myself. 
I have fallen woefully behind with the Sketchbook Skool klasses 
so I'm desperately trying to catch up.
Back in Week 2 of this semester,
Koosje's lessons encouraged us to do some self-portraits.

I sketched this one with a Derwent coloured pencil 
while looking at my reflection in a mirror. 

A couple more sketches below.
Top right - Sketched from a photo of me using mechanical pencil.
Bottom right - A contour sketch done with a continuous line 
in pen.  We weren't allowed to lift the pen from the paper 
until the sketch was finished.  
I did mine very fast while looking in the mirror. 
I had so much fun with this particular exercise.

Jumping ahead to Week 5,
we have Andrea Joseph as our teacher.
Andrea is Queen of the Ballpoint Pen!
A quick way to loosen up -
write a favourite quote in various ballpoint pen colours.

Speaking of pens,
I wasted a lot of time the other day
searching high and low for my PITT calligraphy pens.
I eventually found them but
I realised that I needed to do something
to make it easier to find particular pens.
These are just some of my pens.

Now they are categorised into this small drawer unit
which I've yet to label but at least I now know where particular pens are
when I need them.

I still have homework to do for part of Danny Gregory's klass,
as well as for Brenda Swenson's and Cathy Johnson's klasses.
Wish me luck!

Lastly, a couple of quick pen sketches in my A6 pocket Holcroft quad-rule sketchbook.

Linking up with Sunday Sketches and Artists Play Room today.
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