Saturday 29 January 2022

studio, sketches, and a lizard

Hello everyone, 
WOW! February is just around the corner — this year is already moving fast. 
I've only managed a couple of sketches since my last post. 
A pelican sketched in ink from my own reference photo. Sorry it's a bit blurry. It was taken in the early morning, still dark outside, so lighting wasn't the best.

Second sketch was of my cat mug which I have in my studio. It holds all the brushes and combs for Kya and Teenie. It usually holds more than 2 items but the rest is currently in the laundry where I normally do the grooming. 
This one was done using graphite, watercolour, and a bit of white gouache.
Speaking of my studio, we changed the new layout a little bit more. We turned the end desk so it was right angled to form a U-shape to the studio. I loved it before but I love it even more now.

Kya wondered what was going on

 but approved the change
Yesterday, I heard some hissing coming from our front entrance. I checked it out and found a poor blue-tongued lizard being pecked at by a young adult magpie. As much as I like magpies, I couldn't allow her to be pecked to death so, I shooed the magpie away, grabbed a cardboard box, and managed to get her into it. While blue-tongued lizards aren't aggressive, they have been known to bite if they feel threatened and she was already stressed enough from the magpie attack. She was approximately 15" in length.
I released her into our front garden where she had plenty of plant cover to hide and recover from her ordeal. I did try to get a photo of her blue tongue which she popped out here and there but I kept missing the moment. After posing for a few snaps, she moved off under the protection of the ground plants where I hope she remains safe. As for gender, she could well be a he — I did research it but it's not easy to tell, however, I felt it could be female. That said, I'm certainly no expert.

By the way, last week, I attempted to comment on several of my friends' blogs and Blogger wouldn't do anything at all when I hit the Publish comment button. So frustrating! I hope they've sorted it now.
That wraps up my post for today. I hope you are all enjoying a lovely weekend. 
Love, Light and Peace

Wednesday 12 January 2022

covid update and drawings

Another week has passed and things are getting even scarier around here re. Covid. It has felt very surreal to me because Queensland had barely been touched by Covid since the initial outbreak. Border closures and lock-downs prevented spread but, since vaccinations hit 87% double vaccinated, the government opened up and now it's been mayhem. Infections continue to rise daily although I do believe the data shows vaccinations have helped to keep many from needing hospitalisation or ending up in ICU.

Current Queensland Covid stats  — 

New cases over the last 24 hours - 20,566
Active cases - 109,524
Current Covid hospitalisations - 502
Currently in ICU with Covid - 27
Lives lost to Covid over the last 24 hours - 1 
Compared to other areas, those figures are small, but after being used to 0 to 3 cases a day, that's staggering to me.

We had our own scare a week ago when my son's girlfriend's mother got quite sick and they suspected Covid. They had to go to a drive-through testing centre.

As Aaron is a close contact, he had to get a test done too. The testing centres don't open until 8am but you have to get there very early if you want to get through and not be turned away. We arrived at 7am and we were the last car. An hour and a half later, the queue hadn't budged so we decided to go home and come back the following day, extra early, and more prepared.

I was up at 2am the next morning to have a coffee and get ready. We arrived at the testing centre while it was still dark, just before 4am, and the queue was already well under way. Crazy! At least we were in the front section of the queue. It was a long 4 hour wait until they opened so I managed to do a fair bit of reading on my Kindle. It was a sheer miracle that my bladder behaved itself in all that time. To be honest, I had been quite worried about how I'd manage in that regard. The queue snaked around through several suburban streets so it wasn't like Public Amenities were available. It was a relief to get back home I can tell you.
Anyhow, Aaron and I were both tested. I'd had a sore throat and headaches for a few days prior, so I decided to do the test while the opportunity was there.  The results came back 36 hours later - NEGATIVE for both of us. Phew!  Aaron's girlfriend also got a negative result but her poor Mum tested Positive. They are both vaccinated and she is doing okay all considered. I do wonder if his girlfriend will test positive on her next test considering she and her Mum were in her car for around 3 hours the day they got tested. Hope not...


I have been doing some drawings but I ditched the 365 day challenge — no surprise there, I guess. I didn't expect to ditch it so soon but, in fairness, I had signed up on the spur of the moment when one of my Instagram art friends talked about doing the challenge. With crazy days on a personal level, it didn't take long for me to feel too pressured by the challenge. I have a hard time doing basic sketches due to my need for detail and realism so my drawings were requiring more than one day to complete. 
The good news is that it has motivated me to draw more frequently so that's a plus, at least. 
Nearly ten years ago, my daughter used to make raggedy dolls, all unique in their own right. This particular one was gifted to my Mum but recently, due to Mum's circumstances, this gorgeous dolly found her way to me. Ann has now joined the raggedly doll clan here. Michelle did make one for my Dad too which she had crafted to be a little fisherman being that my Dad was big into fly-fishing at the time. I have Dad's doll too which may make an appearance in a drawing at a later date.
And the completed drawing below — the hair and the chequered pattern made me a little googly-eyed at times.

I find that my biggest procrastination on doing daily drawings is actually the time wasted on deciding on what to draw. I dilly-dallied over the next subject for most of the following day and ended up drawing him later in the evening. I do prefer to draw/paint in the daylight hours. I found the reference image for this little guy on Wikimedia Commons, with a Creative Commons 3.0 licence. Thanks to Jürgen Schoner for the wonderful and very clear reference image which can be seen HERE.
Work in progress

 Completed snail. 

Yesterday, I completed this Buddha drawing. My wooden Buddha has been the subject for quite a few of my sketches over the years. He has had many real transformations too — from dark stained brown with gold accents to turquoise, then to a soft aqua, and now a light to mid grey. 

I might do some watercolour sketches next so stay tuned. 

On another note, I came across this on another friend's blog and thought it may appeal to someone. The first four words you see are your Focus for the year. 
Mine were Connections, Lessons, Strength, and Gratitude. 
Feel free to list your words in the comment section. 

 Oh, and a play on words you might find funny, if not a little concerning. hehe

Love, Light and Peace to All xx

Tuesday 4 January 2022

happy new year and some daily sketches

I hope you all had a nice New Year's Eve! It was fairly quiet here. After a yummy vegan dinner, we played cards — 5 Crowns.  Then we ended up watching my favourite Narnia movie — The Dawn Treader. It finished not long before it was time to ring in the New Year. Brad and I did break with our tradition of staying up all night and ended up going to bed around 1am. However, we were back up at 3:30am to greet the first dawn of 2022.
Towards the end of December 2021, my art studio had yet another refresh. It went from this  —

To this —

We moved one of the tables that were in the centre of the room over to the wall. So I have an extended surface space to work on.  As we had two sliding doors adjacent to each other in the living area, we decided to treat the one in my studio as though it were a wall. I love the new layout. It works so much better for me.

I think this studio refresh motivated me to attempt another 365 Day challenge. So the plan is to sketch daily. This can mean a sketch done in graphite, charcoal, ink or watercolour.  I won't be posting daily here but I have been posting daily over on Instagram, so far. I plan to blog my sketches here every few days or once a week. 

So here is Day 1 — A fake rubber tree plant

I'm not afraid to admit that I nearly fizzled out on the first day of the challenge. I was feeling so tired from the late night and lack of sleep. I'd even gone off to bed BUT thoughts of the challenge gnawed at me until I grabbed my sketchbook and, from my bed, sketched the fake rubber tree plant in my room. 

Day 2 — A toy giraffe which is actually one of the dogs' toys
Sketched while sitting in the lounge-room
Day 3 — Weights

I find it hard deciding on what to sketch each day. Yesterday (3rd), after much procrastination, I settled on a pair of my weights. I plan to actually use them this year. lol 

And that's it for now. I haven't settled on a subject for today's sketch yet. Wish me luck...
An quick update on my Mum - The Aged Care Home, along with over 10 others, is now in Lockdown. Apparently, a fully-vaccinated staff member tested positive for Covid as well as a resident who caught it in hospital and tested positive after returning to the Home. This means that we are not allowed to visit Mum until further notice. Thank goodness for her iPad as it's Mum's connection to us. We message frequently. She tells me that residents are confined to their rooms, close contact staff are wearing hazmat-style protective gear, and they are taking her temperature frequently. I'm glad to hear they are taking it seriously.

Australia, particularly Queensland, had been doing so well until they opened the borders, State and International. Currently, Queensland is 86.6% fully vaccinated which helps to prevent a Covid infection becoming life-threatening but there are those of us who are vulnerable and have underlying health conditions.
Prior to our borders opening, Queensland had 0 to 5 cases daily whereas NOW, we just had 4,249 new cases in the last 24 hours and 487 of those are in Metro South, my region.  Those numbers will continue to grow. Currently there are 10 people in ICU in Queensland.

New South Wales just hit a record 24hr case total of 23,131 while Victoria hit 14,020 new daily cases. 

We just had a man in his 30's die from suspected Covid in his home at the Gold Coast. Things are getting scary for us! I wish they'd kept our borders closed. Life was fairly safe and normal for us until they opened the borders. I'll feel better when my sons and I have our boosters. I worry about my kids in the workplace and being exposed to it.

I hope you all stay safe and well.

Love, Light and Peace