Z plans frivolity

I wrote a long post, but I’ve just saved it as a draft. It isn’t ready to be posted, which probably means it won’t be at all. But that leaves me without anything. Time was when I could be amusing about nothing at all, I wonder what happened to that part of me and whether it will ever return. I’d like to be frivolous.

I can still be daft, though. Yesterday, I took it upon myself to order a drinking fountain for the cat. It’s basically a bowl, with a reservoir, so the water runs continuously and it apparently encourages the cat to drink more. We will see. If it doesn’t enthral Eloise, I will have wasted £22, but I hope she will love it. I live to serve the cat, basically.

I’ve also ordered something for myself, but I had to look it up to remember – it’s a book about oil painting. I’m still very anxious to find a new hobby and I fancy a messy one. I suspect it will come to not much, but there’s no harm in hoping. I’ve admitted my ambition to Rose and she’s promised to let me loose in her studio. What the hell. Let’s have fun.

10 comments on “Z plans frivolity

  1. Blue Witch

    I have too many hobbies and I enjoy them all, there are just simply not enough hours in the day!

    I honestly don’t think you (anyone) can learn art from a book. It’s too boring, too constraining and not inspiring. Plus one gets hung up on details of technique and subject which are not where someone looking for a new hobby should start. Remember the drawing from a book that you tried?

    There are lots of artists who offer inspirational and stimulating free online courses (usually as a pull-in to further paid courses) but you have (unfortunately) just missed 2 exceptional ones that are held annually that I would thoroughly recommend (having dipped into both in the past): Karen Abend and Louise Fletcher. Worth Googling them and looking at their stuff. They are not about learning techniques and producing finished works per se, but about freeing up and finding your creativity and artistic voice.

    Good luck with it.

    1. Z Post author

      The drawing from a book was more successful than I’d expected, in fact. That I managed anything at all was an achievement – and it was during lockdown, when I couldn’t have taken classes if I’d wanted to. I was so anxious about Tim’s health that I didn’t have the concentration for the work involved, but drawing something that had some similarity to the object was more than I’d ever expected myself to do. I don’t expect to be able to learn to paint from a book, that would be unreasonable of me, but I literally know nothing. If one does know a lot, it’s hard to appreciate how totally ignorant someone can be. That the writer explains how to hold a brush is genuinely useful. She tells you why something is done in a particular way, like preparing a canvas or how to remove (or paint over) a mistake, the sort of thing one can learn from a book. I’m not so interested in techniques, I’m not sure that I want to spend hours learning how to paint a landscape badly, when I just want to lose myself in an activity for a few hours.

  2. 63mago

    I have no idea about oil painting, sorry. In earlier times (before camera in everybody’s hand) there were water colours for taking a “snap”, a sketch, mixed technique with drawing by pencil, then colouring, or going into the adventurous world of colour itself. I vaguely remember an exhibition not so long ago … wait …. here – just something that came to mind, sorry.

    1. Z Post author

      I’ve no idea either, but watercolours seem too much like hard work. I can slap the oils around and pretend it’s what I meant to happen. Lovely exhibition, Cotman was a Norfolk artist and his paintings are in Norwich museum. Also not far from Constable country (which is near where dear Mike – the Armoury – lives … Mike isn’t in great health now, but I hope to visit him and Ann soon).

  3. Blue Witch

    I’ve just found that the Louise Fletcher ‘Find Your Joy’ 8 day free online course – which covers exactly what you’re looking for I think – starts on May 20th. You haven’t missed it!

    It’s all about slapping paint around, working quickly, having fun, and spending some time ever day doing it. You probably need to have a couple of hours a day to do it properly, but you can just dip into the bits you want to, or joinin when you have time.

    Sign up here: https://www.louisefletcherart.com/find-your-joy
    I find the website is a bit naff – style over substance and it all jumps around annoyingly. But then I don’t like modern :).

    You don’t need all the things on her materials list (as she says – believe her!), but I think you’ll need acrylics (nice and cheap in The Works) not oils. Oils are the hardest paints to work with as they take so long to dry and most of them smell.

    1. Z Post author

      Thank you, darling, very kind to go to the trouble. I’ve signed up, though I’ll have to catch up later as I’m in Kent next weekend. I feel anxious already. But it’s necessary to push myself to try new things and not be afraid when there’s nothing to be afraid of.

  4. Blue Witch

    The first time I tried to do it, maybe 4 years ago now, I got far too hung up on doing it properly and doing every bit, and getting out all the right things before I started.

    After that experience, I just dip in when I can and although it’s the same kind of format every year, I always learn something. just play, and believe what she says. I think there is a FB group too which might give you some more inspiration.

    And if it doesn’t work for you this year, try again next year! She seems to run it every year.

    Good luck!


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