Fresh, Fresh, Fresh

To the point? I had to start my art degree from the beginning. Hence, the gap between this post and the last. In the process I created a new space for my coursework – you can follow my new ‘study blog’ by clicking HERE or the using tab at the top of the page. If there’s any aspect of the restart I like, it’s probably the fact I’ve actually started a fresh learning log. I occasionally used to enjoy rambling on this side of the web and had to give brief intermission when this blog turned into a kind of coursework project. I can now return to my own art and natters once again.

I’m up late this evening. My sleep is a bit buggered after I gave work a miss today following the result of night-time nausea from 3:56am which proceeded to blanket me for most of the day.  I ended up sleeping on the couch some time in the early afternoon and awaking to an episode of Columbo. At least I feel a bit better now. I think I’m going to take a nap for a further four hours and then attempt to carry on with some productive stuff. My sleep pattern should be appropriately aligned by then and I’ll be able to post some art-related updates.

Until 4:30am it is…


Art Society

I attended my first meeting with the local Art Society yesterday evening. My previous working hours never allowed such time for regular groups or classes, evening-based or otherwise, so it was nice to finally say ‘yes’ to something I can take part in on an invariable basis. The people at the group were all so lovely and welcoming. My friend from work had joined me on my first visit and we seemed to settle in pretty quickly which was nice. On arrival I was pleasantly surprised to see another familiar face; a friend from an art class dating a couple of years back. My colleague and I joined him at the table and we all started working on our own projects. The art space was shared over two large rooms. The first room was used for the weekly demonstration -whatever that might be – and the second room, the one in which we opted to settle , was set aside for ‘doing your own thing’. I did a little work based around the ‘Don’t Remain Static’ theme I’ve been working on for a while.


I’ve promised myself I’m going to be brave next week and peruse other peoples’ work, just like some of the artists did last night, and perhaps I’ll make more of an effort to keep social. I even signed up to join them for their annual night out at a local Italian restuarant, which will be around the beginning of March. It will be cool to get to know some of the others in the group a little better. In addition to the positivity yesterday, my friend amazed me when he produced a belated birthday gift – a pack of Pigma Micron pens! Proper mint!

The eve was actually awesome and there’s a mighty chance that Monday may indeed become my favourite day of the week. For me, it’s not only time to get all dreamy with my art, but also definite time set aside to focus on my art degree.



Temporary Art

I completed the first part of my art degree, finally. I’ve not had much chance to post much about anything recently, mostly because I’ve been really busy with other projects that revolve around homelife, but also because I recently discovered House, the television series, and now I’m hooked. And probably beyond help. Pretty sure I’m due a new episode about now. Alas, I’m going to eat two-day old popcorn, nibble at some bombay mix and get going on the next exercise.

Meanwhile, you can see how my warm-up exercise went, HERE.

A degree in Fine Art

I finally enrolled on a Fine Art degree course and officially started two days ago. I already emailed my tutor and gave a brief introduction of myself and the desired outcomes I hope to expect from the programme -it’s all very exciting! I’ve been told I need to keep some kind of blog/journal to keep track of my progress – a sort of ‘learning log’ -but after much thought I’ve decided to stick with this one and just add extra menus and what not. Now I haven’t got an excuse to avoid posting. I think this blog is going to take a good turn, and there’s a chance to gain extra marks from the posts, so I guess it had better do. Of course, I will thrive on the structure of it all. Structure is always good and structure is usually secure. I noticed on Facebook yesterday that it has been exactly one year since I posted a status about wanting to start my degree in 2016, and now it’s happening.

In all the excitement, I forgot to post about the art exhibiton -It was totally ace! A really great night and quite an experience for me. I didn’t interact much with the other artists, perhaps one or two, but everybody seemed lovely. It was nice to see friends and family showing support, including some faces I hadn’t seen in a while.

Below is a photo of the work I had on display


‘Caustic Foliate’ 2016


I’m going to stick with the early morning wake-up calls and continue to be as productive as possible. I put a small sketchbook in my bag this morning. Going to attempt a sketch-a-day, even if it means a sketch on the bus to work or during my lunch hour.


Morning Productivity

I’m happy that the first day of August started on a Monday. It gives a sense of stability and pattern to the month. It puts me at ease and acts as a kind of refresher. My plan was to wake up at 6:00am everyday this month and get something done before I set out to work. I awoke at 6:00am on Monday and then 7:20am on the two days following. Tuesday and wednesday’s sleep was nice and I had some wonderful, broken dreams, but sleeping doesn’t make art, at least not in the physical sense. Today I awoke at 6:00am, again. I’ve realised that the best way to actually stay disciplined to the alarm is to promptly get out of bed the minute you here the alert. Try to ignore the cold, or dreams, or the fact that your eyes still feel heavy and just get going. So now I’m sat here now, with my Earl Grey, feeling happy that I’m already making the most of the day. It’s already been decided that today is a blogging day, so there’s no pressure to create anything on paper just yet. Boards of Canada is filling the room and I can see the rain from my window. Looks like I’ll be wearing my mac today. 

Not long until the exhibition now. I’ve recently found out that a lot people are under the impression that this is an exhibition solely consisting of my work, but I am in fact submitting only the one drawing. I’ll post details of the dates and venue when I return from work, later today. In fact, speaking of work, in some ways my new job contributes to my artistic productivity. It enables me to have a balanced sleep pattern and there are regular times I can now set aside to get things done. Like the mornings, for example. This is my plan for the month…

6:00-6:15am Wake up, make a brew.
6:15-6:25am Check online art-related mail and social networking.
6:25-7:00am Blog/Draw/Project.
7:00-7:15am Breakfast
07:15-7:30am Wash/Dress/look… presentable(?)
7:30-8:00 More art…
8:00-8:15am – set off

Hats off to the people who spend longer than fifteen minutes getting dressed and looking fancy. The truth of the matter is that even if I spent an extra half-hour doing make-up or whatever, is that I’d probably look exactly the same anyway, as I really haven’t a clue about all that malarkey. Plus, I’d rather spend that extra thirty minutes painting and making art. If I can get through the whole of August and stick to my routine, then I’ll be okay. I’ll most likely be okay anyway, but I’ll feel better about stuff. Occasionally I wonder if my blogging is procrastination in disguise. After all, wouldn’t it be better to produce a picture? Journal writing, blogging and keeping records of daily routines is something I’ve always enjoyed, so I’m going to continue being guilt-free about the whole thing. 

Don’t Remain Static

I transfered my blog from Blogspot to WordPress and now I’ve lost my stats. It’s not really important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s always nice to be reminded that somebody might be interested in your art and/or writing. And if that somebody is replaced with ‘lots of people’ then it’s even better. So now my figures are only in the hundreds instead of the thousands, but I think I’ll eventually get over it.

As the month of Februrary comes to an end, I am slowly evaluating the past 3 weeks and have come to the conclusion that it’s been time well spent. Not just in terms of creativity, but on a social and emotional level, too. March is the first month I shall officially be working four days a week, instead of five. That means I technically work part-time now, so that’s good. Not much thought has gone into how I will survive financially, but the extra day off will keep me happy and constructive. I’ve already began taking my sketchbook everywhere I go and when there’s nothing to do, there’s always something to draw.

At the start of 2016, I decided to take a different approach to my usual way of thinking in an attempt to get more things done and remain worry-free. I’m justifying anything that I might usually consider to be a risk, as being totally okay. These kind of things shall now be learning curves and experiences. I’m planning to hit this huge reset button, which is like some kind of big, red, chunky, shiny cylinder that I’ll punch when I turn thirty, so there’s not much to fret about until then because time starts again in Zara’s world.  I’m finding it easier to accept my decisons about most things and, as a result, my mind has been a lot more open and I’ve felt very happy about all the aspects of my life. Maybe when I’m thirty, I’ll create a new reset button for when I’m thirty-one, and then another for when I’m thirty-two…and so on.

I’m actually not overly well today. Flu-type symptoms or something. I didn’t sleep much last night either, and as a result I had incredibly bizzare dreams. They were senseless and repetitive. The kind that can be quite disorientating, but at the same time oddly pleasurable and fascinating. One of the dreams included the loss of my teeth. In the dream I had collided with somebody and cracked my left front tooth. I peered into a mirror and noticed a huge chip and within a few minutes the right tooth had fallen out and my other teeth started to quickly decay. I woke up in mid-panic and frantically began to feel my gnashers. When I was teenager, I’d often dream about losing my teeth. I’d either lose them, they’d rot, they’d bleed or turn to mush. I’m not sure why my recent toothy dreams have returned. Odontophilia probably plays its part and maybe the partial guilt I hoard for not wearing the mouth guard that my dentist strongly suggests I wear on a nightly basis.

Anyway,  I have this idea of how to structure this new blog. I firstly need to choose a past year -I’ll probably go for 2003, as it was the year I turned seventeen and most likely about the time I was naive enough to think I knew where I was definitely going to be ten years from then – Anyway, the plan is to dig out my 2003 diary and see what I was thinking about thirteen years ago from today, tomorrow, the day after, etc. I’ll then do some kind of comparison thing, but through art or something. It’s not quite all come together yet, so I’ll have to see. It’s possible to forget how much you have actually achieved. Whilst sometimes you might feel a bit static, you might in fact be at your most productive point. It is similar to that of when you look back and reminisce of good times that may very well have seemed quite dull at the time of happening. I don’t want feel static anymore. I want to feel productive. I’d like to move forward and do cool stuff. I want to work for something I love and I want .

There is a common expression… ‘It is sooner than you think’

I must not remain static.



Ideas That Go Nowhere

I’ve been laughing at my ‘Au Revoir’ post. I was so set on leaving social networking altogether, but because it all plays such a big part of modern day life, one almost feels isolated if they push it away and ignore it. So, here I am again, continuing a blog where the aim is unclear and the content so randomized and unfocused, that having consistent followers is something that may never happen. I guess I’ll class this as my online journal for now. Besides, it’s something I enjoy doing every now and then. I might even open my shop again. I’m on maternity leave ’til February so I should have plenty of time to share lots of crafty ideas and arts. That said, I’m full of so many ideas that I never seem to focus on one and get it done. My life is full of half-complete projects. 
So, November/December? Let’s see what I can squeeze out of what’s left of this year…

A fortnight of no work (Days 7, 8, 9 and 10) Busy and Fizzy

OH WOW! (Virginia-Plain-style) …the past three days (including today) have been busy busy busy…
I cannot even begin to recall the things that have happened, but they have all been GREAT.

My birthday was wonderbar!! I recieved many lovely messages and countless cards, from my family and bestest friends. Steve got me some awesome gifts, including this DAVID BOWIE T-shirt…

My Mum organised a mini get-together the day after my birthday, it was a TOP night. I saw my niece and nephew, and some Aunties I’d not seen in a few weeks. We all had a laugh and some drinks, and my Mum had put on a small buffet…

 One of my favey things from the past few days has definitely got to be a special graphic that had been created for me. It was made by the charming, and most handsome, Successful BryanFerry


 So tonight, I hope to do the two following things…

  • I’m going to write a VERY long email to, quite possibly, the coolest girl I’ve ever met.
  • Experiment with my new oil paints

OK.  I need to do stuff now. BYE!!!!

A fortnight of no work (Day 5 of 14) Simply Random

I’m writing this with the ever so slightest of hangovers -mainly because day 5 was TOP!

In a nutshell (but a big one)

  • So I woke up in the middle of the night. It might have been 4:30am or something. It was still dark. Either way, I got out of bed and had a bowl of soup for breakfast. It was the leftovers from the homemade soup and it was DELICIOUS!
  • Steve surprised me by saying we were going to see Taken 2 at the cinema. I was ecstatic(!) I kinda imagined Taken 2 to be a terrible movie, but Steve knows how much I LOVE Liam Neeson and I’d go and see it just to hear his sexy, deep and hoarse voice -fuck yeh! The film was bad, but LN is too hot to just not see him on screen.We had a right laugh!

The films/TV of the day included… 
Bob Dylan Documentary

  • I did orgnise a bit of my Spanish file, too

My favourite thing of the day…
The Bob Dylan documentary … It was so interesting. I suppose I’ve never really been into Dylan, nor have I ever given his music a second thought. Steve is a huge fan, so I do hear a lot of his tunes around the house, especially when Steve is on guitar. Maybe I’ll give him a go. He seemed like such a sweet guy on the doc.

A fortnight of no work (Day 4 of 14) Tangents and Finnish Art

 It was day 4 of my FABBY days off and I woke up particularly early because I was excited about doing more stuff that’s not casino-related. Wa-hey!
I didn’t have tea for breakfast, I had le jus d’orange with bits. I actually got dug into my Spanish, finally(!) and managed to write out a page or two. Mainly vocabulary and recaps, but it was all good. Steve had gone out shopping for more TOP food (and I imagine some extra birthday presents -HA! Yes, it is my birthday on Friday -HOORAH!) Anyway, whilst I was alone, and the house was silent, I did Spanish-related things and watched three episodes of Fawlty Towers. John Cleese is so bloody funny (and sexy!)

The midday movie (because if you’ve not already guessed -I love film) was Amour of God, one of the first Jackie Chan films I ever saw. It’s not my favourite, but it is quite amusing and there’s lots of the usual, fantastic stunts. Just before the film ended, my Mum dropped in for coffee (she never drinks tea). Anyway, she likes to keep me updated on family stuff and is usually the first to know if something happens within the family circle. My Mum is very TOP. I admire her because she’s a strong woman who knows what she wants, and she pretty much deals with whatever happens and just gets on with it. Yesterday, it occured to me that my Mum always smells nice. She always looks nice, too. If I wake up and feel like dressing like a tramp or not putting make-up on, I’ll just leave the house, regardless. Not my Mum. She always looks TOP

Other movies of yesterday included…
Of Mice and Men (1992)
Demons (1985)
Razorback (1984)
Salem’s Lot (1979) 

Yesterday, Steve made Cioppino. And how delicious it was! It’s a kind of fish stew, traditionally served with crusty bread. Ingredients included… onion, garlic, celery, paprika (red/green), chilli (red/green), fish stock, tomatoes, tomato puree, worcester sauce, white wine, olive oil, salt/pepper, basil/oregano, cayenne pepper, cod, mussels, squid and king prawns.

Other stuff
The night ended with a short convo wth a lovely girl from Finland. I messaged her about her art and asked if she could draw me a picture of the dreamy Bryan Ferry.
Her art Tumblr is HERE!
I just like the way her drawings are so natural and random, and experimental. It reminds me of stuff I “attempt” to do, but can never get quite right. There’s some TOP pictures of Bowie and some detailed faces, which are cool. I dunno. I guess I just like her art because it’s not over-done or pretentious.
I’m looking forward to my Bryan Ferry portrait. It would also be nice to own some Finnish art.

Once again, I fell asleep on the couch. I’m beginning to like it.

A fortnight of no work (Day 3 of 14) Homemade Soup

Well, guess what I didn’t do yesterday?

Yes. My Spanish studies.

Naughty naughty.

Seriously though, do you really blame me? I’m off work, I have a billion movies I’d love to watch, a desk full of pens and colours and glue, lot’s of good food in the house.. etc.

Yesterday morning, I had toast for breakfast, with two cups of Earl Grey. OBV.

I decided to start my Spanish course around midday, but went to the supermarket instead. Lot’s of awesome food (ie. jazz apples, persimon, fish, almond milk, etc) was purchased and what appeared to be a TOP shop, turned out to be a little embarrassing… I went over the lottory counter, to claim my £4.60 winnings from the last Euromillions, and it turns out I was mistaken, and had infact won ZIP! Eventhough I apologised, I’m sure the ladies assumed I was trying pull a fast one -as if! I had checked the numbers online on Friday and it had come up with “winning ticket”. That’s the last time I trust a computer generated checker.

When I returned home I made myself a Bloody Mary and attempted my Spanish, which basically turned out to be a Tumblring night, with a bit of movie-watching mixed in -Oh Crikey!
Earlier on that day, some dude had told me that he was doing hardly anything for the day, because Sunday is Lazy Sunday. I think I kinda thought about that too much, hence no Spanish…

Homemade vegetable soup was also part of yesterday and it was probably the tastiest soup I’ve had in ages.
Ingredients included…
Spring cabbage
Red/Green chillis

The night ended with Poltergeist on screen. I lay on the couch and wrapped myself up with a duvet. I woke up about 1am, not with a dead arm, but a dead leg. HA!

I prayed for Bryan Ferry dreams, but I got a weird dream about a house with three floors instead.

I’m not going to make any promises about today’s events. It turns out that nothing ever goes to plan, anyway. 

Friends, les amis & los amigos

Today, I officially started my new Spanish course. I’m still excited about it all. Immediately I’ve realised that the first thing I need to work on is my accent. I still have the French twang, which I think sounds pretty great, but that’s not gonna get me marks, is it?
Anyway, it’s been the basics today… Hola, buenos dias…etc. It’s certainly a start.
I’ve already made friends with some dude on Skype, who’s apparently a novice in Spanish too, but he knows good French –ooh la la!

…I’ve still not posted arty stuff, have i? Oh well. My writing is art. You are art. LIFE…is art! That’ll do for now…

Oh yeh, speaking of life,  my old friend got back in touch and things are looking TOP! I’m happy about that. This year has been a “good people” kind of year…It started when I met a bunch of cool people during my stay in France (far too many to mention!), then my niece Millie was born (and well, she’s obv. cool having an Auntie like me), then I met a KOOKY American girl who loves Bryan Ferry (who’s my most favourite American person of all time), then I met the lovely Susana who studies French with me and has Spanish as her native lingo (a big help!)…and now I’m making friends with new people on my Spanish course!


Le soleil est près de moi

Today was a happy, sunny and positive day. I spent a few hours with my sister and nephew in our local town, and enjoyed some good food. I chose to have a rare steak sandwich, which turned out to be a good decision because it was very tasty. We blew bubbles, drank hot chocolate and enjoyed the rays. Time with family is always good. This evening I enjoyed Schnitzel with Steve. We ate the chicken with potatos and salad. My tummy is a happy one, today 🙂
Tonight I will enjoy some Polish beer and watch movies.

Plans plans plans…

I have to, unfortunately, work today. Whilst on my journey, sat on the Metrolink, I’m planning on sketching some of the sights I see on the way. Obviously going at some speed, it will give me the chance to do quick sketches and get me in the habit of drawing quickly, without paying much attention to detail.

Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt has been one of my favourite artists since high school. I’ve always been drawn to his swirls, spirals and colour technique. Today I will attempt, using Klimt as inspiration, to create a new poratrit using pencils.
Meanwhile, here is a couple of my favourite paintings by this wonderful artist.

Farm Garden with Sunflowers

The Virgin