Friday, 5 December 2014


It's been a while since I last updated you all. This is mainly due to a multitude of reasons, such as dealing with broken boilers, Canary Palm Beetle and the fact I have been a little unwell. Two weeks ago I was home alone, which was superb to begin with but the novelty soon wore off, especially when the boiler started spewing water all over the floor at 2am in the morning. Nothing quite like a disaster to improve one's Spanish! Then sadly our two palms, which had up to this point managed to dodge the dreaded beetle, got the palmetto beetle. So I then had a nice little conversation with the gardeners about that. They have given me a couple of the bugs (Rhynchophorus cruentatus) in a tin so I can paint them. They are amazing to look at, such bright colours and a spiteful rostas and tail.

Rhynchophorus cruentatus

Then I went out to get my car shoes so I can start driving more and my Spanish Sim Card... I am slowly integrating! I have also sorted out all my music which in itself was a MAJOR chore and sourced a paper suppier in Granada who will order in rolls of Saunders Waterford for me, but sadly only at 300gsm. So in a way it's not been the most productive time in my studio!

However, I have started a new piece and my new Rosemary and Co. paintbrushes have arrived complete with Christmas chocolates. Thank you Rosemary and Co. they were delicious!

Mork the Money Plant - a major experiment

Mork the Money Plant - a major experiment

So Mork is a bit of a test piece in a way -not at all sure where the beast is going.... I have first of all butted two pieces of paper together in the way that Rachel Pedder Smith did with her Herbarium Specimen Painting to make the piece as big as I can.  I haven't used one whole piece of paper as I am still niggling about how I proceed with the medium. The rolls are just not thick enough for my work and I still can't get hold of Hot Press large sheets. I have considered getting the more textured cold press papers in larger sizes, as suggested by coral Guest, but then again I am further compounded by the issue of how I best to transport such large sheets. Back in August, when I was still in England, I just wasn't able to make a decision on how I was going to get them to Spain without encountering any damage. As I am sure you can appreciate, paper doesn't come cheap at these sizes - it's certainly an investment! Therefore this has meant that I opted to use two sheets of the Coffee Plant size of just under A0... not ideal, but worth a punt.

Mork the Money Plant - a major experiment
So yes, Mork is rather large - twice the size of Caroline. He might even get bigger, as I might opt to seperate the two pieces of paper so that he is completely split down the middle. I was am also considering the possibility of putting something in the middle of him, thus making a triptych. As you can see - he is a very nebulous piece! With all of this going on in my head, it is difficult to concentrate on actually getting the bulk of the piece down in watercolours. I have to say it's been very tricky indeed, but I seem to have changed gear this week and I can slowly feel the pace picking up a bit. 

Caroline the Coffee Plant in the background and foreground.
This is one of the large prints I took of the original framed in our new house - might help you to get a sense of scale.

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