Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Holiday plans, 2 weeks to go

Thank god it's finally gone hot again, hopefully this time to stay- it's been distinctly Scottish recently. And I'll be there in two weeks! A short week in the Borders, Edinburgh and Glasgow via Manchester to see friends and for Aragon to meet the family...eek.
I already know this will be the most Scottish holiday I've probably ever had, the itinerary goes something like: Edinburgh, drinks, sleep, breakfast, walk around, bagpipes, whisky, pretending to buy a kilt, lunch, Arthur's Seat, pub, Irn Bru, food, train to Glasgow, drinks, walk around, see Art School and old flats and favourite bars, sleep, Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument, Loch Lomond (hire a boat?) ale, Borders, walk to the river, meet neighbours, grandparents, family, eat, pub? Full Scottish Breakfast, train station.

Then a day of appointments (eyes, teeth, hair) and a weekend in Manchester and back to Madrid to start summer camps! Oh goody...

It seems unfair that this cold week in Scotland (as fun as it will be) is going to be my only holiday, when every student I ask says they'll be spending at least 2 weeks at the beach, obviously...
And one of my bosses had the cheek to ask why I didn't save up during the year to pay my rent over summer instead of working, when he knows exactly how much he pays me! Urgh.

Well only a few more classes to go then I can get rid of him! At least until September when I'm panicking about what to do with my life and go back to work for them. No! I won't! I'm going to my studio to paint some expensive and soon to be sold masterpieces. Ha.

(Yeah, from Lord of the Rings)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fail #2

Something or someone, who thinks they know better than I do, really doesn't want me to paint.

Yesterday, I forgot my keys. That was my fault. But today, I had planned all of my classes, made my lunch, bought clingfilm for my paints and chocolate pastries for breakfast, and got to the studio with 3 hours to enjoy before class, AND I had my keys.

Fat lot of good that was. The ferretería have copied me not the 2 keys I need, that I marked with tape and specifically asked them to copy, but one of these and another of their choosing. There are 2 doors into the studio, but I only use one of them. Each door has 2 locks; I now have one key for each.
I am annoyed.

I just love spending even more unnecessary time on public transport, it's my favourite.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Sunday afternoon fail here.
Got to Goya metro station to go paint in my studio and realised I didn't have the keys. I managed to remember my laptop, headphones, water (the bathrooms look like something out of a horror film so I don't dare turn on the taps) and tap shoes, but forgot the keys.

Let's see if I manage to prepare my classes for the week today and get to the studio tomorrow morning before work...

Yesterday was hugely relaxing and necessary after a sociable and busy week. I re-read my favourite book (Bother of the More Famous Jack, Barbara Trapido) and sketched in the sun at Madrid Waterski Club. See the sketches on my sketchy blog!

I complain about spending all of my time during the week amusing children but somehow I ended up playing table football with Pepe and painting with Patri... force of habit! Now to decide what animal and what experiment to teach to 2-7 year olds this week, to plan what to do after other kids finish the octopus mobile they're working on, think up what to make my teenagers converse about, and prepare what I'm going to discuss with the famous fashion designer who hangs out with Madonna and Beyoncé in New York and calls it 'work', among other things.
 If nothing else my working life is diverse!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Why did I stop? and should I Start Again?

Hello. December was a long time ago. What have I been doing since then? Lots I suppose, no time to write it down? Or was I just lazy? Or did I just tell it to someone instead? I think maybe it´s that. Anyway, in case you´ve missed me (ha, I know nobody actually reads this) or I´ve missed you...

I collected my paintings back from Café de la Luz earlier, they´d been on the walls for a month. It was nice to see them somewhere other than in my flat, and people seemed to like them. I sold one, the Cat for August that I posted a while ago here, yey! You could and should also buy one.

Also in Painting News, I have a studio! Generously given to me by my boyfriend´s grandad, it´s an old office that takes up two floors of a building near Goya and bits of it haven´t been touched for 20, 30 years, typewriters, lamps, fans, old bills and receipts... and a hell of a lot of furniture, which comes in very handy. I´ve got it all set up with a desk, all my paints and sofá for guests and models, who are very welcome any time!

Only thing is it´s been 4 years since I´ve had a studio or tried to paint BIG, and it shows, I feel like I´m back in Glasgow at the start of 4th year, except with no crits or tutorials or studio mates or watercress (Bowie) but with the same frustrating feeling of wanting to paint good things and making the same mistakes! Just needs a bit of time and practise.

At least my drawing has been getting some practise through Dibujo Madrid, it is so good. Tomorrow though I won´t have time for drawing, as I am breaking into the world of modelling. You´ll just have to wait and see the photos.

Is there anyone my age who doesn´t regularly, always, have huge doubts or just no idea about the future? It´s like I manage to forget for a few weeks, then I remember and worry, and apply for Jobs that don´t exist or I´m not qualified for, then decide to study, or just paint, then forget again and only remember I had a plan when I´ve forgotten what it was but I need to pay my rent and I´m confused.

Study fashion.
Study illustration.
Illustration might be easier and more handy for work?
Work in a school- eugh no. Not qualified anyway, happily.
Be a tour guide, take kids around museums and do workshops with them- this exists but apparently I´m not qualified and anyway the 3 jobs in Madrid are already taken.

Meh. Paint and sell some beautiful big landscapes for lots of euros, nothing under a month´s rent. That´ll do it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Drawing friends

Hello. It's been surprising warm the last couple of days, I'm dressed normally, no hoodie and no hat, here in my flat. This was not the case on Tuesday night when I sat in my hat, scarf, gloves and coat, scribbling frantically for 15 minutes at a time trying to capture the poses of my fellow drawers (people who draw, is there another word that isn't furniture?) at the Tabacalera, an old tobacco factory at Embajadores in Madrid.

Dibujo Madrid meets each Tuesday with a different theme, and basically some people pose, perform, do what they do, while the rest of us draw. It's a great idea, totally free, and they're very welcoming. I'd been putting off going out of fear of arty folks (since art school my fear has only grown) but am so glad I went back. I'm the only Scot so far, but there are people from all over.

I heard that a Dibujo London is starting up, which is great news for you southerners, and someone should really get on it in Scotland too. Do it. I'll link you to the website, and also to my other blog where I'm going to be uploading my sketches and maybe some new paintings too, please have a look and comment, I need encouragement and criticism!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gauguin, Gijon, Good Good Good

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

It's amazing how good an exhibition can make you feel. I could have stood in front of some of those paintings for hours. I want to paint like Gauguin, jungles and exotic trees and bodies in the sun. Preferably in Tahiti, though I'd settle for a room with heating really. Painting isn't so appealing when my fingers are cold, though, saying that, I could probably paint in gloves couldn't I? Worth a try.

Emil Nolde

Life is good.

Beautiful paintings. Candles and an ironic rose on the tabel in front of me, The Lumineers playing and a cup of tea. Going for a walk to see the Christmas lights later. Danced my socks off in Ocho y Medio last night, alas no-one from Blur was DJing this time but it was still a lot of fun. And no hangover. Cut out my first sewing project and made mistakes and still don't understand all the words (in English), but I'll get there. It's a skirt with 2 pockets on the front and lots of pigs, I'll post a photo later.

I made excellent use of the 'puente' (Bank holiday followed by a day off to join it to the weekend) and went on a road trip to Gijon in Asturias, right in the middle of the North coast of Spain.

We ate a whole range and a huge amount of really amazing food; fabada Asturiana, paella, solomillo wrapped in bacon with honey and mushrooms, fish, lamb tagine, churros with chocolate, and *cough*pizza, and drank about the same variety and quantity of alcohol... but mainly Sidra! It has to be poured like this:

And you have to drink it in small shots quickly before something happens with the sediment, which isn't hard as it's delicious. Mmmmmmmm.

It was so nice to be somewhere else, out of the city where you could see for miles and miles, and on the beach, and driving through snowy mountains, and not thinking about anything. Happy making.

Had a midnight paddle in the sea too. Pretty cold, but very fun. I'd have gone in properly but couldn't be bothered taking off the many layers of clothing. And it was realllllly cold.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Going Out Face

I had a thought. As I was putting make up on yesterday getting ready for a lazy Sunday afternoon, I realised I was putting on going out make up, by default. Eyeliner and everything.

From this I deduced: I've been going out a fair bit. Too much? Nah, almost Christmas isn't it, need to build up the alcohol tolerance before getting to Scotland for the holidays...

Also the fact that I was picked up and taken to Las Rozas for lunch and a walk around and told repeatedly "you need to get out of the city", and later, "yeah you needed to get out of the city"... trying to tell me something? Like, weekends are for something other than recovering from a late late night and preparing for the next one? Really?

I have been neglecting Madrid's more sober side, but the Prado is free all day today so maybe I'll go. Or maybe I'll go and find a framer for my paintings. Or take my satchel to get the strap fixed. I definitely need to go to Lidl. And work, shit. Better go shower.