August 2020

This is a new page, and a new project. I’m not sure where it’s going but I will enjoy the journey.

I had always had a feeling I would like to paint. Pictures that is, not door frames and windows. So when my retirement was approaching, and I was being asked what I might do with my free time, I mentioned I might try to paint. Family and friends subsequently gifted paints in various formats – oils, acrylics and water colours, as well as all the brushes I might need.I was all set, but had no idea where to start.

My mum loved to paint. She painted lovely mountains, lakes and reflections. Trees and rivers. She painted directly onto the  chimney breast in our council house – I wonder if it’s still there. She used oil paints. She was considered good enough to teach her skills to others, and held an art class every week, for quite a few years I think.

I did not have this skill. I found artwork at school to be challenging and daunting. I never produced anything of merit. I was actually verbally discouraged, by junior teachers through to senior teachers. Add to this that my mum said (when I was tasked to draw a self portrait for a school homework) I would never be able to draw lips because mine were not normal! There’s nothing wrong with my lips, btw. I think she meant that we are all individual and drawing ones own features is more challenging as you don’t usually see your own face. That’s my take on it, in mature hindsight. At age eleven, though, this sentence stuck in my mind and has been lodged there for over fifty years. I have never drawn lips, or faces.

You Tube is a wonderful thing. At the beginning of the Covid_19 pandemic I started to use You Tube for something other than searching for music. First, I followed the on-line PE teacher who encouraged kids and anyone else to keep fit each morning when all the schools closed down. It was a bit too much for me, I admit, and I found some alternative fitness videos more suited to my breathing and energy level. The next thing I searched for was a demonstration of how to make masks from old T-shirts or old socks. I made about four T-Shirt masks in one evening, improving on the last one each time. (never used them – by the time masks became mandatory there were better looking ones available to buy that didn’t cover the whole of your head and look like a poorly-tied bandage)

So, desperate to escape the every-day tedium of TV during the lockdown, I thought I should make use of all these lovely art related gifts, get down to my new shed, and see what I could produce. Anything, I decided, would be an acheivement, and it is only for my own pleasure and relaxation and therefore I will be satisfied with myself for having a go.

Ah Ha! So You Tube came to my rescue. “How to paint with acrylics for ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS” “How to paint a sunset with acrylic paints” “How to paint palm trees”.And so it began.


That was the first one. Keeping with the palm trees theme, (it is recommended that the same picture is painted repeatedly to gain confidence and improvement) I attempted this second one.

It’s a good start, for someone who has been branded inept with a paintbrush for fifty odd years. So, I got to thinking, maybe I could try to draw something.

I am part of a group of (mainly female) poets who call themselves “Lippy Women” and we like to add lippy emojis in our on-line conversations. We find lips on T-shirts, Bags, and other merchandise. It’s just a bit of fun. But I thought again how I wished  I could draw lips. Come on You Tube, show me how. And so it happened. Here’s my very first attempt. I can see how I can improve on this. I am just so pleased with myself for giving it a try.

Note to self

September 2020

Discovered Bob Ross. Painter on the telly. Such a soothing voice and so relaxing to watch him paint.

Extra brushes – the big ones – and a few extra colours have been purchased. I’m staying with acrylics for now though, not oils. Palette knive ordered too.

not a bad first attempt at adding a reflection. My daughter said she felt she could just dive into this pool! Praise indeed.