Monday, 17 January 2011

After the Break

Back in the 1960's, when I passed my driving test, my licence duly arrived through the post. On inspection, I noticed that the expiry date was 2012. "Two thousand and twelve" I exclaimed, "that's a lifetime away!". Well I suppose it was, with me being only 19 at the time. But time has a nasty habit of passing you by or catching you out or playing tricks with your mind.

Now it's 2011 and that licence is about to expire. But where has all that time gone? I know that since being 19, I have got married, had kids, had grandchildren, spent so much time working, had two allotments, spent countless hours doing DIY on two houses, took thousands of photographs etc. The only thing I haven't done enough of is painting, but by 'eck, I intend to continue my quest to change that!

After a lengthy break from painting due to Christmas and New Year activities, as well as struggling to fight off three very bad colds in succession, I've done my first painting for 2011. Oh, happy New Year to all of you by the way! This was a portrait, but I'll post that another time, as just before Christmas I managed to find time to do a painting of two lovely young girls who belong to Debbie and Simon, who very kindly invited us over for Christmas. The painting was a present for our hosts, who saved us from a very plain stop-at-home Yuletide, and also for enabling us not to miss seeing our grandchildren, as they and their mum and dad had also been invited over some time earlier.

The pictures below show the painting at two earlier stages, but alas, time has played tricks on my mind as I have aged over the years, resulting in me completely forgetting to photograph the finished work, which is now many miles away in East Anglia! Oh well, you will just have to judge my work from what you see here.

I now find it easier to work with a photograph on my laptop in front of me these days. This has the added bonus that I can listen to music and even half watch a DVD at the same time! (Kylie Minogue in this instance) I don't however, have Facebook open at the same time now, as friends start distracting me with IM's. It's bad enough when the phone rings during painting, when often all I feel like saying to the person on the other end is, "You're stopping me from painting" LOL!

I wonder what all of you do, if anything while you are painting?


  1. Great post Frank. Maybe you could get them to send you of a photo of your painting in situ?

    When working on a "proper" pic rather than sketch I tend to draw with the laptop on with photo reference and/or printed version alongside. FB open but chat logged off/ mail/ google reader. Depending on the time of day either total silence or the tv talking to itself in background...argh no idea how I finish anything.Aren't you pleased you asked the question?

    I look forward to seeing lots of your paintings this year.

  2. I enjoyed this post too :0)
    I turn 40 this year. I'm not scared of getting older, just of time passing by too quickly before I reach my potential! I SO wish I had found art 25 years earlier. Then maybe I would be painting always for fun rather than always to learn. Still, hopefully that will come :0)
    If only I could afford not to work! Then I would be painting every day... Sigh...
    Anyway - My art room is a summer house at the bottom of the garden, so there is no internet connection there. I always listen to music when I paint. It helps me to relax and feel less isolated. I still take my laptop down though if I am refering to a photograph.
    The portrait looks wonderful! I wouls ask them to photograph it and send it to you :0)

  3. Hi Frank - missed you ! The portraits are lovely. Their little faces are very sweet. :)

  4. Sue, I did think of asking D&S to take a photo for me, but all that's missing from the second photo here is the background and a few final adjustments to detail, so I think I'll let it be. It's fascinating to hear about the atmosphere in which you paint - we are quite similar really. I never thought of of doing something simple like turning off IM, though I'd probably forget to turn it back on again and then wonder why no one is talking to me!
    Sandra, I think that even if you paint for fun, you will still be learning - the two go hand in hand, so start painting for fun right now! I envy you with a designated place to paint, how lovely it must be to leave all your kit out and not have to pack it away at the end of each session and then get it all back out when you want to do some more. Just one thing, how do you keep warm in the winter?
    Alice, well thank you - it's nice to think someone misses me ;)

  5. I usually have background noise of some kind when I draw, either the television or radio.

    What a beautiful, wonderful gift to give your friends. They will be thrilled.

    We have to renew our drivers license every four years. Are you saying yours was issued for 52 years?

  6. 46 years to be precise Annie, as in those days licences were given to expire on retirement. They are harder to get these days, with written test needed as well. It also looks as if we will soon need to renew much more often due to forthcoming government legislation.
    Thanks for your kind comments.

  7. Great post Frank. I also remember thinking the expiry was a lifetime away. Where has the time gone? Mind you, it's interesting that my licence is different to yours. Mine is set to expire the day before my 70th birthday in 2017, so I've got a bit longer than you for swatting up on the exam questions. LOL.