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Rosa Bonheur, animalière


Yesterday, I mentioned Rosa Bonheur’s paint box. Perhaps I should say a word about Rosa Bonheur.

She’s been a favorite of mine since I found a little book of her work in a junk shop. She was a 19th C (1822-1899) French painter of animals, or animalière (I love that word and now I own it, FYI). Her father and all three of her brothers painted, but Rosa was a genuine superstar in her day.

She carried a license to wear men’s clothing, issued by the Paris police. Because she hung out in abbatoirs and stockyards (also, she was a committed old dyke). I don’t know what happened to women in Paris who were caught with trousers and no trouser license.

She left an enormous body of very competent work, but she’s been all but forgotten since her death. The main reason: her work was very popular in England, and the French press took to describing her and her work in English. As an insult. Yes, that shit is still going on.

Go check her out. And have a lovely weekend, everyone!

January 19, 2018 — 8:58 pm
Comments: 9

Oh yes, please!


Probably too late for this year, but here’s one for your aspirational shopping needs: Miss Havisham’s Curiosities. They do gift cards.

It’s an LA based artist/shop. Lots of genuinely vintage items, but the best are these custom teacups and saucers. Very nice bone china, lovely antique patterns and inspirational slogans like “please, go die” and “we hate your baby.”

Not cheap, naturally, but worth it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I too got the Windows 10 Fall Creators’ Update yesterday and my computer is a mess *sad face*.

December 13, 2017 — 9:35 pm
Comments: 3

Holy krep!


This van appeared in a village near me this week. Nope, not a Photoshop job. There’s this guy who…does this on the back of dirty white vans. Here’s his FaceBook page if you want to see more.

Britain is lousy with white vans. It is the subject of many jokes. So he will never run out of canvas.

One of my earliest impressions of the difference between Britain and America? You know how we write “wash me” in the dirt on the back of a dirty car? I saw a filthy white van here with “also comes in white” written across the back.

November 22, 2017 — 10:03 pm
Comments: 15

This came today


I ordered this from Amazon and it came today. It’s from China. It’s very nice and rather large. It’s a brush rest, carved to this shape (presumably laser-carved, because they’re all alike) from a hunk of rosewood tree root. It cost me less than five pounds and the shipping was free.

There is so much wrong with the thing I just typed, from the cost of the item to the free shipping to the fact that rosewood is more protected on the international market than baby fucking harp seals and shouldn’t have sailed through Customs without a bureaucratic fight to the death.

Are you guys getting this? Super cheap, excellent stuff from China with free (you have to assume, hugely government subsidized) shipping? Because we are. It takes two to five weeks to get here, but I mean…really?

November 7, 2017 — 11:50 pm
Comments: 12



Roberto Benavidez is a “half-breed, South Texan, queer, figurative sculptor specializing in the piñata form; playing on themes of race, sexuality, art, sin, humor and beauty.” Which explains the butt stuff, I guess.

Honestly, why are artists always such insufferable twats? Dude makes custom piñatas. This one is part of a series based on the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch, which is awesome. I wonder if he actually fills them with candy or if he anticipates that no-one would want to buy a custom paper sculpture and then smack it to pieces with a stick.

I kinda like his bronzes, too.

Good weekend, everyone!

November 3, 2017 — 9:34 pm
Comments: 14

The varieties of mille fleur


Bloody hell, is she still on about this?

More feathers. The red ones are Rosie (“Rosie is red…”) and the paler ones are Ginny. The proportion of red, black and white determines the overall ‘tone’ of a mille fleur.

Lucia was even whiter than Ginny (when she was a chick, she was practically all white). I do have Lucia feathers. A whole bag of them. But as Lucia was such an awesome chicken, I believe her feathers must have powerful juju.

I’m probably kidding.

Why yes, of course you can have a large color photograph of a bunch of chicken feathers.

October 19, 2017 — 8:57 pm
Comments: 12

Mille fleur is *hard*


Mille fleur. ‘Thousand flowers’. I’ve had three chooks of this variety, and lovely fat hens they’ve all been. But I’ve dreaded trying to paint them.

Working hard on my chicken portfolio just now, you see.

They aren’t just speckledy. When you see an individual feather — particularly a long feather — there’s at least something of a pattern. It’s a brown feather with a black stripe before a white tip. But jumbled onto a chicken…it’s hard.

Let’s see that in color, with this lovely picture of Lucia the Mille Fleur and Mapp the Ginger having a dust bath in the onion bed.

October 18, 2017 — 9:34 pm
Comments: 4

Cats! Sitting like people!



Not my photo. Not my cat. There’s more!

I’ve seen the quote at right differently worded and differently sourced, but I love it.

Anyhoo, I need some time tonight in what we call the “little weasel’s room”. Some arty friends may be putting together a group painting show in a few months, and I have to see if I have anything for it.

Well, no. I lie. I know what I’ve got. I’ve got nothing ready to go. But I need to shuffle through my sketches and see what I’ve got going on for ideas.

You might think to yourself, “ideas? Geez, lady, you paint chickens. What ideas?”

Well, that’s just the sort of ignorant thing I expect to hear from someone who doesn’t paint chickens, to be honest.

October 10, 2017 — 8:49 pm
Comments: 17

…and three…


And on Day Three, Charlotte. About whom, update.

The wound on her head healed beautifully, or so I thought. But a week or so ago, I noticed it had opened and within a couple of days…icky abscess.

The vet dealt with it, but left an open hole to let it air. It looks like a gunshot wound.

So I’ve been giving her an antibiotic pill and washing her head with salt water. Twice a day. Fun! Tomorrow we go back for a followup appointment, but I gotta continue this regime until Sunday.

Charlotte is a hissy, growly cat…thank goodness she had all her teeth removed years ago.

p.s. Oh, shoot — I forgot the best bit! The vet also turned up a couple of harvest mites in Charlotte’s ear. That’s when I learned, that little pouch at the base of a cat’s ear? It’s called Henry’s pocket. No, I haven’t been able to find out who Henry was, and they aren’t really sure what the pocket is for. Possibly to absorb lower frequency sound so the cat can better hear the high frequency ones. Like squeaky mice.

p.p.s. I declare tonycc the winner of the Dead Pool. He picked Tom Petty while he was at death’s door, but still breathin’. Tom Petty, that is. Fair’s fair. Meet you all back here Friday, 6WBT for Dead Pool Round 103.

October 4, 2017 — 6:34 pm
Comments: 18

Day Two


I realize this will get pretty boring, but I haven’t got the spoons to do a decent post AND a decent drawing. Maybe not even one of those things. Not to worry – I have the attention span of a fruit fly! I’ll never make 31 days.

And no, I do not intend to draw 31 wild pigs.

Talk amongst yourselves…

October 3, 2017 — 8:58 pm
Comments: 14