Some more of my ‘art’ part 3

My first time painting Hogwarts as part of my sister’s Christmas present. I find buildings quite hard to paint because of all the greys, but it was still fun to try. I also gave up with the mountain haha, so I used fake gold leaf and goblet of fire pages to make a wee collage (this part looks better in real life).

This is based on a famous painting I saw in Glasgow by an artist called Scarlett Raven. Hers is obviously much more detailed and beautiful, but as I don’t have £10,000, I tried my best to make my own version!

This is the closest I’ll get to drawing a person because faces are too hard! I love Medusa and patterns so decided to combine them which I think worked fairly well for this one. The first Medusa painting I ever tried genuinely looks like Gladys from friends hahaha.

Earlier in the year I enjoyed using acrylic pens to make wee patterns on some old records.

This one was hard again because of the greys- I’ll have to eventually buy decent acrylics or oils if I’d like to try painting properly- but here is a wee version of the Sagrada Familia to remind me of the fun times where travel was a safe thing to do. Hopefully those times will return! 🙂

Lastly, a quick little pen and ink bright pattern which kept me busy for a wee while during isolation (yesterday was my freedom day, wooo! Feeling very lucky to have only had minor symptoms thanks to having both vaccines).

I love painting using bright colours, please recommend any artists who use bright colours or detailed patterns! If you draw or paint, please link your blog or insta, I always love to get inspiration and see other’s work 🙂

November books

The Aeneid- Virgil: Robert Fagles translation (physical book, new read)

‘’Robert Fagles’s latest achievement completes the magnificent triptych of Western epics. A sweeping story of arms and heroism, The Aeneid follows the adventures of Aeneas, who flees the ashes of Troy to embark upon a tortuous course that brings him to Italy and fulfills his destiny as founder of the Roman people. Retaining all of the gravitas and humanity of the original, this powerful blend of poetry and myth remains as relevant today as when it was first written.’’ (The Aeneid synopsis)

I’ve never studied literature or classics so I definitely don’t get as much from books like this as others, however, I’ve finally binge read enough mythology retellings to be able to read and keep up with The Iliad, Odyssey and Aeneid. I knew little about this book, but I found it interesting and fairly readable, although I did prefer the early chapters with Dido and the underworld, and I began to feel a bit restless by the end of the story as wars and battle scenes are not my favourite unless I’m extremely invested in characters. The most striking thing I did find was the parallels between ASOIAF, particularly Aeneas and Daenerys and to a lesser extent Jon (unsurprising as Dany/Jon’s stories parallel in themselves). I’m extremely interested in ASOIAF mythology parallels and already made a blog post about some Greek/Norse parallels if you’re interested 😊. I recently bought the illustrated Game of Thrones (I do enjoy wasting money hahaha) and I’d love to reread the series (maybe one character at a time?) analysing anything that interests me and looking for parallels. I think next year (woohoo goodbye 2020) I’ll definitely give this a go and incorporate it into some rambly blog posts in a way.

Important/meaningful quote:

“Do the gods light this fire in our hearts or does each man’s mad desire become his god?”

Pride and prejudice- Jane Austen (audiobook, reread)

‘’Pride and Prejudice is one of the most cherished love stories in English literature; Jane Austen’s 1813 masterpiece has a lasting effect on everyone who reads it. The pride of high-ranking Mr Darcy and the prejudice of middle-class Elizabeth Bennet conduct an absorbing dance through the rigid social hierarchies of early-nineteenth-century England, with the passion of the two unlikely lovers growing as their union seems ever more improbable.’’ (Pride and Prejudice synopsis)

I read this in a very strange format, because I listened to Jen Campbell reading the book aloud. For those who don’t know, Jen is a writer with a youtube channel focusing on books. Over lockdown, she read Pride and Prejudice aloud and turned it into a youtube audiobook. This was a really interesting way to read this book! I’ve always loved the film, but I didn’t really have strong thoughts towards the book the first time I read it, around 6 years ago- I read wee bits at a time over a few months which made if feel a bit disjointed. I loved it a lot more this time around, I think with classics, audiobook can be the way to go for me to really bring the characters to life 😊. I’m sure everyone knows what this is about or has read it, but if you haven’t, I’d recommend giving it a go 😊. I love Lizzie as a character and the feminist themes throughout, particularly interesting due to the time period of the story. Also, not relevant to the book, but I’d recommend listening to the films score, especially ‘Your hands are cold’, it’s so beautiful.

Important/meaningful quote:

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

Great Goddesses: Life lessons from myths and monsters- Nikita Gill (physical book, new read)

‘’Wonder at Medusa’s potent venom, Circe’s fierce sorcery and Athena rising up over Olympus, as Nikita Gill majestically explores the untold stories of the life bringers, warriors, creators, survivors and destroyers that shook the world – the great Greek Goddesses.
Vividly re-imagined and beautifully illustrated, step into an ancient world transformed by modern feminist magic.’’
(Great Goddesses synopsis)

I read this at the start of the month and my memory is fading haha, but I found it interesting 😊. The writing style is lovely and I’m glad that I found it enjoyable as I don’t always love poetry. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful, I’ve already stolen an idea to try and paint hahah. Again, it got me wanting to find more asoiaf parallels, such as Arya and Artemis, Stannis and Agamemnon. It’s a very engaging feminist retelling, however, there are trigger warnings for themes of rape and assault. The intention of these accounts is to shift the blame back to the men and Gods carrying out these horrific assaults, supporting woman to overcome trauma, however, it could nevertheless be triggering so it’s important to know going into the story. I would say, I enjoyed this book more before they started bringing the Goddesses into our modern world- apart from Percy Jackson, this seems to be a theme within my reading experiences of mythology, I don’t really enjoy reading about the Gods and Goddesses within the modern world.

Important/meaningful quote:

“Every woman is both match and spark, a light for each other from the dark.”

Athena’s Child- Hannah Lynn (physical book, new read)

‘’Gifted and burdened with beauty far beyond that of mere mortals, Medusa seeks sanctuary with the Goddess Athena. But when the lustful gaze of mighty Poseidon falls upon her, even the Temple of Athena cannot protect her. Young Perseus embarks on a seemingly impossible quest. Equipped with only bravado and determination, his only chance of success lays in the hands of his immortal siblings. Medusa and Perseus soon become pawns of spiteful and selfish gods. Faced with the repercussions of Athena’s wrath Medusa has no choice but to flee and hide. But can she do so without becoming the monster they say she is?’’ (Athena’s Child synopsis)

I can’t tell who this book was aimed for as it was interesting and fast paced but something about it felt young, it sometimes felt like YA but I’m not certain. Either way, it would be a good place to start in terms of myth retellings. This is a very glum story, but I enjoyed learning more about Perseus and his story (I knew quite a bit about Medusa already), particularly learning about his mother and I previously only knew what I’d read from Percy Jackson haha. I mentioned Jen Campbell earlier on, she has been discussing the use of disfigurement in characters as a negative trope being associated with ‘ugly’ or ‘evil’ characters, I’d recommend looking up her Instagram and reading her article. This is a very prevalent issue in stories and this book definitely equated disfigurement with ugliness and becoming evil or losing humanity in some way. This is not Lynn’s fault as this stems from early mythology itself, however, when retelling these stories, I think authors could be more conscious about this and use the opportunity to rewrite these tropes.

Troy: The Siege of Troy Retold- Stephen Fry (audiobook, new read)

‘’The story of Troy speaks to all of us – the kidnapping of Helen, a queen celebrated for her beauty, sees the Greeks launch a thousand ships against that great city, to which they will lay siege for ten whole and very bloody years. The stage is set for the oldest and greatest story ever told, where monstrous passions meet the highest ideals and the lowest cunning. In Troy you will find heroism and hatred, love and loss, revenge and regret, desire and despair. It is these human passions, written bloodily in the sands of a distant shore, that still speak to us today.’’ (Troy synopsis)

I loved listening to this, you can feel Fry’s interest in the subject and his enthusiasm makes it even better to listen to. This was my favourite listen of the trilogy as I’ve always been slightly more interested in the Trojan War and the people involved than the stories of the Gods alone (and I’ve never been particularly interested in the heroes, I can never seem to retain much info about Hercules/Heracles despite reading lots). This trilogy is definitely a great place to start with mythology and I enjoy the humour and input from Fry throughout. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading the story of the Trojan War, I enjoy the different perspectives of each writer and I was happy to see Achilles/Patroclus mentioned as lovers in this account as this is the version of their story that I prefer. I’ve mentioned this before, but I love that in every single myth retelling that I’ve read (including the Iliad), Patroclus is consistently a genuinely good compassionate person (there are few others that I can say the same about, except Briseis and some of the Trojan women).

Love lessons- Jacqueline Wilson (e-book, reread)

‘’Fourteen-year-old Prue and her sister Grace have been educated at home by their controlling, super-strict father all their lives. Forced to wear Mum’s odd hand-made garments and forbidden from reading teenage magazines, they know they’re very different to ‘normal’ girls – but when Dad has a stroke and ends up in hospital, unable to move or speak, Prue suddenly discovers what it’s like to have a little freedom.

Sent to a real school for the first time, Prue struggles to fit in. The only person she can talk to is her kindly, young – and handsome – art teacher, Rax. They quickly bond, and Prue feels more and more drawn to him. As her feelings grow stronger, she begins to realise that he might feel the same way about her. But nothing could ever happen between them – could it?’’ (Love Lessons synopsis)

I wanted to finish my nostalgic Wilson binge with another book that I loved as a child/teen. This is another of her older, darker books with themes of authoritative fathers (potentially verbally abusive) and heavily features a grooming type scenario between a 14 year old student and her art teacher. I’ve always found the tone of this book to feel far different from Wilson’s other books, you definitely get the sense of alienation Prue feels around others her age and the strain within her family and environments. Again, I appreciate Wilson’s approach to discussing heavy topics and would recommend this book if you enjoy her others.

Office Girl- Joe Meno (physical book, new read)

‘’Set in 1999 – just before the end of one world and the beginning of another – Office Girl is the story of two youths caught between the uncertainty of their futures and the all-too-brief moments of modern life. Odile is a lovely 23 year-old art-school dropout, a minor vandal, and a hopeless dreamer. Jack is a 25 year-old shirker who’s most happy capturing the endless noises of the city on his out-of-date tape recorder. Together they decide to start their own art movement in defiance of a contemporary culture made dull by both the tedious and the obvious.’’ (Office Girl synopsis)

I don’t want to spend much time on this as I found it incredibly pretentious and want to roll my eyes even thinking back now. I can barely remember how it ended, the characters were manic-pixie dream girls and boys and the themes were so dull and pretentious, I bought this from a charity shop not knowing anything about it and the only reason I finished it is because it’s a quick read and I have a compulsive need to finish books haha. I’m genuinely getting annoyed thinking about it. I also mentioned the representation of disfigurement earlier, I can’t remember the specific quote but there was a disgusting comment from a character that was very anti-disfigurement. I would not recommend this book; I will be trying to forget it.

I hope you’ve been reading lots of good books recently, please let me know if you’ve read any of these and liked them! 😊 I’m currently on 91 reads this year so I now feel a compulsive need to reach 100 before 2021. I’ll see what happens because I’m lazy haha, but December is usually filled with childhood rereads. Anyway, Merry Christmas month!

selling art to support black lives matter

In thinking about ways to support the black lives matter movement, I made a wee etsy to sell some things I’ve painted or drawn. 100% of the proceeds from anything I sell will be donated to Black Visions Collective, a charitable organisation that supports this movement. Since I just paint for fun they aren’t the best and might not sell, but I thought it would be a start to helping as much as I can. 🙂 I tend to like to paint on a larger scale but I’m unsure if I’m allowed to send huge canvases so I need to figure that out. The link to etsy is below:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CharitableArtByCarly

I find it relaxing to make little line drawings at times, so I’m going to do more of these as a simple easy thing to send to anyone interested.

I love Japanese style art and hope to look at more examples to recreate beautiful Japanese art.

I painted a mini version of The Wave off Kanagawa with a little collage. I enjoy painting this wave due to the abstract quality and I hope to paint more of these.

This has been quite a struggle and is something I need far more practise in so it’s looking a bit messy, but I found some old vinyl records and after picking the ones I want to keep, I’m left with lots to practise painting. Hopefully this will become more fun and less frustrating haha and I’ll keep trying new designs 🙂

I love sunflowers, they are always a go to when I’m painting.

this is a lot simpler than the paintings I like to do and I struggled to stop here, however, I know that lots of people prefer more simplistic or minimalist paintings (and they take less time if I want to make more) so I managed to control myself haha.

I’m always very critical of things I paint so I feel strange about potential selling them, but I feel better in the knowledge that any proceeds (if any crazy people buy anything) would be going towards an excellent cause. I am very aware of my position of privilege as a white person and I would appreciate any feedback on the ways in which I can actively promote anti-racism. I hope you’re all doing well, thank you for reading.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CharitableArtByCarly

Some more of my ‘art’

Thank you everyone who commented nice things on the last post like this that I made, I’ve been painting more things when I feel like it during lockdown (not to get too political, but I will say here I’m Scottish and not happy with Boris Johnson’s announcement at all, I think it’s very dangerous but I’ll not go off in a tangent about that here) and it’s been quite fun to experiment with different little art things (I most recently painted Medusa but accidentally made her terrifying and a bit like the Gladys thing Phoebe painted in friends hahaha).

I painted this beachy landscape last year for my mum. Initially I felt like it was missing something and a bit plain because I’m used to bright colours and abstract patterns, but I think it was a nice change to try something simpler. Any artists reading, please don’t judge my composition, shadows etc hahaha I just do whatever feels fun so it’s never very realistic. This was fun to do but I prefer using drawing inks to acrylics as they’re a bit easier to use and add smaller details.

This was a quick little pen drawing which turned into a strange watercolour collage thing. I think I was inspired by tattoo drawings, I love the look on anatomical heart tattoos and line drawings. I had some carboard to use, so I decided to experiment to make the most of materials and try to be a little bit more sustainable. 😊

This is hard to take a photo of (ignore me waving haha), but this was coloured pencil flower I drew when I was 16 for school (again taking forever, accidentally making it abstract and overall stressing out my art teacher). I love including reds, oranges and purple in drawings. I think this was the first time I added detail through little dots, I do this quite a lot now.

Another school art painting, I’m still very unsure about this eight years later haha but I loved using different tones of brown for the background. Brown is another colour I love using in paintings, especially for collage backgrounds to add an antique kind of look (although it may just look like a child’s teabag treasure map haha).

This was an even earlier school painting using drawing inks, I think I need to invest in expensive inks one day because I’m not sure how I got the pink in the flower to go so light.

This was my attempt at more simplistic, less abstract art for school (to try and reduce my teacher’s rising stress levels), it feels unfinished to me but I’d love to try a sea based painting in the future and experiment with watercolours and ink patterns. 😊 Maybe including mermaids or fish.

I like to doodle little patterns sometimes and I love trying to draw in this style- I’m always in awe of beautiful henna designs and Asian patterns, I think they’re beautiful. It’s quite relaxing to draw using repeat patterns.

This is another old painting that I’d like to recreate one day on a larger scale, experimenting with different colours and patterns to add detail. I’m not sure how well it will go but I’ll definitely try this in the future. 😊

I painted this tiny Winter painting for my mum (and through on some fake snow because I couldn’t resist), I was watching Star Wars at the time which I think influenced the addition of a red moon in the background.

Thank you so much for reading this, please let me know of your hobbies that have been helping you recently, I always love to know what makes people feel happy and relaxed. 😊

Some of my ‘art’

I like to draw and paint sometimes, typically flowers and I love using drawing inks. I’m not a professional at all (and I’m quite lazy haha so I go through phases of painting) but I just thought I’d put some here for fun.

I recently painted this abstracty tiger thing- which turned out to be very relevant as the tiger kind started to appear everyone hahaha (still haven’t seen it). I don’t purposefully paint things in an abstract way, but they usually turn out this way because I like bright colour and I’m not great at proportion. I also included a picture of wee Dusty here as I am the crazy cat lady yet she has somehow not appeared in this blog.

I occasionally like to try and create a version of famous paintings like The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Hokusai– I love picturesque delicate Japanese art and think it’s really beautiful. I used drawing inks and made a little collage for the background, adding some pink which reminds me of cherry blossoms 🙂 I also used easter egg wrappers for the gold border haha (and little lyrics from across the universe because I love the Beatles)

this little sunflower started the collage backgrounds- partly because I think they’re pretty and like the old fashioned sepia tones, but also because I’m lazy and it makes for an easier background that painting would.

I wanted to try another sunflower collage on a much larger scale; this doesn’t photograph well at all but I used drawing inks again which create interesting colour changes depending on the light in the room (Dusty features in this one too hahaha). Again used easter eggs wrappers and made a collage- I like that collages also let me be a bit more sustainable, using old magazines and paper.

I think this is one that looks best at a glance and should definitely never be compared to the actual picture haha. I tend not to use coloured pencils or draw portraits, but the colours attracted me to this (and I LOVE Joker, it’s my favourite film of 2019 and Joaquin’s acting was absolutely beautiful) so I decided to give it a go. I need lots of work in this area but it was fun to try 🙂

I paited this flower a good few years ago (can you see the Christmas wrapping paper haha) again using my old favourites, the drawing inks.

This is another one that needs improvements and doesn’t photograph well, but I made this a fun challenge to try and finish it within 24 hours (because I had essays that I should really have been doing instead). I love flowers, I’m always drawn to painting them.

This was my school art final and I remember the stress of finishing this the day before the deadline haha, my art teacher must have absolutely hated me. I also remember that my mum accidentally spilled white paint all over it halfway through hahaha- I would say the benefit of paint of inks over pencil is the ability to fix mistakes. I think this was when I started to love drawing sunflowers 🙂

I love bright colours, but it’s sometimes quite relaxing to doodle with a pen whilst watching 27 episodes of game of thrones of listening to music, I enjoy little patterns and find it quite therapeutic, so this is maybe something I’d recommend in times of stress 🙂

I also love geometric and line drawings although I prefer looking at others black and white drawings as I’m not very good at them (because of my inability to draw proportionally haha). I did like practising line drawing and water colour on this little bee and I’d maybe like to draw more insects in the future as I think it’d be fun trying to get translucent wing colours through drawing inks. I’d also love to try a stained glass style painting in the future.

Another last minute school painting- I fondly remember crying at 2am hahaha- with my first time practising acrylics. The flowers could be better, I find it much easier to paint on a larger scale. Ironically my teacher got me to paint lots of skulls when I love animals and don’t eat meat haha (I would recommend animal skulls if you are practising painting as it’s very hard to tell if a mistake has been made with the composition).

I painted this quite recently, really letting loose with the bright colour and psychedelic patterns haha. I definitely copied a famous artist’s style for this painting but I feel bad because I can’t find the original at all! If you know who paints like this please let me know! I’d also like to try and paint a sun and moon in a tarot card style, I love that style.

I’m not sure what this was really all about, but thank you for reading! I know lots of people make it feel stressful to paint or draw if it’s not something you do often, but it’s so fun just to paint and mess around trying new things so I’d definitely recommend trying if it’s something you’d like to do 🙂 and if it goes wrong you can just tell people it’s abstract like I do hahaha. I hope you’re all well in the crazy lockdown times make the most of having time to try new things 🙂 (I say that, I’ve been painting Medusa for about six months and I’m too lazy to every finish it)