April Favourites

Book:

I hadn’t heard of this author until this month, when I listened to the Podcast ‘Greek Mythology Retold’ and discovered that Janell Rhiannon is writing a book series called The Homeric Chronicles. I loved this book, it’s an interesting and easy to read account of the events leading up to Trojan wars. I’d recommend this is you like mythology and this might be a good place to start if you’ve never read a Greek myth but would like to- if you google some of the characters and Gods/Goddesses as you go along 😊

I’ve already mentioned Girl, Woman, other this month, but this was another favourite read because of the thought-provoking writing style and the interesting characters.

TV programme:

I rewatched Killing Eve this month before starting the new season, I love this programme. I tend not to like crime programmes but I love the balance of dark humour, well written characters and the atmosphere in this show- the music in Killing Eve has been used so well to create this atmosphere, I love the way music can influence the tone of a show. 😊 I can’t think of anything I’d change about this show, I’d recommend watching it if you’re bored (I also enjoy You for its similar humour).

Music:

I LOVE music, I think it’s so important for mental health and can really lift and affect my mood. I end up listening to the same songs constantly and this month (basically this entire year haha) I’ve listened to The Beatles constantly. For some reason I keep listening to I’m only sleeping in particular, this song will not leave my head when I hear it.

The song Spanish Sahara by Foals came on shuffle recently, I’d forgotten how much I love that song, it’s very calming and atmospheric (apparently my favourite word to describe things). I think I first heard it years ago watching Misfits, another amazing programme. 😊 I really should listen to some new songs, please let me know your favourite singers or bands!

The outdoors:

I’ve loved being able to get out most days and be around nature. I love riding my bike (very slowly, a man who was possibly 65 years old passed me today and rode away into the distance haha) and getting fresh air. (I know there’s no other way to write, but I feel like I say ‘I’ constantly and I’m very conscious of it now, it sounds very selfish haha). It’s also been good to feel a sense of community and see so many kind acts during the crazy times, even small acts such as clapping for the NHS and getting to speak to neighbours we wouldn’t usually get a chance to speak to- I’d like to say here that I completely understand the perspective of those who feel this is a pointless act and the biggest thing we can do is not vote the Tories. I’ve never voted the Tories and agree that they have made many many mistakes that negatively impact a number of people. I will continue to vote in a way that will hopefully remove the Tories power one day, and hope that we can become more liberal in our politics and actions. I do, however, think small kind acts have a place in maintaining positivity and helping people to feel together in times like these.

Someone has been painting little rocks with kind messages at the loch beside my house and it’s created such a nice sense of community, so me and my family decided to paint easter egg rocks at Easter as a little hunt for the children who live nearby. All of the stones disappeared so hopefully children enjoyed finding them, but a swan may have eaten them all, we’ll never know haha. I’d like to do something with books, like a little anonymous book swap at the loch, I’m unsure how that would work but it’d be quite fun to try 😊. I also enjoyed bringing some books for my gran to read and being able to speak to her (from a safe distance). I feel a bit useless sometimes because I can’t think of something I can safely do (my mum’s in the at risk category) to help or volunteer with, I’ll hopefully find something positive to do soon.

Cooking:

Cooking/baking seems to be everyone’s go to just now (I’ve managed not to make banana bread yet haha), its been fun trying to make new things- I’m a kind of possibly okay as long as it’s just me eating it type of cook, but I cannot bake hahaha. I like giving myself little challenges, so I’ve been trying to make creations from the food I’ve bought and I’m only shopping around once every three weeks. A quicken nugget (quorn) katsu curry has been my favourite creation, and my homemade pizza was not what I’d call edible. Homemade vegan brownie recipes are also pretty good! 😊

I really hope you’ve all felt okay this month, thank you for your comments and I’d really like to know what books, films and shows help you to feel better 😊 I’m ending this with a picture of Dusty because she’s always my favourite wee thing.

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)