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

My Favourite bands & singers

Music is one of my favourite things and on my walk today I was reflecting on how important I think music is as I listened to some songs I love. I really struggle choosing ‘favourites’ because I listen based on my mood and once I love a band or singer I love majority of their songs. I do, however, definitely have certain songs that I listen to constantly. I think for my three favourites artists I might pick my favourite song per album (which I’ll regret because I’ll probably be here for five hours trying to decide haha).

Also I love to sing- just for fun, I’m not the best- so I put in little videos of song covers, sorry for your ears hahaha

The Beatles

I LOVE the Beatles. A few years ago I hadn’t really listened to them (or at least thought I hadn’t because I didn’t realise how many popular songs they sang), and I wondered if they were slightly overrated because they are just absolutely everywhere, but after deciding to listen properly to their albums I became obsessed- I probably listened to only the Beatles for about four months (I do this whenever I find a new singer until I know most of their songs haha), read their biographies and dragged my family to Liverpool (I’d really recommend going to the Cavern club if you love music).

I don’t like a number of the problematic things I read about the individuals such as cheating on partners and Johns abusive relationship, I’d therefore say my favourites are probably George and Ringo. I tend to like George’s songs the most, although I also love John’s surreal lyrics and voice on the more soulful songs like Mr Moonlight (I feel sorry for Paul hahaha, I never mention him, I’m unsure why but in general I just like his voice and songs the least). So here I go on a stressful and long quest to decide my favourite song of each album (maybe I’ll add some honourable mentions if I really struggle):

I saw her standing there (McCartney):

Starting with one of Paul’s songs to contradict what I just said hahaha, I just love how catchy this song is and its ability to stay in my head for a million years.

You Really Got a Hold on me (Smokey Robinson):

Not their song, but I had to choose it though because I love soulful, bluesy songs and the passion you can hear in it.

Can’t buy me love (McCartney):

Maybe I was wrong about Paul haha, another jazzy (I use this word way to much) cheery song.

Eight Day’s a week (Lennon with McCartney):

I do prefer the later albums and in general I enjoy a melancholy song that I can dramatically stare out the window to but I love singing along to their upbeat earlier songs on a long drive.

Ticket to Ride (Lennon):

I listened to this on repeat about 12 times the other day while I was riding my bike haha, it’s a good distraction from exercise.

Norwegian Wood (Lennon):

This is when it’s going to start to get hard to decide, I just love how unusual this songs sounds and the atmosphere created by the sitar. I do have to have ‘I’m looking through you’ as an honourable mention, I love that song.

I’m only sleeping (Lennon):

I think this is when the songs began to sound more unusual and interesting with George’s Indian influences. I love the tone and bridge in this song. Taxman is an honourable mention, this is a very good loud car song.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (Lennon):

It’s a classic, what can I say. I love this album and also have to mention Getting Better, Within You Without You and A Day in the Life– I’ll stop before I name every song in the album. I’m also cheered when I hear Ringo sing.

While my Guitar Gently Weeps (Harrison):

I love George’s songs and the depth within them. I’m glad more of the songs he wrote made it to the albums, although if I was John or Paul I would probably be annoyed that he appeared with lil songs rivalling the famous partnership. I do have to mention Happiness is a warm gun because I love both songs equally, I find this song so interesting and love the composition of a lot of John’s songs that don’t seem to fit the ‘mould’ of typical song formats. P.s I think I’m going to miss Yellow Submarine album haha, this will already be very very long.

I want you.. She’s so Heavy (Lennon):

Abbey Road is my favourite album so this was very, very hard to pick but I love this song, it’s so soulful and dramatic and powerful, this is definitely a song to listen to on repeat on a dark night while it rains against the window.

I also now feel the need to mention half the album as it’s a masterpiece: Something is one of the prettiest songs I’ve ever heard, I recently listened to the studio demo and I love that too, I’d recommend listening to it! I have to mention the drums at the start of Come Together, the simple beautiful positivity of Here Comes the Sun¸ the almost unsettling composition of Because (I still want to get some sort of tattoo based on a song from this album), the harmonies on Sun King, and the end of The End. This album is incredible, and I could listen to it forever (I just wish the Beatles were in a happier place while making it).

Don’t Let me Down (Lennon) and I, Me, Mine (Harrison):

I can’t pick between the two, they’re some of my overall favourite songs. Don’t let me down again has the soulful, passionate almost angsty feeling that I apparently love and that John wrote so well (I love the video of the Beatles rooftop concert, please watch Paul’s little dance during this song hahaha. Also I love their jackets and would wear them). I played lots of Beatles songs while I was on placement in primary one before Christmas (I’m a student teacher, it was hard finding appropriate songs for the kids and even don’t let me down is only semi appropriate hahaha), and when I left the teacher had got the children to draw little pictures beside the lyrics to this song as a present (I cried haha).

There’s also something about I, Me, Mine, I think it’s the guitar at the start of the song (I sadly know nothing about instruments so I’m not very eloquent at explaining what I mean, but electric guitars can really make a song); this is one of the rare songs I just never ever skip when it comes on shuffle.

Please let me know your favourite Beatle’s songs, I’m also so interested in people’s different tastes. I’m also very excited to going back to Liverpool at some point, hopefully next year. 😊

Arctic Monkeys

I think it was three years ago that I began to listen to Arctic Monkeys and realised my love for them (thank you Peaky Blinders haha). Even if you think you’re unfamiliar with their songs, you will probably know a few if you’ve watched any British tv e.g. Inbetweeners, Gavin and Stacey. I tend to like a band or singer’s music even more when I find the singer charismatic or funny, and I love watching Alex Turner’s interviews, the level of sarcasm is quite something (also, nice accent and face). Also, if you like arctic monkeys please look up the Nick O’Malley kidnapped theory hahaha. I got to see them play live at Trsnmt festival two years ago and they were incredible (got to the front and almost died but it was worth it).

Dancing Shoes:

Don’t know what to say, I just love this song (I don’t know why I thought this would be a good idea for a blog post hahaha). I also have to mention the classic I bet you look good on the dancefloor and I do enjoy singing along to you probably couldn’t see for the lights but you were staring straight at me– Alex is a very good story teller through his lyrics and can really set a scene.

505:

This is another very hard album to pick because I love 90% of them, but 505 has a somehow relaxing feeling to it and lots of heart. I also love the guitar used in this song, again know nothing about guitars but it has a beautiful sound to it. I’d recommend listening to this live at Trnsmt on youtube, I think this is the best it has ever sounded.

I also have to mention Brianstorm, Do me a favour and If you were there, Beware as perfect songs to listen to loudly on a long drive (my two musical moods are either depress myself or have a cheery concert in the car).

Crying Lightening:

I enjoy the heavier elements of this album, I think they get the best vocals out of Alex (the way he sings that last ‘crying’ line is perfection, and it is at this point that I realised I can’t write about music without sounding like a creep). I also love Pretty Visitors for this reason, and spent a good week trying to sing along perfectly.

Don’t sit down ‘cause I’ve moved your chair:

Probably my least favourite of their albums, but I love this song.

R U Mine?

This is the epitome of a song to listen to in the car, and I could probably listen to it 500 times on repeat. This album can’t really do wrong, I also love Arabella, one for the road, why’d you only call me when your high, knee socks and I wanna be yours (please listen to this song at night and try to deny that it is the most enchanting, bluesy, atmospheric song).

One Point Perspective:

Like most people, I spent the first few listens of this album figuring out what was going on and decided how I felt about it. After that, I decided to go with the flow and I love it now (I tend to like songs more once I know the lyrics so I can sing along), it’s very enjoyable to speak/sing along half listening to this album and his lovely accent. I also Star treatment, tranquillity base hotel and casino, and the very last note of the ultracheese is quite something. I hope that the band eventually make a new album (if they want to) and I get to see them live again someday.

Lana Del Rey

I’ve loved Lana since her first album, her music is incredibly dreamy and atmospheric, and I love the different tone of each album. I’ve also been lucky enough to see her live and hopefully can again one day (this year’s tour was cancelled).

Million Dollar Man:

This album is such an unusual, intoxicating mix of jazz, blues and hip-hop and I think it works so well. I remember when it first came out I had never heard anything like it. I also love Off to the races (despite it’s creepy Lolita vibes) and Lana’s rarely used higher tones. Ride is also one of my favourite songs ever, it’s so beautiful.

Brooklyn Baby:

I love the way Lana creates her own harmonies to overlay the songs and the almost siren like quality that this creates. This album is probably my favourite of hers and again I think it’s the electric guitar that makes it. I don’t think I truly have a favourite song from Ultraviolence, it’s one of the few albums I listen to without skipping. I particularly love Cruel World, ultraviolence, and West Coast, the atmosphere in this album has an otherworldly quality. Lana is another artist who can create emotive stories through song writing.

Terrence Love’s You:

I think Lana said herself that this album is her most ‘jazzy’ and whilst initially I was unsure of the pace after Born to Die, I love it now and find it melancholy in a lovely way. Terrence love’s you is one of my favourites and is another example of my interest in songs with unusual compositions/structure. I also love this strange, unsettling tone throughout this album, particularly evident in songs like Freak.

13 beaches:

This is maybe my least favourite Lana album but I still prefer to most albums in the world (when I like a singer I really like them). I think some of the songs on this album border on being too melancholic and I have to be in a particular mood to listen to this album, but when I am in that mood I love these songs. I also like the ‘hip hop’ elements that Lana started to reintroduce in this album, and I particularly like Cherry, White Mustang, in my feelings, when the world was at war before we kept dancing and tomorrow never came (just because it feels nostalgic); this album sums up why I can’t pick favourites hahaha, I said this is my least favourite album and I’ve still named half the songs on it.

Cinnamon Girl:

I’m less familiar with this album than her others, but as soon as I heard Cinnamon Girl I loved it, it’s so so beautiful. I also love Lana’s cover of Doin’ Time, it’s very different for her. Happiness is a Butterfly reminds me of happiness is a warm gun, I’m unsure if this is intentional or if I just have it in my head because of the name, but something about the unusual changes in composition feel similar to me and I know she loves John Lennon. I also love some of the lyrics and music that parallels the sounds of Born to die, it feels nostalgic.

Thank you for reading this, I’m so sorry I rambled. Please let me know if you like these singers and your favourite songs by them, I love hearing about music. There are many many more bands and singers I love, I think in the future I’ll write about some of my favourite songs (how lucky you are hahaha). 😊

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.