Random thoughts (and drawings)

January and February have never been my favorite months—it’s still SO DARK! Usually I’m a morning person, but I find myself feigning sleep so the dog doesn’t ask to be let out at 7 a.m. She also has to be dressed, alas. See below the latest in dachshund winter fashion…

We have been deprived of many little pleasures of normal life: sharing a bottle of wine and a nice meal with friends (preferably prepared and served by someone else!), wandering around an art exhibition, taking in a show…Moreover, in any wanderings we are surrounded by people wearing masks, so even exchanging a smile is not the same.

We are lucky at least that we can enjoy some entertainment at home. I really enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit (about chess) and Dickinson (a very amusing takeoff on the poet’s early life), and a wonderful documentary called My Octopus Teacher. Remember I wrote about An Octopus in my House (A strange Pet)?Well, this one is even more remarkable, since it is filmed in the wild, underwater, in a kelp forest. Highly recommended. Unfortunately, it has quite put me off eating octopus, which I used to love. But, it inspired me to make an ink drawing.

There is only so much screen time I can take, but I’m a bookworm, so I’ve devoured some of my TBR pile: Where the Crawdads Sing,  by Delia Owens, about a girl growing up in a swamp—wonderful), two cozy mysteries: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Oscan (very entertaining) and The Guest List by Lucy Foley (a page-turner), a thriller called Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins (another page-turner). On a totally different note, Fresh Water for Flowers by Valerie Perrin (about a woman caretaker of a cemetery). And finally a memoir called The Lightless Sky, by Gulwali Passarlay, describing his journey, as a twelve-year-old boy, from Afganistan to the UK (mind-boggling). 

I do love to have a couple of books on the go, so now I’ve started Girl, Woman, Other, which won the Booker Prize for writer Bernadine Evaristo, together with The Mirror and the Light, the last in the Cromwell trilogy by Hilary Mantel (a huge slab, but I loved the first two, so I will persevere). I’m also dipping into The Lemon Table, short stories by Julian Barnes. Hope this list will inspire some of you.

Apart from chilly walks wrapped up in layers like an onion, I’ve also been drawing. I finished up a few Christmas present comissions.

The ones above inspired me to make a large elephant pencil drawing.


I find I’m more in the mood for drawing than painting at the moment. I added a couple of drawings to my ‘Travelers’ series.


My resolution for this year is to include more human figures in my work, and even, dare I say it, some portraits. I find I always collect portrait photos because I so admire the capability of artists to reproduce likeness and expression. I’m also drawn to portraits in museums because they show so much about each era. So perhaps it’s time to try for myself.

37 thoughts on “Random thoughts (and drawings)”

    1. By the time they slap them on the rocks they’re dead, but as to how they kill them…Anyway, I never realized how intelligent they are. It’s like eating your dog—but then, pigs are intelligent too. The list of possible edibles is shrinking fast…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. We are in the middle of nowhere now with very few people. So, nobody is wearing masks when dog walking around the fields so it’s possible to exchange smiles – albeit at a healthy distance.
    I really liked ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and have been tempted by ‘My Octopus Teacher’, maybe I’ll give that a go.
    I’m probably the only person alive not to have been that impressed by ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’ but, to be fair, I listened to the audio book and found the narrator’s accent really irritating so that might have swayed my judgement somewhat. On the other hand I had the audio version of another Bernadine Evaristo’s books called ‘Mr. Loverman’ which was enhanced by the wonderful narration. I fancy Richard Osman’s book but have read some bad reviews which put me off. I don’t know why I read reviews as I don’t always agree with them anyway. I recently read an excellent, well researched debut novel by Samantha Rajaram called ‘The Company Daughters’ about Dutch women promised a better life in the colonies by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. (99p on Kindle at the moment if you’re interested).
    Your elephants are wonderful – the pencil drawing is fab!


  2. Methinks we are somewhat on the same page . . . . Oh, I also miss wandering around art exhibits so, so much ! And theatre and opera and symphony and other music . . . but even tho’ I pen this from summery Australia with current 15-hour-long sunlit days as another evening person I very much appreciate what you have found in the virtual and reading worlds . . . delighted homework coming up . . . The Octopus: absolutely gorgeous . . . hmm . . . but I still love to eat it too . . . .


  3. Really nice ink drawing of that octopus.

    The elephants are so adorable 😍

    I think my favourite one is the horses in the woods, makes me want to go there. Get my own horse and ride inside that art piece.

    The way it was drawn is so inviting👌🏽

    Liked by 1 person

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