New Look

Staying home means a little more time than usual to fiddle about. My blog had been giving me trouble for some time now: little things that did not work properly, the fact that I constantly had to log in, and log in yet again. I had to enter my password more often than when I go into my bank account.
But trying to fix anything at all on Word Press takes forever, and I couldn’t be bothered. Contacting a Happiness Engineer always seems harder than contacting the Pope. 

The tulips have arrived and I had some time to draw those too

Anyway, I came upon a forum where someone who was having a problem was told by WP support that his theme had expired. I had no idea that this could even happen (why??) but it dawned on me that mine might have the same issue and, sure enough, when I looked it up, there was a message saying ‘This theme has not been updated for two years.’ Gee, Thanks.
So I scrolled through the free themes, but of course that took ages. I found some nice ones on, which—surprise—did not exist on (yes, they are different). Then I wanted to read some reviews (people report the weirdest problems), and run the demos, which show you how your blog will look. That takes ages, too.

Tulips with some foraged wild garlic

I wanted something simple, without too many frills and bows. I finally chose a WP theme called Twenty Sixteen, which came out in 2016, but has been updated since. Let’s hope they continue doing so.
WP also advised me to back up the blog before doing anything, but just reading about how to do that gave me a headache. I discovered a good plugin which copies all your files and photos, and apparently is simple to install, then I found out that if I wanted to use a plugin I needed to upgrade to WP business plan. No thanks. So I just exported the files, which are now sitting in my Dropbox as zip files. No idea how to open them.
Moving on, I finally took the plunge and pushed the button, and I think it looks okay. There is the small matter that my featured image appears twice in each post (it’s being added before the heading). If anyone can tell me how to fix that, I’d be most grateful.
Let me know what you think!

Next day the tulips opened, so I had to draw them again

And it’s done

July 31st – the month is over, and so is the watercolor challenge. I’m happy to say I managed it, but then I tend to draw or paint most days anyway. There are many more art challenges to be had on the web – drawing 100 people in a week, or new prompts on Doodlewash for August – but I think I’ll give it a rest for now. At least until Inktober (making an ink drawing every day in October). We shall see.
Meanwhile, here is my output for the last week of July, much of which was taken up with my floral triptych.

Day 24

Started adding background to my floral paintings.


Day 25

Fruit and veggies on the kitchen table – three green tomatoes, a nectarine, two apricots and a pear. I drew these in a Moleskin journal which has glossy pages that reject watercolor, which made for interesting effects. You can see the paint pooling on top of the paper instead of sinking in.



Day 26

Having picked this red cabbage in the garden, I was fascinated by the shape of the outer leaves curling around the central globe, and the subtle colors going from purple to blueish green. I made a quick sketch – on khadi paper this time, which absorbs color beautifully. Not very pleased with the result, but unfortunately I couldn’t start over, since it was time to cut it up for the salad!



Day 27

Artist Caroline Magerl posted a picture of her westie on Instagram. I loved the shape she made from the back, so I used her for today’s sketch. Looking at the photo, I now think the background needs to be darker.



Day 28

Today I felt like drawing a figure, and I came upon some origami paper, so I added collage. This is a small sketch in my khadi journal.



Day 29

I’m hard at work on my triptych, so no time for anything else today.



Day 30

Today’s garden harvest: courgettes, some whiskery leeks, a couple of small and barely ripe tomatoes and a lone strawberry (actually there were a couple more, but I ate them). All begging to be painted.




Day 31

I think my floral triptych is finished. Here it is, propped up on the kitchen counter, since I don’t have an empty wall big enough. I’ll contemplate it for a day or two, in case I feel like making any changes, then I’ll pack it of to its new owners.



And that nicely concludes the challenge. New bird painting planned next.