Tracey Fletcher King

Art and Illustrations

Friday, 1 August 2014

The Mutt That Cried Chicken ....

Regular visitors will be more than familiar that we are the owners of a mutt called Mushu
who is possibly smarter than a bag of peas
but there are times when I wonder if the peas may have one up on him
Mushu is the sort of thick that makes you wonder if he is in fact a genius
but no... he then does something to remind you just how stupid he truly is
he is a gorgeous, cuddly, funny, toy throwing, licking, snoring machine
who recently got a rather unique haircut which I talked about in the last post
so unique it may in fact require a visit from the groomer
adorable but thick is the best description I can think of
if you think I am being a bit harsh, just click on some of those links... this is one dumb mutt

despite his apparent dimness, Mushu does love chicken
which works well as I have been drawing chickens this week
as homework exercises for Sketchbook Skool
and he will pretty much do backflips at the sight of it
which is twice a day... breakfast and dinner
he gets a bit of warmed chicken with dry food mixed in... yes warmed!!!!
and on placing his plate down he hoovers it like he has never been fed
I swear to you if your hand got between him and that chicken you would lose a finger
He loves it soooo much that he has been trying to trick an extra breakfast from me
which does reinforce the possibility that he may in fact be brilliant

But this week it all went horribly wrong for him
I came down the other morning after being unceremoniously woken up
by said mutt standing on my chest and licking my eyes... truly gross way to start the day
but it was effective as I was out of bed and downstairs before you could spell dog saliva
and then he started the morning dance
he sits at the fridge door looking hungry and pathetic
he gently taps the door, then comes and looks adoringly at you
then taps your leg and back to the fridge
this dance of patheticness goes on for some time
but after being scammed once I was having none of it
I was immune to his mind games
even when he was particularly persistent

In fact he kept it up all day
every time I headed into the kitchen he would do his chicken dance
he even bought in his rubber chicken toy at one point
though I think that may in fact be chance rather than evidence of brilliance
because he also brought me his moose and his french toast toy...
but I held strong until Sinus came home
and was feeling pretty good about not caving like I normally do
until Sinus tells me that he didn't feed him before work as he usually does
it seems Mushu refused to get out of bed due to the cold so Sinus decided not to feed him
for the first time in 10 years!!!!
Of course Mushu was then lavished with appropriately huge meal
and lots of cuddles from Phantom and I
to make up for the uncaring sod that we call Sinus
but I do have to say Mushu has to take some responsibility 
after the scamming that has been going on...

I can happily report that he has fully recovered from the trauma
and is happily curled at my feet at the desk as I paint my new-ish tea cup
and he is serenading me with his contented full belly snores...
happy painting and Paint Party Friday all...xx

Here is the link to Tuesday's post....

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Holiday Hangover....

Let's talk holiday hangovers
a week has passed since we came home from the beach
and I think I may still have a touch of holiday -itis
I am wafting through the days in some sort of daze
partly because every now and again I get a whiff of salt in the air
this whiff may or may not be due to the fact that Sinus insists on dousing all food in salt 
in what I can only think is an all out attempt to harden his arteries
and excite his blood pressure
but whether it is Sinus or that the winter beach is just too hard to let go of
I have to say motivation has been on the scant side

I finished off this page of shells
which is not a shell from the beach but is one that Phantom had handy
and I finally finished off this sketch from  a photo that Mary took on the Fourth of July
it was a task and a half as it has been many many years since I have drawn anything similar
plus I was battling not just a holiday hangover
but also, perhaps, maybe, a little bit of a Fireball induced one
I am such a lightweight when it comes to alcohol it is embarrassing
but hangovers aside, I loved every challenging minute and the many cups of tea it required
I am thinking there may be some more streetscapes in my future

I am not alone in my holiday post holiday malaise though
 Mushu the wonder mutt also appears to be suffering
I keep finding him standing in the middle of the yard/ bed/ garden/ new sofa
nose in the air, sniffing and looking wistful
of course this could be due to the fact that he is girding himself
for the teasing and taunts of the neighbourhood dogs
which are surely accompanying him on his afternoon walks
because before we went up the coast we gave him a reverse poodle
and shaved his legs but left some hair on his body in a nod to the chilly winter winds
he does have a bit of a white hairy potato on toothpicks look about him
which is endlessly hilarious
plus he didn't bring half the beach home every day

So as I contemplate how long it will be before we can head back to the beach
I am painting up some little accordion artwork book things
they are going to come together I am sure
but they are at that scruffy stage
and I hate to leave them in that state for me to face in the morning
so I am going to get back to it
happy painting all...xx

Friday, 25 July 2014

Fireballing ....

A couple of weeks before we headed off to the beach for winter break
my recently turned legal age baby... otherwise known as Phantom Steve
came to me and asked to be driven to the bottle shop
and yes I do think if you are old enough to be able to buy and consume alcohol you should also be old enough to drive yourself
or at the very least have your learner's permit... kids these days right
anyway I must admit to being a little taken aback that lightweight Phantom made such a request
and enquired as to what she might be wanting to purchase from said liquor store
and with a twinkle in her eye she informed me she wanted to try
 which is cinnamon flavoured whisky

seriously... Cinnamon flavoured whisky
now this is concerning to me on a number of levels
I love cinnamon in baking
in fact Swedish cinnamon buns would make it onto my last meal menu
but outside of baking I truly believe cinnamon is evil stuff
this was not helped by a rather unfortunate incident
which involved a bet to consume a mouth full of cinnamon altoids
totally not worth doing to get Phantom to clean her room I must say
and then there was the surprise Big Red Gum incident
not to be confused with the surprise yolk incident which is a story for another day
but in short while Phants loves cinnamon flavoured anything
I however, am no lover of the stuff and held grave fears for just how awful this may be
but hey being young and stupid and trying disgusting things is part of being an 18 year old
and she did seem to be exhibiting quite the enthusiasm for trying it

Of course such enthusiasm led to the concern that my little baby
may be heading down the booze hound path
and yes I know it is perfectly normal for university students
to consume copious amounts of alcohol
but part of me immediately worried that she was going to do a full Miley Cyrus on us
and start wearing butt skimming shorts, chop off her hair, sticking her tongue out all the time and contemplate getting some meaningful ink tramp stamp
but I put my fears aside and reminded her of the whipped cream vodka she wanted to try and how that turned out... or the god awful Rambler incident of recent weeks
but she swore that it got a huge recommendation
on youtube... yep she is is getting booze reviews on youtube

In the end the tipping point for getting in the car and heading off with her
was the fact that she offered to buy it herself
which due to the fact that Phants was born with frightenly short arms and crazy deep pockets
is reason enough to put aside my worries
and witness the miracle of seeing those moths fly from her wallet when it is opened

After all that stress, worry, teasing and miracle wallet opening
I would like to be able to tell you that I was right
and it is awful on a level that can only be dreamed of
but no... it is freakin delicious
plus it was fabulous to paint and I loved having it sitting on my desk for a day
 felt very bohemian
but the only way she is letting me share Her bottle of the stuff
is if I publically acknowledge the fact
so Phants...you were right 
now can Mummy have a Fireball tonight please

happy painting and Paint Party Friday all...xx

Friday, 18 July 2014

A morning walk ...

I am at my favourite spot in the world at the moment
So I thought you might like to join me on my morning walk
Not paintings I know but it was just so lovely
The cold makes for an amazing sun rise
And they are worth still not being able to feel fingers or toes
Enjoy and happy painting all...xx

Did you miss Tuesday's post... 
Here is the link in case you want to see some more perfume bottles http://traceyfletcherking.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/coming-back-for-more.html

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Coming back for more...

The blithe statement at the end of the last post that I was off to paint up the deer heads
may have been a touch premature
as they appear to be a little more challenging than I expected
so you are getting new sketches of a perfume bottle or two
After a few rather disastrous attempts at the deer
Which kept looking oddly like cows that had been run over by steamrollers
I turned to finishing off some perfume bottles to get my confidence back
Not that it was that shaken... more stirred perhaps
And a perfume bottle or two put it to rights
especially as they were both able to be painted in my favourite blues

One of the things I love about drawing and painting is the whole risk of it
every now and again you get something that turns around and bites you on the hand
 nothing you do can save it... and it bites you again and again
it may be a seemingly innocuous looking mug
or something as different as a miniature cardboard deer head
you never know which things are going to have a piece of your drawing sanity
it is one of the great challenges and always keeps it interesting
never knowing if this is the painting that is going to explode in your hands is half the fun
the whole high creative stakes thing is kind of what I love if I am honest

I know sometimes people get freaked out by the whole ruining it phenomenon
and I am not entirely immune to that
but I like that slight quickening of the heartbeat before you put paint onto a drawing
I like the leap, the whole risk factor, the who knows how it will turn out feeling
It is fabulous how it makes me concentrate and focus and not draw on automatic pilot
I like that the solution has to be puzzled out and the process is not immediately obvious
if I am feeling that then I know I will be creatively engaged and interested
It makes me happy just thinking about it

After all it isn't exactly going to have huge consequences is it 
if a painting is mucked up
the world isn't going to suddenly tilt on its axis leading to total annihilation
the way it would if I was to ever see the end of the washing pile
there is no physical risk to life and limb
Though perhaps Sinus may feel there is a risk to his life and limb
if I am having a bad drawing day
It doesn't mean life is bad, or I am bad, or that I can never laugh again
or that I will never create anything of worth ever again
I am not going to suddenly lose heart and quit drawing because I made a dud
It's just not that big a deal in the scheme of things... It is just pen and paper and a bit of paint
I have destroyed my share of paintings... every week
And there isn't a sketchbook on the shelf that doesn't have pages that are appalling
but I can say there isn't one piece of work that has made my life worse

I haven't learnt from all of them
I have repeated the same mistakes... Many times
I have mucked up and destroyed perfectly promising starts
But then I have also had success clutched from the jaws of defeat
Pieces that make me happy and bring back great memories
Finished work I am proud of, or moderately tolerant of as well as some that I think are utter crap
But they are all mine... My time, my effort, my results
imperfect, a disaster or fabulous... it just doesn't matter
it means that I have had time to paint and draw
The bad ones make me more creatively resilient
And the good ones keep me coming back for more
So bring on more squished cow deer heads people... I am ready for them

happy painting all...xx