35mm photo + cyanotype paper

Below is a cyanotype that I made a couple weeks ago, using a 35mm photo of my friends Jo and Melanie, taken last summer outside Melanie’s home. With my husband’s help with getting the contrast just right in GIMP (he’s a pro at this), I inverted the black and white of the photo, printed it out onto transfer paper, put the paper on top of a cyanotype in the sun for 10 minutes, and voi la, done! I made two of these, one for Melanie and one for Jo, both as part of their birthday gifts. Technically there is a third copy that is a little blurry, so I’ve kept that for myself.

Now that I know how to transfer photos onto cyanotypes I think I will be doing this more often!

UCL Museums

One great thing about a city like London is that you can live here for years and still find new discoveries. The other day I made two, which are both museums on the University College of London (UCL) campus – The Grant Museum of Zoology and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archeology.

Ten years ago I would’ve hated the Grant Museum, as looking at dissected animals would be the last thing I would find interesting, but now I find it fascinating. I also thought it was cool that there were people freely sketching the animals everywhere in their notebooks. When I got home my friend Mel told me that the (literal) Glass Jar of Moles in the Grant Museum have their own twitter! So I am following them now, of course.

Apologies for the reflections – it was a very sunny day.

monkey skeleton, (literally) hanging around

Then I discovered that there was another UCL museum around the corner, all about Ancient Egypt! Those who know me know that I love Ancient Egypt and when I was a kid I wanted to be an archeologist. So it didn’t take much to find Petrie Museum which “houses an estimated 80,000 objects, making it one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world” (Petrie Museum website). HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS PLACE? Doesn’t matter, I know it exists now.

Walking on Gower Street between the two museums….

The Petrie Museum…

Hedgehog artifacts, which made me think of my friend Maria, as we both love hedgehogs. <3

So if you ever find yourself in London and have a love for Zoology, Ancient Egypt, or both, definitely worth a visit to these places. Apparently there is also a UCL Art Museum but I guess I’m saving that for another day. xoxo

A new journal

I’ve started using one of my old rarely-used moleskines as a new sketch journal/scrapbook of sorts. I used to make collages inside of notebooks, but now am starting to incorporate a bit of hand-drawn art into the mix. This is partly inspired by Emma as the other week she showed me her sketchbook in person and it was amazing. I’m not an illustrator like her, so I am doing my own thing. Also, I now have suddenly a use for those piles of postcards, stickers and other memorabilia from my past.

These pages are dedicated to two women I admire – the Nina Simone card is a 30th birthday card from my friend Michelle, and I bought the Rigoberta Menchu postcard at the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway. Rigoberta won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992.

I’ll be sharing more when the pages start filling up! xoxoxox

Life Drawing at the White Rabbit

This past week I attended a life drawing class in NE London. Considering I live in SW London, this is a bit of an insane journey for one 2 hour class. However, my friends invited me last week and I said ‘no’. After hearing it ended up being the best life drawing class they had ever attended, I finally said I would join them. So over an hour of train and tube journeys, I ended up at the White Rabbit Cocktail Club, where the class was being held.

I was the first one to arrive! I didn’t mind though. I talked to the instructor and he is a really cool guy. I also found out he teaches a painting class bi-monthly in Angel (which isn’t as far for me) so I may be going to that as well! Anyway, after a few minutes my friends showed up, including Emma (you can read her blog post about the night here). Even though they provided materials, I got out my David Bowie pencil for the occasion.

The class proved to be the most relaxing atmosphere I’ve experienced with life drawing. It also went by pretty fast! The soundtrack, consisting of The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Soma”, Nirvana’s “About a Girl”, and Sigur Ros’ “Hoppipolla”, only improved the atmosphere. Our model also had a sense of humour. When the instructor adjusted the lighting in front of her, she said “It’s pointing right at my fanny!!!” (Non-Brits: that means “vagina”). Everyone laughed and of course, the instructor moved the lights back!

So here are a couple of my drawings. I had only a few minutes for the first one, and then longer for the second. Considering the time constraints, I think I did alright:

What I found strange with my 2nd drawing is the pose the model gave was very strong and confident, but for some reason I drew her kind of hunched over and looking a a bit fragile. I actually tried to “correct” the drawing but nothing worked.

So, that’s my experience with life drawing at the White Rabbit Cocktail Club, and I will definitely go again! If you’re interested, there’s a Facebook group for the class.