Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Product Review

Last week, the kind folks at Martin F. Weber sent me a packet of their new Mijello Mission Gold watercolors to try. I'm in the middle of an acrylic painting, so I haven't done a lot with them yet, but I couldn't wait to at least give them a try! I have to say, if you like really bright, intense colors, you should check these out. One thing that is nice is that they don't fade very much when they dry. I didn't have a lot of luck with lifting out, but it could be the paper I was using; I have had trouble lifting out on Strathmore paper whatever brand of paint I use. The colors went on very smoothly and dispersed well in water washes. I'll definately be playing with these some more.

I also tried out my new Copic fountain pen. I didn't realize Copic made these as well as markers. I had a little trouble with the ink line petering out before I was done, as if the ink wasn't flowing as smoothly as it could have. It could be that the pen has to be used a bit more to get the ink really going, or perhaps it was because they had been stored flat, rather than point down. So the jury is still out on that one!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Trip to England continued

A trip to England wouldn't be the same without a stop in busy, bustling London! It was exciting to be there during the run up to the Olympics, although it did mean that some areas were off limits, and other areas were very busy. We managed to get all the priorities done though! The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St James Park, The London Eye, Covent Garden, etc, all in one day!

I have always been fascinated by ancient graffiti. One thing I like to do when visiting very old castles and buildings is to see what is the oldest graffiti I can find. In the prison cells of the Tower of London there are beautiful, intricate wall carvings. Some were done by the prisoners, others were done for the prisoners.

One thing I really enjoyed in many of the places we went were the "living statues". Mime artists who paint themselves and create really elaborate poses.

And of course, there is just so much prettiness and visual interest wherever you go.

York is full of interesting carvings like these, that date back to the time before most people could read. The shops would have a carved sign to indicate what they sold; a sheep for a wool shop, etc. This devil's imp shows that this shop was originally a printer's. The boy apprentices who ran around delivering the work were called printer's imps!

Of course, I can never stay in cities for too long, so we headed for the coast. This is the castle on Lindisfarne, an island that can only be reached at low tide. At high tide the road is completely covered, so you have to time your journey carefully so you are not marooned!

From there we drove to Seahouse, where we could hop on a boat to the Farne Islands, a bird sanctuary. I was in bird watching heaven! We were very lucky with the weather; as you can see, the North Sea is quite calm, which is unusual!

We saw so many wonderful birds. PUFFINS! of course, and terns, guillemots, razorbills, just about every sea bird you can imagine. It was one of the best days I have ever had.

And to top it all off, after we left the island we saw seals!