felt tip

To friend or to unfriend


Funny that despite innovations in technology our lives seem to get more complicated, not less. I balance a full-time job, a four-hour commute and ‘life’, so keeping up with dear friends online sometimes becomes yet another item on my to-do list.

I was on holiday last week so I was able to enjoy one of the monthly figure drawing sessions run by Debbie Hinks. With a ‘fabulous fifties’ theme our beautiful model had two costume changes, swapping from a full and flowery dress to a slinky mad-men outfit with a fur stole.  Light slanted in through the tall windows of Brighton’s Emporium Theatre and our arty efforts provided a point of interest for the other cafe visitors.

While we were chatting with the model during a break she said that if someone’s birthday pops up on her Facebook news feed and she doesn’t know them well enough to wish them Happy Birthday, she’ll unfriend them.

That seems like a sensible way to keep in touch with those that matter the most to you. So I thought it was funny when I heard on Radio 4 that artificial intelligence expert, Boris Galitsky, has invented a ‘robot’ to carry out his social interactions online. It sees what Boris’ friends have posted, eg ‘puppies’, then scans similar comments to add an appropriate response. I think ‘aw cute’ or ‘oh no’ would probably cover most of it!

Here’s a quick drawing of a ‘fabulous fifties facebook friend and unfriender’.


Sugar plum gorilla

I asked the gorilla to come back and give us a twirl, because my friend said that she wanted to see ‘the whole of the monkey’s body’. I do hope that she’s not disappointed.

Anyway, this is helpful for me too as I want to work on a new theme over the next few weeks. It’s a good way to generate ideas without constantly thinking of new characters or trying different media. I wonder what gorilla and chick will get up to next?

A bird in the hand

Sometimes an idea will pop fully formed from my mind to the page, but mostly it will take a twisty turny path being moulded along the way by random thoughts and impressions.

This week’s picture is one of those twisty turny ones. I wanted to illustrate a hand, as that’s what I’ve been drawing for the past couple of weeks (thanks to the artistic anatomy class at the Sussex County Arts Club).

Then add a bird. It was the RSPB birdwatch this weekend, though no actual birds came to my garden during my survey as they were probably wondering why I was staring out of the window for an hour.

And season with a gorilla. Et voila! A bird in the hand and the evolution of an image.

Modern matryoshka

Remember Mrs Doyle from Father Ted? Go on, go on… I heard Pauline McLynn, the actor who played her, interviewed on the radio. When she was asked about the fact that she often plays older women she said:

It’s like I’ve got a mother and a grandmother inside me.

It got me thinking about Matryoshka dolls or Russian nested-dolls and what they might look like with modern women. Here are three nested women drawn in felt-tip pen on a rainy Sunday afternoon.