Dabbling: daubs and dots

Hello. It’s FO Friday and, with a fair wind following, we may see some FO posting later today. Photographs are the challenge at the moment – or rather, space and light in which to take them. I’m brewing up a vegetable broth for lunch, then I plan to tackle some of the mayhem in my workroom and we shall take it from there. Perhaps FO posts without the beauty shots… will that do?

Speaking of photography – I signed up yesterday for two classes this Autumn. Both begin in September and run for 8 weeks. A local artist is teaching a class in Drawing and Painting on Tuesday afternoons and a class in Photography on Friday afternoons. I have long wanted ot learn to paint and this is the first time I have had a chance of a formal class. Class size is small, at 6 students (mixed ability) so I hope to make rapid progress. I’m starting pretty much from the baseline – I have dabbled a little in the last few years, on a teach-myself basis and I attended an art group in Leadhills for a few weeks before we left Dumfriesshire — but fundamentally I am entirely untutored and altogether untalented. I was thrown out of Art at the end of the First Year at School and told to go do something that I was better at (Physics!) as I was completely not artistic.

Photography has been a lifelong passion – literally. My father had a darkroom in the attic when I was very young and I spent endless hours up there with him, in complete fascination. I was given my first camera when I was 13 and have always had one since. I have just never had the opportunity to learn to use one properly. As Mr L bought me a new one this year, I think that I should go and try to be serious about it.

Now. That’s Tuesdays painting, Wednesdays spinning, Fridays photographing, one day in town a week and hopefully Monday evenings at Craft Club if it hobbles on this year. No doubt there will be assignments from both classes during the week. I have a hubby and a home to take care of, if only nominally.

Can you see the challenge? I need to fit spinning and weaving in there, some dyeing, and also my knitting – test knitting, and Show knitting as well as things that I just want to be making for myself. All this is without thinking about papercrafts and other interests… and all that STUFF waiting to be used in my workroom.

Challenge doesn’t seem to be quite the word for it. Insurmountable obstacle might be close.

The way that I see it is that the plans that I have been making over the last week now have to be reduced considerably and my aims for next year’s Show now need to be heavily moderated. The cash investment in the classes is, um, significant (I emptied my Woolee Winder jar!) and Mr L is bearing half the cost as I only had half of what I needed. So I have to give the classes my all and take them very seriously indeed, learning as much as I can. Learning takes practice – and lots of it!

On a side note – I went touring my home town on Google Street View yesterday. I went to see the house that I grew up in. A tiny two-up-two-down, which dad converted and added a bathroom to. Three of us girls in the big bedroom, mum and dad in the small one, coal and spiders in the cellar, and budgies, lovebirds and photographic equipment in the attic. Mum and Dad bought that house very cheaply in 1951 as it was slated for slum clearance. It is still standing, though our street seems to be the only one that remains and neighbouring streets have had terraces replaced by semi-detached homes.

I can’t embed the map/street view, WordPress will not allow me to but you may still have a look if you are curious. I can’t get over how tiny the place was. (It’s the grey-painted one, with the brown door – no 62) The room over the “entry” (passageway to the back yard)  was where the bathroom was created.

We left in 1961, and I have lived in many different houses since then – large and small, urban and suburban and rural. It is fun to compare my first home with my final one, I think!

Look at where I got to in my life not bad for a back street slum kid, eh?

Perhaps I shall paint it.


  1. August 19, 2011

    You do have talent, actually. I am always envious of your photographic compositions, and I saw that drawing that you did of your dressing gown (if I remember rightly). It was fab. Enjoy!

    • August 23, 2011

      No, don’t say things like that – it only means I shall something to live up to! 🙂

      (you’re very kind)

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