Thursday, 21 January 2010

Illustration Career on Hold

Had a bit of an accident on Friday 15th whilst setting up my St. Aubyn exhibition... long story involving a fire door, its hinge and my right forefinger. After much drama, my finger now looks like this (above) with a piece of wire sticking out of it. Over the past few days I have certainly learnt why pulling finger nails can be used as an effective torture technique - its agony! Anyway, my mother knew how bad this was all going to be for me this week, as she too has had a finger injury involving a 6cm splinter, her nail and her ring finger. So luckily for me, she dropped everything in Sussex and went to look after me in Plymouth.
Full accounts of this weeks story are on my mums blog. Guess the painting is on hold for now...!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

How to cook a vegetable soup without the use of a right forefinger...
Last night I missed my preview party at the Royal Cornwall Museum for the St. Aubyn exhibition. Instead, I thought it would be a good idea to crush my finger in the hinge of a fire door and spend my Friday night in A&E. I have to say a big thank you to all the staff who helped me last night at Truro - you were all very fast, calm and kind.

So, how to cook a soup without the use of ones right forefinger (I did in the end break and fracture the tip of it). Well:

Step one: Choose your vegetables. I suggest that this is done carefully. Be mindful of the more spherical and the hard ones - these have a tendancy of rolling off the chopping board. Mushrooms are very useful, because you can just break these up in your hands. Anything tinned, such as beans are OUT-OF-THE-QUESTION.

Step two: Get a bread knife, or any knife with a serrated edge and slice through the vegetables. Non-serrated knives are useless without the use of ones forefinger, as are peelers. Bread knives work well for onions. Potatoes and carrots can be chopped by dropping the knife from a good height and at a hefty speed. Please watch your other fingers when chopping the vegetables - we don't want anymore accidents!

Step three: Peel the garlic. This is the most challenging element of the task, but in my view, no soup is worth eating without some garlic in it, so its worth the pain. Chop the garlic randomly - you will not get it very small because of the knife selection. You won't be able to crush it either.

Step four: Cook it and eat it :-)

Tomorrows lesson will be how to paint a picture without the use of ones right forefinger - I am up for the challenge!!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Ta Ta For Now Sir John

Sir John St. Aubyn © St. Michael's Mount Collection

It is my last day at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery on Thursday, and I am getting ready to leave all my 18th Century friends behind in the museum stores. It's a sad time, but it has been an amazing two years worth of work. I cleared my desk today, and filed the last pieces of paper. I have managed to accumulate 10 fat lever-arch files with all my research - you should have seen my managers face when I had to pass everything onto him. I know how he feels - rather how I felt two years ago - overwhelmed!

Anyway, its bye bye Sir John, bye bye Juliana Vinicombe, and bye bye to Count Jacques Louis de Bournon curator of King Louis XVIII's cabinet de mineraux, Dr. William Babington of Guy's Hospital, Dr. James Edward Smith founder and president of the Linnean Society, John Stackhouse of Cornwall, James Dickson of Kennedy and Lee's Nursery in London, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Greville of Paddington Green, Emma Lyon, Napoleon Boneparte, John Stuart the 3rd Earl of Bute and Prime Minister of Great Britain, Sir Abraham Hume of Wormley Bury, James Hutton of Edinburgh, Sir Joshua Reynolds of Plympton in Devon, Dr. John MacCulloch of Edinburgh who died tragically during his honeymoon after being draged by the wheel of his cart, James Hutton Balfour Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Martha Nicholls of Ludgvan and Sir John's mistress, Dr. William Hunter the physian to Queen Charlotte, John Opie of Trevellas in Cornwall and John Prideaux of East Street in Plymouth...

... who all had a part to play in this epic story.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

The warmest place in the country?

I woke up this morning itching to walk to Plymouth Hoe. I had been wanting to see the sea all week whilst in my office and so there was nothing that could have stopped me marching all the way up the hill on this cold icy morning - not even my death-trap of a road. After, once again, crawling on my hands and knees to get out of my road, I finally got to the seaside. It was so warm and beautiful. Lots of interesting bird life as well, probably because the poor little things can't find any food on Dartmoor. Anyway, I thought I'd share these pictures with you in case you need warming up... :)

Monday, 4 January 2010

My Ginkgo Girl Present

Here is my Christmas present from my mother - isn't it great?! Look it fits perfectly! The gun box is one of my salvages from a museum store a few years back. Not sure what I am going to use the box for yet - ideas are welcome. It is a bit smelly though, because it used to contain butterflies and the collector put naphthalene inside. The naphthalene stops other 'pest' insects eating the pretty insects which collectors want to keep.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Finally got my digital camera working...

Not sure if you noticed, but I have been very quiet recently... Lots of thinking, making choices and getting to grips with the fact that a wonderful two years at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery has come to an end. My contract will end on the 14th, so I have changed the title of my blog temporarily, as I am mainly concentrating on my illustration these days.

Just come back from a cosmic two weeks in Spain seeing my mother and stepfather Andrew. We had very dramatic weather, with lots of rain and I found it rather thilling! I am sure my mum will put some photographs on her blog soon.

This weekend I am desperate to start work on my family tree again. I didn't take it to Spain so that I could concentrate on my drawing instead. It has grown a bit since you last saw it... See if you can spot the owl.