I have just finished my M.A in Children's Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art and thoroughly enjoyed it. I consider myself an illustrator and I work for a company called 'Creative Minds' who take art and craft sessions to older adults and adults with learning disabilities. The following entries are my drawings and musings. All images are copyright of Kerina Strevens. Please contact me on my website kerinastrevens.co.uk.
Been experimenting with landscapes in the small time I have had this week. It's likely to be even less time next week. I'm just hoping that the snow disappears as I have quite a bit of driving to do and I really hate driving in icy or snowy conditions. Not because I can't do it but because of the thoughtless morons that treat the roads the same as they usually do, drive too fast and then wonder why they run into trouble. Added to the usual Christmas panic, it doesn't bode well. I'm not really into the Christmas spirit much yet. Too much to get done, I'll get it done though. I'm pretty sure I've had a nasty virus, that started with a cold and ended up with a nasty rash from the bottom of my neck to my nose for quite a few weeks. Went and saw the Doctor in the end but it had pretty much gone by then, just dragged me down a bit and I wanted to go out even less than I usually do. Had a nice surprise this weekend though, I've got a cartoon in the Private Eye annual, so go and buy it!
Been doodling about this week, I've had some work and wanted to try and settle down to my own thoughts and efforts but it's not quite turned out that way. I guess coming up to Christmas it's going to be less and less likely. This week I am going to a place my Mum used to work at, about 37 years ago. It'll be interesting to tell her how things are there now. All I can remember is being taken there when I was quite young. She worked the night shift, so Dad used to put me and my brother in the back of the car and take her to work and then we'd all fetch her again in the morning. It was a bit out of the way in the middle of the countryside in those days. It will be interesting to see how things have been developed. People are beginning to drive like total idiots again. I think it's the time of year. I have been stupidly over taken (doing the speed limit) on country roads this week, more times than I have in the whole of the rest of the year. They just seem to go a bit nuts and drive like their property is burning down or someone's dying. I really don't have any sympathy for it. There is no good reason for putting everyone else on the roads at risk just because you're late for something. Stop looking at your clock if it's stressing you that much.
Well, the week started well this week and then the wheels came off toward the end. Had to put some worming stuff on the back of the cats necks. They're not very keen and Flo in particular, always seems to think that because I've managed to put the stuff on the back of her neck, she has to get me back in some way before it's even and we can carry on our normal, quite affectionate relationship. This time, I almost thought I'd got away with it, I managed to get to bed only fielding filthy looks. She waited until I was asleep and then walked over my head very deliberately. Not something she does usually. I know when I've upset her. Towards the end of the week, I caught a cold and then couldn't get one of the car tyres to inflate to the pressure it should be. So it was a trip to the only place open on a Sunday that did tyres, so they could look at it. It turned out it was leaking around the valve and he did a quick repair job for me which was a lot cheaper than a new tyre. It could have been worse. They were just very busy and I was sitting there for just under two hours. So it wasn't great but it could easily have been a worse week.
Been doodling and thinking about the pied piper. I've not doodled with a pencil for a little while, I usually prefer to start with a pen and make definite marks and commit myself. Pencil always feels to me like you're not quite sure of what you're doing and will want to change it. Considering this came straight from my head I don't think it's too bad. I have some ideas for the piper story but I'm mulling them over. Apparently England had a version of the story, told at Beccles in Suffolk (which was full of rivers and marshes before they were drained by the Dutch). Part of my family come from Beccles and the family history goes right back in that area. I've begun playing with ideas for my Christmas cards and have actually started a little bit of Christmas shopping. My brother and his wife sent advent calendars to us last week, which was a really lovely gesture. Trouble is, mine is chocolate and the temptation is huge!!
I've had a good week this week. The weather's been fairly good, I did poppies with a few of my groups in the care homes and they really enjoyed the sessions. I think they feel like they've really achieved something when we do a lovely poppy wreath or remembrance of some sort. The homes like them prominently displayed as well as it's something the residents have worked on. I'm beginning to move into my Christmas sessions now. I'll be getting some Christmas tunes to play and then it's all systems go. I seem to be allergic to something at the moment which is causing really bad dry skin around my neck and lower face. I haven't a clue whether it's something in a product I'm using for washing or make up (I think not because I use lots of anti allergy things anyway as I've always been sensitive). It could be something I've eaten but I can't think of any changes to my usual diet. It's been two weeks now and I'm thinking of trotting off to see my doctor. It could be a bit of anxiety as I've noticed I've felt quite anxious recently but there's no real reason for it so I'm trying to just work through it. For some reason, I just seem to be very sensitive to everything just recently. Hopefully it will pass.
A quiet week. The weather's been good, the weather's been bad and inbetween. I've done a lot of driving out in the back waters of Suffolk this week. It's really lovely when the weathers good. I don't think I'll ever tire of it. I had to go past two windmills on one journey. One at Framsden and one near Saxstead. I like that I get to see a lot of these places I wouldn't otherwise be going to. We had all the family here this weekend. We had an early Christmas dinner as my sister will be in France hosting a chalet for the ski season again. So we played a few Christmas songs and all ate too much and it was pretty Christmassy. Our poor old cats have been a bit put out though. RJ opted for the out and about option, only coming back for food and Flo opted for my bedroom. They've coped fairly well. I think that's about it this week. A pleasant week.
This week has just seemed to pass me by. I've had a lot to do and haven't felt like I've done anything much. I must admit, I appreciated the extra hour in bed. Weather wise it's been quite a nice week and it's been pleasant driving to and from care homes. I don't think I've been 100% this week but haven't been able to put my finger on what is wrong. I just feel a bit run down. It could be the time of year and the nights closing in or perhaps it's just that time of year when people pick up bugs and pass them round. It's a shame we're coming to the end of Inktober 2017. I've actually managed to do a drawing a day (so far) and I've quite enjoyed the challenge. I think I will try to carry on the practise but not put the drawings up on the internet. Not unless I want to anyway. Onwards and upwards.