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 with a four days a week job and I have an unhealthy addiction to sugar which I am trying to curb. The following entries are my drawings and musings. All images are copyright of Kerina Strevens. Please contact me on my website kerinastrevens.co.uk.
This is a drawing I did recently for the July edition of 'The Showing Journal'. I've been doing drawings for the magazine for a year now, I'm pleased to say. I'm not going to complain about the lovely weather, or the fact that it's been too hot, as we're not going to have this weather for too much longer, I'm sure. I was in Guildford last Sunday and the taxi driver dropped me in the wrong place, just as a body was being brought out into a private ambulance. Thankfully, I'm not too phased by things like that, I just felt a bit sad that someone's time had come to an end. I ended up wandering round pondering google maps on my phone. Turns out the estate is not that old and is a bit of a rabbit warren. In the end the man giving the course came and found me. I'd walked past where I was supposed to be. Google maps didn't tell me that, did it? I have to go again this week but I know where I should be now! Not looking forward to lots of travelling on a bank holiday though. I shall let you know how I get on. I'm hoping it won't be too hot Sunday.
Another busy week. Back to work and my brother and his family have been visiting, so it's been all go. Lots of nice days out and sunny weather to accompany them and lots of naughty food, which I will have to work off in following weeks. I've had a few cream tea and lots of ice creams and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself! It's been brilliant. I managed to do a little sketching on Southwold beach,(see above), I need to do more of this. I need to refine my line as well but I think it's just a matter of just keeping on doing it. I just need to keep practising. I continue to juggle life around, I'm off to Guildford early tomorrow morning and I'll be back there again next week too. I'm hoping at some point life will become less frenetic and settle down a bit. I do like a bit of a shake up now and again as I get bored pretty quickly but at some point I like to settle into a safe routine for a little while and let life float by.
I had to give Flo cat a big cuddle this morning as we've been missing out on a few of our cuddles. I think both the cats are hoping for a quieter life soon as well. RJ has been a little bit upset.
In other news I've sent my DNA off for testing to see where my ancestors come from. I can't wait to find out. I'm going to be so disappointed if it comes back entirely English as I can't think of anything more boring. I'll let you know when it's done and what the results come back as. I think they should make it compulsory as everyone on this planet is made up of differing ethnic types from all the travelling our ancestors did. Pure races are a complete myth.
This is another drawing from my imagination. I'm trying to have fun and loosen up, use colour, challenge myself. I've always liked Alice in Wonderland and the fantastic images that artists all over the world have come up with. It's nice to mess around with it without putting myself under any pressure. It's been a busy week. I went down to Fleet in Hants on Tuesday and it looks like a nice place from my flying visit. I sat in on an art session for the elderly and also helped with it a little and I really enjoyed it. I went to Aldburgh and had fish and chips one pleasant evening and yesterday I visited Manningtree to see two friends from Cambridge. I crossed the bridge into Essex. We visited Munnings house and exhibition and I was rather taken. He did so many different things and was really pretty prolific. If you're interested in art or artists, particularly artists local to the area then you would very much enjoy a visit. I'm not really looking forward to going back to work but I am very glad I have a job. You have to look on the bright side.
This is an Alice in Wonderland doodle which I just sat down and drew from my head today. I just wanted to loosen up and play a bit, use a bit of colour, as I feel I've been a bit bogged down with work and worries and I wanted to just not worry and produce something. I want to work on my figures quite seriously now as they're lacking. The more worried I get about things the less likely I'm able to do anything constructive. I want to get out with a sketch book but I don't like having to field the conversation of the curious. Just got to bite the bullet again.
I've been out and about this week to Lavenham and to Cromer and had a couple of ice creams and a very nice cream tea in Lavenham. Warm scones and everything. I hadn't got anything planned for my time off as I thought I was going to be in hospital at this time. While I'm waiting I've been told to lose as much weight as I can so that I recover as quickly as possible. Cream teas and ice cream don't help a lot but they do help with mental well being!
These are sketches from my sketchbook, I have been doodling this week, so nothing very serious. I've felt very much in limbo this week. I'm looking into new things but everything is ideas and trying to find information, there is not a lot in the way of firm ground yet. So everything remains calm on the surface while I paddle away like mad underneath, trying to find different ways of doing things. I'm bored, but I'm feeling tired of working hard trying to change things and having to wait for things to bear fruit or to start moving in the right direction, or even start moving at all. It's a strange place to be in and a frustrating place to find yourself and all I can do is go with it and wait it all out. It may be that I just need a break. Thankfully I have a couple of weeks to myself now, although most of it will be playing catch up and getting things done that I haven't got round to. All the same, I'm looking forward to the change of scene and pace.
I was working on this last week but I'm not really happy with it. It looks too staged. I can go into a list of things that I'm not really happy with but I won't bore you. I'll just look upon it as a piece which I learn from.
It's been more like summer this week and it's been lovely. I do moan about the heat as I'm really not built for it, being of the red haired and fair skinned variety. I can burn in ten minutes and just go back to being white after. So I tend to stay in the shade where possible but I do enjoy it being sunny. Life feels easier when it's sunny.
It's been a week of unexpected events and more worries in the news. I've felt on edge all week without having a proper reason to feel on edge. Business has been slow at work, as everyone is out in the sun taking photos. They will probably all come in when the weather cools down a bit. We had a very violent thunder storm mid week with hail the size of golf balls. We thought the windows were going to come in at one point. A lot of the plants were damaged and it flooded terribly in ten minutes. The cats hid under my bed. Although we were swimming in water, it had all gone by the next morning. There was a beautiful full moon this week too. I'm hoping to go to a conference in Cambridge next week.
It's been a full on week this week. The drawing is one I did a little while ago, just before I started my Master's degree. It's supposed to show how, periodically, I throw my life into the air and see how it lands. I'm recently thinking of doing it again. It requires a bit more thinking about the older I get though. So the thinking and loose planning stage is starting. I went down to Guildford for a cup of tea and a chat on Wednesday. It was interesting as I'd never been to Guildford before, even though I was born in Surrey. I went through Wimbledon station which I can remember from being two, as my Mum would take me there from South Norwood. My Dad was in hospital in Wimbledon, recovering from a brain haemorrhage. I can vividly remember talking to him and being interested in the way he'd had his head shaved for surgery. I ate all his grapes. I can also remember taking a toddle round the ward and inspecting a great, big oxygen tank (or so it seemed to me at the time) and talking to the man in the bed next to it. I can remember an awful lot before the age of three, my parents were quite surprised at some of my vivid memories of that time. I could describe things to them in great detail. I think I need a bit of time to myself at the moment, a bit of a holiday to break the daily grind. I also need to get down to some serious drawing as it has been lacking recently. Another couple of weeks to go though.