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.
This was a quick sketch of my older niece done last weekend but she moves too fast. We all went and saw 'Sing' at the cinema, which was really very good and we all enjoyed it. The next day my youngest niece went down with a really nasty cold. The day after that it was me and my Mum. It was a horrible cold. Fortunately the week coming up is a busy week, whereas last week was a bit quieter, so luckily I had some time to get over it. Which I nearly have now. Mum was not so lucky, as due to her medication, her immune system is pretty suppressed and so it's really taken it's toll. She's having to rest up a bit. We went and saw an out of hours Doctor today, just to check nothing was too out of hand and that no antibiotics were needed. Fortunately all is well. Just got to wait it out. I went out today for the first time in a few days and in that time, all the snowdrops had come up. There are some really lovely patches of them all along the road sides now. There were also some daffodils, not quite out but ready to start coming out in the next couple of weeks. There are crocus' in the lawn as well. So we're another week nearer and the days are opening out a bit.
More flurries of snow this week. Nothing substantial I'm pleased to say but some of my journeys out to Stowmarket and the surrounding areas have felt very grim. Grey mists hanging in the black trees and the whole landscape and sky just various shades of grey. I actually like to see the snow because it gives a bit of variety and somehow it all looks less grim. We're another week down though and another week nearer to the spring. This week wasn't too bad, it's been very interesting in some ways. We're waiting for my brother's family at present. It's snowing but not hard enough to lay , just enough to distract you by falling from the sky. The cats have been staying indoors and abnormally reticent to disappear off exploring. I have a fairly quiet week next week work wise and then I'm busy the week after. That's what I like!
Another boring week. I've given myself a project to work on, of which the above is a doodle, I've been doodling a lot this week. There's an image in my head but it's nowhere near being resolved at present so there is a lot more doodling to be done. A lot more doodling. I was thinking a field of barley with a moon in a dark sky with a suggestion of a hare in it but it looks more like a field of rape seed oil and the hare in the moon just isn't anywhere near what I want yet. I did try another but that looks like the pig in the moon the more I look at it. This one is going to bug me for a bit I think. I continue to drag myself through this wintery, dull, grey and damp period of the year. It's miserable but we're yet another week closer to the spring and I have spotted the daffodils and other green shoots beginning to force their way through the soil. This makes me feel better too. It is taking longer to get dark in the evening as well. Everything must change soon I think.
It's not been a bad week, the sessions I had seemed to go well and I've been planning another round of ringing round for next week. There's still a lot of the area I haven't got to yet. I had 23 people in one session last week, I split it into two separate hour sessions. The lady there bought me a card and a plant to say thank you for the free session and also booked me for a paid session. It's slow but still moving slowly in the right direction. The above drawings are of Flo, the cat. She was a bit miffed as I wasn't sitting down and giving her a cuddle. As she was sitting staring at me, I started sketching her. She wasn't that pleased. Even the weather has not been that bad this week and it's been nice to have a little brightness around the middle of the day. I've found if I sit with my daylight lamp and do some drawing it doesn't feel quite as bad. The days are lengthening slowly, January is nearly out of the way and February is a slightly shorter month so we'll soon be in March. We're getting there.
I'll be glad when we get to spring. I'm not really a morning person at the best of times but in winter I could quite happily sleep through the morning and get up and carry on until the early hours next day and then repeat. In the summer, I really enjoy being up at five but in winter I'd rather get up at five in the afternoon. I find winter a massive effort. This weeks saving grace has been the bright middle of the day. I went to a home this week which left me feeling a little down, fortunately these places aren't common in my experience and so far, I think it's the staff that make the places. If the staff are engaged with the people they are looking after, then everything runs well. If they are worn down and see it as the day job and not making people happy and comfortable at the end of their lives when things are difficult, then the home really doesn't prosper. Caring is a very difficult job. I admire those who do it well. Still, we're another week nearer the spring.
Typical. Just when I can enjoy the snow tucked up inside all warm and happy, it decides to snow but doesn't lay. I feel cheated. You can bet if I had had to go out and do something, it would have snowed so violently I wouldn't have been able to get out of the door. That's life though. I enjoyed watching the snow come down for a while. It always reminds me of the song we used to sing around Christmas time when I was in primary school, 'Snowy flakes are falling softly, covering all the world in white'. We don't see so much snow these days. We seem to get wet, dreary winters that are a real drag to get through and breed germs and diseases that the cold would otherwise kill. Not that I'm a fan of the cold, but it does have it's uses!
I've had a nice gentle start to my new year and I'm back to work tomorrow. I started doodling about again this week and messing around with a little bit of colour. I've been trying to tidy and organise working spaces as I have a tendency to work with everything at hand and that leads rather quickly to clutter. Along with my love for magazines and books it can all get a bit out of hand. I don't want to end up like those hoarders you see on tv where people have to walk through towers and walkways of junk! My saving grace is that I get to a certain point and then have to have a massive clean up as I'm not a great fan of clutter. I just don't see it when I'm working. We are entering the period of time in the year that I find most difficult. I really don't like January and February. November is always busy, December every one puts up lights and looks forward to Christmas but January and February are just dark and gloomy. I spend all my time watching for any signs of spring starting. At least February is a short month and by March the plants are beginning to bud and shoot. Well, we've marked off one week already.