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 drawing is from a while ago but I still like the idea. Haven't felt so great this week but then it is January and the colds and virus's are doing the rounds and it's grey. Really grey. Depressingly grey. I really have to drag myself through January and February with a combination of routine and self determination. I'm ok when the flowers all begin to appear and the weather brightens. Even the cats seem down and not inclined to go out much. At least the days are slowly beginning to lengthen again. Good luck to my brother, he starts a new job tomorrow. He was offered three jobs recently, two in the financial centre of London, so I think he's doing ok.
I'm sorry I'm a bit late with the first post of the year. I was completely out of routine and it always takes me a little while to kick back into a nice working routine. I had a great Christmas, I ate too much and now the hard work begins again, to try and keep off the weight that wants to creep on. The hard work also begins as I have a new car which needs paying off. I'm very pleased with my new car. It's lovely. The old car had got to the stage where I was thinking, I'll keep it going as long as I can, but it was beginning to cost me money in between services and MOT's. I was very pleased with the cartoon that I got in the Private Eye Annual this year. It balanced out crashing my car. Even the fact that I'd paid for a new exhaust the day before I crashed the car. I've not got any resolutions other than to tidy the clutter in my room and this is a long term aim as, as soon as I clear it, I tend to put something else there in its place. I always know where everything is, until I tidy, then things get lost as I put them in safe places and then forget where the safe place is. Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all have a very good year.
I crashed the car last week, hence there was no post from me. Everything went a bit frantic. I wrote the car off, so there was no way to get about apart from taxi's and buses. Although we do have a bus on the hour through the village, this time of year if you're heading to Ipswich, it's standing room only. It was the most inconvenient thing to happen at the most inconvenient time of the year. Everything stopped in the search for a new car ( well, it was impossible to do anything much until another was found). I was recommended Kia's by several people so I went online to look and see what was available. Met a lovely, helpful chap by the name of Matt Read at Marshall's in Ipswich and they miraculously set me up before Christmas! I was really grateful and if anyone in Ipswich is looking for a vehicle, I would recommend them. Meanwhile, the accident was my fault (brakes failed) and so I am at present financially ruined. Let's hope next year is a good one. Massive thanks to all those who have sympathised with my predicament and sent me words of encouragement, a big thanks to my Mum who is helping me with some cash (I will get it back to you!), a big thanks to all the people who helped me in various ways, the lady who went on to the garage to see if they'd pick me up from the middle of nowhere with no phone signal, the gentleman who did just that and let me use his landline phone and sit in his warm office until the taxi came and also the taxi driver the next day, when I went to pick up all my work stuff and possessions from the car, who helped me to do it and also knocked a tenner off the price for me. I have been rather blessed. I'm just glad, I wasn't on the A12 behind a lorry when my brakes failed. I was heading for the A12. Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and that your new year will be very happy and full of good things. Thanks everyone.
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!!