Art Studio and Life #15 featuring artworks and painting

Hello lovely family and friends

My family travelled up North for a long weekend, to catch up with friends near Mount Ruapehu. We drove up the mountain where we frolicked in the snow for a while. It’s still surreal that we live somewhere where there are actual snowy mountains. Having said that, it’s been snowing in places in South Africa that have never had that before. Advice for you frozen Africans – when we moved here, we were told “If you are feeling chilly, you need to get some Pollys.” ??

Pollys are not a person/people. It’s short for Poly Props, which is short for something else that I don’t know. Basically, they are woolly long johns. Our Swedish mate once told us, “There is no bad weather, there is only bad clothing.” Which is why, if it’s not a blizzard, Swedish kiddos are ushered out into the playground every day, unless the temperature drops below minus 20C. Or was it minus 40C? I forget. So, anyway, get yourself some knitted long johns and you too can make a snow E.T.

Following on from last week:

Speshul/speshil/special greetings to all the dyslexics! And now that you have looked at my varied spelling of special, I have a question for you – which is the most logical spelling?

Not number 3. Just sayin’.

Some time ago, my friend Eloise lent me her awesome book ‘The Dyslexic Advantage, unlocking the potential of the dyslexic brain’ by Dr Brock L. Eide & Dr Fernette F. Eide – SO GOOD! If you read it, it will make you proud to be dyslexic. And if you are non-dyslexic and read it, you might wish you also sucked at spelling.

Eloise also does a fabulous blog for parents of differently wired kids, so if you and your kiddos need some encouragement or support, go and look it up:

Since I am an artist, I should actually write about painting. I do wonder if you get bored with all the painting in progress pictures, but apparently some of you like them. At least you can enjoy looking at lemons.

 First thing I do for a new area is mix colour. While I do that, I listen to an art podcast. I am a member of United Artspace, which is an online artist group that has a whole lot of resources for artists and has really helped me.

Make & Sell Art

I also like listening to Art Wisdom Podcast by Chris Mercer and Kat Machin. So much to learn, so little time!

When I start to paint, I switch to classical music with no lyrics. Painting happens on the other side of the brain to language, so listening to words stops me from getting into the painting zone. I’ve never understood how people prefer to get together with other people to paint, it’s so distracting. I went to an art class once where someone brought her dog along. She didn’t even bring any painting materials, she just sat with her dog on her lap and talked to the rest of us who were trying to paint, and didn’t seem at all put out by our monosyllabic grunts. Yeah, nah.

Then it’s painting time. I coax and cajole and threaten myself to get myself to pick up a brush. ‘Just ten minutes,’ I say to myself, ‘then you can stop.’ Then I start to paint, colour by colour, sometimes only for ten minutes, before I have a break. Then I force myself to paint for another ten minutes, and then finally, I lose track of time and hours pass, and then, when I run out of time, I get grumpy when I have to stop. So contrary, hey?  

Just ten minutes…

Working on the rind, thinking, ‘I don’t know what I am doing…’

Working on the indentations and checking how the colour looks against the blue.

Painting many different strokes of colour to make the centre of the orange look like lots of cells.

Final layer, I changed the colour of the pith because it is opaque and looks slightly green.

Behold, a slice of lemon. Then I lie on the studio floor for a while to recover.

Pet Care confession (aka Cat Update)

I have been SO CRUEL to the cats that I have given them a China bowl of clean tap water to drink from every day.

Yuck! How horrible!

Luckily for them, they are resourceful beasts and have managed to locate their own sources of potable drinking water-

Second prize runner up: Plant filtered, mineral enriched water

First prize: Eau de toilet

Now all the dog people are feeling very smug, unless, of course, your companion animals have also been refreshing themselves at the nearby facilities. And, unlike cats, dogs like to come back and give you a friendly lick, sharing the love.

I’m sorry this is late this week. I have been feeling somewhat under the weather, (as opposed to feeling on top of the world) and have tried the pushing on through approach, which has failed. Therefore, I shall now retire to my boudoir and re-read my favourite books.

XX Barbie


  1. Chris Wilson

    By the way, I forgot to say I have also owned a few cats (including a current one) that thought the toilet was a personal drinking fountain. Did you know that you need to place the water you do supply for them to drink well away from their food? Something about in their primitive state they never drink water near their food in case the food has tainted the water (so I have been told)…

    • Barbara Podmore

      Well that’s new to me Chris! so I will try it, thank you. I’ll let you know if it makes a difference…

  2. Chris Wilson

    Hi Barbie
    I do find the art clips of how you construct your paintings fascinating! It helps me appreciate how many layers of paint create the final effect, often in surprising ways. And I equally enjoy your take on life. It is important to care about our world and also it’s equally important to care for and respect the diversity of brains/people in it, and appreciate that not everyone is like us! Keep writing (when you feel well enough). I look forward to seeing the latest notification hitting my inbox, knowing I’ll have a chuckle here and there and something interesting to ponder, not to mention some historical art with amusing modern interpretations 😊

    • Barbara Podmore

      I’m really glad you look forward to them Chris – that makes my day! And thank you for reading them on my site, I appreciate it. I do enjoy writing them, and sharing and making art Memes. In fact, I have been spending too much time writing and not enough time painting, a whole new form of Painting Avoidance Behaviour, PAB for short.