Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Polaroid Summer

Summer captured with my Polaroid SLR 680 and Image Pro cameras during our staycation.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Cyan Polaroid summer shots

I had this Impossible Cyan 600 film that had been sitting in my fridge for a while, and I thought that our holiday was a good time to try it out and use it up. I was a bit sceptical about the film, and I must say, I'm not convinced. One thing that I found a bit strange was that it seemed quite impossible to get a sharp image with this film. And my Polaroid SLR 680 does take sharp images. It has to be said, though, that these scans don't do the actual images justice. While they aren't sharp, they are by no means as grainy as they appear here. And the contrasts are much stronger and the transitions much softer and smoother. Apparently, it was not only the camera, that struggled with the cyan, but also the scanner.

I still like these four images, though. A boat trip on the lake, a cool drink in the garden, and of the course, the two of us. And it does not happen very often that N agrees to have his picture taken. It was fun to try out this film, but I'm not going to buy it again. Actually, I prefer the simple films to all the fancy special edition that are available. Colour or black & white, and a simple white frame. The photographs have enough magic in themselves, they don't need any fancy shapes or colourful/patterend frames.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Holiday Photo Sunday: Appreciating summer's pleasures

Summer is my least favourite time of the year, especially if it is as hot, and often humid, as it has been these past few weeks. But just because I don't like summer, it doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the little pleasures it can bring.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Trying to keep cool

I don't have a Paint Party Friday post to share today. I did actually do some painting the other night, but it was just too hot yesterday to take a photograph of it, download it, edit it, write up a blog post... And today, it is going to be even hotter. 35ºC. All I want to do is this.

Or even better, this.

But N is back in England. The second attempt took him savely back to London on Tuesday. And I'm back at work, where it is probably going to be about 40ºC in our office by the afternoon. And I have a nasty summer cold, complete with burning sore throat, runny nose and sneezing attacks. Great. I'm so glad when summer's over. At least it's Friday...

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Summer of Colour, Week 6 - Crunchy carrots

Yesterday was not only when the last colour combination for Summer of Colour was announced, it was also the last day of our holiday. And what a day it has been (sorry, this is going to be a longer post). N's flight was at 4pm, so we headed to the airport after lunch, had an iced tea in one of the cafés before it was time to say goodbye. I waved him off, heavyhearted, then took the next train back home, checking the airport app and seeing that his plane had left on time on the way. 
I felt very sad and lonely returning to the empty flat, and thought I'd keep myself busy with drawing and painting until I heard from him from London. I was just going to check the arrivals at the London City Airport website to see what time the plane was scheduled to arrive. But instead of a time, it said "diverted, contact airline". What did that mean?? Diverted? Where to?? I dialled the number of the airline and waited almost 20 in the queue until I finally got through. The woman I spoke to didn't seem to understand my question at first, until, while we where speaking, she received the update on the flight - there was a technical problem with the plane, and it had to return to Zurich, expected back at 4.50pm (it was already 5.15). I jumped up and got ready to leave for the airport, but then decided to stay at home for the moment, as here, I could look up the flight on a plane tracker site and stay updated. I saw that the plane had been circling around over the Zürich since it left and seemed to have settled into a steady loop south of Lake Constance. 
It is a scary experience, knowing that your boyfriend is somewhere high up in the air in a plane with a technical problem, but being able to see the plane on the website, and seeing that it was flying at a constant height and speed was somewhat reassuring. I kept checking the site, and shortly before 6 saw it leave the loop and head towards the airport. I was very glad when I saw both altitude and speed at 0, and relieved to receive a text from N shortly afterwards, saying that all was well. The flaps on the wings that help the plane slow down while landing had broken, and it was our guess that they decided to return to Zürich because London City Airport is a very small airport in the middle of the city, with only short (too short in this case) runways. They had to circle for two hours to burn off fuel to make the plane lighter, as it had to rely only on the brakes on the wheels for landing.
It would still take some time for them to be wheeled back to the gate and sort out the new flights, so I decided to pass the time with drawing and painting this week's challenge. It wasn't until after 8.30pm when N was finally back - without his suitcase, which they had kept to transfer to the new flight. At least we got a few extra hours together out of all this. As he lives on the south coast, in Dorset, a flight on the same day would have been too late for him to get home. So we left again for the airport this morning, said our goodbyes again, and I left for work, which at least will keep me busy during the day. But it will feel very sad and lonely again at home tonight. We did have an absolutely wonderful holiday though, although a bit too hot at times.

I love drawing and painting carrots. They are, somehow, very satisfying to do, both shape and colour wise. And I love the combination of orange and blue.

I very much enjoyed Summer of Colour this year, and I'm glad to have managed to finish it. Having a theme has certainly helped. A big thank you to Kristin for hosting the challenge, and for everyone who took part and made this such a great, warm and supportive community.

I'm happy to say that I just received a text from N, that he's landed. In London. Now I just hope his suitcase will be there too, and that the rest of his journey will be smooth too.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Holiday Photo Sunday: Kaysersberg (Alsace/France) and Heidelberg (Germany)

On the first day of our little 4 day trip to Germany, we drove through the beautiful Alsace region and stopped at the picturesque town of Kaysersberg, with its beautiful old and colourful half-timbered houses. There is a castle too, but with temperatures around 40 degrees, it was far too hot to climb up the hill. We had a lovely lunch there, and of course an ice cream, before we climbed back into the, by now blazing hot, car to continue our journey.

The following day, N. and me went to the old university town of Heidelberg. Again, it was a very hot day, but here, there is a cable car going up to the Köngistuhl, a little mountain overlooking the town. Halfway up lies the impressive ruin of the castle, with a beautiful view over the town.


Friday, 10 July 2015

A portrait, and some more doodles and mandalas

I haven't done as much painting as I thought I would during my holiday-at-home so far. Either we've been away for a few days, or out for the day, or, when we did stay at home, it was usually to recover from the heat and with no energy left doing anything at all. Also, I feel a bit stuck with my two intuitive paintings that I'm working on. Probably because I haven't quite had the time to sit down and read/watch the new lessions. But that's fine too. There's no hurry to finish them, and a holiday is, after all, a time to rest, enjoy and recharge, even if you're staying at home. I did feel like painting a bit the day before yesterday, though. It was a grey and rainy day, and the first cool day after the heat of the past couple of weeks. I had bought (yet another) new sketchbook, with the intention to fill it with (mainly) acrylic portraits. Painting lots more portraits is something I've wanted to do for quite some time, but even if you enjoy something, it can be difficult to get into a habit of doing it regularly at times.

I've also continued doing the one or other mandala or doodle in my "left over paint journal". With all our little trips, I've been taking loads of photos, and drawing mandalas is a great way of filling the time while waiting for all the photos to download.

I can't believe it's already Friday. The time has passed so quickly, and now there's only the weekend left. But I don't really want to think about that yet.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Summer of Colour, Week 5 - Succulent grapes

We're back from our little trip to the Palatinate region in Southwestern Germany, and the subject I chose for this week's colours for Summer of Colour - two greens and one pink - is really suitable. A big part of the Palatinate is wine-growing region, the second largest in the country, and we were driving along parts of the German Wine Route, through vineyards and small picturesque villages, where almost every house is a winery. It was a lovely four days, and even though we picked the hottest days for our trip, and the heat really felt almost unbearable at times, we all enjoyed it immensely. I will try and post some pictures later this week, although I didn't take quite as much as I usually would have done. It was just too hot.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Summer of Colour, Week 4 - Refreshing water melon

I was lying in bed on Monday morning, wondering what the colours would be for this week's Summer of Colour, and hoping that it would include some red. I had seen those delicious and refreshing looking slices of watermelons in the supermarket, and with the temperatures slowly but steadily rising, I wanted to buy some, and of course draw them too. 

And once again, the colours for this week were perfect. Two reds and one metallic. Well, the metallic sounded very challenging, when I first read it. In my head, I saw silver and gold and bronze - the colours of metals. How was I going to incorporate that into a watermelon? But then I remembered those gel pens I had dug out, to use for drawing mandalas and doodles in my sketchbook. The coloured ones all have a metallic sheen to them, and I had a green one. Perfect. The metallic doesn't really come out in the picture, so I'm afraid you have to take my word for it. If you use those gel pens too, you know what I'm talking about. It was certainly fun to add a different medium to my watercolour background and coloured pencil drawing.

Tomorrow we're off on our little trip to the south of Germany. I was hoping that we would have some fine weather and not get soaked. Well, it looks like it's definitely not going to be cool and wet. But it really doesn't need to be 40 degrees... It'll be a lot of watermelon slices and ice lollies!