I have a cooked lobster in my freezer that I use for reference when I’m doing a painting that has a lobster in it. Over the years he (or she) has starred in quite a few of my works, most recently a rock pool painting where he is intimidating a blenny. I love lobsters, I love eating them but mostly I love drawing them. They are an artist's dream: the claws, the beady eyes, the sweep of the antennae (with which they smell and feel their surroundings). When I’m painting a lobster I relish putting in the spots and spikes that cover the shell. Drawing a lobster is a challenge because of the intricate face (is that the right way to describe a lobster's visage?). There are all sorts of appendages and mouth parts as well as the antennae that force you to really look and study how it all works.
Every now and then, when I am rooting about in my freezer looking for something for supper I’ll come across the lobster, wrapped up tight in cling film, and get him out to draw. Each time he gets more whiffy, but he is holding up well and I’m sure he has a few more paintings in him yet.
Those of you that have read my blog over the years will know that September is my absolute favourite time of year. The first day of the month feels like a new beginning to me, a fresh start. One of my sisters explained that it was that back to school feeling that is so ingrained in us of all that brings on the thoughts of endless possibilities. I’m not so sure, I only remember feeling dread at the start of new term. Anyway, for whatever reason I am fired up and feeling really inspired as the leaves start to change colour and the nights draw in.
One of my latest paintings is a real departure from my usual coastal themes. Not only is the subject matter different but I’ve painted it in oils rather than my usual acrylic. Peanut and the Bull is an idea I’ve had for over a year. The bull is called Foggy and he is a familiar face on my morning dog walks. Although he is huge he has a calm, placid personality and I’ve grown very fond of him. I loved the idea of him and Peanut (my miniature sausage dog) looking at each other. I must say I am thrilled with how it has turned out and now I’m thinking of doing a series of the two of them.