Always keep your putty rubber warm.

A putty rubber is also known as a kneadable eraser, it gets you out of trouble with sketching, watercolour and charcoal.

This is not really about putty rubber . It’s more about life.

Prepping my kit for some water-colour classes I was reminded of a sentence that I last heard 45 years ago. ” Always keep your putty rubber warm” were the wise words of an art teacher called Tom Abrahams. In art terms a warm putty rubber always gets you out of trouble if you are in a tricksy spot while sketching.

Not having a warm putty rubber was exactly the moment that I remembered this quote. Isn’t that always the way.

As it happens this quote is not only really useful for sketching but is also a fine metaphor for looking at life.

Always being able to correct errors would be an absolute superpower. Meanwhile I’m keeping my putty rubber warm.

#todayimwearing. Why I couldn’t survive a capsule wardrobe.

I’ve collected clothes since I was about 20, that’s 40 years of shopping. Its also 40 years of donating to charity shops as I curate my collection and get rid of the evidence of impulse or imprudent purchases. I’ve always considered my wardrobe to be my palette for creating my style on a day to day basis. Not much exists that is actually 40 years old, but many items have been replaced like for like as they have worn out. In some respects this is counter to the current trend for fashion bloggers, or influencers who highlight what is available to buy now and indeed Fashion and Style magazines. Real life is not about buying everything new each fashion season. It is about knowing what works for you as an individual and buying a couple of bits to replace worn out things or to add some new colour. Just as I have favourite products and colours to create abstract paintings, I have favourite clothes that can be combined to create the style that I feel comfortable in. I have made some expensive mistakes both in art and fashion shops.

All of my previous working life I wore a uniform, clothes shopping was for commuting and weekends. Now I have a new life, as a full time artist and writer, clothes have become a lovely every day creative process and I rarely put the same two things together.

I’ve become more careful about wearing normal clothes to paint in. I managed to buy a massive pair of 1970’s dungarees on Ebay a couple of years ago. I wear old t-shirts underneath. So on painting days the age of my #todayimwearing clothing is about 45 years.

The inspiration for this blog was an outfit I put together recently to deliver some paintings to a client. I was aiming for an arty look. As I put the composite parts back into the wardrobe I realised I’ve been putting this look together since 1977. In turn it was inspired by my mum in the 60’s. I can be that accurate because I wore this look to attend my Viva Voce exam in Russell Square London. At the time I thought this look reflected me as a sensible professional. I realise now it was just me being me.

I am still a fan of a knitted cardigan, but now it tends to be Seasalt that make them rather than my mum.

www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk

Here are the four pieces that inspired this piece of blogging.

The Straw Hat- I love hats, my grandmother bought hats from a gay milliner called Francis Golightly ( seriously) I longed to wear hats , as she did, every day. That was never going to be possible so a straw hat in the summer is the best I can do. This one is about number five and is possibly the cheapest ever as it was bought in a hurry from New Look after number four met a watery grave during a storm in Cuba.

newlook.com/uk

Big Sunglasses- I suffer from sweaty eyelids, big sunglasses are the only answer.I have no idea how many pairs of these I’ve owned. Usually they are cheap fake ones from Greek supermarkets. Age has caught up with me and now they need to be prescription lenses. Ollie Quinn makes these beauties.

oqspecs.com

Scarf- I may have the national Collection of scarves. Simple reason. I’ve never been a size zero and any woman no matter what size can buy a scarf even in the most sizist of shops. Blush pink, I’ve learned to love it, inspired by a fellow blogger. This member of the scarf family came from Oliver Bonas.

sleek-chic.co.uk

oliverbonas.com

The black and white dress. I love this dress, it is the latest iteration of my black and white dress family and is probably the closest to the one my mum wore in the 60’s . I used to make these for my Sindy. This one is from Marimekko.

www.marimekko.com

It’s strange that I’ve never realised that my clothing choices have not really evolved greatly throughout my adult life. I suspect I could trace all my clothes back with similar stories to these four pieces. What chaos could I create in my life if I ever used a personal shopper?

Plymouth Bloggers- an evening out

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Being a Thursday child I’ve been about a bit. However for nearly thirty years Plymouth has been my nearest City and the area that I return to even after long sojourns. My relationship with the city is mixed, initially I was a little ashamed to say I came from Plymouth. My reasons were complex then but I’ve grown to love the city and really want the best for it. Aditya Chakrabortty wrote a brilliant piece in The Guardian, recently,that reflects where the city is at right now.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/11/post-industrial-plymouth-business-social-enterprise?CMP=share_btn_link

A group of Bloggers were invited to the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth to meet with some of the people and organisations who are keen to promote Plymouth and its increasingly vibrant cultural and creative life.

If anyone is in any doubt that Plymouth is on the up then curiously the Crowne Plaza is a good place to start.

Big organisations are wise when investing large chunks of money, they do their research. Crowne Plaza has invested 5 million pounds in reimagining the old Holiday Inn. It is a remarkable transformation. 30 years ago my very first night in Plymouth was spent there, the only thing that lifted my heart at the time was the view from the room hosting the breakfast buffet. That same room is now the latest iteration of the Marco Pierre White group of restaurants. Beautiful, louche, photographs of the eponymous chef fill the entrance.

Once inside the place is so stylish and glossy with those amazing views it’s hard to think that you are in Plymouth rather than a world renowned iconic city. (Iconic City is of course exactly what Plymouth wants to be) Anyway I digress. My point is that Crowne Plaza have invested in their Plymouth Hotel because they believe that Plymouth is going to become pretty amazing.

The Bloggers event was held in one of the meeting rooms. In common with the whole interior of the Hotel the room had some pretty interesting artwork. Inky Blue is the signature colour of this hotel.

Usually when Plymouth Bloggers meet we eat and talk, last night there was talking to be followed by cocktails and canapés. Luckily the quality of the talking took our minds off this unusual turn of events. Sally from Onshore Media introduced us to the movers and shakers of the Plymouth P R machine. I imagine there is no such thing as an effective, yet lack lustre PR, I was impressed that Plymouth has such engaging and dynamic representatives , vividly explaining where this, somewhat overlooked, Port goes next.The point of this initial meeting was to explore where blogging and PR merge and how they can be mutually supportive. I find this whole thing really interesting, finding things in Plymouth that fit naturally into the general theme of my blog will be fascinating.

www.visitplymouth.co.uk

www.crowneplaza.com/plymouthuk

www.mpwrestaurants.co.uk

https:madeinplymouth.org/

www.weareonshore.com

Cocktails and canapés, beautiful views of a great city, nothing more needs to be said.

Thanks to Lauren Rogers from Crowne Plaza for hosting, the bar has been raised for future meetings.