Friday, 17 August 2018

Ellie's got diabetes

It never would have occurred to me.

    Ellie has not been in the best of health for a week or two. A little unsteady on her feet and generally unwell, hence her less than warm greeting last time I saw her.

    I did suspect that she had laminitis, which always makes horses grumpy. I would be too if my neck was as hard as rock and my hooves crumbling. 

    But no, it's not the plentiful supply of grass, which for a Shetland pony is a bad thing, since they apparently spend their lives leaping around searching for the odd blade of grass to nibble on in the wild. And I know there's not that much grass in the Shetland Isles, because I once did an exercise there whilst in the Royal Marines - awful drafty place.

    Apparently she has to be starved of all the things she loves the most - and of which she's probably had far too much.

    If she was grumpy before she's going to be a real pain from now on.

    She may only be the size of a mutant Labrador but she's got the impact velocity of a small car.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Changed the picture again.

I'm bored with it now, painting that is. Time to find something else to do.

    I'm sitting in my writing room, cringing at the noise from above. Two men (although it sounds like fifty) are replacing my roof. 

    I bought my house from a man, who first bought it from the council. And following all councils' historical meanness when it comes comes to housing their tax payers, it has a flat roof. Just because my fifteen year warranty ran out last year the insurance company has levied a £5000 excess on any payment they (hopefully) won't have to pay for should I make a claim.

    Even getting an insurance company to insure me is difficult. I'd have more luck if I lived in an area prone, perhaps I shouldn't tempt fate. I don't believe in fate but there'e's no point in pushing my luck, which I don't believe in either. Maybe I'm just getting old and frightened. I was sixty one a few days ago.

    What really bugs me about becoming ancient, is that I still feel like an eighteen year old in my head. Somebody once told me this would happen but I laughed them away, just like all immortal teenagers do.

    Time for another book I think. I know I've been saying that for weeks but I had an especially good idea last night while all my ancient insides were all grumbling in harmony. And since I sold a novel the other day, and am now rejoining the best sellers I'll keep at it.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

My painting's still rubbish but I'm getting the hang of the layers.

  I might have gone a little overboard this time as there were about forty layers. No matter, it's the thought that counts.

    Although I wish the newest version of Gimp were a little more stable. It crashes an awful lot - usually when I haven't saved for a while.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Always time for a silly picture.

I heard a muttering sound this morning as I was going to work way too early.

    I don't speak peacock, or any kind of bird language to be honest. But I'm pretty sure it was saying
    Where are those sodding keys? It's been a long night.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Getting the hang of this layers thing.

I've been practising hard at this layers business.

    Part of me still thinks that it's cheating, since if all I had was a piece of paper or canvas then I wouldn't be able to do layers. Therefore, as soon as I've got it I'm going to stop using them.

    Stupid? You're right.

    I learnt HTML just so that I could design my first web site, and afterwards I never used it again.

    Perhaps I've just got too much time on my hands.

Here's the first version:

And the second after using the Gmic filter on Gimp.

Not much difference really, but I like it.

    I think it's time to begin the new book. It's been two months since I finished the last, and after making absolutely no attempt to publicise it I've sold the magnificent number of 0 copies.

    Don't care. Porsche twin turbos are for girls anyway.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

My new painting is rubbish - and I'm delighted.

A strange thing to say you might think but I've been painting with Gimp and other packages for years now. What I always told myself in a continuing fit of artistic arrogance, was that if I was going to paint properly then I wouldn't use any of those gimmicks.

    Chief Gimmick amongst them was layers. (yes "amongst" is a real word - if you're English, anyway.)

    It's cheating, I told myself. If you had a piece of paper or canvas, or whatever you draw/paint/scribble on, then you'd only have one layer. So do it properly.

    That was a mask (pardon the pun) for the fact that I didn't understand layers or even the concept.

   But for a couple of weeks now, when I can get time to turn my pc, on I've been struggling with the incredibly (for me) complex problem of layers. 

    I must have the IQ of your average carrot because it's taken me all that time to get it.

    And here's my first (unfinished) painting using layers. I won't finish it because it rubbish. Now, finally I've got the hang of layers, even though I only used three - baby steps and all that. But I shall use them henceforth. It doesn't help that Gimp 2.10.4 is so vastly different from what went before. It's taken me a dozen years just to understand and remember that.

    Don't get me started on masks and all the other billions things left to master. I won't live to three hundred years old.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

A face so ugly you wouldn't...

I've just spent six hours painting a face.

    It's absolutely awful. It's actually meant to be awful, but not in that way.

    In the ten years of my so-called painting career I've always stuck to strange and weird landscapes, such as:


and occasionally something relatively normal like this:

    But never full faces. This is the result of all that hard work:

    If I can't resort to cloning something from the net, which is naughty, I suppose I'll try to find another way of portraying a man over a thousand years old, without using a face. Perhaps a photo of myself. Is that legal?