Well. So much for all the ‘Hopefully by the the time you read this I’ll be on holiday’ that I expressed last week!
Unfortunately, the back pain that I was suffering from last week took a drastic turn for the worse, rendering me bed bound for most of the past week.
I had hoped that the cocktail of painkillers, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants that I’ve been prescribed would have had a more dramatic effect. I can only assume the fact it hasn’t, is an indication of the severity of my predicament!
Unable to sit, or walk more than a few steps at a time I had little choice but to take to bed.
After a bit of moping, I prescribed to myself a little bit of Alvaro Castagnet’s ‘painting with passion’ to help lift my flagging and decidedly disappointed spirits and to perhaps provide a little inspiration.
As I’d already packed a little sketching kit to take away with me, it wasn’t too long before I was feeling the urge to see if I could paint whilst horizontal!
Here’s a little selection of my sickbed sketches. First up was another one of the step by step exercises from the back of the book:
I must confess that it took me quite a while to adjust to painting lying on my side, propped up on one elbow, with a pillow between my knees and with intermittent back spasms of the most excruciatingly painful variety.
As is so often the case, one sketch led to another…
Okay, okay – I think you probably get the picture! It’s not everything, but I think it’s quite enough to give you a sense of what I’ve been up to and quite how much time I’ve spent in bed!
One new development this week that you may have noticed from these photos has been the use of masking tape in my sketchbook to help frame the sketches. Let’s face it I have had some time on my hands!
The most obvious benefit of this is of course the crisp white border when you remove the tape that can serve to enhance and flatter even the most mediocre of sketches:
The unexpected bonus has been that the tape overlaps the page. Now at first I thought this was a huge inconvenience and even started researching thinner tape.
What I discovered though is that by folding the tape over the edges of all the pages, it (a) keeps them from flapping around the place (one of my common sketchbook bugbears) and (b), when I’m using lots of wet washes, the tape protects all the other pages from any runs or bleeding (another bugbear!)
So, alll in all, while it’s not been remotely like the week I’d hoped for, from a painting perspective, nor has it been a total waste of time and effort.
All I could do with now is for a similarly encouraging diagnosis for my back!