Monday, 29 October 2012


It's show-time again this week for me. Hull Musical Society are performing the classic musical Oklahoma at the Hull Collegiate School, Tranby Lane, Anlaby, Hull. Performance dates are Thursday 1st November, Friday 2nd November and Saturday 3rd November at 7.30pm. There is an additional matinee performance on Saturday 3rd November commencing at 2.30pm.  I will be singing in the chorus, so am not missed so much if I'm not at rehearsal - which is a good job, since I've missed a couple this time due to illness, not something I like to do!! Anyhow,  yesterday was the last rehearsal held at my other Society's home, the Bilton Theatre. We've been rehearsing there on Sundays for the past 4 weeks, as an additional rehearsal to the weekly Tuesday nights in Sutton. As we are so near the production now, many of us did the rehearsal in our costumes, which always helps to create the right mood and focus for the show. Here are a few shots taken at the rehearsal (thanks to Andy Collinson):

You can just see me on the extreme right of this shot!
My face is hidden, but I'm 2nd on the left here!!!!
Neal Edlin and Richard Foot, playing Ali Hakim & Will Parker, love rivals of Ado Annie.

In case you don't know Oklahoma, it is the classic musical, which is the story of Laurey and the two rivals for her affections: Curly, a cowboy, and Jud, the hired farmhand. The play takes place in 1906 in an Indian territory of the American West during the time when Oklahoma was established as a state. It tackles class issues between the farmers and the cowmen in the still-developing, rugged landscape of a state in its infancy as characters struggle to find hope, love and the fulfilment of "the American Dream." It is also a romantic tale of love. Curly and Laurey both have feelings for each other but have difficulty expressing it because of their stubbornness. Just to spite Curly, Laurey accepts an invitation to the local dance from the evil Jud Fry. Eventually, Curly and Jud duel it out, with Jud ending up falling on his own knife and dying. Meanwhile, Will Parker has returned early from his trip to Kansas City. Unfortunately, his girlfriend, Ado Annie, just can't seem to say no to other men. All turns out well in the end as both couples end up happily married.

Tickets are priced at £7 for adults and £5 for children and can be booked in advance by ringing Jo Blanchard on 07879817583, or bought on the door each performance.

Tomorrow night (Tuesday) we will be rehearsing at the venue for the first time, then we have a Dress Rehearsal on Wednesday prior to the 4-performance run. Tonight, I will be rehearsing for the next play at Bilton - which will take place in January. So this week is a busy one, I guess Sunday will be a very lazy day indeed!

There's something about being involved in any team event, whether it's a play or a musical, that I love, despite any drawbacks that you may encounter along the way (there's always one or two!). I think it's the feeling of belonging and all being in it together that I like - and the fact that you share the buzz of performing with others who all enjoy it, too.

Please do try and get to see the show if you are in the area and have an interest in musicals, it is great value for money and an entirely different way to spend your evening (or afternoon, if you like the idea of a matinee).

Monday, 22 October 2012

Sketches and old watercolours

On Saturday I dug out my large sketchbook ready for a Life Drawing session organised by  the Facebook Group Hull Art, of which I am a member. I've always wanted to do some life drawing, but all the sessions I've seen advertised in the past have been on evenings when I am rehearsing for plays or musicals - I guess I should perhaps do less, but I like variety in my life and to keep busy! Anyway, I was actually looking forward to this event, but also felt slight trepidation as you do whenever you deal with something new in your life (well, I do, that is). As it turned out, I needn't have worried - despite the fact that the night before I'd had a dream that I'd turned up without any drawing materials so ended up doing the sketching on my hand with a ball point pen!!!!!

It was a surprise to learn that the organiser was also one of the models - I guess I should've really worked it out but I'm sometimes a bit naiive!  The session was untutored, which made it less of an ordeal and much more relaxed for all concerned. There were about 15 people there - we were able to sketch a male model in 3 different  poses during the first hour, then after the break, we concentrated on the female model and spent the remaining time sketching her. I found that the first couple of sketches of mine were really poor - it's been so long since I actually drew anything from life that I'm out of practise! However, by the third one, I was getting into it and produced this drawing of the male model:

After a break for tea/coffee and a catch up with someone I happened to know from years ago, we started the second half of the session with the female model and I was by now much happier about my drawing.
The plan is for these sessions to be a regular thing - if not weekly, then at least every fortnight. I will definitely be attending more in the future - it's such a good discipline to maintain, as you are forced to really look at what you're drawing, rather than what you think you are drawing.  I know I've got a long way to go before I'm accomplished in this area, but practise makes perfect and that's why I'm planning to go to more of these sessions. Hopefully, some of them will be tutored, so I will get valuable input and advice.

I tried to concentrate on the negative shapes whenever possible, as it's harder to draw the line of an arm, say, in relation to the torso and much easier to look at the space in between those two areas in order to get the shape right.

Having got my large sketchbook out, I discovered a couple of old watercolour paintings that I'd done, so thought I'd just share them on here. I really don't know if I will ever do anything with them (such as frame them or turn them into greetings cards) but here they are:

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Mini cat paintings sold...

I've recently sold these two mini cat paintings, so I will be creating more along the same lines, as I think they are going to be a popular choice for Christmas gifts.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Betterware buy!

I have just received this lightweight and colourful plastic cake stand from Betterware at a very reasonable price of £5.99. I bought it to display my mini cup-cake trinket boxes at craft fairs. Now I need to make sure I have enough to fill it for the next time I'm at an event! It is easily dismantled and therefore easy to transport, too! I wouldn't recommend it for anything heavy, however - but it's ideal for these little treasures!

You can order one for yourself online here, but I placed my order with my local representative a couple of weeks ago so didn't have to pay postage.

I've just noticed, they also have a metal stand on offer at the moment - reduced to £5.49, so cheaper than the plastic one - but probably not suitable for my designs, although cake-makers may find it useful!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Blog name change....

Just in case you'd not noticed, I have now changed the name of my blog to "Arty Aitch". I originally called it "All things Arty" before I'd set up my Facebook page as Arty Aitch. Now that I am known as Arty Aitch for art and craft related items, I thought I may as well give my blog the same name.  If you are a follower of my blog, or have my blog listed on your page under "all things arty", please change it to Arty Aitch for me. Thanks!

Oh, and here is where I will be tomorrow from 11am until 3pm. :)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Cup-cakes in progress....

I'm currently painting and/or embellishing lots of little wooden cup-cake key rings/ bag charms in order to fill up my new display board in time for the Craft Fair this weekend. Here are a few shots of some that are hanging up to dry mid-paint, or ready for their second coat and finally some that are now completed and hanging on the display board!

I will be selling these at the "Made and Sold In Hull" event at The Marist Church Hall, Cottingham Road, Hull, between 11am and 3pm on Saturday 13th October. There will also be a Multi Cultural Market taking place in the adjoining rooms with free food tasting - samples of Indian, Chinese, Russian and African food on offer not to mention the 38 stalls taking part in the Made and Sold in Hull Craft Fair. This time, there is also a pamper room at the fair, where you can get mini treatments at great prices!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Autumn painting....

I've just handed over my latest mini painting to a friend who wanted something with autumnal colours  - any design - what a great way to start a painting, I love it! My friend was happy with the result, so I can share the image with you now.

"Berry Fall"

I am happy to consider any requests for a mini painting like this - they make super little stocking fillers and are easy to co-ordinate with your own particular colour scheme if you so desire. You can contact me on here or via my Facebook Page, Arty Aitch, for more details.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Cupcake Display Board

I've recently finished designing and painting a new display board in the shape of a cup-cake in order to display my little wooden cup-cake key-rings/bag charms. Keith cut the board out for me once I'd drawn out the basic shape, and attached the stand at the back, then drilled in 40 holes ready for inserting some square hooks on which to hang said cup-cakes!

Obviously I now have the task of painting all those plain wooden key-rings, but hopefully that should be achieved before my next craft fair, which is the Made and Sold in Hull Market on Saturday 13th October - you can see the event details on the Facebook page by clicking on this link here.