Sunday, 30 October 2016

Railway Time

I have included Robert Bragg's Railway Time clock as the hare's pocket watch. The reason being was Stroud had its own time, known as Town Time. Here's a bit of history thanks to the Museum in the Park as to why Stroud was for while, nine minutes behind London. "Prior to the advent of trains, local time in Britain was set by sundial, which reads differently based on your location on the Earth. In 1845 The Great Western Railway reached Stroud, which ran nine minutes behind what locals referred to as “London Time”. The notion of adopting a standard time was not necessarily a popular one; a number of cities created public clocks that operated at local time, with an additional minute hand showing London Time. By 1855, 98 percent of towns and cities in Britain had switched to GMT, but Stroud continued to resist. However, as the railway became an increasingly important part of day to day life attitudes gradually began to shift. It was time for a change." ( As the March Hare in Alice in Wonderland had a pocket watch in the original illustrations, I thought it was fitting that the Scarlet Red Hare had one too. My next challenge will be to run a railway track through his ears, and possibly include a bridge over the top!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Defining lines

As it is half term and since I have little and not so little people with me, it has been hard to carve out some hare time, but managed a quiet hour today. Met some lovely families who were visiting the area and those who live here. Managed to define a few lines today and aim to finish the railway pocket watch tomorrow, which celebrates Town Time. Little and often and the hare will look good. Artists after all need a break from their work to see what needs to be retuned, reworked or left alone when they revisit the subject in hand.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Going for gold

It's becoming clear that the hare will have to be turned over soon as there are some awkward spots to get to. I have quite small hands, but even I can't reach certain parts of Scarlet Red Hare's anatomy! Decided to add some gold today so I can add the details of the buttons and collar later. He is starting to look more regal and proud. Even though I am now inside and I no longer have the issue of cold fingers, working on a surface that is far from flat is still a tricky business and requires a lot of effort to keep my hand steady. Do miss seeing my little robin though. After applying the gold, I decided to paint his feet green. Opted for a more emerald green than a blue one. This will represent the billiard cloth still made at Lodgemore Mills; as well as the bowling green at Stratford Park. A special bowls will be added with the England symbol as a tribute to my grandfather George Ham who lovingly cared for the green and later discovered a talent for bowls, earning himself a place in the England team. So as from today, here's the updated hare:

Friday, 14 October 2016

Adding some Uley Blue and white piping

Hare's the update then on my five foot hopper. Spent a lot of time today patching up red, outlining where the buttons will go, the white braid of the coat, and adding the Uley Blue to represent the cloth made in the Stroud valleys of the same name. Feel at home in the warmth of this pop up studio and enjoy chatting to so many visitors of all ages and occupations. I just hope I can do the Museum proud. Of course there are challenges. There are places I can't quite get to. I am pretty supple but I will need to get some lessons from a contortionist methinks - either that or tip the hare on his head!

Monday, 10 October 2016

Hare-raising again from the cold to the warm

Over the past few days both myself and the hare have been a lot warmer and happier. Having had a few problems with paint not drying, acrylic paint pens rubbing off and smudging, and fingers freezing in the cold, it was decided the best solution was to bring the hare and his artist into the museum itself. We have now got a pop-up studio outside Galleries one and two and are officially part of the artefacts. I suppose art-e-facts is quite an apt name for us, or my children would probably argue I am more of an old relic. So with a warm environment paint can dry. It also means my hands don't shake with cold and I have now managed to paint over every black line with a thin paintbrush and System 3 black acrylic. We are back on track. With the Secret Garden now open and the Big Draw taking place, the museum was buzzing with people. Such a lovely environment to work in, so hopefully the hare and I can take a leap forward with our creativity.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Problems with the receding HARE line

I could probably come up with a hare pun every day. I worked on him yesterday and it was definitely a case of needing a HARE dryer as it was so wet. I got drenched just getting to the hare in his little outside studio. Having sought advice, I decided to use an acrylic paint pen to draw in the back lines to show the clock mechanisms on the white head. I left it to dry and returned this morning only to find when I tried to rub out my faint pencil lines, the eraser removed the black line as well as the pencil, and if there was any hint of moisture, the black lines smudged and looked terrible. Therein lies the problem - what will happen if varnish is to be added, surely this will make everything run? I decided to leave the issue in hand for the present moment and start painting in some red to cheer the rather dull dark rainy day and myself up! And right on cue, my little robin friend joined me which made my day. Back home, I called on a few professional artist friends to try and solve the problem. I couldn't find anything helpful on the manufacturer's website, so decided to try out a bit of varnish on a tiny patch in the morning to see what happens. Failing that, I have come to the conclusion - having bought some very thin paintbrushes - to paint on top of the lines with System 3 black acrylic in the hope this will avoid the worry of smudging later on. Lets hope the hare's receding problem will be resolved!