Saturday, 4 February 2017

Fanart and Blue Roses

Character sketch of Teil
Snowdrops are about to come into bloom in my garden.  I love snowdrops; they're such simple little flowers but so delicate and pretty.

Other spring bulbs are pushing through, too, and this week the 2016/17 catalogue for David Austin roses dropped through the door.  Our garden has an old rose which is under threat of removal; it's got one more season to buck up or it's out of here.  Last year it didn't flower even once.  In a small garden like ours, there's no room for plants that don't perform.

When we moved house, I had to leave behind a few favourite roses, including my beloved Rosa Mundi, (which is listed on page 50 of the catalogue), which I'd like to replace.

A week ago I was admiring a bouquet which included several royal blue roses.  They looked wonderful!  Unfortunately a Google search quickly revealed that these had been dyed, and the nearest to 'blue' roses are really only lilac shades.  That was a bit disappointing, so hopefully some genius at tinkering with DNA will find a way to let me have true blue roses soon. 

Since my last post, when I listed my goals for this year, true to plan I've taken up swimming again.  It felt so good to be back in the water!  It's been about two years since my last swim, so I decided I'd be pleased with 10 lengths.  I actually swam 26 lengths of the 25m pool so I must have been fitter than I assumed, probably thanks to our exercise bike.  Since then I've been back twice each week, and intend to keep the activity as a regular part of my life.  I'm not technically good but I find swimming relaxing.  The sessions are designed for lane swimmers not paddlers, which suits me fine.  The water can be chilly though!  It's ok once you get going but those first minutes can widen your eyes a bit.

Richard's been on annual leave this week.  This has been his first paid holiday in his entire life.  He was always self-employed previously, of course.  Now he's set aside his old 'Richie Tattoo Artist' persona and works for someone else, doing something entirely different, not only is he happier in himself and more relaxed but he's enjoying life much more.  During his self-employed days, if he took a day off it meant he wasn't earning anything, and days off were often used up repairing tools or preparing needles for tattooing with, so he felt as though he never really got a break from working.  All that is behind him now, and he is very glad.

So on Monday morning he looked like a kid whose birthday had come twice - seven whole days of well-deserved holiday time awaited!  Now he and the dogs are worn out.  He's taken them to Liscard, New Brighton, Moreton, The Arno, Birkenhead Park...  When they came back from hurtling up and down West Kirby beach, all three of them - man and both dogs - were zonked out on the couch for most of the evening.

I've had quite a number of emails from readers wanting to know more about Teil, who features in Fabian: An Artisan-Sorcerer Story.  Teilhard St Clair is a silversmith and talented designer of jewellery who enters into a business venture with Fabian.  As the son of Mel ap Tewdwr,  Teil is bound to hold a few aces up his sleeve.  Teil will feature in the fifth novel, Morgan, but obviously I'm not going to give anything away about that yet.  Meanwhile, here's a character sketch of Teil done on coloured paper using china pencil and a couple of watercolour pencils, keeping the palette very simple.

If anyone wishes to create more fanart based on the Artisan-Sorcerer Series, I'd love to see it.  The drawings I've seen already are great fun, and I love that some of you feel inspired to create your own art based on the characters.  So long as fanart - or fanfic for that matter - remains non-profit making and the Artisan-Sorcerer Series is clearly identified as the source of the ideas, then feel free to create.

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