Well, I know its Christmas Eve and everyone else is banging on about how nice it is to spend time with the family but if you are like me the last thing I want to do is spend time with the family. After all, you can choose your friends but your are stuck with your family whether you like them or not. So I thought I would shut myself away and do a bit of painting while the Old Bat made a mess in the kitchen making Bread Sauce for tomorrow's Christmas lunch at her sister's in Hampshire. No one in the Old Bat's immediate family has any idea about cooking (or food, for that matter) but last year her sister's son cooked Christmas lunch and it was immeasurably better than before. Fortunately, he is on duty again for tomorrow.
My American Civil War project will have to wait for a month as I need to get some more Zulus done for our Isandlwana re-fight organised by Eric the Shed next month and so thought I would do some shading on them today. These will not be up to my usual (none too high anyway) standards as I just need to get them done. Anyway, having got the base colour done last week I got the darker shade on today. Given it was actually quite bright I thought I might keep going and do the lighter shade too.
So, I opened a brand new tin of Humbrol number 34 white and it was completely died up and solid. I have been using Humbrol paints since 1968 and I have never had a dried out one like this. It was properly sealed too. This was a disaster, given I was planning to paint quite a bit over the next few days.
There is only one place in the immediate vicinity where I can get Humbrol paint, so it was off to Addlestone Model shop, somewhere I have been going for nearly fifty years, although it is now in its third location. It was quite busy in there, not surprisingly, as who wouldn't want a Chrirstmas present from Addlestone Model Shop?
I then had to get diverted to buy more parsnips and wrapping paper but Tesco wasn't as bad as I feared and I was back by three fifteen, although I had lost the painting light, of course. Still, now I will be able to paint over Christmas after all.
Today's seasonal distraction is by top American pin-up artist Al Moore who, before he worked as an illustrator, played professional American Football for the Chicago Bears. After studying art in Chicago he set up his own studio, working on advertisements, magazine illustrations and, in WW2, government posters. This work led to his big break in 1946, when he was hired to replace legendary pin-up artist Alberto Vargas at Esquire magazine. He painted pin ups right through the late forties and fifties before the ubiquity of photographs in advetrisements and magazines made him switch to portraits.
Today's music is Rimsky-Korsakov's little performed Christmas Eve, which has the best musical evocation of a the beginning of a snowfall there is. It deserves to be better known but suffers, no doubt, from its seasonality and is too long, at thirty minutes, to be played on the likes of Classic FM.
Ho, ho, ho, to all you Christmas lovers and I will be back after the thing is over with my inevitable reviews of the year.