Painting of Big-Bottomed Girls

I have a bad case of “ennui”.

It means “boredom” in French, but it also means “annoyance”.

I like the word, as it’s working well for me at the moment.

Because, at the moment, I’m annoyed with my boredom.

I’m aware that I’m about to sound like a whinger (Aussie slang for someone who complains for no reason), but, oh well, I’m feeling like one today, so what the hell!

I know Mauritius is a popular holiday destination, but:

• if you live here (me)
• don’t work (me)
• don’t like the beach (me)
• have lunched with friends (only in The North, ‘cause I’m not putting up with the traffic through Port Louis just to eat) everywhere worth eating (me), and
• have been there and seen/done that (me again)

Then what’s left?

I’m not a shopper (unless I need something in particular), and I’m not a “lady who lunches” (kill me first!).

I don’t want to fill my days by having a manicure, going to the spa, or whatever else some expat women do. Fine for them, but it’s not my thing.

I’m also fed up working on the house and garden. Those tasks are never-ending! There could be a maid, handyman, and gardener in our near future – just don’t hold me to that – it could be my mood talking instead of my brain.

There is one thing I am looking forward to though – doing yoga on Mon Choisy beach.

If I ever get around to it.

“Ennui” also means world-weariness (thanks, Google Translate) – and that’s how I’m feeling – I can’t be bothered with anything right now!

I’ve also been thinking about doing volunteer work of some sort – I just have to work out what I have to contribute, who I’ll contribute it to, and, in order for both parties to benefit from it, make sure that it’s something I enjoy, and get satisfaction from.

I’m also going to take painting classes – there’s a South African wildlife artist living here who gives lessons – I don’t want to learn to paint zebras or anything – I just want to learn how to mix colours, brushstroke techniques, shading etc.

Anyway, back to ennui…Alf says I’d feel the same in Perth.

I disagree – I could visit family or friends there, and spread my ennui around.

I’m pretty generous that way.

Anyway (again!), in an attempt to overcome said ennui, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks finishing the painting I started about this time last year:

My version

I bought an easel at a garage sale when we were in Perth:

Painting 001_opt

I was really excited to find it – no more propping canvasses on towel-covered chairs.

But I’ve since discovered that, not only do I need painting lessons, I also need how-to-use-an-easel lessons.

If you’ve ever tried your hand at painting, you’ll have found that you need to rest that same hand on something, when you’re attempting to paint the fiddly bits.

But I was so thrilled to finally own an easel, that I forced myself to use it, even though the smart bit of my brain screamed at me to lay the painting flat and turn it around to paint curves and other tricky bits.

Consequently, I’ve had lots of touching up to do.

You should always listen to the screaming in your head.

Anyway, it’s finally finished, and hanging on the downstairs patio:

Painting

I’m pretty happy with it, except for the girl in the red bikini.

She’s got monkey arms – I wish I’d changed her arms completely instead of just going with the original painting (lower right-hand side):

Same unknown artist

Original version

What is she even supposed to be doing?

She should be in a jungle along with her boyfriend who’s banging on his chest and yelling whatever it is that male monkeys yell.

I kept her that way because her pose filled the space.

But now it’s all painted, she looks ridiculous.

Never mind, – it was never meant to be a masterpiece – it was only supposed to make me smile on my way into our house.

Which it does.

So I guess I’m happy.

Still bored, but happy.

I guess.

I need another holiday.

I think it’s called post-travel blues.

And if it’s not, then it should be!

Plagiarism or Inspiration?

I can draw, and I like to paint.

But unless I have something to copy, my drawings look as though they were done by a five year old.

So if I find a painting that I like, I copy it.

Mainly for our house, and ever so occasionally for friends.

Not an exact copy – I change it to suit my paint-by-numbers style of painting, and I also change the content to suit me.

This:

Original art

Sorry, but I can’t remember the artist’s name.

…became this:

My version…this painting:

Same unknown artist

Original version

…is still a work in progress:

My version

…and finally, my version of this:

Original version

Don’t know this artist’s name either

…remains unfinished as I can’t work out how to paint the folds in the veil and ribbon. I’ve tried many times and have to keep painting over it. The veil is now about 3mm thick!

My versionIt was a wedding present for a friend – she saw, and loved, something similar in an art gallery we visited together.

She has since celebrated 3 years of marriage, and has a 2-year old. Maybe for her next wedding anniversary – I’ve got till around October, I think!

As an aside, this looked a bit dull against the cream wall  – colour of the sand disappeared into the wall:

Unframed paintingSo I painted a frame on the wall around it, using the paint from our main living area, and now the colours in the painting really jump out (you can’t tell from my photos, but believe me, it makes a huge difference!):

Painting framedI got the idea when the painting got blown off the wall last week, and I leant it up against the lounge room wall until the wind died down.

Anyway, back to my original question: plagiarism or inspiration – which is it?