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I suppose in the back of my mind, I felt the need to go back to something familiar, something I was comfortable with, in order to regain some of the confidence I feel I lost with those insipid butterflies. I didn’t really lose confidence. But I did feel that I needed to do something I could be happy with in order not to lose confidence. I don’t know whether that makes sense but every so often I remember the last period of my life when I was drawing and painting and how suddenly I felt that I couldn’t do it any more. That was definitely a confidence issue.

I don’t want to overstate this but exercising my creativity in the ways that I do it now is really very important to me especially just at this precise moment in time.

This morning, I reached for my gouache and my little paint brushes and a teabag and it felt good. This evening, I extended myself a little more and it felt even better.

Here’s today’s stuff altogether …

And one by one …

OK for an early morning effort. I like the berries but the leaves are too small and I shouldn’t have started the berries in the centre of the bag.

Better. Bigger leaves and the berries are placed off-centre. Quite pleased with this. Difficult with gouache to get the impression of shine on the leaves though.

I had thought about doing this since my floral wreath experiments at the weekend. I do like this. Some of the stems are a bit thick and wonky and it’s very off-centre which, in this case, is not a good thing. Some water dripped off my brush onto it at a late stage so it needed a little repair but I don’t think it shows.

This was very much a long-shot. I’ve been looking at lots of pics of jellyfish on Pinterest and they really can be magnificent creatures. There’s not much sense of motion from this one but it’s not a total disaster. When I was painting it, things improved when I used a smaller brush. I sometimes don’t notice what I’m using until something goes awry.

I love elections. I didn’t pay that much attention to the local and European Parliament elections held last week until polling day. I was simply too busy. But, after work, I wandered down to the polling station and cast my votes. Exercising my right to vote does give me a bit of a thrill. It’s easy to be cynical about politics and I do my best not to be. I do believe that a society collectively can exercise some power and casting a vote is one way of doing that. Think marriage equality and abortion.

My number one European Parliament vote went to Clare Daly of Independents4Change. I used to be a solid Labour Party voter but Labour lost its way a few years ago. In 2016, it unaccountably forgot a pretty basic lesson about what happens to the smaller party in a coalition Government if it doesn’t at least make an attempt to distance itself from the policies of the larger party. Labour allowed itself to be seduced into supporting Fine Gael’s continuing austerity policies well beyond the time when it was sensible to do so. It’s never recovered. Arguably, it was never sensible to do so, but that’s another point altogether.

Anyway, the real point of all this is that Clare Daly has an awesome tattoo …

Click to get a good look

How cute is that panda?

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