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Monday, 17 January 2022


 Saturday was the first time I had an opportunity for Susie time since (counts on fingers) probably the end of last September.

Unfortunately it was a all little bit... meh.

To be fair, it was a something of a last minute opportunity when L checked the weekend weather report and decided that she should chance having another day out on the Saturday. She was also getting a bit stir crazy not having a day out for herself since last year. 

But really, it turned out to be too cold, both outdoors and in, to really enjoy the time as Susie.

The first indication was when I stepped outside for a walk first thing in the morning. I knew it was likely to be cold, but a couple of yards up the road proved the pavements were a lot more icy and treacherous than I expected, despite  wearing a rather more sensible pair of thick soled hiking boots than my normal flats. That curtailed any plans to go for an extended walk in my usual nature reserve or canal path routes. The thought of taking a fall and not being able to get home easily, or worse being stranded while dressed en-femme was off-putting, to say the the least.

Luckily the main roads proved more tractable, so I had to settle for a briefer walk down to the village high street and a stop to get some cash out of the ATM. I had intended to drop into Tesco on the way back, but then discovered I'd forgotten to pack my normal mask and the only one I had with me completely fogged my glasses after two breaths, making it completely impossible to see where I was going. So scratch that as well.

Back home, since we only turn on the heating in the evening when we settle down to eat and watch TV, it was too cold indoors to do much more than stay bundled up in jeans and several layers of woollies and a coat and settle down to read or watch the snooker on TV. Practical but hardly pretty, and to be honest not that far away that it felt much different (apart from the more obvious bulge on my chest) from my normal male outfit of several layers of baggy sweaters for warmth. 

So, all in all a bit meh. It did make me wonder what I was doing, or whether it was even worth all the hassle of getting ready and then having to undo it all later on. 

I suspect Susie is more of a warm weather girl. Or Spring and Autumn at least, apart the height of mid summer, when, like the Wicked Witch of the West, her face is likely to melt and look like a sad panda painted by Salvador Dali or Francis Bacon.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Adventures in portraiture

 While looking up something on Google, I came across a reference to thee work of  Yasumasa Morimura, who Wikipedia describes as a contemporary Japanese ‘performance and appropriation artist’. (I didn’t know that was a thing. “Appropriation artist” sounds more like a euphemism for someone involved in stealing.) And may be, in a way, it is. Morimura’s art consists of transforming himself, using props, costumes, makeup and lighting into facsimiles of iconic and famous artworks and photographs.  

as Monroe
 as Girl with a Peal Earring
as Greta Garbo
You can find a whole lot more of these with a Google image search.

There’s actually a whole internet meme for this which seems to have sprung up in the boredom of lockdown, where people dress up and pose to recreate famous paintings, which you can find here here, and hereand even album covers. People can be wonderfully creative sometimes.

Many of these are inspired, and a couple of my favourites are shown below.
Lady with an Ermine
Psyche raiding the fridge/entering Cupid's garden

Anyway, it seemed far too good an idea not to  steal, and already armed with FaceApp (which is a bit of a cheat, I admit), another app called DeepArt Effects and GIMP, I thought I'd have a go myself. At least it would provide some distraction until the next time Susie has a change to come out of lockdown.

(One of the things I've always wanted to do was a double portrait, cis-me and Susie side by side, perhaps on the sofa or some other domestic setting. Sadly, I didn't get to that, and I'm not sure I'm ready to have my undisguised picture up on this blog, so this may have wait until later)

My choices were a little left field from Vermeer, da Vinci and Waterhouse (although I've wanted to be The Lady of  Shallot  since I saw the real painting in the Tate)
Not sure this one works as well as I hoped or intended. The alignment, contrast and matching of colour and lighting (one of the really tricky parts) is a still somewhat off. I'm sure there must be another app for this, but this was best I could do manually.

This one was a little more fun after I'd pulled some strange faces in front of the camera. Perhaps I shouldn't have sucked my cheeks in quite so much. You can compare it to Gil Elvgren's original below.
Shame I couldn't take this one all the way to the outfit (or that d├ęcolletage, or even the legs for that matter) but it might be fun to try sometime.

And who doesn't want to be Uma Thurman sometimes?
Shall I throw this open as a challenge? Why not? I don't know if you can include images in Blogger comments (I suspect not), but if you want to have a go and share the results, I'd like to see them. 
Have fun


Friday, 14 January 2022

Monsoon Sale

While I probably shouldn't be encouraging this in these cash-strapped and financial uncertain times, someone over on my Facebook page mentioned that Moonsoon currently have a sale on. Dresses, coats and tops at half price and in many cases significantly less.

Happy hunting