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July 2009

A trio of triolets

Been practising writing triolets, a gratuitously restrictive poetic form where you stick to a tight rhyme scheme and repeat the first two lines at the end, as well as repeating the first line in the fourth line. At best, they can be quite songlike and memorable. Here are three early efforts.

From here twitternity

The day I died I had no time to tweet
or update my Facebook status.
There is no key to undo or delete
the day I died. (I had no time to tweet
this observation.) Nor is there a cheat
to quit me out of this enforced hiatus.
The day I died I had no time to tweet
or update my Facebook status.

Death.pdf

I shouldn’t have clicked on this pdf,
but I cannot undo what I’ve done.
I can feel the slow approach of death.
I shouldn’t have clicked on this pdf.
A baby somewhere takes a first breath.
Armies clash. Earth circles the sun.
I shouldn’t have clicked on this pdf,
but I cannot undo what I’ve done.

The Self-Googler

I’m going to Google to Google myself
to find out if I’m still around.
I’m going to Facebook and Flickr myself
then go back to Google to Google myself.
I just hope it doesn’t find somebody else
or come back with ‘no matches found’.
I’m going to Google to Google myself
to find out if I’m still around.


Wendy Cope has written better ones, including this.

Horse drawn

As a freelance graphic designer, there's one thing I'm pretty hopeless at and dread being asked to do, and that's sketching – or specifically, coming up with a quick sketch for a client presentation. Drawing isn't really my thing, especially drawing without reference material. But freelancers are expected to turn their hand to just about anything. Even when you try to explain, the reply usually comes that they're not after anything special, just a quick sketch to get the idea across. The client might get confused by mac-ed up artwork, thinking it's the finished article and then how would they justify the fees?

So I'd sit down with my pen and paper and come up with something like this...

Horse_01

...if they asked for a horse, of course.

Personally, I don't mind my drawing. It's embarrassingly inaccurate, but not without its charm in a naïve sort of way. The horse is smiling for one thing.

But I've always admired people who can knock out a convincing drawing of a horse, pigeon in flight or whatever – so I recently decided to do something about it and get a bit of practice in.

There are loads of instructional books on drawing out there (mostly for kids), but with my art and design training I'd always dismissed cartoon or copycat drawing out of hand, because it didn't sit well with my idea of drawing from observation. Now I have to confess, I'm hooked.

In two minutes flat I can draw this...

Horse_02

...a recognisable horse.

Referring to a slightly more grown-up book, I came up with this stallion in less than five minutes...

Horse_03

and here's the head...

Horse_04


All the drawings are first attempts and there was no 'cheating' with rubbers or heaven forbid, tracing. It's relaxing and stupidly good fun. Here are some of my other efforts – they're not all supposed to be horses.


Group01 

Group02

Group03

Group04

Group05

How to draw 101 animals
Draw 50 animals