Above: Self-portrait made while standing in front of the bathroom mirror. I used a Pentel ColorBrush with black, dye-based, watersoluble, fugitive ink. It's in my 8 x 10 inch Hand•Book journal which I will have much more to say later because It's my last journal of the year and I've been testing it and the brush does some interesting things on the slight texture of the paper, and well you'll just have to wait for all that. Isn't it fun how I look like Medusa sans snakes? I was actually working with a friend on a photographic portrait of me as Medusa with snakes but the project had to keep getting put off. Might have to revisit it.
That's right folks, when I wrote Wednesday's post last week I thought I had a cold. As Bugs Bunny would say, "It is to laugh."
On Wednesday (after that post posted automatically—I always work ahead), I ended up at the doctor's where he told me I had the flu with respiratory complications.
It's been loads of fun since then, including a trip to urgent care because of an allergic reaction to one of the meds I was prescribed. (But don't worry, I've had enough allergic reactions to things that we handled it in stride.)
This is the first time in my adult life I can remember being so sick I couldn't keep doing my work outs. Instead I've been streaming movies and television shows like there is no tomorrow. (Well I'm one allergic reaction away from that reality—and don't write in that I'm gloomy; you don't don't know the half of it, I take getting sick as a personal affront to my PLANS. Poor Dick has run about and picked things up and chauffeured me about, when he's been recovering from his own seasonal bug and could be saving the world. And the poor doctors, it's like they are trapped in a room with the comic duo of Wise Ass and Wiser Ass—and I can see it all happen and know all they want to do is help me and get away from my germs and get home; but Dick and I seem powerless to stop.)
Back to Streaming…
I thought I would give you some new recommendations based on new viewing, in no particular order:
A Young Doctor's Notebook (Netflix) This is listed as season one. I don't know if there will or can be more of this. (I'm not going to spoil it by saying why.) This was listed as a comedy. Well, HA HA, it's the blackest of comedies I've seen in quite a long time. Most of you should definitely not watch it. I liked (but not loved) it because it was black, mentioned syphilis a lot (that's my favorite 19th Century disease—I know a TON about syphilis) and was just wacky enough to fit with my mood at the moment, which was, because of the meds I was reacting to—hallucinogenic.
Arrow (Netflix) Based on a DC Comic, our hero is rich, spoilt and marooned for 5 years. Upon retrieval he sets about getting rid of bad guys on his home turf while keeping up the ruse of being spoilt and rich. This is a totally nonsensical show sometimes, and the actor in the lead role is too beautiful for me to be interested in sketching him, but I cannot look away from this show as it is fast-paced, full of parkour and martial arts, I'm not likely to fall asleep while watching it. I'm sure once I'm well I won't watch it any more, not at all, not even when I'm riding the bike, or eating my lunch, or even for a second, I mean really it's almost out of my system right now, I could stop tomorrow, or today, really, without a problem or a twinge. (Actually there are some interesting flashbacks to his castaway existence that I find the most intriguing part of the show.) My massage therapist recommended this show. He totally understands my TV mind.
House of Cards (Netflix) My massage therapist also recommended this. I may have mentioned it on the blog already. I was going to watch it. Because I love Kevin Spacey. I have to say that except for the intro where he does something "cold" but necessary I wasn't very interested in the show after the first episode (and I need to be sucked in). I told Dick, "There better be a whole lot more 'dog' attitude* per episode if I'm going to keep watching." Episode two stepped it up and three as well, so I'm still watching, but Dick likes to watch those and he has been working during my illness so I have had to put the brake on that show and save them.
*actually that isn't exactly what I said, but if I wrote what I said I would have to give things away and I wanted to write this without a spoiler alert, so just imagine me saying something really crass about someone else being a really cold s.o.…
(We'll call that reader participation.)
North and South (Netflix or Acorn) If someone had told me that Richard Armitage was in this I would have watched it AGES AGO. Seriously why did no one tell me that he was in this dramatization of Elizabeth Gaskell's 1855 novel of the same name? The plot in many ways is not dissimilar to "Pride and Prejudice," shy man develops attachment to woman who doesn't know her own mind, flip-flip and despair, and…well, except that this guy beats the shit out of someone—that's not giving things away, that's just letting you know something that happens early on and about which I'm still kind of uncomfortable with—in the sense that I'm not that uncomfortable with it. Anyway, I think everyone should watch this series. Not only are there some of the sexiest moments on film in this 4 hour show, but Sinead Cusack rocks a hairstyle to die for (and is brilliant in her role as the mother of Richard Armitage's character). I have a sketch to prove it (about the hairstyle, you'll just have to watch the show to see how brilliant she is) that I'll put up some time in the future, and you can read more about what I think of Richard Armitage.
Side Note: If you watch North and South and enjoy Richard Armitage you really should also watch The Vicar of Dibley (sometimes on PBS, Also on Amazon Prime and I thing still on Acorn). You have to watch ALL of VoD to "get it." But then when you watch the final series where Armitage guests stars as "Harry" a "boring" accountant you will be amply rewarded. I rewatch VoD all the time, because it is all too, too funny. And the character actors on the show are all great fun to sketch.
Pablo (Netflix) If you love movies, really love movies you'll know that Pablo Ferro was a movie title designer of great reknown. This movie is about him and his roller coaster ride of a creative life. It's narrated by Jeff Bridges.
Just Like Being There (Netflix) This documentary about "gig" posters (concert posters for anyone who hasn't designed one or collected them) has interviews with Jay Ryan. (Do I really need to type anything more after I type Jay Ryan?) It's so well done it makes you want to jump up and start silkscreening. (Even if you have a temp of 103 because of the flu.)
David Hockney: A Bigger Picture (Netflix) Follow Hockney through a year of his life as he paints en plein air in his home turf in England and reconnects with landscape, watercolor, oils, and follows the thread of a series to its logical and gigantic conclusion.
Halston (Netflix) A little depressing, but worth watching to hear Liza talk about her friend, and to see the lovely clothing which had a moment in time, as all fashions do, but don't you wish they brought back some of this lovely stuff?
Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel (Netflix) Amazingly engaging documentary of this fashion icon's life. (I have a great sketch of her hair too that you'll see one of these days.) She had real creative staying power, and because of that alone it's worth watching to see what she has to say for herself in her conversations with George Plympton on which this documentary is constructed.
Degenerate Art: The Art of Blowing Glass Pipes (Netflix) I was blown away (you know I was powerless in my weakened state to not type that) by the artistry these glass blowers are bringing to their work. There's also a lot of interesting information of the subculture of "head shop gear" and the numbers of people and pipes will just astound you. (Or maybe it won't, but then you'll still see incredible glass art.)
MOVIE DOUBLE FEATURE
A Year in Burgundy (Netflix) If you wonder how grapes are grown and what the business is like in France, even if you aren't a wine drinker (and I'm not) you'll enjoy this movie. I felt an almost uncontrollable desire to jump up and book a flight to France where I could go on a biking tour and stop and sketch vineyards. And yes my resistance was down because I had a fever, but still, well worth watching even if you aren't impetuous. Then follow it up with…
Somm (Netflix) A movie about 4 young men studying for the prestigious Master Sommelier title. You follow them through their cramming sessions, hear their fears and dreams, and see the results. If you ever hear me tell you that something smells like "black currant butt" I am NOT being complimentary. (And no I don't need to give you a spoiler alert for that.)
All this should keep you busy for sometime.
I have to go now. It's time for me to heat up some more chicken soup. And get some drawing done today.