Wulf's Webden

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Tuesday 22 January 2019
by Wulf
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Line and Tone

Composition with Lines
Composition with Line and Tone

Last night I was browsing through a book on Piet Mondrian and decided to try a sketch inspired by that. You might be wondering why it isn’t just straight lines with blocks of red, yellow or blue, which was certainly the small pigeon hole I had Mondrian filed away in my mind.

That was certainly the hallmark of his later work but my drawing picks up from an earlier period where his output was making a transition from more representational pieces towards stark abstraction. See, for example The Tree A (1913).

What is it? In this case, a subset of the same front room view that Magnus painted after his Christmas visit. I can see this sketching being a possible basis for a painting too.

Monday 21 January 2019
by Wulf
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Jammed Jam

Last night’s jazz jam at the Red Lion in Brightwell cum Sotwell was the busiest one I can remember. Sometimes there are just a handful of musicians and nobody to listen to us. Last night, there were plenty of musicians and a lot of appreciative audience too.

It does mean each person gets fewer solo spots but I still got a bit of space to stretch out. I’m looking forward to next month (17 February) – hopefully not back to normal!

Sunday 20 January 2019
by Wulf
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Recognisable Faces

I’ve not done much practise on catching the likeness of facial features and so, it would be fair to say, I suck at it. However, I tried a bit of practice yesterday using some source pictures I found online:

Faces
Neutral Face Portraits

I don’t think I got particularly close but at least when I photographed the sketch today, the iPad threw up some boxes which showed it recognised 2-3 of them as faces (depending partly on the angle and lighting). More practise needed though.

Saturday 19 January 2019
by Wulf
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Don’t Come and See Me

Or, rather, don’t turn up at The Blagrave Arms in Reading tonight expecting to see my debut gig with Long Player. After listening back to recordings from Monday’s rehearsal, we decided to postpone the pleasure as too many of the songs were still in the danger zone where they were as likely to go wrong as right.

Perhaps a shorter, support slot would be a better way in. Anyway, music practise for me today but no musical outing (still playing at church tomorrow morning and at the Red Lion jazz jam in the evening).

Friday 18 January 2019
by Wulf
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Zrazy Food

A week or so ago, I got a book on Polish cookery out of the library and my top find so far has been a dish called Zrazy.

The core component is slices of braising steak, pounded until thin and cut into strips. One side is brushed with mustard and then rolled round some vegetables (red pepper and pickled gherkins in this case) before being slowly cooked with some other ingredients including bread and rehydrated mushrooms. Really quite easy, really quite tasty and really good for a hot meal on a cold evening.

I get the impression that this can be done with other meats and the details of the ingredients can vary so I look forward to experimenting with more variants on what Wikipedia describes as a meat roulade.

Thursday 17 January 2019
by Wulf
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Flat Again

In the last decade, cycling more days than not, I think I’ve had three flat tyres or possibly four. Mind you, two of them have been on the same tube on the same wheel in the past two months, which is a bit more worrisome.

I decided to put a new tube in yesterday evening after having to walk to work. Hopefully that will sort it. Otherwise I’ll have to take a much closer look for the invisible cause of the tiny holes that have been releasing the air from my tyres.

Wednesday 16 January 2019
by Wulf
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With understanding

One of the attractions of my new job, and one that I’m beginning to realise now I’m getting a few months in, is that I’m getting to hone my programming skills. For example, one thing I discovered yesterday was the beauty of the Python’s with statement.

I have to admit that I’d tended to avoid it because I liked the idea of making sure things were tidy. For example, I’d open a file, read it and then close it. However, I got to do a bit more reading yesterday while working on a project and discovered that there is a more ‘Pythonic’ way.

That way is to use with. It is what is known as a context manager and it takes care of all the tidying up, including if something goes screwy and the code doesn’t finish properly. In other words, a better way of opening, reading and closing a file, among other things. It turns out it isn’t that new either; the article I read yesterday was from 2016 but I found another one in the evening that gives a thorough understanding of the topic from 2006.

Well, I guess I’m catching up!