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  • Writer's pictureAnna Curston

15th August 2022

Hello everyone. I am back again with another blog post! So what have I been getting up to? I have started a project that I mentioned in my last post, but progress does feel very slow for multiple reasons…

It’s been so hot again this week. I don’t like, nor cope well, in the heat so I have been a bit miserable to be honest. It just makes me feel unwell and very drained, but little moments of contentment and looking forwards to cooler (and hopefully wetter) days to come has got me through it.

I spent a lovely day with my dad recently, and we saw some really big fish in the lake near(ish) my house which was exciting; I’d never spotted fish in the lake before! (Although perhaps I just wasn’t looking for them.) It was just a lovely day in general, hot and disgustingly sweaty, but lovely.

This week I should be going to visit Kew Gardens with my mum to see some art and plants! Two of my greatest loves (not forgetting space of course)! I’m really excited and think it’s going to be great. I’m also happy to finally be able to start attempting my 2020 new years resolution of going to visit more exhibitions (of course was delayed rather by outside events…)

In terms of my own art however, I have finally started working on the beautiful Stephan’s Quintet, as seen by JWST in infrared light. It really doesn’t look like I’ve made much progress, but in my defence I spent about a week priming and sanding the canvas to the desired smoothness (10 coats in all!) As such, there are only a few layers of paint on so far – I like to think of them as the first light of the painting. The sanding time is only one reason the actual painting is slightly delayed, the other is the need for research! I have spent a good amount of time researching the image and the object to figure out what is going on, what I want the focus of my painting to be on, and what seem like appropriate colours for the piece. Most of these things are done now however, so come Wednesday I should be able to really get stuck into the painting (the research of the galaxy cluster is likely to continue throughout the painting process though). I’m very excited, but also nervous as this is the most complex image I am yet to attempt; there is so much going on.

In other news, my student card arrived in the mail yesterday, so the anticipation is definitely building for my Masters! I’m so excited, but also so nervous at the same time. I definitely feel a bit more pressure to do well this time, but I’m doing my best to push this aside because I know it will only distract me. I think I’ll feel better once I’ve actually started because I can just get stuck in. That being said, I will sort of be getting stuck in slightly before the term actually starts as I have a pre-induction assignment which I will be starting within the next week or so!

If you haven’t yet seen the new JWST image of the Cartwheel Galaxy, this is your call to drop everything and go look right now! You won’t be disappointed, I promise. It’s stunning! (It's actually really interesting and a bit of a mystery to scientists.) If you want to find out more about it, I recommend Dr Becky Smethurst’s two YouTube videos about it: one explaining the galaxy, then other explaining what the new JWST images will help reveal about it.

Stay curious and creative, and I’ll see you next time!


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