Spots Before My Eyes!

Hello there 🙂   [waving and smiling happily}

Here I am with the latest episode of my adventure in learning to step outside of my comfort zone.  Although, to tell the truth and ‘fess up, pretty early in this lesson I began by doing my own thing, as I wasn’t in love with the flowers the tutor produced on her page

I started well, laying down a coat of white gesso followed by two coats of black paint as I did not have to hand any black gesso.

Then the rebellion started. I didn’t like what I was seeing [multi-coloured scribbles of water soluble crayon to make three flowers] so I made my own flowers from design paper and a template.  I made every flower two layers, off-setting the layers.  I cut one completed flower in half.   I outlined the petals with a black pen and then doodled dots and lines as the tutor indicated.

Aug13jffb4a

Day 1 the page looked like this:

Aug13jffb4

So far, so good right?  I was quite pleased with that ……

Next day I began by edging everything with a gold pen ………..

Aug13jffb4d

…….as I returned to the format the lovely tutor was trying to teach me and I edged, dotted, swirled and scripted with the paint pen over two days until the page looked like this:

Aug13jffb4f

Apart from the flowers and gold paint, this double page spread was made almost exclusively with a paint pen – which is really just a fat ‘Sharpie’ like marker filled with white acrylic paint.

Over these four days I dotted, doodled, scripted ‘Spring is coming’ [because it really is – Hallelujah!!] and recorded my thoughts on the process.

My thoughts on the process have settled into – I don’t really like this style of working in my art journal.  Which is good to gain clarity on.  I don’t use my art journal as a diary.  I use it to try out ‘good ideas’ or to play about and see what happens and am not that comfortable with mixing up the two.  I also tend to work organically developing and tweaking the original idea for quite a while before moving on to something different.

Having said that I feel I have been freed up a lot while engaged in the process, I’ve tried loads of different things, been introduced to radically different concepts [for me] and I’m pretty sure they will spill over in some way into my continuing work.

I’m also not a ten-minuter.  I’m a sixty minuter or more!  I have the time and I like to spend it carefully crafting and trying, discarding, re-doing and endlessly tweaking.

These are all really great discoveries to make and I am so grateful to have been able to take this workshop and find it all out.

I no longer need castigate myself for my slow and ponderous efforts.

I’m a plodder and proud of it!

I might have to rename my blog ‘The Happy Plodder’ – has a certain ring don’t you think?

Any hoo – I digress.  Here is the completed spread – don’t look for too long or you’ll start hallucinating:

Aug13jffb4 ga

The keen eyed among my bloggie friends will spot that I am projecting myself a day into the future … [I’m publishing this Friday 30th – a deliciously spring-like evening in my part of New Zealand]  I cheated, I just can’t look at the dots and doodles and swirls and spots any longer!

I haven’t finished my course yet – I think I’m just over half way through.  And I think I’m going to ditch the ten minutes a day and work for however long I feel like it on each installment. Which means I might have it finished in a day or two.  🙂

Please do pop back and see what happens next.  I know I’m curious to know….

Thanks for coming by – have a great weekend!

Advertisements

Journalling With Practise Pieces

Hello friends!!

Here I am again, continuing with posts of my adventures in learning how to journal in just 10 minutes a day.

This is the third spread and marks twelve days completed of the thirty.

This page began no differently to the others – me muttering darkly at the video – ‘Really?’ ‘You want me to do this?’  ‘Just this?’

But off I went obediently – the penny is beginning to drop.  I might be challenged by these new processes, but in the end something quite interesting does appear, and if nothing else, I learn new ways of looking at old things.

I have to admit I do not like the dark hue of the painted page.  I didn’t gesso this page so am guessing it is the quality of the paper in this journal that is leeching the brightness from my sprays, inks and paints.

Aug13jffb3

This layout includes some practise pieces.  I was already doodling away at the flower, practising my free-form doodles and decided to include it in this page.  It is drawn in black pen and coloured with water colour pencils.

Aug13jffb3a

The following day I rifled through the pile of scrap paper and found the face.  it was one of those 5 minute exercises where I was trying to get the eyes to come alive and I ended up taking 10 minutes on it. So she got bunged in for the Sunday entry.

Aug13jffb3b

The final 10 minutes was spent scribbling in a couple of thoughts,doodling in arrows and dividing lines between days and the heading, which actually took much less than 10 minutes – go figure!

Aug13jffb3c

And the whole page again:

Aug13jffb3

So now you are all pretty much up to date with this work.  Let me know what you think.

Thanks so much for coming by.

Have a great week  🙂

Journalling With Discards

Hello there!  Lovely that you dropped by 🙂

I’ve been posting about the on-line course I am doing in 10 minute journalling.  It has been quite challenging for me and today I will tell how the challenges continue.

For now the lovely lady wants me to use some of the leftover – discarded – ruined – experimented on stuff that I have carefully collected over the past three years – which is stored randomly in a drawer and two boxes, because one day it might come in handy and we crafters never throw anything away…….. Did you note that?  She actually wants me to use it…

Blimey – there’s a challenge!

The theme was tags and other discarded ephemera, and the suggestion was made that something of interest pertaining to a particular day would also be incorporated.

So I scuttled about in my drawer and two boxes and found some tags and also a piece of paper from which a heart had been cut.

The background is Dylusions sprayed over gesso, which I discovered muted the colour palette right down.  With a background of bluey-green splattered with yellow and pink and daubed at with a toilet paper roll dipped into brown paint,  I worked within the daily 10 minute guidelines [well, mostly] and over four days journalled on some of the tags.  I adorned one brightly coloured tag with the outline of my cat – which I’m quite enamoured with – and then included a note that says my blog hit 77 followers – which is a miracle to me – for the ‘item of interest’!  And finally, I faffed about with the open heart, writing ‘doodles’ inside it as that is my latest passion and that ended up taking much longer than the allotted 10 minutes!

The scraps of left over paper I punched in my 1″ punch and made phases of the moon to accompany the note about the brightness of the full moon and the fact that Spring is coming!!

I have never made a journal page like this before – I probably never will again, but it is quite liberating to think you can go to the discard drawer and produce an interesting looking layout.

This is the double page spread:

Aug13 jffb2

Three close-ups to save your eyes a bit …..

Aug13 jffb2c

Tag below made with Tim Holtz Stains ages ago and never used, thought it was too murkey:

Aug13 jffb2a

And the negative left over from cutting out a heart die stuck directly onto the journal page and outlined with a glaze pen.

Aug13 jffb2b

That’s it for now my friends, the second page of my ‘experimental’  journal done and 8 days of the course completed.  Thanks for dropping by 🙂

Can a Gaudy Tart Change Her Spots?

Hello there!  Thanks for coming by to check on my doings – I love that you took the time!

Right now I’m taking an on-line course in a [for me] totally new way of art journalling.

By now you may be aware that I’m a kind of an ‘all or nothing’ gal – I work on things for hours, and sometimes even days, I don’t quit until it is embellished to death and the brighter the better!

As my kids tell me, in a loving way, of course 🙂  ‘You’re such a gaudy tart!’

I embrace my gaudy tartiness – my motto is:

There is no such thing as too much bling!”

[If you require proof may I refer you to the post ‘The Adventures of a Prima Doll Stamp’. You’ll find it about 5 posts back]

I started this on-line course so happily, a new challenge, I thought, would be good for me.  I like to learn and I feel I have become a bit stuck in a rut – This, I thought, is my chance to change things up, to take a step towards becoming the artist I dream I might be one day when I grow up …..

But the reality is somewhat different – for a start it’s just  ten minutes a day.  When the time is up, it’s up.  Put down your pencil-paintbrush-spray-pen-whatever and walk away! 

Walk away!

Oh, the indecision, the struggle – the sheer disbelief!

‘Really?’ ‘That’s it?’  ‘But I’m just getting started …’“But, I could just do ….’  ‘But …..’ ‘But …..’  ‘But ….’

It’s no good, I’m just talking to a pre-recorded  video!

It is CHALLENGING!

Here is the first few days work; [click on the photo for an enlarged image]

Aug13 jffb1

If you look carefully you can see this is four days work – and when I look at it now I can’t see much difference between this and some of my previous journal pages that I have laboured over for hours ….

Try as hard as could I couldn’t help myself and I did spend a little more time on the last day.  I added in the black circles with white centres all around the edges of the pages, the white daisies under the photo of the old chair and the clump by the tree, and of course I doodled the ‘Happy’ word after time up as well … well, you just gotta have some bling somewhere!

But, all in all, the colours are muted, the layout is simple, the embellishment is not 2D, the texture is simple. …. and I find I kinda like it …..

So, unlike the Leopard, maybe this gaudy tart might just alter her spots, just a little …..

What do you think?

Doodles!

The last few nights have slipped by in a haze of happy doodling ……. and it has slowly led me back to remembering how it feels to draw ……….

Cat1

It’s ever so slightly painstaking.  This cat started off twice the size you see here.  The eraser was utilised every bit as much as the pencil and it grew slowly but steadily smaller as it began to resemble this snooty looking feline.

The journal I am using has tracing paper inserted between every page and I traced a cleanish outline so that I can use that as a pattern for doodling

Cat 2

I also finished the bird I had free-handed and then doodled all over

Bird Aug13

This is such fun – I feel like my creativity is beginning to move again!

Thanks for dropping by today, I do hope you are enjoying these doodling posts!

Toilet Paper Rolls, Lace and Pearls

If you take a brief stroll around pinterest you will inevitably come across some clever, ingenious idea for using empty toilet paper rolls – I keep thinking I should start a board and just collect them all!  Anyway, I got the idea for this project from pinterest.

With my latest hobby of doodling and zentangling joining in with journalling and sketching, it has become obvious I need to have a more mobile storage system for pens, pencils and assorted paraphenalia – I can then just doodle, journal or sketch away happily here, there or anywhere without constantly going looking for something I have decided I need.

Now, serendipitously [is that a word?], it happened that I had sitting in my craft room a disused cutlery basket dating back to at least the early nineties but possibly earlier – I have a vague recollection of purchasing it when I lived in the UK – it has wandered around the world with me since then, mostly unused but too nice to give away – you know one of those things that you keep thinking will come in handy one day…..

One day it and a toilet paper roll or two met up and voila – inspiration struck!

Last night I got out the paint

TP1

I painted inside and out and when they were dry I used an unmounted red rubber lace stamp and white acrylic paint [which I forgot to photograph] and gussied them up a bit.  When the paint was dry each roll got a coat of glossy mod-podge and as it was well after midnight and Orlando was crossly telling me he needed me to settle down so he could sleep on me, I went to bed!

This evening I decided some of them needed some pearls to pretty ’em up a trifle more as they would be centre and front stage

TP2

Ready for their [slightly blurry] close-up

TP3

And the finished very handy mobile carry all

TP5

TP4

There are currently two mugs being utilised in there as well.  They will probably be replaced by re-purposed cans, just as soon as I can eat the foodstuff currently residing in them ….

So that was a fun way to spend a grey, wet weekend!

Earthquake post script for those who are interested:  There have been only two or three ‘strong’ quakes today, so it is quieter [which may or may not be a good thing]  Some say Full Moon is a likely time for big hits. Time will tell.

Thanks for dropping by, I hope your week will be a fabulous one!  🙂

When The Earth Quakes!

I am a Wellingtonian, although not currently living in my home city, my Eldest Daughter does.  The city – and much of the North Island have been rocked by quakes this afternoon.  There were 29 in the space of 75 minutes, six of them classed as ‘severe’.

From the moment I found out about this substantial event I have been light headed and slightly woozy.  This is an unusual reaction for me, but it is the way I once reacted to the most severe quake I was ever in when I saw the concrete floor beneath my feet crack open and, in the shock, lost about an hour of time….. I was sixteen then, and though much time has passed by, the fear remains.

A children’s verse that I am very familiar with begins with the words ‘The earth is firm beneath my feet,’  When the earth beneath our feet becomes unstable I think we lose our most primal sense of security.   When all else fails us, we know the earth will still uphold us.

In the last two years we have had the tragedy of the Christchurch ‘quakes, when a beautiful city, [another place I once lived] was brought to its knees.  That city is built mostly on a large flat plain.  Wellington is a harbour city, surrounded by hills.  there is only one main arterial route in and out and right now the city is in chaos – not because buildings have fallen, but because, due to the number and severity of the quakes, the public transport system has been closed down.  For all we know my daughter’s partner may well be trapped on a road, in a traffic jam, beneath a hill or beside the ocean [or both] inching forward as the exodus of the city takes place.

I have just checked Geonet again and there have been another 30 quakes in the past hour and fifteen minutes – including a cluster of seven strong quakes with one ‘severe’ in the middle of them.   They began sometime after 2pm today and now as I write this it is 6pm, Friday 16th August, and my child and many of my friends are in danger.

The concern is that the continuous shaking weakens structures to the point that a light or mild shake will bring buildings and hillsides tumbling down.  I have never known so many, so close and so strong in my life time.

The Earth is changing, she is vulnerable and there are people who still want to continue raping her.  I have a bee in my bonnet about fracking – there are people here who are hell bent on continuing this practise despite the fact that there is proof it contributes to earth quakes.  In a country built on a fault line why in God’s name is it even considered?   I don’t understand the mentality that places instant wealth for a few ahead of the lives of millions of people and the life of our planet.

I am just venting and writing and praying that my family and friends are kept safe while the earth convulses.  That’s all.