Joy

I’ve been working on this piece for several days – it started as one thing and, as so often happens, morphed into another.

I am determined to continue in my practise of using colours that are not common to my palette – it’s good for me to stretch my wings…  This one started off with red and orange, which should be fine as they are side by side on the colour wheel –  but when the green came along that simply didn’t work so I morphed the orange into yellow in an attempt to lift the image.

Zing!!

I have developed a decided love/hate relationship with it!

I love my little birdie, I hate the composition!  It’s messy and crowded and the bird is in the wrong place …………  I really need to develop a plan of action before I start drawing and painting and gluing random bits down ……. so much to learn!! 🙂

And it’s an awful photo – there is so much sparkle and texture that it seems to be impossible for the camera to get its act together.  That shadow in the lower left corner is I believe my head.  The floor of the conservatory is the best place to take photos – the sun was shining and it was close to midday……… Sigh!

I’m sounding decidedly grumpy to my own ears –  but I’m not really – maybe the combination of red, yellow and green doesn’t agree with me – though it is decidedly summery 🙂

I shall get it scanned and see what I think about it then – maybe it might make a nice card….. or it may just end up in the art archives folder

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Click on the image to get a bigger view, click again for detailed viewing.

Mixed media collage on  A4 300gsm art paper.

Acrylic paint, papers, stamps, paint pen, gel pens, charcoal, pitt pens, gold metallic pen and Inca Gold paint.  Heart punch by Sullivans and butterfly punch by Martha Stewart.

The original layer is two shades of red and some white acrylic paint.  When dry I stamped with three different stamps and applied gesso through a template randomly.  A third coat of thinned white paint was applied and wiped away while still wet to grunge it up a bit.

The bird was drawn freehand on lunch-wrap paper [deli paper to some of you], painted and then fussy cut and glued down to the substrate using gel medium.  I stuck her down too far to the left.

The tree branches were also made originally on deli paper and attached to the substrate.

The flowers and leaves were all made from  200gsm paper which was painted and then dry embossed and punched out in two sizes using heart punches. When they were assembled and attached to the substrate I went in with pens and pencils and paints and gussied them up some.

When everything was in place I used charcoal and pitt pens to define edges and bring it all together.

What do you think?

When you look at it do you feel joy?  Or do you, like me, sigh and think  – oh, that could have been so nice!  🙂

Onwards ans upwards!!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!  🙂

Be A Butterfly

Hello my lovelies!

I have been quite busy this past week – I took a leap of faith and decided to go for the Etsy shop thing – sooner than I had originally thought I might.  This decision was in no small way brought about due to the ongoing encouragement and support from my blogging pals – none of whom I personally know, but all of whom I feel I really know!

I cannot say enough about those of you who consistently visit and leave comments and words of encouragement.  I work mostly in isolation and your feedback has been pivotal in keeping me on task and determined to grow as an artist [chuckle – it still makes me smile…]

So to those loving, caring, loyal, helpful, beautiful gals – big, big hugs, tons of love and an unspeakable amount of gratitude zipping out from here to you!!

To celebrate the opening of said shop ‘The Contented Crafter’ – of course, what else – I painted a small mixed media canvas featuring a faery girl and butterflies.  She will be the first original mixed media canvas in the shop:

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This is a smallish exhibition canvas – just under 20 cm square x 3.5 cm deep [8 x 8 x 11/2″]  Worked in acrylics with water and ink pens, stamps and glitter. [You’ve gotta have some bling!]

There will also be larger limited edition prints and blank all purpose greeting cards of this faery girl in my Etsy shop.

To celebrate the opening of my new creative venture I am giving away the first numbered and signed limited edition print of this canvas to a randomly chosen commentor on this post.  You have until the 13th to comment.

The draw will take place on the 14th November, which is also the same day The Contented Crafter Etsy shop will go live   🙂   [Ooooh, exciting!]

All commenters names will be written on slips of paper and placed in a randomly selected kitchen container and the winner’s name will then be selected by someone who is not me.

So dear readers, I hope you like her and want to take a punt.  🙂

‘I’m the One’ Mixed Media Canvas

Hello my friends!  The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the paintings are coming along quite nicely  … Hurrah!

Here is the latest 30 x 30 cm canvas:

I'mtheOne

 

This has been created especially for someone very close to me.

The message, while humorous, also has a serious intent.  Even when that special someone comes into your life it is important not to lose yourself.

Do you agree?

Thanks for dropping in today, I love that you did!  🙂

Mixed Media Canvas

After two weeks of making flowers and cards and occasionally battling with my first canvas in over six years – WE HAVE LIFT OFF!

The first big breakthrough came when I could finally admit I had bitten off more than I could chew and that it actually was okay to walk away from it ……..  that took ten days to get to.

I had rashly committed to a canvas measuring 600 x 500 mm [23 1/2 x 19 1/2″]  – it seemed quite small at the time considering that I routinely painted on 1000 x 800 mm back in the day….

What I was not considering was that I had changed mediums and styles – I used to work with acrylics and the odd bit of charcoal and pen and create giant imaginary land and seascapes – this would be my first canvas as a ‘multi-medium artist’  [Oh, giggle – it makes me so happy to think I might be an ‘artist’….  🙂 ]  Up until now when mixing my mediums, I had worked in my journal and on card size pieces only.

Having purchased and read Kelly Rae Roberts marvalous book ‘Taking Flight‘ and having checked out Willowing [Tamara Laporte’s] work on You Tube, I felt ready to give this thing a proper go……

Yesterday I got out a small canvas 300mm sq [11 1/2″] and set about collaging in the background.  I used mostly ‘Websters Pages’ and added in some text from old books.

I painted over the whole thing with a brayer, removed some colour and added green distress inks around the edges of the torn pages and the edge of the canvas.

I sketched in the face and coloured it lightly with some distress inks:

Did you remember1

…..and went to bed.

This morning I worked on it some more:

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My confidence grew as I avoided all the idiotic pitfalls I could have fallen into and I didn’t screw up too badly….

So of course I kept at it- adding in Lumiere ‘True Gold’ around the sides of the canvas and pulling it into the front of the canvas as opportunity presented itself.  I highlighted raised bits and edges of torn paper too.  And if a little is good, more is better – right?  I added gold highlights to her hair so it glimmers in the light – too much?

Finally I edged and highlighted with black charcoal:

Do you remember3

Time to stop – so, of course, I kept going….

I added in the legend for that special someone and then the butterflies.

Here is the finished canvas:

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I’ve chopped 2 – 3 cm off the top of the canvas somehow when taking the photo….. but you get the idea.

And some detail photos:

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Did you remember detail2

That’s my first Christmas gift made and it is still October – well for another 24 hours anyway ….. onwards and upwards!

Thank you so much for coming by today – I love that you did!  🙂

All I Am – Another Art Journal Page

Orlando the Marmalade Cat has been the star of the show for the last three posts, I decided it must be my turn again!  And today I decided to work in my art journal again – I haven’t since September 14th [Be the Change …….]  My how time flies!!

All I knew when I started was that I wanted to work with my new Monte Marte acrylics, which I’ve had since the end of August and still hadn’t opened.  They are beautiful – rich, thick and creamy and as you will see, with a fabulous depth of colour.

I started by laying down some old book pages, which I gessoed over and then I painted.

When the paint was dry I used a couple of acrylic stamps – one with scratchy marks on it and one with words – and randomly plonked them around the pages.  Finally a small Dyan Reavelly stencil came into play and I used a dry sponge with almost no gesso on it to dab out the spots and flowers.

With the background done I sketched the head outline in pencil then painted the area white.  Once that was dry I could settle in and let the features begin to reveal themselves.

I had three colours on my palette for the face and added in some metallic bronze for the hair – in real life when the light hits the page the hair sparkles 🙂

By the time I had finished painting her the words were clearly in my mind, so I wrote them out onto book paper, cut them out and stuck them in before I could change my mind.

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Close-ups for you:

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AllIAm3

Couple of detail shots:

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I love my new paints!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!  🙂

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.

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Day 1 the page looked like this:

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

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

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…….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:

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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:

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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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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And the whole page again:

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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  🙂