The Mystery on the Easel: 2:8

Okey-dokey!  For the last time folks – here we go


Easel 1 June












It was around about now as I flipped through the process pics yet again that I suddenly realised I had painted my life – it’s all here in little vignettes that maybe only I can understand.  It was a shock, then I laughed and looked through it all again, yep!!  – I painted my life!!

Well that turned out to be a really good experiment!

The daisies each represent a time when my life changed – being me, always done dramatically, but always leading me further on up the road so to speak.

The daisies are important so I just kept on playing with colour and form and light and shade, building them up……..  I often don’t know when to stop and almost a whole day went past……



The background was deepened and earlier layers were built up, allowing them to add their voice to the final canvas. More gold was added, eventually it edged the entire piece and mixed into leaf and calyx.

And as the sun set, I finally called it done hdr

You can’t see all the glimmery, shimmery bits sadly.  But here’ s a couple of close-ups. maybe you might catch a bit in there



Thank you so much for sharing this process with me – I’ve loved reading your thoughts and Geoff’s increasingly wild and wacky comments as it’s gone on.  I hope you enjoyed all that too.

Oh – and for my Canadian friends – Happy 150th birthday!  Here’s Siddy doing his bit for the celebrations and honouring his favourite Canuck aunty Kelly

16 4 17 Canadian bandana

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

The Mystery On the Easel Phase VI

It is done – and what a marathon!  I have to thank you, my dearly beloved regular and loyal readers – or in this case, viewers – who came by with so many thoughts and guesses and questions and who inspired me to tweak a little here and adapt a little there until the final version appeared.

So here we go folks, for the last time let’s recap and see where it did end up

Phase 1


Phase II

Phase 2

Phase III


Phase IV


Phase V

6 Phase 5

We Are All Made Of Stardust

8 Phase6 cropped

Detail pics

9 Phase 6 detail1

10 Phase 6 detail2

I always knew it was going to be a dream catcher drifting in the wind.  I did not know until you interacted with me that it would become a dream catcher drifting through the cosmos, gathering stardust and starlight.  Carl Sagan’s words came to me as I began the final work on the many little galaxies and universes scattered about:

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
― Carl Sagan – Cosmos

And having mentioned Mr Sagan, how can we not end without going there, to his Pale Blue Dot

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

A ‘FAIL’ and What Came Afterwards

In case you haven’t caught up yet, I am taking Life Book 2015 this year.  This past week we had the opportunity to watch an artist at work and then, if we wished, to follow her process and have a go ourselves.  No instructions were given, so it was a case of wing it, be inspired and have a go.

First up I have to admit I wasn’t that inspired.  It wasn’t the artists fault.  I really enjoyed watching her process and what she made.  I think I felt the process was finished right there.  But as I want to try new things this year I decided to get stuck in.

I decided to use an already collaged A4 water colour paper – the fact that I didn’t like the colours on the paper should have been warning number two – but apparently it wasn’t and I pushed on doggedly.

I made this

Tightrope original

It’s an epic ‘FAIL’ There is nothing in here that is pleasing in any way.  Layers of colour turned muddier and muddier – the figure is – just awful.  I certainly learned a lot about what not to do ……….

So I tried again.

The rest of this post is specifically for Frank, who asked me to document my process – I hope you will enjoy seeing the stages

First I sketched my whimsical walker


Then the first layers of colour are applied to the face and body



I worked with these three colours until I got the shading, shape and depth I wanted – maybe eight or nine layers of colour – I wasn’t counting.   Next some red is introduced


The hair colour is ‘Payne’s Grey’



She’s well and truly in ‘the ugly stage’.  I know to keep going, it’s just a phase!


I’m still working on the face, adding layers and details, backwards and forwards, switching between eyes, nose, mouth, legs …..


Suddenly and abruptly, she leaves the ugly stage and starts to come alive.  I paint her tutu



Her underskirt appears and words are added.  Later I discover I don’t like the word ‘Walk’ here


The background colour is painted in and I’m in the zone


I work for another hour and a half, collaging and adding in the background detail, painting layers over, toning down with gesso and bringing back up with more yellow and green.  ‘Walk’ is discarded.  The face and hair get final attention.  I take no photos, I am too engaged with what I am doing.  Finally I am happy, she is done


The Tightrope Walker, holds her heart in her hands and walks out onto the high wire.  Her eyes are closed, she is intent on her inner world, her intuition, her trust, her faith and her knowing.  The sounds and activities of the world do not pull her off balance.  She is in the zone.

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