Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've been tagged!

Whew! I've only had this blog for 4 days and I've been tagged already. Thanks Trish! If you get a chance, pop on over and visit Trish's blog, she is a great artist! OK, so I have to post the rules and list 6 things about myself that you don't know, which shouldn't be that hard as none of you probably know anything about me. This is harder than it sounds though!

1. I love chooks, real ones and ornamental chooks. (chook = chicken). My children chose the name of this blogspot - not me!
2. I am a bibliophile - I collect books, lots of them, and I read them. I love non-fiction, probably because I love learning.
3. I was born in New Zealand in Auckland and have a twin brother. I moved to Australia when I was 22.
4. My favourite colour is purple - I even have a purple bedroom. It was painted that colour when we bought the house and I have grown to love it.
5. I am a fruit bat - can't get enough of that fruit. I love fruit in any shape or form, and dipped in chocolate makes it even better!
6. I own a ten pin bowling centre with my husband. When we bought it ten years ago, neither of us had ever bowled before.

OK, now I need to tag six people - that is going to be tricky as I am new to the blogging world, so don't really know anyone that well, but here goes.

1. My niece, Chavah a wonderful artist
2. A new friend, Carolyn who writes lovely comments on my blog
3. Another new friend Ewian from Milliande's
4. Calligrapher and artist Martha Lever who is taking the Paulette Insall faces class with me
5. A new friend from the faces class Jo a very talented lady, also an Aussie :-)
6. A new friend Vicki another Paulette Insall student

the rules:
1. Link to the person or persons who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

My Creative Space

There has been some discussion on Milliande's about what kind of artist are we. Are we messy, an inbetweener or a neat freak. So, I thought you might like to see my creative space and make up your own minds. However, before I post, maybe you'd like to see how my studio evolved - from an idea to complete within weeks. My mum passed away last year from cancer, and left me a small amount of money (when you have 5 other brothers and sisters it doesn't go far), and I was able to build my own space. We turned a little used corner of our backyard into a building site, though we have retained the chook shed at the back (no chooks at the moment though). The land we own is solid limestone so we had previously had raised vegetable gardens down there, these were relocated to make way for the structure. OK, on to some photos:

This photo shows the site where my studio is now built. Builder in photo, plus my German Shepherd, Magnus and daughter. Chook yard at the rear.

The building in progress. It is actually a 6metre x 9metre shed, minus the roller door, with windows and sliding doors added in.

Nearly finished, just the verandah to add on. I had to dig the path with a mattock, it took me three days to clear all the rock, weeds and dirt, but I wanted the path level with the lawn (saying that tongue in cheek - the lawn has died in the drought!)

This is how my studio looks now. I want to create a sign reading "THE STUDIO" to hang under the verandah, get the garden established and hang some potted plants, and it'll be complete.

OK, now on to the inside. I have only taken photos of the studio itself. It also has a huge storage room and a small kitchenette. When I save up enough money I would like to install a composting toilet there as well, to save me making trips up to the house! These photos show my work space, there is also a sofa bed, two large cupboards, coffee table, etc. in this room. It is very large and painted white, with lots of wonderful natural lighting and also banks of downlights.

So, what do you think? Am I a messy, inbetweener or neat???

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Purple Tree

On Milliande's Creativity Club there is a sub group devoted to women who need to "make time" for art. Challenges are issued that correspond with time periods, according to how much time you can set aside, e.g. 13 minutes, half an hour, an hour, half a day, etc. Each person belonging to this sub-group has to commit to setting aside some personal creative time at least once a week. The first challenge is to create a tree, the only stipulation is that it must be purple. Here is my tree. I painted the tree shape in acrylics and then punched out lots of leaf shapes from novel pages that had a wash of purple tinted gesso. I then outlined roughly, the leaves in black with a touch of white gel pen. It looks more effective in real life as you can actually see the print of the novel, which doesn't show up on the scan. However, I still feel something is lacking, and am considering adding words in black, around the tree outline, or maybe a poem or quote below the tree. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First art journal page

Milliande issued me with a challenge to get started on using an art journal. Her words were "do it now". Her additional challenge was to do something purple and relate it to what I associate with the colour purple. My response is "royalty" and this journal page is the result. I am quite happy with the way it turned out - well, OK for a first effort anyway. I think I'm hooked. Just need to get myself a proper journal, this was just done on a page taken out of a watercolour pad. Little steps - as my friend at Milliande's Creativity Club, DellaLuna said "You know, maybe you don't have to just do it...maybe you just need that ocean to become a bay, that bay to become a lake, that lake to become a pond, that pond to become a pool, that pool to become a kiddie pool. Just like Letha said. And kiddie pool's, they're fun, and it's really, REALLY hard for an adult to drown in one. No deep end until you're ready, you know? Very wise lady. Thank you DellaLuna, Milliande, Letha for your advice and believing in me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Free Stories Class by Jessica Sprague

I have registered for this FREE class at Jessica Sprague's website. This is what she says about it:

"Lately, I've been realizing, that for me, there needs to be a way to capture little stories that can either be made into scrapbook pages, or not. There needs to be a way to fill in those gaps for which there might not be a full-blown 2-page spread that took me 4 hours. But that is a story worth telling nonetheless.

I'm confident that I'm not the only person out there in this situation. So that's why I developed this class. We ALL have stories. And whatever way it is that we choose to tell them, we all need a way of capturing them first. So that's where Stories in Hand comes in.

In our week-long, instructor-led class, we will learn:

* Techniques for capturing memories from our own lives and from others
* Dozens of prompts for stories you might have forgotten
* A cool system for capturing the stories happening in your life right now, AND for listing the stories you have yet to tell
* Technologies you can use to help you gather your stories together with photos, video, your blog, or any other media you have that gives a peek into your life

And we will make a REALLY CUTE project! (You’ll find out the supply list when you register). You are not required to have Photoshop to complete the project.

Oh yeah, by the way, this class is COMPLETELY FREE."

Sounds great doesn't it. You have until November 8th to register. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Creativity Club for Women

I am spreading the word! Milliande's Creativity Club for women is great. I first "met" Milliande when I was looking at art journalling on YouTube and came across some "how to" videos posted by Milliande. That led me to her web site and email group. She has just moved everything to the "land of ning", a forum type set-up, and it is great. If you would like to connect with like minded women from all over the world, make new friends and get the encouragement you need and deserve, what are you waiting for. I hope to "see" you there soon!

What you need to bring to the creativity club:

~A willingness to explore the creative arts viewed through the eye of your soul

~ Deep respect for the beauty and individuality of each woman who chooses to share of herself and her artwork at the Creativity Club

~ A love of life itself

~ An openness to reclaim your connection with the sacred feminine

~ A knowing that to create is your first and foremost birthright and that by trusting your intuition you will know instinctively what to create and when you do it will be the perfect time, always ...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Altered Book

Trish Bee has wonderful techniques on her website. I have been playing along with her altered book tutorial. Trish emails us the different stages. It has been fun to watch the book evolve. We started off with a child's board book. I lightly sanded it and then gessoed the pages. You can see where I am up to. The current page is Asian inspired, but I haven't added the elements to it yet.

Fat Book

In an egroup I belong to, The Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts we recently had the opportunity to participate in a fat book swap. Now, I'm a swap virgin and thought, OK, I need to begin somewhere, this sounds like it should be good. It was anticipated there would be about 40 participate in the swap and I thought that sounded quite manageable. By the time the swap closed, 120 people had signed up to participate! Very intimidating. Each person had to create a background, no two people could use the same technique. The size is 4x4 inches and we needed to create 120 pages using our background technique. On the back we needed to provide the instructions on how to create our background. I chose to do a gesso and soluble oil pastel background, even though I had never done one before! I spent lots of time experimenting until I was happy with the results. It is surprisingly easy to achieve and very effective. When I get a chance I'll do a step-by-step to show you how it is done. I am going to post some photos of my 120 pages all ready just before I posted them to the USA. I will be receiving 120 different background technique pages back in the next month or so, very exciting.
I did six colour combinations, 20 of each, so I wouldn't get bored and so I had enough soluble oil pastels to complete the backgrounds.

More art

I'm on a roll - stop me please, someone! I recently signed up to do an online faces class with Paulette Insall. It is an 8 week course. First we learnt how to draw faces, the second week we transferred our faces onto canvas and painted the skin. The third week we learnt how to paint the eyes and lips. I haven't actually got to that stage on my canvas yet - that is a tomorrow job. Here is what I have done so far:

Sharing some art

After a long, long absence from creating (since I was a teenager), getting distracted by work, having children, studying and homeschooling to mention a few things, I decided it was time to simplify my life and negotiate some "me" time. I quit full time work, cutting back to 2 days a week. My house is no longer a bomb site, my family can rely on a home cooked meal every night as well as home baking in school lunch boxes. Bliss. Most importantly, I have found some time to start creating again. I belong to some wonderful egroups and when I can work out how to link to them I will. One of the groups, art techniques, run frequent on line classes and through them I learnt to create a mixed media collage. It was a step-by-step process and my end product was given as a gift to a friend for her 40th birthday. Here it is:

Because my friend is German, I added the German word for friendship in the corner and personalised it a bit more by having "40" and the date of her birth on the picture. I was quite pleased with my first attempt and am in the process of creating another collage for another friend's birthday this week. Will post when it is done.

First Post

Wow, I can't believe that I'm doing this. Having enjoyed reading and subscribing to so many posts from others has inspired and motivated me to begin my own blog. I have lots to learn so I hope you will forgive me and be patient with me as I go along. There are lots of links I would like to put up but as yet I have no idea how to do it - baby steps :-)