Thursday, May 28, 2009

Golden Angel

You may remember that just before Christmas I was painting four angels at the same time - each of them with a different colour hair, eyes and wing treatment. A couple of them went to secret santa gifts, one to a work colleague and the final one, lay unfinished in my studio until yesterday when I pulled out all stops and ta dah, she is done. She is my only blonde haired angel, or I like to call her golden. I think I need to continue my heart face, spiral hair girls, I quite enjoy doing them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Great Mail Day and portrait progress

Yesterday and today have been great mail days. I received two art quilts that I bid on in the recent Collage Mania auction to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Both these art quilts were made by the wonderful Fannie Narte in memory of my mother who passed away from cancer a couple of years ago. Fannie lovingly created these and the detail is amazing. I wish you could see them in real life. I am keeping the "Create" art quilt and will be giving the "Journey" art quilt to my sister. Thank you so much Fannie. You must go and check out her website - her art is amazing and so diverse. Oh, and Fannie included a something special for me in the parcel - a personally autographed copy of "Taking Flight" by Kelly Rae Roberts. Can you make out what the writing says? If you can, please let me know - I'm not that good at reading script. I love this book - it is one to reread over and over.

Today I received this charming mixed media piece that I purchased from Martha Lever. Isn't it divine?

I managed to finish the shading on the two girls, so now just finishing up the backgrounds and they will wing their way to two of the ladies who are participating in my "Pay it Forward" - so watch out for your mail deliverer, ladies.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Here's something you probably didn't expect to see from me. I belong to a group called "Loosen Me Up" on Gary Reef's Ning Group. He recently posted the first exercise which was "painting to music".

I really enjoyed this exercise. There were a few firsts for me. One, take a tip from Gary - do it outside next time! Two, I actually used my easel for the first time ever - I bought it years ago with good intentions of taking up painting! Three - my first ever abstract.

I used colours that would go with my studio. I used a canvas that I had started a folk art painting on many, many years ago and never finished. It always bothered me to see a half completed painting just sitting there, now I don't need to be bothered any more! I debated on what to do the painting on - should I waste! a canvas, should I used poster board, butcher paper - what? Ultimately I am happy with the choice I made - I really like my painting and intend hanging it on the wall of my studio as a reminder to be more loose and free when I paint.

Oh, the music that I painted to in case you were wondering was ABBA Gold - haha, showing my age now. I used a very wide brush to start with (probably 4" wide) and then grabbed a brayer which was lying nearby which happened to have rubber bands wrapped around it, some bubble wrap and then finished off with a paste brush to flick paint everywhere (and I mean everywhere - I had a bit of cleaning up to do). Having said all that - I still have to loosen up a lot more which I look forward to doing as Gary's Ning group exercises continue.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hair and Eyebrows

So much for my productive week - I think I spoke too soon - I haven't been able to get down to the studio until today. It has been showering today so the perfect opportunity to do some painting. Since I last posted about these paintings I have been somewhat preoccupied with making resources for my babies - I just love all of the babies, they are so gorgeous in their own precious, individual ways. You can tell I love my job can't you!! Anyway, back to the paintings - I have added hair and eyebrows which makes them look a bit more human. I still have the shading to do on the faces and of course I need to think of some background words/pictures to go along with them. Hmmmm, sometimes I think that is the most difficult part.

Blogger Friend Award

A new online art friend, Beckie Holso , was so sweet to award me with a "Friends" blog award. Here's the link to her blog: Art Beckons.

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these kind writers."

Now I'm supposed to pass this award on to 5 other deserving bloggers who meet that criteria - check them out:

The Bodhi Chicklet
Faint Heart Art
Sherry Carrigan
Imagine, Create, Inspire
One Day at a Time

There are so many inspiring blogs out there that meet this criteria - I could have listed many more - I am so grateful to the technology that makes making friends all over the world so easy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Portrait Progress

After an extremely unproductive morning - well I cleaned all the bathrooms first thing, before dropping the children to school, came home ate some toast and then went back to bed - until lunchtime. I was sooooo tired. Hope I'm not coming down with something again.

After I woke up (because the phone rang and my daughter wasn't well at school so I had to pick her up), I went down to the studio and did some more work on the portraits. Finished off the white base coats, and then mixed up the skin tone and painted the girls with 2 layers. Then a bit of shading and highlighting. I finished off the night by painting their eyes and mouths. I don't know when I'll get to the final shading and hair, soon I hope. Now that I'm at this stage, I will also finish off an angel that I painted before Christmas, she is just waiting for final shading and her hair to be finished off. Woo hoo, I'm on a roll. It feels good (doing happy dance).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Productive Day

Today has been great! Not only did I get all my grocery shopping done this morning, I also purchased two gorgeous artworks from Collage Mania - creations of the very talented Fannie. I'm so excited my bids were accepted, both of these were lovingly and graciously made by Fannie in memory of my mum, Zelda, who passed away from cancer two years ago. I am going to keep one and give one to my sister.

After lunch I thought I might go down to my studio and have a bit of a tidy up as it hadn't really been touched since my sister moved out of it in March. Having cleared my work surface I decided that I would do some wet felting to refresh my memory from the 2.5 hour course I did on the weekend. I am making a sketch book cover. There are no seams, it is felted with a pocket in it. I haven't finished it yet - it needs to dry and then I am going to add some further embellishments to it. I am really enjoying wet felting - I can just see the potential and possibilities. Don't you just love the colour of the pouch?

After dinner tonight, I again ventured down to the studio (it is in my backyard). I decided it was about time I did some more painting. I have started two girls, transferred from some sketches I did back in November last year. One of the girls has 3 coats of fluid titanium white on her face, the other only has one coat so far. I will photograph progress as I go so you can see how I go about it. I'm really not sure how these ones are going to turn out as when I prepared the backgrounds in December last year! I texturised them and some of the texture is on the face and neck - almost looks like they are prematurely aged! Oh well, we'll see how we go - gotta try these things.

I have also decided, in hindsight, to never do 3 courses at the same time ever again. Only ONE! OK, so if I ever again do anything so silly, please email me and tell me that I must be out of my mind. I couldn't do justice to any of the courses because not only was I really busy at the time, but I really needed to concentrate on just one process so that I could do that well, instead of three badly! Never mind, we live and learn.

Well that's it from me for today, I'm hoping to get some studio time tomorrow, though one of my things I really want to do is make some drawstring bags for storing heuristic play materials in for my babies at work. Hmmmm, that housework may just have to wait!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wet felting project

Yesterday, I was able to attend my first wet feltmaking class. It is a 2-part class over two Saturday afternoons. I developed an interest in felting a couple of months ago, bought lots of wool and tools but didn't have the confidence to give it a go, even after watching lots of youtube videos! I saw this course advertised and even though it is an hour away from where I live, I thought it was an opportunity too good to miss. The tutor was great, explained and demonstrated in an easy to comprehend way and we were set loose to create our own felted piece. This photo is what I did, I have a feeling I may have over felted the piece, I must ask the tutor next week. We also learnt the process behind creating a double sided object such as a glasses case, or bag and how to go about it. Next week one of the things we are doing is round beads and sushi beads and some other bits and pieces. Have to tell you though, those felt making courses should have a disclaimer about the exercise that is involved. My arms and shoulders were aching when I go up this morning! Great work out. I am looking forward to creating more pieces and getting more adventurous and possibly incorporating felting into my mixed media pieces. The potential is endless really, felt is a vibrant medium that is beautiful to work with and with lots of possibilities. I'm a convert!