Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's Over!

What a whirlwind these past two weeks have been. I have visited nearly 900 artist's blogs over the last couple of weeks. What an amazing experience it has been. I have met many wonderful and talented artists and have added a lot of blogs to my reader! I have been overwhelmed by the number of comments I have received and am thrilled to have acquired 50 new followers! That should keep me on my toes.

All good things must come to an end however, and I have used to generate the prize winner of my painting.

The winning comment belonged to Mel from Paper Imagery Designs. Congratulations Mel.

Now I need to get back to the studio - with all my blog hopping I've had no time for art.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

One World One Heart Giveaway

The final
One World One Heart
Blog Open House is on. Bloggers from around the world offer a "door" prize which will be drawn February 17th. All you need to do is visit the blog of the participating artists, leave a comment and you will be in the draw to win their prize/s. Simple isn't it?

Followers of my blog have seen the process of creating this prize. It culminated in an unfortunate incident where a lot of water was spilt on the painting. Fortunately I managed to cover up what wasn't meant to be there. Unfortunately, what I didn't realise was the amount of water that had been spilt on the painting, saturating the board the canvas is mounted on. We have have extremely hot weather here, the board dried out today and some of the canvas has come away from the board making bubbles underneath the painting. The affected areas are the corners and top of the painting so the winner could frame if and camouflage the damage to a certain extent. It is very disappointing but only slightly detracts from the focal point of the painting.

So if you are interested in winning a slightly damaged, but still beautiful original acrylic/mixed media painting, please leave a comment below and a random draw will select the winner on February 17th.

Friday, January 28, 2011


According to my daughter, I am weird. Why else would I be sketching my blender? For the Sketchbook Challenge of course - the January theme is "Highly Prized". There are so many things I highly prize - my family, my faith, my health ... the list goes on. However, I love my Vitamix blender - I use it 3 or more times in a day - it sits on my kitchen bench at the ready. I make my green smoothie every morning in my blender using whatever fruits are in season plus some greens such as spinach and kale. A wonderful way to start the day. I make my almond milk in the blender, salad dressings, my chocolate nut bread (see previous post), soup, etc. It makes short work of anything I throw into it. With my raw diet, there is no way I could manage without it - so here she is - my highly prized kitchen appliance!

Great news - I managed to salvage my painting for One World One Heart blog giveaway (starting on Monday!). I will give her a couple of days to dry then spray her with fixative so no other accidents will affect her. Onto my next project now - stay tuned.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chocolate Nut Bread

Well at least something productive came out of my studio - the chocolate nut bread is delicious! What you probaby don't know about me is that I follow a way of eating that is referred to as "high raw". I went on my raw diet about 4 months ago, have lost weight and feel great. Most people would probably feel this type of diet is a bit extreme and that it would probably be boring, but it really isn't and I have to say that I am never hungry!

The recipe for the chocolate nut bread was from
Rawfully Tempting
and I did modify it slightly as I didn't have some of the ingredients and I forgot to add one of the ingredients.

Chocolate Nut Bread
1 cup almonds (soaked 6 -8 hours)
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut
3 dates, pitted and chopped
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1 apple
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp cacao powder
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp ground flax seed (this is what I forgot)
water, as needed to mix
dash of cinnamon

Process all ingredients except cinnamon in food processor or high speed blender. Leave a little chunky. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter onto a non-stick dehydrator sheet about 1/8 - 1/4" thick. Dehydrate for 4 hours, flip onto mesh sheet, score with a dull knife, sprinkle with cinnamon, and dehydrate another 6-8 hours. (Don't let it dry out too much).

Cover and store in refrigerator for 2 days or freeze.

Try serving with a bit of nut butter.

Sorry I don't have the photo to post as I still haven't got a battery for my camera. If you go to the link above you can see a photo of it. This is so moreish and really good for you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nothing Much

Teenagers have taken over my studio these past couple of weeks. Needless to say I haven't got a lot done. My camera's batteries are flat so I haven't been able to take any photos of what I have done. To add to it, when I went to my studio today to put some chocolate nut bread in my dehydrator, I found that water had been spilt over my painting and other bits and pieces on my work desk. I have tried to salvage my painting but the colour from her lips has bled down her chin. I will have to try and mix up another batch of skin tone and try and see if she can be salavaged. If not - there goes my prize for the One World One Heart giveaway. Sigh. No one has owned up to it and I'm sure it was an accident anyway - fingers crossed I can fix her.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Only Words

I had a big afternoon shopping with my daughter and by the time I got home, I was exhausted and took myself to bed for a nap. Still didn't feel so great, but dragged myself off to the studio to put the words onto my painting. They read "A person's world is only as big as their heart." I thought this was appropriate given that the painting is part of the One World One Heart blog giveaway. So, despite best intentions, she still isn't finished. Tomorrow ...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Home straight

Almost done. Today I collaged the heart with scrapbook paper then a few different coats of transparent paint, finally finishing with a coat of gold mica flakes from Golden. The heart was then outlined with a bronze/copper lumiere paint. I painted the dress and added the pattern with a fine brush. Tomorrow, I will finish off her face with blush and some subtle shading and think about what other elements I will include - then she will be finished. She will have plenty of time to cure before she is posted to her new owner. I don't usually work on canvas boards but because it is more than likely she will end up in a foreign land, she will be able to go as a letter instead of a parcel, hopefully which should cost considerably less. The new owner can then decide how to frame or mount her. I'm thinking about what to paint for my next project now. I need to do something for my 100th blog post giveaway ...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hair Glorious Hair

I think the hair is my favourite part of the portrait. Eyebrows are my least favourite, they are really hard to get right and the more you fiddle the worse they look. I have painted my one world one heart girl's hair red - I love this colour, it is so vibrant and alive. It is really great to be painting again - I go down the back of my yard to my studio where it is peaceful and I can be in my own little world - very relaxing. I thought you might like to see a picture of my workbench - I'm a very messy artist and don't clean up as I go. When I have completed my project I get everything back in order. What you can't see is my overflowing rubbish bin - it is filled with paper towel and junk food wrappers - not mine - they belong to my children who use the studio for sleepovers with their friends. Hope you are enjoying this work in progress. I am up to Day 10 of my Create Every Day challenge.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Eyes and Mouth

She is starting to come to life now. Tonight I painted her eyes and lips and already she is starting to take shape. Considering I haven't painted in a year, I am quite pleased with her, though I can see many flaws. Tomorrow I will start on her hair; I am trying to decide what colour - red or brown? Maybe inspiration will strike while I sleep. Back to work tomorrow - this will limit the amount of time I can spend painting but even if I paint only a little every day, I will make progress.

Thank you to everyone that left lovely comments on my "intimidated" post. It really helps to know that there are other artists out there that feel the same way and can relate to how I feel. Thanks for your support.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


It has been a day of colour today. The hairdresser painted my hair, I painted the last of the walls in my bedroom (and it looks fantastic) and I have completed the shading on my one world one heart girl.

I mixed up my skin tone and put two coats all over the skin areas (photo 1). I then used a darker tone to do the shadow areas (photo 2) and lastly I applied the highlights (photo 3). I am really out of practice with my shading and the paint dried so quickly I had to re-do a number of areas which is why it looks a little patchy. However, as my mum used to say "a blind man would be pleased to see it" or I guess a more politically correct way to verbalise this these days would be "a visually impaired person would be pleased to see it".

We welcomed a new addition to our family today - Sarah is a cockatiel and she is beautiful. She has made herself at home, is very tame and loves to be with us. We are going to get a companion for her next weekend so that when we are at work and school she doesn't feel alone. We are calling her companion "Chuck" - we really love the Chuck tv program - can you tell?

Friday, January 7, 2011


There are some amazing talented artists out there in blogland. Whilst they invite inspiration they can also encourage intimidation. I have to remind myself that I am creating for the pure pleasure and the relaxation it brings me - I don't have to be as good as or better than anyone else - I can just enjoy creating. Posting my efforts on my blog are helping me to be accountable, even if only to myself. I have a long journey ahead of me and I intend enjoying every little twist and turn and if I am influenced by other artist's styles, or by looking at their artworks it sparks greater creativity in mine, then I am grateful. I have met the most wonderful, generous souls through blogging about my artistic endeavours, they inspire and motivate me. I am grateful to them and to all artist bloggers who so generously share their talents with the world.

This is Day 7 sketch. I think I will make her into a painting entitled "I wonder ...". Unfortunately I did not have time to do any more painting on my one world one heart girl, maybe tomorrow ...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I transferred my drawing to the background using carbon and have used three coats of white fluid acrylic on the skin. After each coat, I redrew the features on her face so they do not get completely lost. She doesn't look like much now but as I add skin tones and facial features she'll look a lot better - I promise! The only problems encountered today was the paint drying too quickly in our very hot climate - this may be a problem when I lay down the skin tone - I'm hoping for a weather change. Fingers crossed.

Enough is enough

I finish work at 12pm on a Wednesday so I rush around doing all the little jobs I don't get a chance to do during the week. In between time I managed to paint the background for my One World One Heart Girl. It was an exercise in frustration. I was really happy with it but did I know when to stop, no of course not! Just a little bit more ended up being too much and the background was ruined. When to know enough is enough? I waited for it to dry and then basically painted over it - it isn't nearly as good as the first background but it will do, afterall the girl is going to take centre stage and the background is the prop. Tomorrow (day 6) I will transfer the sketch onto the background and lay down the first coat of her face.

The old saying "if you don't use it you lose it" is very true. I'm definitely out of practice. This image isn't the best, it isn't taken in natural light so there is reflection off the picture, but you will get the general idea and when I take further photos of the evolving painting you will see it better.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One World One Heart

I have decided to enter into this blogging world giveaway. Apparently this will be the 5th and final year. I didn't have time last year to participate but am going to this year. I pondered what to create for this wonderful event and thought maybe a painting might be the way to go. I have done the preliminary sketch and will commence work on the background tomorrow and then transfer the sketch to the background and have the work in progress documented on my blog culminating in the final reveal on the first day (30th January) of the One World One Heart event. I haven't painted one of my heart-shaped-face girls for quite a considerable time now so I am looking forward to seeing her evolve. I'm going to collage parts of the painting in addition to the acrylics - hope she turns out OK or I'll have to come up with something else for the giveaway. What are you creating at the moment?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Locust Plague

We are currently being plagued by locusts. Every time I go out in the car I come home with yellow and green splatter all over it. Swarms of locusts surround you as you walk into the backyard - they are everywhere. Birds are gorging themselves and becoming too full to get out of the way when you are driving on the road. The cats and dogs are eating them. They have the most beautiful wings. I wonder where they go at night??

I painted some mini 4x4 canvases, a lesson from my Texture Town class - using a limited palette of Golden fluid acrylics, creating "red", "blue" and "brown" paintings. Quite fun to do - I do enjoy painting abstracts. The colours don't show up that well in the photo, you'll have to take my word for it that the painting on the right is in brown hues. Day 3 done. 362 to go.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


The Creative Every Day 2011 challenge for the month of January 2011 is "Cosmos". I guess most people would think of cosmos as being what is out in space but being the gardening lover that I am, I immediately thought of the flowers cosmos. I love cosmos, their beautiful ferny foliage and their vibrant colours. I must plant some soon. I was unsuccessful with my last planting, the soil here is very poor and rocky and dries out very quickly on a 44C day!

My sketch of cosmos was done using Derwent Inktense pencils and a Pitt artist pen. Now onto completing the painting of the walls of our bedroom, making the most of the public holiday before returning to work tomorrow. Have a great day everyone.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Heaven Scent

I worked out that the Sketchbook Challenge is not a daily creative challenge, rather a minimum of once a month based on a theme. The theme this month is "Highly prized" so I will work on that during the course of January. I decided to join a daily challenge so have once again signed up for Creative Every Day 2011. Creating can take many forms but I am going to mainly concentrate on art. This is my day one sketch. It is of the most heavenly candle. While we were on holidays recently, I walked into a shop which sold kitchenware and smelt the most delightful scent. I asked the owner of the shop what made the store smell so nice and she showed us the candles. Even unlit they emit a beautiful perfume. My daughter decided that it would make a good Christmas gift for me and so I was presented with this on Christmas morning. It now lives in my bedroom and my whole bedroom has the most divine heavenly scent, gently wafting, not overwhelming and it fits with my new colour scheme. Yes, I have been busy painting our bedroom and it is looking fantastic. Now onto some real painting!