Friday, 10 October 2014

Owls, a Fairy and a Pear


I have been deep in the forest this week painting owls for Art Journal Journey’s October theme.  These two are having a great old gossip about the naive little fairy that noisily woke them up from their slumber.  They were very indignant when she screamed out as a spider jumped on her wings.  What was she doing there anyway, they asked each other.


Well, Miranda was being brave, very brave in fact.  The big fairies told her that deep in the forest there was a wonderful treasure chest by the old oak tree.  In it there was a lot of special fairy dust.  Now this fairy dust was wonderful - beautiful iridescent blues and greens with gold and silver highlights.  Miranda thought that if she could get some and made a wish she would become beautiful and slender like the big fairies. 

The spider terrified Miranda and when the owls hooted with laughter, she decided that she didn't like the darkness of the forest and perhaps it would be better if she went home and ate the pear her Mum was painting for lunch.  Pears would make her skinny!!!!  Also her Mum’s kitchen was full of light and warmth and love. 


The owls were done in ink, pencil and watercolour.  Miranda was done in pencil, watercolour and gouache. 

The still life was done in acrylic, it is also being linked to Mix it Monthly hosted by Conny, where the theme in October is still life with the colours red, blue and yellow.

Have a wonderful creative week and thanks for visiting.

Linked to
Paint PartyFriday hosted by Eva and Kirstin
Art JournalJourney hosted by Susi
Mix ItMonthly hosted by Conny

Sunday, 5 October 2014

People Watching

I have always watched people, their emotions, attitudes and body language.


These days I take my A5 size sketchbook with me wherever I go and try to sketch at least two people per outing. Often it is only an outline and if so I finish it at home.  The first one was an outline, as I didn't want to make it obvious I was drawing her.  I find it works as if I tried to sketch the full portrait I get bogged down in trying to get an likeness and often it ends up a mess.  The one on the opposite page only took about 5 minutes.


The other bit of sketching I do is when watching TV.  I sit on the sofa with my coloured pencils and doodle draw.  This is how I get my quirky faces, as I am not looking at the drawing so am not fussed about detail.

Are you a people watcher?

Linking to Sunday Sketches hosted by Alexandra of Blue Diary 
Illustrations.

Have a great creative week.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Paint Party Friday and Art Journal Journey

This week I completed the 29 Faces for Ayala Art’s 29 Faces in September.  If you want to know the stories behind the last 4 faces go here.  I actually do have a plan for some of them, but more about that later.  Here is a compilation of the faces I did last month (some of them are cropped because some of my dimensions were different.


If you want to see them all in full go here.
I had planned to have a break from art this week and get into the garden.  But the weather hasn’t been suitable, you k now what spring weather is like very changeable to say the least!  But all was not wasted as when I saw the theme for October at Art Journal Journey set by Sheila from Orange Esmeralda I was delighted.  It is:  Deep in the Forest!


For ages I have had this box, years ago I use to paint these boxes for gifts and inside there was stuff particular to the person concerned.  So here was this box littering up the place, I had a brain wave I would paint inside of it.  So out came the acrylics and I got started….


I love our native bush her in New Zealand, It is often very dark and mysterious and you can imagine another world of creatures living there.  Often little creeks trickle through the trees creating a sparkling light.  What I love the most are the small waterfalls, they are such a surprise to come across.  Our bush is like this box from a distance the dull olive green of the canopy hides a world of treasures and surprises.

Tah dah!

I so enjoyed doing this that I think I will have to get some more boxes made to paint!!!

My inspiration.  The falls are about 50 km north from here and the bush scene is about 10 km in the Tararuas.


Hope you all have a wonderful week.
 
(I have not forgotten the methods I use for my journal page.  Hopefully I will organised enough to have some for next week.) 

Linking to 
 and

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tah Dah!

I have done it!  29 Faces in September done and dusted. 


The last four gals are red hair beauties, I don’t know what it is about red hair but I find a lot of my paintings have red hair, I don’t!   It must be that it is more interesting than black brown or blond or even grey lol...

Face 26

This is Maggie, she has a secret and she is not telling!  It makes her happy and she often smiles to herself during the day.  It drives her friends crazy that she won’t tell!

Face 27

This is Francine; she is wondering what the day will hold for her, will it be fun or that the horrid boy in her class will make fun of her again.  She hates that.

Face 28

This is Sara, she so wants to join in the party, but her shyness make her hide in the corner.  

Face 29

Now on the other hand Lynne has all the confidence of the world.  She will look at you directly, and tells you what she thinks. 

Well that’s it.  Thank you Ayala for hosting the 29 Faces in September, it has been fun and worthwhile as it has made me focus, which I sorely needed to do.  I am pleased to say that I have discovered what I want to do with my art for the next few months!  Progress has been made.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Almost There!

I can not believe that we are near the end of September!  I have to say that I have really enjoyed the 29 Faces in September 2014 challenge.  Also the Living Beings theme over at Art Journal Journey.  So thanks to the lovely ladies that host them.

Face 20

This is Ashley, she loves all living creatures and all creatures seem to love her.  Dogs and cats come running when she is in their territory.  Birds hover near her and sing songs to her!  She is a magical girl who walks through life with lots of compassion.  If you see her, smile and watch the magic happen.


Face 21


This is Kasey, she is dressed up in her party dress, it is her eighth birthday and all her friends are coming.  She is twitching with excitement as she watches her mother sets out the spread they will be having  … there are fairy lights, jelly beans and pink and purple cupcakes!  Best of all, there will be lots of presents!!!!

Faces 22, 23 AND 24

On Monday Morning I was doing a bit of blog reading while the kettle boiled for my breakfast.  I happen to hit on Morag of Paper Rainbow’s post about an Australian Artist Peter Rush (see here)  He does street scenes of Sydney with coloured pencils on old cereal cartons.  They were awesome.  My eye spotted the weetbix carton I had just put near the fireplace for burning.  Ummm ….I fetched it and made a few marks…….. An hour or so later the above was underway and my weetbix were soggy!  Needless to say I was so excited with how the coloured pencils worked on this card, that I had finished the picture well before lunch.  Three more faces done!


These ladies are three sisters, Bertha, Agatha and Elisabeth.  

The first and eldest sister Bertha loves to be indoors and hates being outside because of the creepy crawlies.  She is often to be found standing at the window watching her sisters’ antics with disapproval.  Did you see how a bee has managed to invade her kingdom!  


The middle sister Agatha, is a bit mixed up, she admires both her sisters and wants to be like them, but she can’t stand Bertha's nagging and she is actually very nervous of nature and really wants to be inside.  The youngest is a creature of nature she loves to dance in the woods singing to all the creatures she finds, especially the little people. 


I just love using the boxes and will be doing more of this. Now, for my beauty of the week:


 Face 25

This is Catherina, she wants to be a model, but has been let down by un scrupulous agents trying to manipulate her into dodgy ventures.  Despite her fragile exterior there is a strength within her that will help her to avoid all the pitfall of her chosen career, good luck Catherina, I know you will succeed!

I was going to show how I make some textures with my home made stamps this week but I have decided to wait till 29 faces is over and do a series on my techniques then.  

However I can give one tip that follows on from my step by step last week.  While I was doing the three sisters, I realised that all my faces no matter their medium I do a layer of white.  For pencil; work I use a white pencil as it softens the marks.  For watercolours and acrylics I use zinc white acrylic paint and do a thin wash, yes even over watercolour faces such as Catherina.  
I just love the soft magical feel it gives.



Even though I am enjoying all the challenges this month I will be glad when things are back to normal, it is spring here and everything is growing at a pace.  My poor garden is sadly neglected.  Don’t you think that Bro is trying to tell me something!!

Well, have a wonderful week every body!

Linking today to Paint Party Friday hosted by Eva and Kirstin

And Art Journal Journey hosted by Valerie and Susi

Monday, 22 September 2014

Yet More Faces

Here are some more faces in the 29 Faces September 2014 challenge hosted by Ayala.

Face 16

This is Michelle, I met her yesterday at her parents’ home, and she is a special needs girl, always full of smiles and love for those around her.  She is adored by her family and all those that know her.  However yesterday, I had to pull myself up short, I had fallen into the trap of thinking she had no worries.  Across the dinner table I caught several glimpses of a sad Michelle, a wistful Michelle, she caught me looking at her in those moments and immediately pit on a beaming smile.  Oh how we assume!  I am now sure that smiling face is a mask that Michelle puts on to hide all the angst that any teenage girl has whether she has special needs or not


Face 17

This is Mary, she is a minx!  She loves to put the cat amongst the pigeons.  She doesn't do it out malice, she just likes to liven things up.  You can just see her planning her next little mischief!


Face 18

This is Lizzy, she is all dressed up warm and cosy, she is watching her friends playing on the playing fields getting muddy and dirty, she would love to join in  but fears that her Mama would be annoyed if she came home cold wet and dirty, but oh it would be so much fun she thinks…. Just maybe I will take off my nice coat and join in!

Face 19

Let me introduce Wanda to you!  She is a fun girl, loves to be different, everything about life astonishes her.  She finds the ridiculous in the serious stuff of life, we need more of her sort in the world!

Wow, I am slowly catching up, when I started I thought I would be lucky if I got to 20 as I started a week late.  I just, just might make it to 29, lol.

Linking to  Sunday Sketches as well as 29 Faces.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Friday Round Up

29 Faces gals

Face 12

This is Annie; she is the vulnerable little girl within all of us.  Annie looks at life with a question – Am I good enough?  We might be sure of ourselves on the outside and perhaps fool ourselves that we are staunch.  However life curve balls show us that our armour is full of cracks.  Well, that is true of me!!

Face 13

This is Rachael; she hides behind her glasses.  She gives the impression that she is hard and doesn’t care.  However, her glasses hide the ready tears and sadness at the world’s tragedies. 


Last week several people asked about my techniques and whether I use the computer.  Rather than answer individually I decided to show a step by step of one of my faces.

Face 14


I always start any painting with pastel, whether it be acrylic, gouache or whatever.  They are usually gestural if they are to be whimsical as above or more realistic if representational.


Today, I was planning to use mainly acrylics, so I did a wash of gesso and drew into the wet gesso with pastels.  I do that to create a good surface and to create textures – use it fairly thick.


Then I start to use the acrylics, decide what colours I am going to use.  It is still gestural at this stage, I am trying to get the picture to speak to me.  When I start I never have a clear idea what I am going to do.  Then I start to add textures with crumpled tissue (I find that the tissue from old dressmaking patterns is wonderful as it doesn’t dissolve like new tissue paper.  I pick them up from op shops for 50cents).  I use whatever comes to hand, nothing is safe from my paint stained hand!  

Today, I used the kitchen scrubbing brush  to add splodges.  I would have had a photo, but my camera decided it need new batteries and being totally disorganised my spare ones need charging too.  


So this photo is what I did while they were recharging.  The picture on the left I did with pastels, sometimes the urge to carry on with pastel overtakes and then I just use some water colour to finish off.  

At this stage the girl finally started to talk to me.


This is as far as I got today.  I don’t think she is finished yet, her face needs some work.  


When I upload my pictures to the computer I use the computer to crop.  Sometimes I rotate the crop to give an interesting angle. And if I am going to add words I use the text tools as my writing is crap, see the header above!

Even though she needs more work she is talking to me and her name is Mel.  She likes to look at you with those blue as blue eyes and stares into your soul.  You always feel that you can’t hide from her.  She is a wise soul!

Face 15

This is Cindy; she looks at the world with wide eyed wonder.  She is very trusting and believes everything she is told.  In this picture she has just been told about the big bad wolf in the woods!! After doing the pastel I used splodges from the tissue ball with acrylic and stencilled with toile.  (I will show some of my handmade stencils next week).  She is not finished yet.

Mix it Monthly – Trees

Earlier in the week I decided to get out my Sennelier Inks, they are a shellac based ink and create wonderful transparencies and have a gunky feel!  I brought them about 3 years ago and only used them once!  Which is silly as they give a wonderful rich feel to your work.


This has an abstract feel because I got carried away with creating textures.  I started out as a painting of a bush area at a nearby nature reserve.


This is a painting of a Silver Fern the national symbol of NZ.  It is a tree Fern and in certain light the underneath of the leaves seems to be silver.  I just love them.  Sorry Connie I just cannot get my head around the colour scheme this month. But I am working on it!

Art Journal Journey – Living beings

I am cheating here a bit as this colour pencil work I did some years ago, I don’t think I have shown it before.


I once had a tin with a pussy lying on some William Morris material.  One day I decided to try my hand at doing a similar drawing. 

 There was a reason.  When Zana, one of my cats had kittens I kept two of them, Jasper and Lucy.  However, I found having 4 cats too much.  So I decided to find another home for him when he was about 4 months with another family a few streets away.   He settled in well. But at about 6 months he kept on coming back every week day at 10 am on the dot and going at 4 pm, obviously his new owners were out at work and he remembered where there was a nice bed. 

Eventually it stopped.  Except for a period of two weeks when he came for the day for 2 weeks. During these two weeks I did this picture that was 6 years ago.  Well imagine my surprise on Tuesday, there was a meow that was not from my three, I went to the back and there sat Jasper.  He walked in bold as brass, went up to Bro and rubbed his face against his, he went up to Zana, she hissed! Lucy just sat there with eyes wide as saucers.  Then he hopped up on the sofa and had a sleep for 2 hours and disappeared.  I phoned his owners and they were amazed as I!  Wonder when I will see him again?  In another six years?  I wonder if he has been around here at night as I have a cat flap.

Well that’s it for today  Have a great week, I will probably have some for gals for 29 faces on Sunday or Monday.

I am also linking up with
Paint Party Friday hosted by Eva and Kirstin.

Art Journal Journey hosted by Valerie and Susi

Mix It Monthly hosted by Connie

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Girls with Attitude!

I am slowly catching up with my 29 Faces, yesterday was a conveyor belt and they ended up looking similar, oh well….  Anyway today I have done a series of teenage girls doing what they best do, pushing the boundaries!

Face 9

This is Sally, she is sulking because she hasn’t got what she wants, as her Mum would not let her hang out with her friends until she had cleaned her room. So she is sitting on her bed thinking dire thoughts.  ( I remember doing that and then shoving everything under the bed and my wardrobe, I never fooled my parents, as the family joked about the danger of opening my wardrobe and the likelihood  of being bombarded with junk!)


Face 10

This Linda, you would think she would be happy, she has sneaked out and is at the party her Mum forbade her to go to.  Perhaps, a guilty conscience is consuming her?  I wouldn't surprised if she leaves the party and goes home.  Or maybe I am wrong she has just seen her boyfriend with someone else! (Both would have been true of me!  I know once when I sneaked out to a party I was so worried that I didn't enjoy it at all and snuck back home!)



Face 11


This is Maggie, she is so proud of herself, she has just brought some new clothes with her first pay check, she just can’t stop looking in the mirror and grinning!  (oh I remember that feeling so well, do you?)

Linking with Alexandra at Sunday sketches (I don’t think I have been there for over a year!) as well as 29 faces.

Friday, 12 September 2014

This week......

Been busy as….. Painting a storm for 29 faces, AJJ – living beings and Mix it Monthly - trees!

Face 7

This is Sara; she is a beauty, loves to dress up, wears flowers and ribbons, and goes out on the town frequently.  However, despite being so-called ‘popular’ she is very lonely, if you look hard enough you can see into her soul through her eyes and see the sadness.  I think she has been hurt a lot.  I used gouache and acrylics; it took me all week to get her how I wanted.

Face 8

This is me a child!  I grew up on a dairy farm and after school had to go down to the milk shed to help with the milking.  To get there, I had to pass the hen run.  In the hen run was a bad tempered rooster, he used to sit up in the tree and fly over the fence making a racket and trying to peck us kids.  I was petrified of him!  I used to climb the fence and cross the paddock to the boundary and take a rather steep path to the shed.  To this day I am very nervous of birds, I desperately want to have hen for eggs but the thought of having to touch them sends shivers up my spine!!!  While I am at it, I will also admit that I was afraid of the cows too!  Perhaps next week I will do a picture telling a hilarious episode of me and a cow!  Shame on a good ole Taranaki farm gal! (Taranaki is the province where I grew up and is primarily a dairy farming area)

This picture I did for 29 Faces and AJJ – Living Beings.  If you want to see the faces I posted during the week go here.

Some more stuff for AJJ - Living Beings and Mix it Monthly - Trees


They are about my cat Bro.


This first one is his relationship with dogs.  He has a love hate relationship.  He keeps his distance as he has had one or two run in with them.  But I have caught him terrorizing or perhaps tantalizing the neighbour’s dog.  They have a one of those yappy terriers, and it is often in the front window when they go out.  Bro likes to sit in the middle of the lawn staring at it while it goes berserk, yapping jumping at the window.  I swear he is laughing!


Bro pretends to hate birds.  Proof of this was witnessed by the one legged blackbird that frequents my back garden looking for worms.  It disappeared for a while and I thought it hadn't survived the winter.  However looking out the window I saw the bird on the foot path to the washing line.  Around the corner came Bro.  He sat down as the bird continued to hop about.  They were only a foot apart!  He stayed there till it flew off.  He got a great big hug from me.

I used acrylics in both pictures.  For the trees they are wearing their spring outfits as it is spring here.  (It has arrived at long last!)  I haven't used the colour scheme provided by Connie but will for next Tree picture that I am working on.


Bro taking his early morning stroll in the garden!  Below Bro guarding the property on the carport roof!  Oops it needs painting!!!


Well if you got this far thanks for visiting and have a wonderful creative week.

Linking to

 Paint Party Friday hosted by Eva and Kirstin,

Art Journal Journey hosted by Valerie and Susi

and Mix it Monthly hosted by Connie.
also
Feline Cat Friday hosted by Kitty Par-tay

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Faces 3 to 6

For 29 Faces this time around I have decided to give my faces a name and make up a little about them, it makes them real.  It is a mixed bag of styles today.

Face 3



This is Debbie; she is in a rush, flying through her day with a million things on her mind.  For this ‘lovely’ I used some pastel paper that has ridges.  Ha, in the end I did not use pastel!  I used watercolour and acrylics and crumpled up tissue to stamp textures.

I have discovered a neat new home-made stamp – toile. I had some left over from a toy – a crochet ballet rabbit I was making for grand-niece.  I couldn't help myself and dipped in some wet paint and laid it on the paper.  I am in love with it!  So much so, that I used it in the next Face.

Face 4


This is Suzy, she is lost, she does not know where to find herself, and she is looking everywhere but not within.  It’s sad; she does not know how wonderful she is.  I drew her with a black fine sharpie and then used watercolour with lots and lots of water.  I went a bit mad with the net here!

Face 5


This is Eliza, she has just lost someone close to her, she is trying so hard not to cry and doesn't realise that if she let go she might feel so much better. However I do think that the tears are about to gush out!   For Eliza I used acrylic and pastel, and of course some of the net for stamping.

Face 6


We seem to have had a bit of a sad time so will have to end on a happy note, this is Lily, and she is a happy little soul.  Looking forward to all the treats that life is offering her, she is confident that she is loved and cherished (as all children should be).  I used acrylic and a bit of gouache.  I managed to keep my hand away from the net!

As you can see I am on a roll! 4 faces in 2 days.

I will see you again on Friday when I hope to have a few more faces to show.  Do go and see all the other lovely artists taking part in 29 Faces (link is on sidebar)