Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Whats on your Work Desk Wednesday 217

In case you don't know what this work desk lark is all about see here - Julia's Blog

Good Morning/Evening fellow 'deskers' sorry about the mess (again) yesterday I was full of hopes ready to tidy up and show off something amazing, but alas the world turned to disaster.  Here is another desk though, just so its not too boring..
Of course desk 1, is just my art journal, not very interesting at all.  Desk 2 is the side of my drawing board, just to show I don't confine my mess to one place by any means.  After the photo though I did go round and put all the lids on paint and put them in the drawer, as it was too much even for me.

Lastly, here is my latest oil pastel portrait, this actually started off as a famous person - the sketch was better (in last blog entry) till I added colour, now it looks absolutely NOTHING like who it was meant to be, never mind....... keep trying.
In brief, the weather is still too hot for me, and too hot to spend much time in my art space.  The husband is quite poorly, so having to play 'nurse' which really is not my forte - my Mum reminded me earlier that this is a wife's role it seems, and we do infact take those vows.  Mum is not too well either, our health service is not looking after her too well, despite my official complaint - but hey, she does actually have another appointment scheduled for Friday (not bad for someone with chronic heart failure and poor kidney function) seems there is no rush to treat such things, and certainly no rush to care for anyone past 75.
Sure all you crafters appreciate if it wasnt for my art world I would go totally bonkers, what a savoir in the lowly crayon.

Will be watching Julia' later to see if I can sneak an early posting - but if not I will no doubt be in the 80's again as will be later on in the day.  Will get around as many desks as I can again, I did over 100 last week so was most proud of myself, and am very grateful for everyone who took time to visit me and my mess.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Can you tell who it is?

This is the finished face from the sketch and underpaint I showed you in my last blog post.  I quite like her, she seems a bit of a dreamy girl.

With all the hot weather and lack of art I finally got organised and sorted out my A3 sketch paper so I can use it in another room, ie making it more portable.  Due to neck problems I do find it easier to do most of my work at an easel or drawing board.  So, had to try find a way to sit with an A3 paper on an upright board, not ideal as I still find myself leaning which causes the pain.  But, I do manage to get a couple a day done, so I can then give them colour.  This week I started on a couple of famous faces, well I know who they are, but OH didnt... see if you do..  First is.............
She didnt look as good when given colour, will show you next time, still gives me the experience, I think I could do with a tutor to help me with the oil pastels, or maybe it will get better with practice, lets hope so.

next I did this one, who actually looks like two famous people (or at least I think so)

I had a go at a couple of men too, that was funny - deffo more practice needed there, one was a good face as it goes but looked nothing like who it was meant to be, the other was just awful.. think I was getting tired then.  Both give me colour practice though, so might show those next time.

Its a tiny bit cooler today, on occasion.  Was hot when I did my second dog walk, but has rained a bit since then, not much I hasten to add.  The forecast is called 'changable' for the near future, which means some rain but they are not sure how much, were or when.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Can I fix it?

This dreadful looking canvas has been festering in the kitchen for some time, as you see I have had a few failed attempts to fix it, and mentioned it in my last post here I had another look and wondered if I could try fix it with pastels? as this is my favourite medium to work with, so I had a go........... also used a few coloured pencils, I do think it is now improved.  Once I work out whether to set it or varnish it will be done.
I had managed the odd 'hour' in the art space, it was indeed the odd 'hour' too, yesterday and again today it is simply to hot to go anywhere near.  Here is a sketch I started ..

and then did some underpainting...
Hoping she stays so pretty when I get a chance to start with the pastels.  At the time of doing this I was in a great mind set, then that was turned.  I got a phone call on Thursday evening to tell me a friend of mine had passed away, I used to walk with him every day with our dogs for years - funny, you think people will be around for ever, such a shock when they are not, I only spoke to him a couple of weeks back.
I really hate self-pity, but that does seem to be what I am doing.  I am feeling quite low, not helped by the blessed heat - is meant to be raining here soon today, no sign of it yet - but as always in the UK its extremes of weather, down south (London area and further) are expecting an awful lot of rain in a short time, which can cause flooding - going to spoil the weekend for many, so what right do I have to feel sorry for myself? none at all.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

What's on your work desk Wednesday - 216

In case anyone is still not sure what this 'desk business' is all about, please visit here ....  to tell you all about it.

Oh dear, after last weeks spurt of tidyness it all went down hill from then on!  Things take so long to dry I have a few on the go.  The small canvas to the back is a project I am trying to 'fix' not sure it is going that well, I intend to blog about that one when its done.

Open in the middle is my art journal, I got a stencil for a laugh but it didnt work too well so I had to improvise the design, which is what the image to the right is, its not finished though.  To the left is the beginning of another face, done as I squeezed out too much white paint for the small blob I actually needed for the canvas.

Its still hot here in the UK, infact its worse than ever now, much of the UK has had thunderstorms or are expecting them.  We are in the 'expecting them' bracket, although very warm just now it is also quite dark which is not a good sign.  I dont mind of course, anything to shift this heat - BUT, the old Lurcher Dog is petrified of the thunder, so we dont have such a good time of it, he is totally inconsolable and runs around the house in total terror, which is winding up the new dog no end - and that was just with a couple of minutes of thunder we had earlier.

Thank you to all the lovely 'Deskers' who visited me last week and took time to comment, I got around over 100 last week, will try again this time - see if I can get to better than in the 80's this time, I keep trying.

Have a good week! xx

PS - of course it is 'really' Tuesday, but I would never have time to get a blog post and pics etc together on the same day.. and I just saw Julia had posted so I am off to join in EARLY!!!!


Somebody told me today I was an inspiration to them, imagine that? not something I have been told before, so I am thrilled - made my day.  Just one picture today, one of my new style faces trying to improve those features a bit.  The face is oil pastel, the background neocrayons.

So, for my inspiration and learning.  My story started with my wanting to learn to draw, after reading somewhere on the web that this was possible.  I then went on (and still do) spend a lot of time on youtube.  I do have zillions of art books but learn more from watching than reading.  My first tutor was Shoo Rayner the childrens author and illustrator, Shoo is wonderful a great teacher and a nice person too - his channel is here Another one I watch a lot, and is also a great tutor is Kazanjianm he calls it the unspellable channel, not sure I can pronounce it let alone spell it - but a very talented artist and great teacher.

Then I discovered Art Journalling, like many this practice was just made for me - it can be like a personal diary, somewhere to let out best hidden feelings, or just to practice and do what you wish - a place were perfection is not necessary, anything goes and if one day you just wish to fling paint around then so be it, so what? who is watching?
My first art journal group was 'Book of Days' with Effy Wilde, I learn a lot in the 12 months I spent here, not sure if Effy still does a free group for 'Book of Days' but I think she does still do some free classes and has great videos here Effy Wilde .

Another of my favourite art journallers, and all round artists is Jennibellie I follow her channel, her blog and her facebook group.  I also purchased her 'Zine' on faces which was very helpful.  Jennibellie has many followers, plenty of youtube video's to watch too, well worth a look (you might need a good few hours of free time though)

Andrea Gomoll is who I learnt about shading faces from, and from one of her video's how to use oil pastels and gelato's.  The faces class's I took from Andrea were amazing, another wonderful tutor and exceptional person.

Last but by no means least is Christy Sobolewski who's 30 pages in 90 days course was the best art journal course I have ever taken, worth every penny and more.  Fantastic tutor, and a wealth of journal experience, there will soon be a new course by Christy I cant wait for that one, just hope I have enough saved in time.

Well, I am sure that is enough inspirational help to be going on with.  Dont forget I did these classes and videos over 2.5 years, and the best piece of advice I ever got is from Shoo Rayner 'Practice, Practice, Practice' and its true, if like me you are not lucky enough to have a natural artistic talent you have to work hard at it, I have been doing for all this time, and no doubt will have to do the same for another few years yet to become close to as good as I would like.

There are plenty of teachers out there, who give up their time and share their experiences for free - its a matter of finding them and discovering who is the best one for you.

I have had a great journey so far, and hope to enjoy much more in the future.  But, art supplies are not free and I am struggling to afford all I would like (such as some professional oil pastels), so anyone out there wanting to take pity on me, please do visit my Etsy Shop - its still there, and sales are needed to support a starving wannabe artist (ok, starved of art supplies).

Monday, 22 July 2013

Thank you - Heartsong Arts Academy

Here are my Deco Art paints, as my prize from the 'Heartsong Arts Academy' recent challenge.  I did choose my colours as most of my art is faces had to be portrait colours.  Of course painting is not really my strong point, I do much better with pencil or pastel, but as I won the paints thought I would have another go at painting a face.
You see, painting really is not my strong point - I fought the urge to use pastel over the top, I did do a tiny bit of pencil detail though.  But, it did give me the chance to see clearer what I was not happy with, namely the features.  The placement is good, the shape however is not, the eyes are not the right shape, the nose is not sticking out as it should (too flat) and the lips are awful.  Okay, I am not really going for realism but stylized, but I still want my faces to look - right, or at least right to me, something I am happy with.
So, I have been working on some different styles - in the 'very' short time I have in the art room, which is like a small furnace in the heat, despite my dedication it is still hard to paint/journal or much else in 30 degree's, well it is for me anyway.  The lack of sleep is not helping either.

BUT - good news, it is looking like our heatwave will shortly be at an end, hurray!!!

Oh, and more good news.... my husband has been working his 3 month notice period, and as of next week was due to be joining the ranks of the unemployed, which has been a constant worry.  Anyway, he had an interview for a contract today and got the job, its only a short term contract in the first instance, but can be extended and 'can' even lead to a permanant job.

So happier times ahead:)

Friday, 19 July 2013

Heartsong Arts Academy Challenge 3

Here is my Challenge for this week, details can be found here  It looked much better on my desk, just shows the heat is really getting to me.  My first music love like many of my generation was Donny Osmond, and my fave song back then was of course 'Puppy Love' what else? so I added my latest Puppy Dog, Custer to the page.

I also did another face this week, tried some underpainting first 
Not done much else this week, its just too hot now in my art room, I dont have a thermometre in there but as its now 80 degree's in my bedroom it will be the same if not hotter in there.  Not the best of days today either, arrived home about 2pm to find the courier had delivered my new brake pads which was great, BUT the idiot had shut the faulty porch door with no handle and locked me out of the house - my neighbour who had the other half of the door handle was out, so I had to phone the husband to come home from work to break in, while he was on his way home the neighbour returned and got me in.  Not the best of days to be shut outside in the searing heat.
I'm told we have another week of this weather, counting the days and hoping it will break then, sorry to those who enjoy it but I have had enough now of miserable hot dogs, early mornings and no sleep - not to mention no art which is the worst part.
Oh, nearly forgot............ I finished off the above face with my oil pastels though, just...
My new Art Deco paints have arrived, but its been too hot for me to finish off the piece I started with them, once I can get in the hot room again I will do so.

Stay Cool!!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday, 215

To read more about this feature, and maybe have a nosey at other workdesks around the world, see here

Real treat for you this week, I had a tidy up!  It does not happen often, so dont get used to it...
..and I stepped back a bit so you could see the rest of it, satisfied that it did not look tidy even after I had made such a valiant effort, I stepped back a bit further so you can see the rest of the mess, this is me being organised.
Its a bit hot for us here in the UK just now, and had been far too hot to work in here so I thought I would go mad and tidy, I even tried to get the paint off my lovely desk, really must get another craft mat for this side, I do have one on the other side (but lets not go there, thats not tidy).  It was so hot last week I visited most of your desks, not enough  hours to comment on them all but did visit - not sure I will manage them all this week but will do my best.  Thank you to everyone who stops by here and comments, much appreciated and always nice to see you.
As my desk was so tidy it was quite inviting, so I got the gelato's out and had a go at a face, usually mixed media but I just used gelato's on this occasion for a change, getting better and was fun to do.
Oooh, for anyone who visited last week - I won the Heartsong Challenge with my canvas, and am awaiting a lovely prize of Deco Art paints soon, hurray!!!!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Terrific Tuesday

Sure they are improving? here is a quick face I did yesterday with oil pastels only, no first pencil sketch or under paint.  It is a titchy bit cooler in the downstairs area of the house, so I can now spend some time in my art room which is fabulous, that makes me happy.
The other thing making me happy is I won the canvas competition at Heartsong Academy, how cool is that? so soon I will have some super new Deco Art paints to play with, hurray!
Finally after some time of hurling himself to the floor each day and refusing to budge, the wayward rescue Labrador agreed to go for a walk today, so we got to the park for the first time, such a sense of achievement for us both - he has been with OH but refused to go anywhere with me, hopefully we are now moving forward, at last.

Just to add a picture this is my last art journal page, not very attractive to say the least, but I was working through some issues, there was a lot of writing underneath that lot - really does help to put things in perspective and move forward.
I have some things on my desk drying out just now.  My next art journal page is going to be this weeks Heartsong Academy challenge you can read more about it here  my topic I think will have to be Donny Osmand, see if I can find some pics to use on my page.

Hope everyone is staying pleasantly cool, I think we are luckier in the North than those in the South of the UK - just hope it stays that way, bit better for the dogs in here today too.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Too Hot Now!

Well, thats it now - just too hot.  The art room is out of bounds, even with the door open and the fan on I cant stay in it for longer than an hour and thats a struggle.  So, above is the only thing I have managed in the last few days, a very quick face all in oil pastel, on the mixed media background I had already created.
Fed up as I am, I investigated the long term weather forecast and looking like there is no end to this heat for at least another three weeks, I do hope they have it wrong.  Yes, I am sure its all very nice if you like the sun, and have nothing else to do but sit and enjoy, but I hate sitting and its the house heat that is doing for me, and the dogs - who are also suffering quite badly now.
I also loose my evenings too, I used to sketch in the evening - now I am out dog walking as its been too hot the rest of the time, and even then its not ideal.. but the poor things have to get out of here and find a breeze somewhere for a while.

I have been reduced to doing 'housework' already this weekend, I can see this weeks WOYWW being a clean desk and little else if this keeps up!

On a lighter note, the dog training is going a bit better, okay its a very slow process but here is one of my favourite pictures of the week of Custer managing a great recall after playing with some other dogs..
Hope everyone is surviving the heatwave, wont be long before its hosepipe ban time LOL, surely not after all that flooding? but I know our dog walks are getting quite barren now, not seen resevoir's but imagine they will be lowering.

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Heartsong Academy Challenge

Well, finally here it is - my Heartsong Academy challenge for this week.  For futher information, there is still 'just about' time for you to enter here 

This week the challenge is to use a canvas, which is what took me so long - the mere idea of doing anything on canvas instantly makes me nervous, so I started off with my 8 x 8 canvas, and covered it with paper  (already shown this one in Wednesdays WOYWW) usual I use far too much matt medium, so then have to allow drying time before I can paint and stamp, used staz on bright pink ink and gesso to do some stamping..
I had an idea in mind at this stage, didnt work out anything like what was going on in my mind but no matter, so next I stenciled a tree with pink dylusions, then set that in place... 
More drying time needed, so I went off to print some words, as I have an inkjet printer, this then involves more spray setting stuff so it doesnt run, and yes - more drying time...
Another day goes by, and next I can do some collage.. I was going to draw and paint, but time ran away from me and I am finding it really hard to do much in the heat so opted for collage instead, the owls and the bottom fairy are napkins, the flower is scrapbook paper, I then (as usual) used far too much matt medium so another over night drying session was needed before I could use my pen..
Hurray, I have now managed to finish it off, added some pen work and went around the words, and the canvas, and some shadow for the owls - with black faber castell gelato.  All finished, and in plenty of time, now all that is left is too wish me luck with the fantastic prize, paints!!! what more can a girl ask for but more paint?

Here is my finished canvas;
Dont forget, more details for the challenge can be found here...

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Queen of Procrastination and Journal Page

Always good fun to do a journal background, clears the mind.  There was an awful lot of ranting here before getting to the point.  Were I decided ranting, and feeling sorry for myself was a tad futile, and the best thing to do in the situation I am in is move on!  One of my Facebook Contacts had put this on her page today, PERFECT..
Life is Too short to Stress Yourself
With People who dont even deserve
to be an issue in your life.

I'm afraid even if this person might be a family member, sometimes this is a choice that is necessary to make. As sometimes it does not matter how you try, one too many virtual 'slaps in the face' are just too many and enough is enough.  So, this week makes a new beginning for me.  Here is my finished page...
Yes, I am procrastinating too, I should be finishing my canvas for Heartsongs Academy, I will do that next, its a canvas and making me nervous.  Also trying to remember to photograph the process as I go, I have a tendency to forget.
Before I go today, I must thank two of my readers from yesterday who picked up on my rantings about the heat, and more so the lack of sleep.  A huge thank you too 'Maggie' and 'Annette' for their suggestions yesterday on how to keep cool at night, I managed a few hours sleep last night which is better than the last 4 nights, making me feel so much better, I just posted my Custom Order and shared with the lady in the Post Office too, so she is also grateful.

Not sure if its just me, but seems much better today, its sunny and warm but does not seem to be the same humidity as there has been.  Rumor has it, its going to change again next week and back to our usual British Weather of rain and wind.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

What's on Your Work Desk Wednesday 214

Morning all, if I hurry up I just 'might' make it in the first hundred for WOYWW for a change, you can find all the other nosies and their wonderful work desks here its great fun to see what everyone else is up too.

I have had better weeks, a fair few nasties have reared this week making life a bit of a trial, so the arty stuff did take a back seat, I am now late for my Heartsong Arts Academy Challenge, and this week is a competition too, above is the beginnings of my canvas to enter - but dont look at the link, as I want to win the prize myself so dont want anyone else to enter, here is the information and details of the great prize to be won

Its also very hot for us here in the UK, I appreciate that other countries get weather much hotter, but many of us live in the UK as we prefer it cooler I am one of them.  Also for the amount of this awful heat we get it does not warrant air con, so my house is like a furnace now at all times - sleep is something that was in the dim and distant past as its way to hot for that.  Hopefully there is only another week at most of this, before my crayons start to melt and that would never do, might have to remove the food from the fridge and add the crayons.  (crayons = oil pastels)

Also on my work desk has been a custom card order that I got a bit behind on, its now all finished BUT now my car is broke so I cant get it to the post office now, typical.  I am a bit cross too as the OH (who is more than capable of fixing my car) tells me to drive it anyway, yeah right! you have never heard noises and squeaks like it, all very scary, plus if I got the dogs to the beach and it broke down its a long way to walk the old Lurcher back in the heat, so no car today or until OH can find the time to fix it.

Hope this wasnt too much waffle, tried to keep it short - off now to add my details to WOYWW and take a look at some of the others.  Sorry I didnt get round as many as I would have liked last week, will try do better this time.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Since Wednesday ...

Since Wednesday I have... finished off the journal page I showed on my desk on my last blog post for WOYWW.  Didnt go as well as I had hoped as life got in the way, and with it brought back anxiety attacks etc, so been struggling a bit, it does help to art it out so that is what I have tried to do.  

While layers were drying I picked up my Portfolio oil pastels and did this one..
..and today I tried a larger one on one of the mixed media backgrounds I had done on A3 card.  I am calling this my 'not quite' face, as parts of it are quite good, but the placements are not right so it really does look like a 'not quite' face, LOL. I have to keep telling myself they are much better than they were 18 months back, and everyone has to start somewhere.  Only the very lucky have the natural talent, the rest of us have to work very hard at it.  So, here is my 'not quite' face...
Hope everyone in the UK is enjoying the warm weather - sadly I am not the biggest fan, seems as I have got older it does me no favours health wise at all, but so far its cool (ish) in the house so thats ok, though I am going to have to take the nuicance dog out for 5 mins, its too hot for him so will only be 5 mins.  We took them on the beach last night at 8.30pm which was a successful walk, and nice and cool for us all.

Not sure there will be too much art done over the weekend, I have family to visit tomorrow, and puppy class is Sunday, and a shopping trip to the Organic Farm - puppy class usually does for me too.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

What's On Your Work Desk? Wednesday 213

Hello to blog readers and my new friends at WOYWW.  My work desk doesnt look much better than it did last week I'm afraid, just did not get around to any tidying.  Today's disaster you can see is my working on a new journal page, with some collage pieces and added sketches.  I am loving my art journal, it is taking the pressure of the scary faces for a while - this fun thing is highly recommended. The other desk contains the freshly gesso'd page, with some stenciled dylusions to start off the background
My next blog post will be the finished page, takes me a few days though for layers to dry - I learnt how to make my pens work, which is to add a layer of matt medium to everything, then let it dry WELL, so usually leave it a full day to dry, then I can add lots of pen work and doodles.

Not sure if this counts or not, but 'next to my work desk' can be found this....
This is Custer the wayward rescue Labrador, who has been with us for six weeks on Friday, he takes up an awful lot of my time as he needs a lot of training, and despite the fact he is nearly 17 months old he cant have too much exercise at once as he is not used to any, so has to have little and often, this is a bit time consuming, but necessary in the home that one day we might have a 'nice' dog, at the moment he has no manners at all, and has a lot to learn.
Right, off to have a look at the rest of the work desks throughout my day - you can find them, and join in if you wish too here  last time I looked there was 93 entries to view, what a lot of desks.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Monday play

This was yesterday's play.  Total mixed media on blue card, I was trying to do a 'warm up' before 'trying' to do anything serious.  The warm up was better LOL.

I don't blog about all the pages I create, but I am now creating every day and usually found sketching in the evening, my pencil drawings are usually much better than the painted ones.

As for yesterday's Scary Face, it was certainly that - no idea what went wrong there, but not one of my better efforts at all, enjoyed the background though.
See? now that is scary.  I am preparing two backgrounds for the next scary ones, currently have pretty papers laid on them waiting for the medium to dry before adding some paint.  Also working on a journal page, that has all the collage parts drying too, and it is not the warmest of days today - my art room is normally a warm room, not today though, quite chilly in there.
I have also today created a beef curry to warm us all up, that is in the oven and will be getting turned on to cook slowly soon.