Sunday, 27 July 2014

Idea's needed

Every day I walk the dogs on our local beach, during the week this consists of two walks a day as I have to take monster number one on his own as he is such a handful.
This is the monster dog, he is a very nervous rescue dog - if people when seeing me with him and his THREE leads on would just lead up their dog and keep out of my way all would be well, but sadly this is not an ideal world and many other dog owners have very little consideration towards others, so most days its a difficult walk.  Anyway, I digress.... back to the shells above.
On this beach is little but sand, mud and an abundance of these razor shells, for weeks I have looked at them daily and wondered if I could make some use of them in my art work?
I am still not really sure how, I have had a couple of ideas.  So, I collected them up in a little bag - washed them in my little bowl..
carefully laid them all out to dry.
Then, added a coat of varnish to give them some extra strength.  But what on earth to do with them next, anyone got any idea's?  If all else fails I might just crush them up to use as texture on a background.  Seems such a shame that I have regular access to something so pretty that I simply cannot think of a use for.

Influenced by another artist on Art 101 (Lucy) I have purchased some smaller canvas, I think they are 8" x 8" in size. She does wonderful collage work on them, so I thought I would have a try at working on a smaller scale too.  Look!  I have made a start with layer number one.
I am going to take a bit longer with this one, and dry each layer through before starting another, so may well be some time yet...
Weather is much cooler today so got more done - fingers crossed it stays like this for a while at least, still have all the doors open but due to having a slight breeze it is making a difference for once and not as nasty, hot and stuffy.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Too hot for art?

It has taken me days to achieve this one.  Heavy Weight watercolour paper with an abundance of collage and paint.  I did enjoy this, and for once was happy with the results.

Its soooooo hot in the UK just now though.  We are simply not prepared for it - let alone used to it, and the humidity some days is in the 90's.  I went food shopping today, something I usually hate, I was in there for nearly 2 hours as it is the only place with air conditioning, total bliss.  The hot weather causes a real battle of opinions too, those who love it call those of us who dont 'killjoys' and 'miseries' which I find very unkind, we cannot all enjoy the same things, can we?
My theory is that due to us all having such different metabolisms we react to extreme heat in different ways, so there are some who love it and it makes them and their body feel good, while others really cannot stand it and it makes them feel rotten. I am in the latter section, and maybe also being a 'woman of a certain age' does not help matters either.
So, as usual till this weather stops there will not be a great deal of art (or much else) happening here.  The forecast does say it will break on Sunday, but not for how long.

Those who follow me on instagram will have seen the stages (@simjata) but here it is finally finished off.
The face was a sketch from my sketchbook, which I should have covered in clear gesso first and it would have taken the paint better, but I forgot as usual.  As collage goes I am happy with this one and hope to do more in the future.

Once it cools down a bit:)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The last lot of Bags for SALE!!!

Hopefully my very last post about bags!  I have now listed (or draft listed) the last of the bags in my Etsy Shop sale.  Part of me actually feels sad to see them go, like the above patchwork bag I was so proud of at the time, it took me an eternity to make and design, the back has embroidery and a beaded garden too.

Above is another I really enjoyed making and took me quite some time.  I do hope they find new loving homes to go to.  I find it very interesting which of my bags go quickest, never seem to be my favourite ones, which is very much like our artworks that we find poor and others enjoy - just shows how different we all are.
Some of the bags I liked the most were the ones made up of the Lavender Fabrics..
I love lavender, both the look and the aroma, sadly it does not like me so much and does tend to give me a headache, I thought bags were the perfect solution to others that are perhaps like me.  I still have four (all different) waiting for homes in my shop just shows you never can tell.
Also are the backpacks, these are all lighter weight and ideal for when out walking in the current UK weather, lets face it you can never be sure when it just 'might' rain - a raincoat rolls up nicely in here, in my case so does a water dish and a bottle of water, plastic bags and the odd tennis ball, whilst still having your hands free to supervise children or dogs.
Whilst sorting out photographs and listings I found my sales figures and I have actually sold 70 items on Etsy now - not a bad figure when you think I really do not do anywhere near enough work to promote my shop each day, I also had not looked at my feedback - what lovely customers I have had leaving such wonderful words.
Please do take a look at these lovely bags - once they are gone that is it, there will not be anymore, my next huge feat will be to start selling off the mountain of fabric I have.  All this is to try fund my art works, as good paints and brushes do not come cheap.

Just incase anyone missed it here is the link to MY SHOP  (I know, but it is most likely the last time I will be doing this, making the most of it)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Like Buses

You see, I dont blog for weeks then you get two at once!  I am busy catching up, so if I dont show them now I will forget.  Above is with the influence of 'Art Geeks' that I joined this week, so it does have a Christy influence after watching the video.  Not like me not to do a face on a page, but the prompt was to use something you love and I always like that image on a napkin I had so started out with that.  Too many circles? I am a bit addicted to them just now, must tone down.
This one is on the page I started yesterday, I outlined the face last night and finished off today, I did not want too much shading as wanted to still see the background through.  I am practicing for the next canvas, having finished my first two off it will soon be time to begin again.  First one is now all varnished so will give that a whirl in the Etsy shop later this week or beginning of next.
Last of all is this weeks 'Lifebook 2014' lesson, this week was a bonus lesson with Marieke Blokland, I enjoyed the lesson though again I think I have gone way too bright and busy, need to learn to tone down a bit, still I do like her dress.

I have a new book to read tonight, "Acrylic Solutions" by Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard, it was recommended to me by Stephanie from Two Raggy Doodles  I am really looking forward to reading it. All about mixed media techniques so I might learn a bit more, hopefully how to 'tone down' a bit.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Back in the Art Seat

I had a bit of a break, but now back - with new Art Space and raring to go.  I managed to paint the sketch I showed in my last blog post without making a mess as I usually did, so quite happy with her.  Today I finished off the large canvas also shown in last blog post (and probably a few before that, it has many a layer)
At the moment she is called 'Thought' due to the chaos going on around her.  Once she is dried and varnished I will be adding her to my Etsy shop, as I recently purchased some large boxes to post out canvas in, I had no idea how to do this before.. didnt realise you can buy such things.  If memory serves me she is 20" x 16".
Having had a bit of a play around in my art journal I think I finally have this background thing mastered.. its only taken me best part of three years!  Here is a page I did yesterday .
Although they are a bit on the bright side, so maybe I should tone them down a bit in the future.  Still, I do have a lot of fun doing them.  This is one I have started today..
No idea were it is going as yet..  I also finished off last weeks 'Lifebook 2014' lesson, which was a lot of fun and I learnt a lot from it.
Loving the art and 'really' do not want to finish off stocking my Etsy shop with my sale items, but it has to be done.  At some point today I am going to have to edit all the pictures and draft the listings for the shop - Sale is going very well and helping to keep me in paints, inks and all the books 'somebody' keeps recommending to me.  You can see my shop here on the right->