Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Today is a good one

I sketched this one out last night, and painted today.  Not my usual style at all, but the husband said 'stick with it' which I think meant he liked it.  Its a mixed media piece on A4 mixed media paper.  Last night I caught up on Art Geeks with Gulfsprite, I am a member of Art Geeks as I have been for some time and also take part in many of Christy's classes, she is a super teacher you can find out more on the website here Gulfsprite

As usual I was very inspired last night, and discovered one of my problems of late was my dislike of my current art journal, there is nothing wrong with the journal itself, but as I am so far through it now and the paper was not really meant for so much heavy collage and paint it had got really hard to work with due to the bulk.  Human nature says its such a waste not to use up all the paper in the book... but my total dislike of the whole thing was stopping me bothering at all.  So, today I threw all caution to the wind and got out a new journal.  This one is 40 sheets of 'kraft paper' so a different substrate to work on, but its spiral bound so hopefully will do better.

Gives me a good excuse to decorate the front..
Just need to varnish and then good to go.  I am hoping to continue in my new style in here before 'maybe' moving back to the canvas again.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Bit of a new style

Having a play in my art journal I did some painted backgrounds the other day, wasn't really up to doing much else, I was also doing some research on art and discovering a love of folk art, so just 'might' start heading in that direction.  Above is a soft pastel picture on the painted background, also used some inks on the background too.
This is a copy of one I saw on the internet, sorry I didnt write down the artists name but thought it was a bit of fun to paint on the background I had done and made a change from faces, I do intend to practice a few animals to add to my pictures.  I did some shading and additions with pastels on this one too, not really thought of using them in the mixed media pieces before - downside is the fixative is now 'setting' them in my journal before I can move on.
I am also having 'another' go with the citrasolve pages which is not going so well, this is take 3 of the experiment - at this rate I will be using the stuff to clean with instead.
Finally a picture of the boys at the beach yesterday, look how well behaved Custer is looking!  That is due to the training he has been having with his Daddy, he did have one 'slip up' when he ran off to another dog but he was very good with the dog.  No pictures today as he was NOT good at all, we were on a different walk though which is quite new to them as we dont go so often - having said that when he did run off he didnt cause any chaos and was good with all the other dogs so that is a bonus.

I have the book on carving stamps now, so may well do some more of that now my finger has recovered, lots of good tips in the book of 'how'.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

First Try at Stamp Making

As usual I am far too impatient to wait for the arrival of my book to teach me how to do this, having said that I did order it a week ago and have been told not to expect it for another 4 days, not the greatest of delivery times 'Amazon' eh? and yes it is direct from them not a cheaper option, so I am not so thrilled with the wait having paid full price for the books I ordered.  Might as well have ordered from the USA, would have been here faster.
So, here are my very first attempts at carving my own.  Look!! I have even used newspaper to protect my table, that and I need to be sure to catch all the bits with having dogs in the house it is important.
You see, I do have the 'idea' just not quite the required skill as yet.  This was the last one I did, as the reason they say 'carve AWAY from you' is if you get your fingers in the way, as I did... this is what will happen......
It is only a small (ish) cut but enough to stop play as any further pressure and it bleeds again which is a bit irritating.  That and today I was playing with paper and citrasolve and that hurts when it gets in the cut, also manages to find any further cuts you didnt know you had - ouch.

I did use the stamps on my finished geli plate pictures so they worked a bit, but not as I would like so more practice needed.. and maybe I will await that book.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

geli prints improving

Last week I finally purchased a larger geli plate to try improve this - 'design my own papers' thing.  That and the research I did made a few improvements I feel to the fun I had over the weekend with paint a plenty and the plate.
These are just a few 'works in progress' I did, I am working on a couple of pages with these to try put something together.
The colours have not come out so well in my pictures as they actually were, not sure how I managed that? must have been bad light when I placed them on the kitchen floor, they are a lot brighter and more colourful in 'real' life.
I can recommend this geli plate printing to anyone, who wishes to loose a few hours, make a lot of mess and just have some fun.  The pages I am working on now are lacking in something, so hopefully today I am going to have a try at making some of my own stamps and see if that improves them any.  I also did a journal page on Sunday, the background was insprired by IrisImpressions.  The whimsy figure is just showing things are not so great on a personal level just now, hence my absence from the groups of late.

Monday, 8 September 2014

She keeps on Trying

Here are the handsome boys on yesterday's sunny walkies.  As it was Sunday we stayed off the beach, nice day/seaside resort.. gets too much really.  So we went out early to the nature reserve were it was very quiet, after a zillion awful photo's they eventually did this for me, in a nice setting and looking lovely - they can oblidge sometimes.  Walk one did not happen, again it was just too busy to take a difficult dog out, he has been today though, and I am almost recovered.
So.. to the art, I kept trying.......
and its still not getting any better.  As Sandy commented on my last post, not quite turning out how it is in my head.. or as I see others do.  I confess, i gave up and went to watch an Art Geeks video instead..
This was inspired by one of Christy Sobolewski's Art Geek video's on 'masks' which I loved, might have another go at different masks yet, love the concept of this.  The background was all my papers then two layers of (too thick) glazes so I could practice them.  Still inspired I did this one too..
The poor girl turned out to be so ugly I made her into a bloke instead.. it was only fair.  Though of course his lips are a bit on the full side.  Added some collage bits (they were meant to be buildings) and another two glazes that I thought were a little more successful than the last attempt.  

Not sure what to do about the paper designs, I have looked up some books but not really found one that covers what I want as yet.

Friday, 5 September 2014

You just gotta laugh

You may have read my last blog post, were my ambition for the future is to be the UK's best collage artist?  Well, nobody needs to worry just yet - I think this may well take more time than I thought.  Today I have had my very first attempt at printing my own papers..
It did not go so well.  Try as I might they looked nothing like the 'how to' video I watched.  Not that they were meant to be the same, they are to be 'mine' but they were also to be 'beautiful' something I am not quite grasping yet.  But I figured just to show we all have to start somewhere and not all of us can achieve perfection at first attempt, and lets face it - it can only get better, right?
I will spare you them all, I did about 30 just to be sure they were all as bad as each other..

After making the most wonderful mess, (next time I might just remember the newspaper too) of both me and everywhere else I called it a day.  Not that I was giving up you understand, I had a fantastic time causing all this havoc.. but........something needed to be done.  So, I watched the video again and made some notes, I think I have the idea now.  But I have cleared away for the day, and although it is only salad we do still need some space to prepare dinner - tomorrow is another day, and I will do better.  I had even prepared a journal page ready to perform my first collage masterpiece of this type.
As I used the same three colours for my printing and my page.  (with black and white added).  My message for today is unlike me who would usually have given up on this process, keep at it.  I really want to be able to do this and make it right so if it takes me a couple more days, or a couple more months I will keep on trying.

Now its time for me and Jaja to visit the park for his evening walk - I think I better change first, luckily another first for me today was to change into painting clothes first, so I have not ruined anything today.  I will also need to take a brush to my hands later before preparing that salad, as due to using gel medium too my hands are a disaster zone.  Here is Jaja taken on yesterday's beach walkies.
Dont forget, if it doesnt work out first time, keep trying - and keep having fun!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Artful Tribe Blog Hop

Loving this logo, not my design but Rita who put this and the Artful Tribe together.  This is an interesting blog hop to tell you a bit about the artist's taking part, we are to answer four questions.  Please be sure to check out the others the names link to the information - www.tatteredartstudio.com http://www.uneekart.blogspot.com http://nicci.ca/ http://lovingrd.wordpress.com

1.  Your Story so far..........
I have this 'in brief' at the side in my 'about me' bit here on my blog.  But basically I always wanted to draw and paint, like many I suspect I did so as a child with the real abandonment I am trying to learn again now.  But once my art teacher let me know I was rubbish that was it, never picked up a pencil or paintbrush again till 2011, when a chance reading on the internet showed me you could 'learn' to draw it was not just a talent that was born.  This was a real revolation to me and so I made a start, my first youtube video's were watching the superb illustrator Shoo Rayner who I learnt a lot from.

I then went on to take on-line journal classes with Suzi Blu and Effy Wilde - discovering the Art Journal was like the most precious gift ever.
From there I took an awful lot more on-line classes with various mixed media teachers and begin my vast and obsessive book collection on all things mixed media and art.  My mind a constant explosion of what could be done with more hours in the day, so much to discover and so much to do.. I still had the fear of being 'rubbish' and up to this year firmly believed nothing I did would be 'good enough' that was for sure.  I just had to learn to enjoy the process.  This years Lifebook class taught me a lot, some great teachers on there, but I think what moved me forward the most was joining Art101 with others and encouraging each other, learning that all art is 'ART' and learning to love what I created.. it might be that others do not but that is their choice, if I like it and it makes me happy that is the main thing.  I put art up for sale in the hope I do not become buried under a torrential glut of canvas never to be seen again and of course to try fund my paint and brushes, none of which come cheap.

2. Goals for the future
I still have an ambition to display my art in a gallery - but the local art group did not exhibit this year, hoping they will next year.  Also as I mentioned yesterday I am so much in love with collage I hope to one day be the best UK collage artist (too much ambition?).
Selling one of my large paintings on Etsy would be good too.

3. Biggest Influences
Oh my, there are far too many influences out there.  My main ones are the one's whose classes I have taken, that I admire the most.  Effy Wilde, Christy Sobolewski, Andrea Gomoll, Jane Davenport, Tracy Verdergo........... to name just a few.
I am currently reading the story of Frida Kahlo which is just fascinating me so much, I know she will be featured in an art course I am taking this month, so look forward to learning more.
The latest influence for me is Anne Bagley who has taught me to design my own papers and stamps which I cannot wait to get started on, she is the most talented collage artist I have seen so far.

4. Fave Media
You may have guessed this one by now:) but my favourite is mixed media - I cannot make a choice, currently is mostly collage and acrylics though.  Not quite got to grips with watercolour and really not enough patience for oils, I did try though and love the effects.

Hope you enjoyed my story so far.  Please do not forget to check out the links up above to the other artists taking part and to read their stories.  Thank you to Rita from Artful Tribe for the opportunity to tell my story and for sharing it on your group.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Importance of Self Care

Further to my post on Anxiety and Depression, you may remember I mentioned the book 'Potatoes not Prozac'? this is the way to go..  One of the things I am learning is to improve my eating habits - for 30 years my opinion was potatoes were bad and carbohydrates were evil, well I was wrong!  No wonder my mental health suffered so..  There is such a thing as 'good' carbohydrates and one of the healthiest things we can do is start the day with Porridge!  I havent eaten Porridge since I was about 12 when Mum could no longer 'force' me to have breakfast before school.  So vague on the subject was I , I had to 'google' to find out how to cook it.  So, as you see above this is my starter each day, its organic porridge oats and I have honey and nutmeg with mine, it is delicious and really does start off my day well.  Also prevents the 10am craving for cake, or biccies with my tea - added bonus.
Next of course is regular exercise.  See above menacephyconutjobdog I mentioned yesterday, this is taken today on walk number 1, not quite as busy today as the weather is cloudy and its first day back at school for the small people - therefore I managed to take my 'eye of the ball' for a quick second and take his photo to show you.  I do let him off for a run 'sometimes' but not quiet enough today, he has an off lead time at weekend with the husband who is braver than I.  Walk number 2 was good as usual with the other two dogs, had a bit of a nature walk today .. alas, not so many wild flowers around as there can be..
but still the 'odd' wild rose about.  These gave me a great method of aromatherapy during the summer months, not only are they beautiful but also have a fabulous fragrance.

I have also learnt the importance of extra supplements too and have taken Omega 3 for over a month now.  The 'proper' ones from the health shop - I was lucky enough to meet with a nutritionist while I was there who taught me a lot, the one a day I was taking was not enough. neither was the EDA content in the jar I had.  Today I have taken delivery of Vitamin B Complex.  Improved my diet to contain more fish, veg and potatoes.  All important stuff for self care - as if you dont care for yourself, who else is going too?

Of course creativity and Art are vital too - this makes me very happy.
Here is another exercise from the Tracy Vedergo book I am enjoying.  A bit of a messy collage but I am still learning, I cant become the best collage artist in the UK just yet - still needs a bit of work.  Still looking forward to making my own papers, and again my postie has not brought my new supplies.  Tomorrow is not a good art day for me as too many other commitments going on, also not a day for blogging........... or at least it wasnt going to be............ till I was reminded by Rita from the 'Artful Tribe' that I am meant to be taking part in a blog hop......... so that is now on today's list of 'must do' ready to go live tomorrow.
This is my first page of 'faces' to be used in future collage work - great way of doing a little art at a time too, and improving the sketching skills.  I never knew how this was done before in collage work I admired, its all to do with using as much of your own work as possible.  Having said that, my next 'task' after this is off out to local shops for dog food and milk and call in at the charity shop on the way to my parents to pick up some old magazines and maybe books and frames too depending on what they have today.

Until tomorrows blog hop thats me done - have a good day and remember the importance of self care.  Thank you to those who visited yesterday and left comments.. much appreciated x

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

An Interesting Blog

One of my talented artist friends recently shared an important feature with us.  One of the things shared was how to make your blog 'interesting' so here goes.... Not sure I agree but we are told that just because we think our days are not so interesting others might, and in order to sell our art work the public like to know about the artist.
The above picture is me this morning on my second daily dog walk on our local beach, not quite 'golden sands' as you see but with a good zoom from my camera I can see Blackpool on a clear day like today.
Look closely, can you see it?

On dog walk number 2 I have my own dog Jaja, who is a lurcher aged 11.  We adopted Jaja as a 14 week old puppy in rescue, so we do know his Mummy was a Greyhound x Terrier, but father was alas unknown........never did manage a penny of maintenance payments from him..

With us on walk number 2 is Bailey, who is an 8 year old Golden Retriever.  I have been walking Bailey for a friend of mine for just over 6 years now, he also stays with me when his Dad is on holiday, he is rather handsome.

All the pictures here were taken today, great intentions of taking my camera each day now as I am soon to start a new art course in 'collage' so need my own pictures - also of course for interesting blog posts.  No pictures from walk number 1 today, some of you may be aware walk number 1 is with the more 'difficult' dog - despite going early on in the morning on good weather days there are still far too many people around for him (and me) to deal with so I need my wits about me.  Hopefully as Autumn draws closer my regular dog walk will be quieter and I can include pictures of him too.
Lady Luck

I finally got around to finishing my large canvas I have worked on for sometime, she is to be called 'Lady Luck' today I have added my last coat of varnish (hence the outdoor picture) so she will be listed in my Etsy shop soon..... probably next week.
Lastly, if you saw my last blog post to try win a place on the latest e-course with Tracy Verdugo - you will see I also have her book, I love it - its not a 'teaching' book as such but does try to teach you to 'let go' and encourage you to do your own thing.  This is my take on the first exercise in the book which was great fun to do, I am hoping to do another today.
I have also recently learnt some new techniques to make my own collage papers, I just cannot wait to get started on those - despite a lot of purchases made on-line to do this and be sure I have everything on the supply list for my latest course nothing has turned up in today's post..........I am so impatient to get started on making my own stamps and my own papers, but guess I have to wait another day.