Thursday, 19 December 2013

A day wasted

This is an art journal page I finished off today, what with one thing and another it has taken me 3 days to finish.  Though having said that the page and other art works I did the days before that were nothing short of awful, I can see how people 'could' give up on an art journey with days like that.  Luckily I now see it as just that 'one of those days' and simply close the door and walk away, although listening to an interview by Jane Davenport it seems maybe I should have tried to work through the 'ugly' phase, it was quite a phase.

But, I am happy with this one and just love the quote, much needed at the moment.

Seems to go very quiet at holiday season around the on-line world, which is really a good thing - hopefully people are spending more time with their loved ones.  Therefore, unless I manage to create the most wonderful masterpiece I doubt I will blog again until the new year.

Have a wonderful Christmas time, and a safe New Year...

I will leave with another journal page, I was quite pleased with too - this one was inspired by Effy Wilde and her 'Moonshine' video.

Friday, 13 December 2013

That Canvas

Well, its finally finished and has two coats of fixative on so far.  Due to the lack of much natural light these days, or a dry wind free day the photo is not so good, but you get the idea.  The Canvas size is 3', I think I need a stool as I did stand to do it all.  Its mostly collage and mixed media, and called 'There's a Song in my Heart'

All I need now is some free time to get on with more of the things I would like to be doing, or should I say 'Prefer' to be doing.  Life is getting in the way this week, just not enough chunks of time, I might have the odd hour but I am unable to create in that, greedy as this may seem I really need a few spare hours please.  Maybe weekend will be better, we'll see.

I cleaned off the last of the paint from the canvas on my journal page, and finished that off today, decided I wanted to draw a dragon, so that is what I did.

Other news - I am closing my Etsy shop on Monday until the new year when I hope it will be restocked with new things, and a big sale for the bags - if they dont go this time they will be off to the charity shop. Such a shame as so much effort went into each one, but like many things - either too many on the market now, or the 'cheaper' high street shops can sell them so much cheaper, even though they are poor quality and all the same there.  Of course I prefer to concentrate on my art, but need to fund that somehow - though I do think Santa is going to help me with that quite a bit.

Monday, 9 December 2013

New Journal first page, and a songbird

I think my new beginnings are bringing a new lot of colour too.  I just finished this page today, but I did start it a couple of days back, one of the things I am learning is to take more time.  Also that if I am getting more serious I need better paints, so they are on the way - was a struggle to decide which to get, but I researched and found that as the research said 'if they were good enough for Andy Wahol then they are good enough for me' and I got a good bargain.  So, the new 'professional' paints will be for the canvas, I can still use all my others in my journals and course works.
Please do ignore my 'Please Can I be an Artist' words, as in my last post I was already given permission for that from my lovely blog ready 'Rasz' (thank you Rasz xx)
Here is a pretty little face I did while my journal layers were drying.  I quite like her - she is called 'songbird' as she has a song on her shoulder (better than a chip).

I am feeling quite happy in my little art world just now, as finally getting some support from family members - downside is a it is coming with pressure to try to sell, which I am NOT ready for yet, its nice they think I am good enough, but I dont............ not yet anyway.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

New Beginnings

Yes, I know - new beginnings should really start in the new year, or at the very least the start of a new season maybe? not really on the 7th December 2013, but rules are made to be broken in the art world surely?
This is my new journal - its a great size 15" x 10" with just 18 sheets of watercolour paper.  I like journals to look like 'my' thing immediatly so this one had barely hit the doormat yesterday and I had started with paper, paint and ink.  The girl was a practice for the canvas I started - decided against the lace as it may not stay put so well and my hat drawings really do need a bit more practice - but as usual I have enjoyed the process.  As a result of my new founded enthusiasm and my new wonderful Art Journal, I have started a new board on 'Pinterest' for Art Journal pages, both mine and ones I love on there.
I have done a bit more on that 'Work in Progress' Canvas, not so much as I got nervous again and wanted to plan it out more - yes I know, I should have the confidence and just 'go for it' there is always another.
Still feeling I can 'almost' add artist to my name - most wonderful achievement happened today. I took a couple of the cards I had printed of my work to show a family member who rarely has a good word to say about anything I do, ready to get used to the critisism and negativity I had come to expect.... but NO!  She said I should find somewhere to start selling! wow!  I explained my first plan is to exhibit and take it from there really.  Meanwhile I have also had a new idea on how to fund myself a bit, so another new project will be starting soon for the Etsy shop, as paint is not cheap and supplies are not free - but I wont say anything more on that one till its done and I can show it.  I have decided I really do not want to sew anymore, so my 'Bags of Swank' bags will all be in a New Year sale to try rehome the stock, and let me get on with real new beginnings at the 'right' time of the year.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Last of the Winter Girls

I have now finished the Winter Girls course, cant tell you just how much fun I have had, and how much I have learnt without even realising it - thats how good it is.  The above Elf is on canvas - now that is brave for me, loved so much it is even varnished too, still not quite sure what I will do with it, though I have had cards printed with this one and my snow queen to send out this year.  Both of these I did in my art journal first and then repeated, this one I just finished today
Not only have I learnt so much, but also built up a bit more confidence, almost enough to finally call myself an 'artist' and start work on an 'artist statement' ready for next year - selling would be great, but my first aim is to try be selected for our local group exhibition, I think that is July.  So, I have made a confident start with this large canvas, it is actually recycled as it was something OH got as a free gift, he got a set of 3 large canvas - "What on Earth am I going to do with these" he exclaimed, well that was easy...........
Here is my first 'Work in Progress' its to be a collage piece and mixed media - looks quite good like this really, but this is just the first couple of layers.
I have also ordered 2 cheap watercolour books to use as journals, to lay out some more ideas in - just not enough hours in the day, I have always loved 'trees' so going to practice painting and collage some.  I think with a few 'situations' this year I lost my enthusiasm for art a bit too, but now its back - hoping it will stick around.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Winter Girls Class 2

Did I mention how much I love this class? this one was another scary one for me, as a lot of her is 'watercolour' eeeeeeeeeeeeek - deffo not my chosen medium, and she is all one colour too, both very scary starters, but have faith in a good art teacher and all will be well.
Of course there is plenty of mixed media too, and glitter - not that it comes across so well on camera sadly, but trust me there is a lot of sparkle in this too.

You too can sign up for the class - its the one shown on the right here and can be found at Andrea's Classes

Still two left, I am thinking of having them printed into Christmas cards if I can find anywhere to do them quick enough.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Facecinating Winter Girls

Just a quick blog post, as I am eager to get on with the next class.  But here is my interpretation of class one of Andrea Gomoll's Facecinating winter girls class - you can find here Andrea's Class's

This made me quite nervous as it was done on a large canvas, the large one I have is 60cms x 50cms, it was that or A4 and that really was not large enough, so I went for it.

I have done little else since yesterday morning as enjoyed the process so much, and only just finished, the 'snow' is still wet.

Another 3 classes of winter girls to go yet - hurray!!!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Just a couple

I like to think the faces I paint are developing, but I still struggle with the 'eye' thing.  Despite the fact I have new spex now, I often wonder whether it is due to my eye problems that this keeps happening - as you see on the above face, the eyes are just totally different - which is such a shame as I was happy with the nose for once and the mouth was okay for me.
How adventurous is this then? I added hands! they are not so bad for a first attempt, but again see the eyes are 'off', maybe I will need to seek out my ruler for the size? but then still struggle with the shapes being equal................

Just 3 more sleeps till the next 'facecinating girls' course for winter faces, see below blog post for details - so its unlikely I will blog again till my first painting from the course - I am excited about it, as I love Andrea's courses, I think its the contageous smile that does it.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

New Winter Art Course - a MUST

Here is my latest face, a bit of a cross I think from the classes I have taken - all worth while.  One of my very favourite classes was with Andrea Gomoll, she is a great teacher and her classes are always such fun here is one of my blog posts from her first class Andrea's class

Well, hasnt she just gone and announced a brand new class of 'Winter Girls' I was already hooked, but the video on her page tells you much more and shows you exactly what you will learn to do (usually more).  It starts on Sunday!!! yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. and is 25 Euros, which is a steal here in the UK works out at just over £20, worth every penny I can tell you.  You can find the details here

I finished this one off earlier today, having fun already - but more so on the new course, as much as I love painting, it is often nice to be part of the group and share work, the Fascinating Faces course has a facebook group too, so to share your work and chat with others, and Andrea is always on hand for critique if you should require it - or just for encouragement.

I am thinking of using my winter girls on some cards for this year, see how it goes - but thought it might be a nice use for them.

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Fab Faces Course

I am loving this course!!! (Fabulous Faces with Willowing).  I was quite happy with the above face, they are all still what I call 'getting there' faces, but much closer than I was.  I am not getting to do as much art as I would like due to health issues, but on better days do some catch up and I love it.
These are exactly (almost) what I have spent the last couple of years aiming for, I never really wanted to do realistic faces but pretty whimsical type ones - so I am getting happier with the results each time.  Shame about the wonky features at times, this is down to my silly eye problems though I'm afraid, I notice some of the other features are a bit wonky too at times, maybe thats added character..
Never mind, they are making me happy and thats the main thing.......... I have canvas's... one day I will get brave enough to use them.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Not another art course?

Afraid so!!! had some bad news this week (no need to go into that one).  So, what happens when you have bad news? you go spend money you dont have! (or is that just me?)
So, after YEARS of wanting, I signed up for LIFEBOOK 2014 it doesn't actually start until January 2014, but it just HAD to be done.

While I was there, I just could not resist the special offer to sign up to 'Fabulous Faces' with Tamara Laport too.  I had been working my way through her free course, and there was 'some' improvement.  Here is my first face on the course..
I was quite happy with her, today I have done the 3/4 one...
Its the first time I have done a face this way - great tutorial, must be if I can do it.

I also finished the WIP I showed you last time, not happy with that though, I think I took on too much with it, was just over faced with three to do so it did not go so well, but at least I finished, will try again one day.
That will do for now.  I am soooooooooooooo excited about Lifebook 2014, there are 22 super talented mixed media tutors, how cool is that?   Turns out one of them is local to me too, going to say hi shortly, be nice to just make contact.
Our Facebook group 'Absolute Beginners' is still going well, hence the lack of blog posts as I tend to show work off there these days - saves me just writing to Dawn:)

Friday, 4 October 2013

Work in Progress

Still 'trying' always 'trying'.  I just might have taken on a bit too much here, but lets see how it goes.  For once I am taking my time, not that I have a lot of choice this week as not much free time and when I do get some my lighting is not good enough, I do prefer working in daylight.
This one is with lots of pencils and on bristol board, so I am trying to make a good go of it, and I may well be some time.  I will post the results when I finish.

Our new Facebook group (in last blog post) is going well, its a small group just now but of like minded souls so we are all enjoying it.  Though it is not letting me post pictures on there just now, so about to do a google seach see if I can find out why?

Alongside the serious art I have to play too, so I do other things in my journal - I had a quick play with oil pastels last night...
Were I made the amazing discovery... not to close the page onto graphite without using fixative!  hence her very unbecoming beard!  I have now fixed her but that was a valuable lesson.  I am also still playing with the crayons too.

Monday, 30 September 2013

More Crayon Art and Exciting News

I decided it was about time for a change, I will still be practicing faces daily, but about time I tried something new.  This is my first try at a wild animal, all in crayola crayon again.  I thought I would go for something easy to distinguish, so even if it went wrong most could at least tell what he was 'meant' to be.

NOW, for my news....................... my arty friend Dawn, (the one who comments here LOL) had an idea for starting a new group for people like us.  The ones who are trying really hard with their art, but often feel a bit intimidated by the wealth of talent in the groups we belong too, and often feel a bit of a confidence kick with some well meaning but ill thought comments, or more often no comments at all.  You can find Dawns blog here - Dawn's Blog
So, she has started a Facebook Group called "Absolute Beginners Art" for people out there like us.  Now this is NOT for established artists, unless they would like to help out with encouragement.  But for beginners and those who need a bit of support.  Not one to be left on sidelines I have volunteered to help Admin the group too, although we are hoping it will just stay quite small, but who knows?  depends on how many of us are out there.

The new group can be found here Absolute Beginners Art

One last rule, it is not a group for selling or promotion either, just support.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Pencils and Crayons

I think its safe to say I am fully back in the swing of things now.  The above face was the first thing I had a go at on my return from holiday, just got out the pencils and had a play, the face is not copied from anywhere just appeared on the paper, so no idea who (if anyone) she is meant to be.  Just some shading practice really.
I then had a go at copying a face from a photo - alas he really does have an 'odd' face, but not this odd... If anyone can recognise the poor bloke its meant to be the lead from the group "Train".
Took me a good few hours to do that one, I know I still have a way to go - but can see improvement so thats the main thing.
Yesterday was not a good day, Friday's are always pretty busy - but I had little sleep the night before, then my car broke down and that was a HUGE hassle to deal with, all I really wanted to do was return home and hide back in bed, but no! I forced myself to just have a play with the crayons, have some fun and learn how to shade better..
These are with the Crayola Crayons I purchased, I have the box of 96 which are fabulous, and some decent sharpeners to go with them.  I realised that working with the crayon's is very similar to colour pencils, so got those out too and had another play with them - I had bought rather a lot with my Christmas money, and never really got to grips with them - might be another worthwhile medium too.
Next week I am going to try some new projects with crayon, not just faces for a change.. might do me good to have a break.  Never much in the way of free time at weekends, so trying to learn not to stress about it and just go with that, there is always next week - not sure its a good thing but I would always rather just be drawing that much else really, but weekends are about family and visiting, so must leave the pencils behind.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Then I tried Watercolour

This was the very first face I tried whilst on holiday, again I really do not think any artist needs to worry about the competition just yet..
Then I tried again when I got home....
I thought she was quite good (from a distance) but the husband said she was one 'scary' face - so back to the drawing board then............. Its is interesting to just paint and not draw first, not quite as good as Christy yet, despite trying to catch up on all her September video's, but then I am a few years behind all her work too.  So today I tried one Christy style........
mmmh, I don't really need the husband to tell me how scary this one is!  just using the paintbrush I find too difficult so I also use some watercolour pencils.. not that it is helping much.  One last attempt for today, this one took me much longer..
Oh dear, a way to go yet then?  I do prefer a background so might await my watercolour ground to arrive and just work on some backgrounds, always a relaxing process.

I can't even blame the paints this time, they are decent watercolour paints (birthday pressie this year).  So... If you have any watercolour why not have a go? cant do any worse than I am, but with more practice who knows? I can draw a face now, just still totally rubbish at colour, but I keep on trying.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Lowly Crayon

Whilst browsing the internet on Sunday I made an amazing discovery, I found artists who used only the crayon! With the single most fabulous results, I set to work immediatly to follow my dream of being the first UK crayon artist... I think maybe I have a bit to go yet though.. See my first attempt above, although this is with the only thing I had at hand which was a 50p box of 24 crayons, so the quality would be about as poor as you could get really.  I did order a box of Crayola which I am eagerly awaiting.
I then did the more sensible approach and followed a tutorial from 'Glen Donley' who is a Crayola Crayon Artist..
Not bad for a box of ultra cheap crayons eh?  Even my biggest critic the husband remarked "well, at least it does 'look' like an apple" so that's good from him.
I did of course then get over ambitious again and try more faces - I dont think Glen needs to worry just yet though..
It is great fun though, and if nothing else for anyone who (like me) uses an art journal it is a great and cheap way to fill those pages, I do often worry about the cost of acrylic paints just to throw at a journal.  Once my crayola's have turned up that is it for me and art supplies for some time - unless I manage to create and sell a masterpiece, or some bags from my etsy shop (see link, hint hint).

Today I have been playing in watercolour, will blog about those next - I did after watching an excellent art video by Christy make just one last purchase of some 'absorbant ground' for watercolour so I can do backgrounds too, you can watch Christy here Christy's great pages

Have fun out there, and if you have access to some Crayola Crayons, I do recommend giving them a try its a lot of fun.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Back from Holiday

Hello all, anybody miss me?  Well, we are now back from our holiday to Devon - me, OH and the dogs.  We stayed in a beautiful self catering cottage in the middle of nowhere, with no mobile phone signal or internet - very refreshing, and the water supply from a well.  We travelled daily and saw quite a lot of Devon and Cornwall during our stay.  Here is Custer on a lovely beach in Bude, he loved it - I think this is his fave place so far.
Having said that he did rather like Woolacombe too..

Devon is a truly beautiful place, if like me you love the coast and harbour's - was the best time of year for us too, as we are not big fans of the heat (as you know).  We did not actually get an awful lot of good weather, we saw a lot of rain.. must be what makes the place so beautiful.
This is Ilfracombe..
The top picture was Jaja and I at Newquay.  We were a bit on the ambitous side taking our new rescue dog Custer on holiday, it was not the easiest of things as he is rather a difficult dog still... so lead walking in small coastal towns was not ideal, he did spend rather a lot of time in the car with one of us, whilst we took turns at having a look around.  When we could find a dog friendly beach for him to run on all was well.  Jaja on the other hand is very easy, but then he is now 10!  He takes everything in his stride, here he is at Newquay.
I did not get much of a chance for art, despite taking it all with me in a small (ish) packed case, I did one journal page, and one painting using my watercolours... cant wait to get back to it when things get back to normal, still sorting out pics and washing etc.

Back to normal soon hopefully....

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Drawing, Drawing.. always drawing

Still busy wading my way through the course, the one I told you about here above is my first try at the lesson on the 'mouth' not bad eh? I learnt a lot on that one.  Next was the 'hair' we were told to just leave the face part, but I had to just have a try while I was there..
I will have to go back and do that one again, must have been a lot to take in as next time I tried the hair did not do so well.  I do these exercises, then a few practice runs, then a bit of the illustration lessons, then have a blast in my art journal for fun, usually throwing plenty of paint and ink around, I was forced to remember last night a good way to get ink from your hands is to use shampoo - yes I got in a mess, but I did have plenty of fun.  My drawing's are improving but I still cannot paint for toffee, I enjoy it but not so good.  Having said that, I am going to have a try with watercolour soon, something I have not done for a very long time, went to watch some video's on that first, so I have learnt there is a bit more too it that just slapping it down with the brush, so will see how it goes.

I then had a try at our first portrait on the course, sadly her nose is a bit 'off' but still, she is an improvement on my past attempts which I think is the main thing.
I have printed out a fair few faces and a couple of dogs to practice on - so see how I get on, not finished the course yet of course, still the 'round up' to watch and some bonus video's, like there is one on more detail for the hair which I am sure will be most useful.

I do spend an awful lot of time doing this, but then I do have a dream to be a portrait artist....... maybe one day.  I would also love to be able to draw dogs, that actually do look like dogs.

Not all my time is drawing, I am still working hard to train the wayward rescue dog - this is now involving 'clicker' training which I am learning too, as is he.  Custer is doing pretty well 'off lead' but on lead not so well, he really needs to learn to calm down which is what we are working on.

Also been doing some cooking, my wonderful friend also bought me an indian cook book for the slow cooker, we had 'Lamb Red Chilli' the other day which was good, bit too much chilli for me but OH liked it, today is 'English Curry Pork Chops' certainly smells good bubbling away in there.  Its Lamb Madras next, but have to remember to marinade that over-night for best results.

Hope all in the UK are enjoying the rain we are getting - I really dont mind the rain, but could do with a day or so to get my washing dry now please it is starting to mount up.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

sketch practice

Just as it was all going well tragedy struck and my on-line video instructions stopped working, so less than half way through my portrait class I am all alone.  Just waiting to find out which end the fault is at, may well be mine as I did struggle with youtube yesterday too - though that is working fine now.  So, yesterday I thought I would tackle a face on my new sketch pad - sometimes it does help with nice pencils and posh paper LOL.  You may be able to tell I have not covered hair as yet, so this is not one of my strong points ....
.. but I did think he was an improvement on other efforts, also I was once asked on here to try a male face - this one was not really intentional, but must say he is the third one I have done that has turned out male.  I had another go today on watercolour paper - dont think this is ideal for pencil work, but you dont know till you try..
Hair really is not one of my best points, and I know there are many a fault with this face, but I do still think she is an improvement - so as long as I am going in the right direction I am quite happy.
I fully intended to join in with the 29 faces this time, but alas I am not available to blog all the way through this month so missed out again.  Shame as I do draw at least one face per day and have done for some time.

The weather has taken a turn today, was fairly pleasant earlier on, though did keep clouding over which meant I needed to take a coat on the 'many' and I mean 'many' dog walks I have done today (dont ask) so often been too warm.  Not something I will suffer from tomorrow and over the weekend, I believe we are in for quite a lot of rain - always hard to get things dry at this time of year, as not time for heating yet, and many waterproofs are not dryer friendly.  The dogs are not keen on rain either, so thats always amusing, I dont get to walk so far and have sulky, wet dogs in the house.

On the hunt for a recipe now, had some pork belly in the freezer for sometime, it needs using now - but what on earth to do with it? lets go see what Delia thinks..........

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Art at the Speed of Life

It really was not my fault this time!  This book has been on my Amazon wish list for some time, so long I had forgot what it was about, knew it being by Pam Carriker it would be good, but clueless as to why.  Then this weekend my wonderful friend brought me gifts she lifted from my Amazon wish list (we share them at Christmas) no its not my birthday, or Christmas - I am just lucky I have a great friend.
I am half way through this book and I love it - another one for Dawn I'm afraid, it has oodles of juicy art journal hints, interviews with some fab mixed media artists, and the whole thing is as the name suggests, its about how to cram the creativity into our busy lifestyles - just perfect.
I am still wading through my art courses, but life is in the way this week - just a few things that need my attention, so art is on a back burner really - but I do try find as much time as I can, even if its just for a quick sketch as above, and my journal pages... that if all else fails I can stick in one of my sketch faces onto a busy background - journal backgrounds are just the very best therapy..
Not going to make WOYWW again this week, I would manage a chaotic picture and post but no time to visit all the desks, so not fair to take part I feel.  As if I dont have enough on just now, on top of the 3 dog walks I already do daily I have volunteered to help out a friend and walk her Kelpie and Border Collie Pup this week, so that will keep me busy, and an extra dog on Thursday too - think my legs are going to be shorter soon - just wish the weather would settle a bit, its a bit erratic at the moment.  (Weather changes are bad for arthritis sufferers). 

Righto, free afternoon today so must get on with some valuable sketching time.......