Thursday, 22 August 2013

#InMyStudio - Yay #Chen went well!

I can't tell you how excited I am that my first journal page is finished.  This old book is exquisite to work in because the pages are thick and old.  And the size is perfect!!  I think I'm falling in love with this project!  I can't wait to move forward.

Before I started painting her, I noticed that the space from her eye to the edge of her cheek (on the left when facing her, so her right eye) was too wide and her bottom lip was wrong.  It was bugging me but when I brought it in and fixed her bottom lip - I immediately felt relieved and so happy with her.  Out of the three Chen's I have done - she is by far my favorite!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

#InMyStudio - ADiaryofFaces Part 1 is a go!

I signed up for ADiaryofFaces at the end of last year but I knew I would put it on hold when I was doing FacetoFace, which was a live class.  After FacetoFace, I have been in the PostCard lockdown for so long but I have been wanting to get back to my DiaryofFaces, which is a 9 week class.  I don't like to leave something I've started, unfinished and to me ADiaryofFaces is full of great tutorials and full of history!!!  I've dipped my toe back into the class every now and again... but I have been stumped as to how I was actually going to put this project together.

When I was on holiday in April - I found an old book and I knew immediately what I was going to use it for.... yes ADiaryofFaces.  I drew up #Week1 #Chen and then put the book away and actually forgot that I had drawn that up.  When I decided again that the book was definitely the route I was going to go with - I was delighted to find my Chen drawn up there... and I think it was a kind of confirmation for me.  I guess the answer was right in front of me in the course name... ADiary... I was just struggling with the concept of working solely in my artjournal.  This is new ground for me.  But I am loving the idea of this old book being filled with exquisite pieces of some great painters... even if they are just my renditions.

So I've done #Week1 #Chen three times now but hoping this will be my last.  I'm loving where this is going to go... and I'm actually really excited to move on now that I have some direction!!!

#WIP - My Chen draw up... charcoal and gesso
Will hopefully finish tonight
So this is what my page will look like... my rendition of each week's image on the right.  Tonight I will make a sleeve on the left to hold Sharon's reference and my #postcard (I will also do a postcard for each week) and my summary information of each artist!  I love Sharon's idea of a short fictional story/letter to go with each piece incorporating the history!  I will see what I can come up with.  So more about this in another post!!  Part of moving forward on this course, is also making time for the tutorials!  I've already watched #Week2 #Nicolae and my page is prepped and ready.... watch this space! #HavingFun!

Monday, 19 August 2013

A Prosperous Heart...

I'm feeling rather excited at the moment... at the back of finishing my #postcards, some #unfinished pieces and some #DIY projects... Monday this week felt like I had a clean slate!  I have lots planned with this clean slate!

Every year I work through a few of Julia Cameron's books.  She's without a doubt my fav authoress!  I listened to her book "The Prosperous Heart" from cover to cover on AudioBooks and now I've officially started #Week1.  I am back into the habit of #morningpages and I'm excited to work through the weekly questions on this 12 week program!  I loved the book!  And already loving what I've gained so far!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

#InMyStudio - Finishing CourageousOne

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with this piece.  For a few reasons....

Firstly because I've finally finished her... I started her 7 weeks ago.   I took out a beautiful piece of HotPress paper and my acrylic paints and I thought I'm really going to give these "paints" ago.  So she started me off on a journey of discovering my Acrylics and falling in love with them.  Most of you know Acrylics and I haven't been friends, like ever!!  But I feel like I've had such victory!  I think she's a wonderful symbol of victory!

I found this monochromatic image of an old Indian Chief - with full headgear... I'm not sure it's correct for a woman to wear a Chief Headgear but I couldn't resist using it for her!

He's amazing and so interesting!
This was my draw up... not exact but I used elements of this image!

I wasn't sure how it was going to play out...
I enjoyed my painting of this a lot but as usual, I wasn't sure how I was going to finish her!!

But I have to say I'm really thrilled!

CourageousOne - 11"x14" on HotPress WaterColor Paper
I'm just loving this subject matter so much and I have now done 4 pieces in this theme!
I think I might secretly continue!

Friday, 16 August 2013

#InMyStudio - EvolutionOfaPainting

Some ladies in the #FacetoFace class asked me where do I start painting on a piece after I've drawn up.  I said I would share the evolution here!  I've never really thought about it.  I don't think I always do the same thing each time.  So here's my journey through this piece...

I started here with a charcoal draw up!  It's a new way I've been drawing up.  I picked up this tip from Sharon's morning videos and I just love it.  She suggests using a matt medium over the charcoal if you don't want to loose your draw up but most times I just love mixing the color of the charcoal with my Titanium white to make my darker shadows.  I love her face here but I know I'm going to loose most of it when I start laying down my paints.  But I'm okay with that - I am not sure who will emerge.  But I look forward to seeing who does.  

Today I lay down most of my whites first using the Charcoal to mix with it.

Her face is already changing from the original draw up... 
And I love that her own unique character is starting to emerge!  I'm totally loving her hair... and loving the blue accents.  I think I'm going through a blue stage... I keep finding myself reaching for it.  I had no plans on what colors I would lean towards in this painting.
And I had no idea she would be so dark... but I"m just going with it.  

I'm always unsure how to finish a piece... For a moment I thought I would leave her dress as it was above!  But I wasn't settled with that!  So this time, I printed off an image of her and I drew up some ways to finish her off, without messing about on the actual painting!
And I am so glad I did... after some doodling around, I knew exactly how to finish her!  And I'm totally thrilled with it!  I think she might be one of my favorite pieces.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

#InMyStudio... My FlowrGirls

I'm finished my sweet FlowrGirls - I love the colors!
And I so enjoyed this piece!
I so needed to do a fun, big and different piece!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

#InMyStudio - so desperate to paint big!!!

This weekend I was so desperate to do paint and be #InMyStudio and do anything other than a postcard! But I was procrastinating... I hadn't painted much else other than 4"x6" and I think I was a bit afraid.

So I had this big 30"x20" canvas that I started months ago but hid away because I wasn't particularly loving it... so I had gesso'ed over it... you can see them 3 gals in the background.  It wasn't bad but something about it was bugging me.  So Friday was a bank holiday and I worked from home and did everything to avoid the studio.  Saturday, I had to take the girls shopping and then sat watching movies... but eventually at about 10.30 last night, I started drawing... and these two girls came out of my charcoal stick.  I was immediately inspired to carry on... the behind shadows were actually helping me a lot!

I also found some craft acrylics I had put away because I thought I would never use them.. but when I bought them before - they are perfect skin options... it was time to play with them... so here are some #evolutionofapainting ...

I woke up early today to carry on working on with this piece...
I used the flowrs that were there from the previous painting and added some more of my own flowrs to the dresses.  They were pretty bright - so I've been doing white washes to push them back.  I still want to do some more layers.
And I still want to do some more work and detail in the halo.
But this piece is so soft and dreamy and I can honestly say I had so much fun painting BIG.
There is something special about it,
with big paintbrushes and using the whole table to work!
Still one of fav ways to paint!

A little snap shot of my studio desk... just loving the feel of these two gals!
And I love my space.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

My beautiful girl...

I think I am still in denial that this incredibly elegant and modest young lady is my little girl!
When I saw her in this beautiful dress and her first pair of high heels, my heart stopped beating!!
Her beautiful counsins and Kitty came with us to help put her outfit together... because this is all new ground for us... the dress, the shoes, the jewels and they were just amazing!  We all tried on dresses and shoes!
Being princesses!  Every single one of us!  And they all looked so stunning!!!  What a perfect way to spend a girls day out!  I loved every minute of it and I just love all these girls so deeply.  By the end of it all, we were all exhausted - so on our way out we grabbed a hot chocolate (and a soya Latte for me)!

Corks is almost 15 and this is her first formal dance.  And this will be her first outing with a boy.  She isn't dating so this is a big step for all of us!  Are we ready... absolutely not!
But we are learning to be brave and take one step at a time!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

#InMyStudio.... My PostCard Journey is finished!

As much as I have adored the postcard swap and journey - my list was so long and for weeks now I felt like I couldn't move on until my list was done! Well this is my last send off for a while!!!  I am so thrilled to inform you that I've finished my list.  In total, I did 35 cards.  I won't be doing anymore postcards for a while, partly because I need a break and I need to work on some bigger pieces and some other projects.

I have so loved this journey and discovered some pretty awesome faces and new styles in the 20minutechallenge - But I am more than ready to move on....

I have 3 pieces left on my easel that needs final tweaking... then I'm back on track to carry on with my learning and online course regime.  I still want to go back into my online classrooms and work through some tutorials and I have been watching Sharon Tomilson's morning videos and I have a piece I've started there that I would like to finish and follow through with her... I am still working on my Diary of Faces, part 1 and I would like to finish that and move onto part 2.  I am also working on my Project #40 photographic journal (just my private journey in turning #40) and I want to dive back into my leather bound artjournal for some more collage pieces.  I also want to work and practice painting hands and incorporating them into my paintings and still continue on creating greater depth to my faces.  I'm still learning so much!  And need to continue journeying forward!

I have a whole bunch of things planned and work in my own personal pipeline.  And can't wait to get started again!

To everyone that blessed me with postcards and to everyone I was able to send to - thank you!
I will never forget the generosity in each delightful package I received!  It not only felt like Christmas every week for me - but it created such a wonderful discussion at my postoffice!  Their faces lighting up every time they could tell me a piece of art had arrived!!!!  #beautifulstories

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Happy Birthday to me!!!!

My beautiful 40th birthday present to myself finally arrived yesterday!

And in true Misty generosity fashion she shared much more with me!
Her kind generosity is inspirational!
Included in my stunning original painting was another painting and some printed postcards.
Every piece will join my growing collection, for sure!
I feel like I've been holding my breath for months...
Waiting in expectation for her to arrive!
All I can say is that she's been worth the wait!

This beautiful lady with her dark hair is just gorgeous in real life.
Her online pics don't do her justice...
I will be getting her framed up professionally!!
She's big and delicate and soft and I'm totally in love with my package!
Thank you Beautiful Misty - she will be loved for sure!

You can follow my private collection blog Flowrs Collection

Sunday, 4 August 2013

News in Flashes

Slow Saturday Mornings
On Saturday morning Digz was out riding and Corks had a school commitment... so Kitty and I had the morning to ourselves.  After the drop off we headed out for breakfast.  We chatted and read the news together and spoke about life.  I love these stolen moments in time, that happen so naturally when the right things align.  Look at those eyes!!! After our breakfast, we took a gentle walk up to the post office and found my new books waiting for me... what a treat!  I am not only a huge fan of Julia Cameron's work but I've worked through most of her books.  She is with out a double my fav authoress.

Finishing DIY Projects
I think I started this project about a year ago.  I mosaic-ed my table and finished grouting it but I never painted it.  One of those things I said I would do but never got to it... but Saturday was D-Day!  I picked up my paint and by the end of the day - this was my lovely result!  I've fallen in love with my 100 year old farm-style kitchen all over again.  To the right, where the vase of flowrs are is our little breakfast nook, which we call the laughing area... I had a table in there too that was mosaic-ed but never never grouted or painted.  That too, was completed on Saturday.  I am thrilled - will share more pictures soon!

Sunday Family Day
We have been working on a project as a family, to come up with things to do together, to surprise each other which is a complete spoil.  And we each have to take turns in coming up with something special.  For example, a while back we took the girls to see a live show, their first!  It wasn't expensive but it was such a treat!  Just part of us choosing to live consciously.  So I decided to plan something different and special today... I booked tickets for us to go on the double-decker topless sightseeing bus!  The joy of living in a tourist destination is in Winter it's all the tour specials... perfect for us locals.  And with the beautiful weather... today was perfect for this outing!  We arrived at the V&A Waterfront and hoped on the bus and started our adventure through our beautiful city.  We learnt some history and discovered things we didn't know... who knew!  We had plenty of laughs!  Spirits were high!
We hoped off in the center of town and did some walking, stopped for breakfast and walked through the company gardens to feed the squirrels... it was such a special time of talking, laughing and taking it slow!  The funniest part of today was when a squirrel jumped on my back!!!!  Brought about much laughter and teasing for the rest of the day!  After lunch, we settled back on the bus all the way home!  Feeling exhausted but with full hearts!
Making memories that will last a lifetime!

And off we go...                                  Breakfast time

Love old churches                                Back on the bus

Can't wait to see what get's organised next... 
One thing is for sure - we won't forget this day in a hurry!

Friday, 2 August 2013

#InMyStudio - sharing my space with other artists...

On Friday this beautiful little artist came to paint with me #InMyStudio!!!  She was amazing to paint with!  Most of my painting these days is done alone and I do miss having people to paint with... so today was such a lovely treat!  This little treasure was unstoppable!  All I know is I wish I was started as young as she has!  She has a beautiful arty future ahead of her!  And I just love that!  I love seeing young people so passionate about art and love seeing them do it already and not wasting years trying to find it!  I will encourage any young person to move forward creatively!  And this amazing young lady was a true inspiration!

#InMyStudio - Tinkering around!

I bought a Hahnemuhle Bamboo Pad the other day to play with and I've been dying to use it!  It's a lovely size 7"x9".  Been looking forward to using it for a while.  I think I am loving working on paper as opposed to canvas, it's a great change!

I prepped this piece of paper with Modelling Paste.  I've never used it before so I had no idea what was going to happen.  I know Misty used it on of her tutorials!  I need to go back and see what the assignment was.  Betty told me that working with Neo's on top of Modelling Paste is heavenly.

I used a monochromatic reference for this piece that I found about a year ago... This is the 3rd Native American I've done, it appears I've been fascinated by this theme for some time!

Some work in progress shots...