Wednesday, 25 September 2013

#InMyStudio - FacetoFace Picasso Renditions

In the FacetoFaceWorkshop - One of Misty's tutorials was to do a rendition of this Picasso art piece... Intimidating isn't it?  I felt so afraid to do a piece like this... I wasn't ready.  So I skipped this assignment!  I couldn't imagine myself ever being ready for this... until now.

                                           Picasso                                                                  Misty's tutorial rendition

I noticed not many people did this homework assignment but my very sweet friend, Betty from Texas did and I so loved her rendition.  So I decided to share it here.  I remember when I saw it in the class, how much I loved it.  It's been my heart to paint like this.  Look at Betty's teapot - I love it!  To me, in every painting, it's the small things that make it.  And that gorgeous little teapot just makes it for me and her beautiful textured background.

Betty Wilkins' Rendition

When we were in Italy, Misty encouraged us to do a piece that not only had more than one figure in it but also encouraged us to paint pieces that told a bit of a story.  But I just couldn't do it in Italy.  It's been my heart to do pieces that are more interesting, different and tell a bit of a story, especially lately - it's all I've been thinking about.  It's been one year since I was in Italy and I can't believe it's taken me a whole year to paint a storytelling piece.  I've done pieces that have more than one person in it but not ever to this detail... with hands and items.  And I have to tell you - I absolutely loved it.  When I was painting this piece I kept wondering what story this piece would tell me... I think I'm partly still dwelling on it.  The middle lady ended up holding a book - and it became clear to me that she is The Storyteller.  How apt for this painting.  I'm so chuffed with this piece, not that I think it's excellent by any means or stretch of the imagination but I'm more thrilled by what it means to me... the mini victories I have had and I think I'm thrilled with it for a few reasons... Firstly because I did arms and hands!  I have known for sometime that I have wanted to incorporate this into my work.  But fear has been in my way.  Secondly there are other things in this painting other than just faces - there are teacups, a teapots, a vase of flowrs and books.  I didn't even know I could paint a teapot and only last week, I realized I could actually paint a vase of flowrs.  Thirdly it was the way I painted this up that I just loved.... I wasn't bound by my draw up and the whole painting process was loose and free... like one of the lessons in FacetoFace when Misty painted 6 pieces at once.  I built up the paint and the forms of the face until a face emerged.  This canvas isn't big and the faces are actually tiny.  A sharp pencil was too thick for the tiny details of this piece.

To me this piece is arty.  And I know ultimately, this style is the direction I would love to move towards.  Painting this today gave me so much joy and it was my reminder of why I chose to pursue art more fully!  Cos that's ultimately why we do what we do - for the joy of it.  I hope I never forget that.

The Storyteller - 16"x12" Painting on CanvasBoard

Friday, 20 September 2013

#InMyStudio - Something a little different

This was one of our homework assignments on FacetoFace - to not paint a face.  I was kind of desperate to paint something completely different!  I thought this was a good place to start!  I am still looking to do some very different pieces this weekend... Just really feel I need to!  It's not that I think I've got stuck at all - I'm loving what I'm learning... I think I'm ready to expand a little bit!  It's still my heart's desire to paint pieces that tell a story!  One of our assignments on FacetoFace is to do our interpretation of a Picasso sitting at a table... reading or having tea.

Stepping out of our comfort zones is never easy and always challenging!!  But we have to do it to keep growing and keep evolving and reinventing ourselves and our abilities!!

I never want to stop pushing myself!
Because ultimately, I never want to stop growing!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

#InMyStudio - In remembrance of Rembrandt van Rijn

The other day when I was searching for something on Google - the little Google icon had an artistic image in celebration of Rembrandt van Rijn's birthday!  I clicked on Google Images to see some of his work and read up about him!  And I loved what I saw and read!  I found this wonderful image and thought it would be wonderful to paint in my DiaryofFaces in tribute to his birthday!  The other thing I discovered is that the Man with the Golden Helmet was a painting in my childhood home for as long as I can remember... was in fact one of his works.  I have asked my Mom for it... One day when she's ready to pass it along!  I might still do a version of it in my Diary!  This lovely lady was a pure joy to do!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

#InMyStudio... Finishing pieces!

Hahaha - How many times has this been my title for a blog!  But seriously!  I think this might be the first time that my easel is free of unfinished pieces!  Feeling so chuffed with myself!  My easel is clear, my ironing all done and most of my work and admin is up to date!  So is my household obligations!  It's a great feeling to end off the weekend in this place!

Here is sharing what I did this weekend... art wise!

Wow - I feel quite freaked out by this piece!
Just because it shows my growth so evidently from one piece to the other!
It's kind of humbling.  The hard part for me is when I did the first piece, I couldn't see it!
See that flatness, see the bad proportions.  At times I feel quite embarrassed by this fact!
I guess that's the real growth for me!  Now being able to see it!

I original did this piece around the end of February on the FacetoFaceWorkshop!
For the first part of the year I did start to notice that my faces were one dimensional!
Perfect and neat but seriously lacking depth!

Literally for months, every face I saw that I admired, I studied it to see how I could grow and challenge myself to dig deeper.
A while back I noticed her neck was too thin and she was lacking shoulders.
I had also considered making her halo run off the page!
I had used that technique in a previous painting and I just loved it!
To me... just adding these three things, changed this painting completely!
She moved from being quite animated to more warm and womanly! 
Which is really what I wanted to capture in the Madonna!

In a way - I love going back to some of my early work and reworking them... saving them!

Every now and again - I wonder what and why I'm doing this!
Today I was reminded why I do!  I fell in love with painting all over again!
Happiness = me with my paintbrush!

I guess it's in the small things!  And I can totally live with that!

Friday, 13 September 2013

My week in a nutshell....

About a week ago my sweet friend Renee Plains added some pieces to her online-shop and we decided to do a swap!  And my exquisite print arrived this week!!!  Happy to say that Renee also received my package this week too!  Love that we can connect and share art across the oceans!  This beautiful piece is framed up already an in my bedroom right next to a Misty and Betty original!  Happy Heart!

I will share more about this piece soon!  This sweet gal was just a quick easy piece I did for fun.  I did this piece mainly because I wanted to film the whole process.  The whole process took about 30 mins to paint up!  I'm busy editing it and adding music but that is completely new ground for me.  So it's slow going!  There is no talking because I am not a teacher, in the slightest, I guess it's more about showing how the painting evolves... and for the most part my head is in the way {blush}.  But can't wait to share it because if nothing else was quite fun!!!

Digz and Kitty had a school date this week building a robotic animal together.  They won a prize because their gadget won the race.  Which was quite fun for them!!!  So that left Corks and I to have an evening to ourselves so we went to our fav restaurant for dinner and spent the evening chatting and looking at photo editing pages and softwares!!  Precious moments with our beautiful girls!  Constantly creating ways to stay connected meaningfully through the teen years!

It's been a tough week work wise!  I didn't have much time at all #InMyStudio!  I know there are times like that - so I just went with it!  But I managed to keep our commitments low-key for the weekend so that I could steal sometime and also finish all my obligations... like ironing etc.
Being able to create art guilt free is the way I love to do it!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

#InMyStudio - A hop skip and a jump into #Week5

She was amazing to do!
I loved her story and her simplicity!

I didn't realize that I had hopped, skipped and jumped right into Week 5.  I thought I had done my tutorials for Week 3 and 4 but when I  went back I discovered that I had accidentally missed Week 4 and had actually done Week 3 and 5.  So I will go back this week to Week 4.

But I completely fell in love with Week 5 - Giovanni Boldini.  I think I love the drama of every piece he did!  And Sharon's tutorials were delightful this week.  She had me giggling and she is a wealth of information and shares it so willingly.  Thank you Sharon!!  I still have her lesson to do in my DiaryofFaces of Boldini but my page is all prepped and ready and so is my page ready for Week 3.

I just couldn't help squeeze in my rendition of one of Giovanni's pieces.  She spoke to me and I knew I had to paint her.  I wanted to do big painting and one in my Diary...  And I have to say I'm thrilled with her!!  What I joy I had in my studio this afternoon!

My two pieces together

My DiaryofFaces ArtJournal Spread

Monday, 2 September 2013

#InMyStudio - Yay #Nicolae is done!

  I drew up my #Week 2 Homework of #Nicolae Grigorescu - A head of a woman, a whole week before I found the courage to actually paint her!  I don't know why it intimidated me so!  But I left her open on my desk and I kept making b-lines around her.  But as usual as soon as I sat down to paint her - it just flowed and I loved every moment of my Nicolae - aren't I glad I didn't leave her unfinished?  I've decided to share the step by step progress here - I just love seeing how it unfolded... hope you enjoy it too!

For this journal project I have started by gesso'ing my page and then charcoal drawing up... 

I then use my gesso and start mixing and painting with the Charcoal
and it establishes my draw up.

Then I start adding colors... pretty scary, right!  And trying not to completely freak out!

Starting to feel relief that my face has emerged and it is a resemblance of Nicolae's piece!
Man, I loved doing her eyes and mouth!  And love the blue accents.  It was most enjoyable!  Sharon Tomilson mentions that we might like to do some of his other pieces - and I do!
I'm progressing to #Week 3 but have left a gap for another Nicolae, for sure!

My finished spread - I am falling in love with my alteredbook / #DiaryofFaces artjournal...
In the next few days, I will decide how to decorate my sleeves!
Plus I still need to do my 20MinuteChallenge postcard of this piece!

A little DIY... goes a long way!!!

So it feels like August has been my month for DIY - mainly finishing old jobs that I had started and hadn't finished... sound familiar to the many stories I have shared here.  I'm always working hard on finishing pieces and projects!!!!  So I guess when it comes to DIY - this has been no different.

I also had some new DIY projects that have been on the cards for some time...  August has also been about decluttering and reclaiming space for new things and getting rid of some tired pieces of furniture and sourcing some new ones!!  The palette has been of a different kind but it still feels like creativity!  And the results have made me feel quite peaceful!

I bought this long workbench 2 years ago and 18months ago I mosaiced it.
But it needed to be painted.  That got done this month!
Our 100 year old kitchen is largish but has hardly any work-surfaces.
I've found the whole family keeps congregating around this island which I just love!
I found this matching corner workbench online for next to nothing... and gave it a makeover
It's going next to the stove to house the gas-bottle and serves as another workstation!
There is a little nook in this kitchen and I also bought an antique table 2 years ago that is also now finished!
Loving that we are keeping the kitchen organic and slightly farm style!

I found this Swedish Dining Table at a corner antique store down the road.
I have been wanting to paint it white for the past two years... Need I say more...
It's a clean and simple... and I love this uncluttered space.
90% of the time it's just the four of us for dinner -
so we opted for a more intimate space for meals!
In the next few months my very beautiful dining chairs will arrive - can hardly wait!

 This month we sold our lounge furniture as the pieces were just too big for our 100 year old house/cottage and they were a little tired too!  They saw us through our babies, toddling years and more and through our puppies too and I guess it was just time for a more grown up feel!  I was thrilled to say I sold them quickly online and yesterday we ordered our new lounge pieces and although they will take some time to arrive - it sure is exciting to have redressed this area!  We have gone for very simple clean colors that will complement the cottage feel of this house and match the tones that much of the house seem to have taken on!  Can't wait to share more about this!

It isn't easy living in a 100 year old house... It comes with lots of issues, weird and pokey spaces.  And I guess it's where we find ourselves right now.  So we are trying to make the best / most of this time!  And making our space a bit more beautiful will certainly help on the hard days!