Monday, 28 October 2013


 Oh my - I'm so thrilled with my frames and these beautiful pieces.
I found the perfect frame for my little Lorraine Lewis Original "Chicken Love" when I first saw her on Instagram I loved it!  I can't believe she's come to live with me!  I've placed this beautiful piece on my mantle so I can see her everyday!  My daughter calls her "Mother Dove" a character from one of her stories!  Love!

On the right side is my Misty Mawn postcard collection.  Two of these are originals, one I bought and one I received from Misty in the postcard swap.  All these other beautiful printed cards are the cards Misty has generously given over the year... since meeting her in Italy!  I love the frames I have been collecting for each of these cards!  This amazing collection went up this weekend!

Such beauty, I tell ya!

Feeling so blessed!

#InMyStudio... Peonie get's a face lift!

I did this painting 14 weeks ago.  I thought I liked it at the time but something wasn't right about her.  I have been looking at it every single day since and a little irritated by it.  I knew she had to change or go but wasn't sure how or when etc...

I was playing around #InMyStudio in the afternoon and after dinner I decided to try my hand at changing it... after all I had nothing to loose because if I couldn't get her right - she was going to the bin!

Step 1 and 2
The position of the blue scarf was annoying me.  Her face was too narrow making her eyes seem really close together and her nose was all wrong!  I grabbed my gesso (my fav art supply at the moment) and started covering up the area's I didn't like.  You can see on the 2nd picture - I already started reworking the eyelids and eyes, shadows and nose.  Also widening her face... a bit too much!  But hoping to find my way!

Step 3 and 4
I started putting the hair down so I could start finding the shape of her face with the hair in place.  The nose still wasn't right!  I wasn't opposed to the scarf on her head but just didn't like the way it was positioned too high on her head!  I worked the scarf back in, just more gentle and soft!  I also broadened her neck a bit and worked the background shadows again.  The position of where she's looking is also much better!  In Step 4 I am still not thrilled with the defined line of her bottom lip.  I have been working very hard on my eyelids and lips in general lately.

Final Step
I tweaked the nose and bottom lip and put in the little extra pieces of hair and softened the background around her scarf.  I have to say... I am beyond thrilled with her now! I'm also so blown away with her eyes and the intensity of them!
All I can say is that it's Sunday night and I'm going to bed with a full and happy heart!
Sleep tight!

#InMyStudio - Happy Saturday Morning.

Well nothing gives me greater joy than waking up very early on a Saturday morning... like 5am to a very quiet house.  With spring in the air, the mornings are cool and still!  I tiptoed through to get my latte and headed straight to my studio.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do... I was searching through my journals just because... and I found these two transfers I did in my LeatherBound journal.  I did them a few weeks ago and wasn't overly impressed with them so I just packed it away.  But with fresh eyes - I was rather delighted.  I decided to mess around with them and some paint.  Well I have to say I was blown away by my result!  I totally didn't expect that!  It was the first time I did a transfer/painting!  But I know I will be back!  What a joy and wonderful way to start my weekend!

This journal is made up of handmade paper and it's not great to work on at all.  Glue doesn't take to it, neither does paint etc.  It's simply horrible.  But I did this transfer and gessoed around it.  The gesso with the fiber in the handmade paper created an amazing texture!  Which totally contributed to this old fashioned vibe!
I will definitely be doing more of this!
I am so thrilled with these two pieces.

#InMyStudio - Serendipity Homework for October #2

Don't be too shocked... I know I was!
In fact, I was so shocked that I hid them away for a day or two.
And when I pulled them out - I was so delightfully surprised.
I am completely out of my comfort zones and don't really have a clue what I'm doing!
I used Indian Inks, Tissue Papers and painted both of these pieces mostly with my hands!
I'm not finding it easy at all but I'm hoping as I move through each assignment
that I will find more was to loosen up, discover new techniques and more about my inner creative self.

How you might ask???  Well I was doing a completely different painting last night and I found myself using some of the things I've learnt here... Thanks Juliette, I have to say that surprised me.
It's the layering and texture and depth that I'm hoping will all contribute to my overall growth as an artist!
I know this is just the beginning... but here's digging in!

Both of these pieces have already been claimed and going to new homes!
Who knew!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

#InMyStudio - Wowser what a week....

My younger brother was here visiting this past week, for work.  Which was such a treat!  We are close and it's not everyday I have family visiting.  He loves to chat so there were many late nights catching up, dinners, chatting and listening to music.  I also had a massive undertaking dealing with our government departments, which is ever an easy feat!  My Drivers License expired, so I had to brave that Traffic Department and Home Affairs to finally, after almost 20 years of marriage, get my new ID document in my married name.  Long overdue!  Well when dealing with these two departments will make you understand why I put it on hold for almost 20 years!

I'm not sure how it was possible with all this going on and work and extra murals and life in general but I still managed to fit in 6 paintings this past week!  Three of which were homework assignments.  I can't tell you how thrilled I am about this.

That means almost everyday I did something creative!  Which you know just equals happy heart for me. 
When I see these all together like this... to me they are all so completely different.
Everyone says I have a very distinctive style - but I just can't see it!

More about each piece to follow...

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

#InMyStudio - something completely different....

I know this is a little different to my latest work.  It's my October homework from my online class Serendipity, with Juliette Crane.  I know it's completely different to what she does - in terms of her whimsical people and creatures.  I don't want to imitate her or copy her but I want to learn from her while still being true to my own style.  This was a large canvas and I used Inks and paints and used papers and things to almost stamp paint onto my background.  I did my background completely first.  Using mostly my hands to do this... it was definitely different for me!

I am still not sure how I feel about this piece but what I am sure of... is I love her face and I love her dreamy feel!

Not sure how to move forward with this but keen to just play more with some of these new techniques.

This sweet girl is already going to live in a very dear friend of mines home!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

#InMyStudio - Madonna from Brussels...

 I'm addicted to seeing how my paintings evolve right in front of me... I'm always surprised!
As you can see from my draw up she isn't right at all!
I don't usually start painting until my draw up is more accurate...
But I had a feeling once I started laying down the paints - my eye would come right!
The middle image, you can see still isn't right but she's finding her way...
I was much happier with the third image, that's where I left her on Saturday night!
Inspired by a Renaissance Card that
Lorraine Lewis sent me from Brussels
I really love where she ended - and I absolutely love her hair.
The red detail on her dress - really did finish this piece off for me...
with the pattern of the wallpaper coming through.. just worked so perfectly!
Lorraine was right - I loved painting her!  Thank you my friend!
Digs was making me laugh when he was stealing shots of me #InMyStudio!

Wonderful weekend news...

Friday nights has become Corks and my Downton Abbey marathon night!  We are hooked!  We look at each other at the end of each episode and say... "one more".  I love that we are sharing this connection right now and I love that my girls love British drama as much as I do!  She forbade me to watch any episode without her... even though she was out most of the weekend!  I'm seriously a fan!  And I love that we get to think about and talk about the story and characters as though they are part of our family!  Love it!

Early Saturday morning I got an sms from my post office saying I had a customs parcel waiting for me... I was thrilled to find a delightful parcel from Lorraine Lewis and she had completely spoilt me and my girls!  I'm so blown away by her generosity!  I haven't always experienced kindness in my life but the community I have found online and had the honor of meeting some of these amazing people last year - have repeatedly shown me what kindness looks like!  So touched beyond words!  In my package Lorraine had found a beautiful renaissance card of the Madonna when she was in Brussels and encouraged me to paint her!  Well I couldn't resist!  I hadn't planned it... in fact, I wasn't feeling much like painting at all but I'm so glad I did... this is how she slipped out of my brush onto this exquisite piece of textured wallpaper...

What a joy this painting was for me...  Lorraine was right - I loved it!  I wanted to share this picture because you can see the size proportions of this piece.  Sometimes the photos of the paintings just don't do the size justice!  Excuse my painting jersey and little bit busy studio!  My paintings are piling up in the background!

This weekend was busy with much on the go.  This morning, I found myself alone with my beautiful Kitty girl!  I put my studio time on hold so we could have quality time together, so we decided to have a date morning.  I took her to the Loco for brekkie because some friends told me their coffee is excellent and their breakfasts were amazing!  Which was true!  Having quality conversation with is child of mine - is always a treat!  We didn't plan it but we spoke all morning about her dreams!  Wow - what an enriching conversation to have with a 12 year old!  She has the most compassionate heart!  I think we might have a future social worker on our hands! Precious stolen moments!

Happy to say I have my family all back together again tonight... we spent the evening watching Downton Abbey together! A wonderful weekend all round!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

#InMyStudio - A Little Grace goes a long way...

I am not sure if you remember this painting I started... literally months ago... like in July!
I called her Grace because someone said she looks like Grace Kelly.
(Click the link above and you can read about it)

It was one of those perfect mornings when I didn't even really feel like painting and I wasn't sure what to do when Grace literally flowed right out of my brush!
I never finished her!  You know when it feels so good, that if you continue it you might ruin it completely!  So she sat unfinished on my easel since.

I finally found the courage to finish her.  Believe it or not I only touched her hair, the flowr, the collar and the background.  The coloring has changed completely!
I made her hair a bit long with has just softened her face so much.
She is just simply delicate and soft!
There isn't anything detracting from her simplicity!
And I really like that!

Out of all my paintings, my hubby has loved this one from the most!
That's always a good day!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Project#40 is finally getting wings...

I am thrilled to say my #selfportrait journey, Project#40 is gaining a bit of momentum after almost a year of going nowhere... I think I almost gave it up because the art-journaling aspect of this project became too convoluted and too much for me to keep up with!  I simplified this radically and focused more on the image and my blog-post about each theme.  I also think that getting the right image is much harder than you think. I really have to think out of the box and out of my comfort zones.  Each set up takes time, effort and thought!  Some have happened spontaneously and some easily and some have been actual mini photo-shoots!
I guess like all things, when you push through... you start to find your way!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

#InMyStudio... The TeaMaker

I wanted to share more about this piece... I'm no where near finished it.
But there are elements of it in it's unfinished raw state that I'm actually enjoying
and might hang onto... Sometimes I tend to over-finish pieces.

Well first off, let me say - I'm completely in love with my teapot and hand!
It is the focal point of this painting for me so far.
I feel like it's an invitation to tea and chat and I want to be part of it!
I'm thoroughly enjoying the adventure of this piece...

Because I love the rawness, roughness and imperfections!
I wanted to paint with no over-blending, no rules.  Just freely and wherever that might lead me.
I'm trying to be less bound by the rules and just see what comes and what's really inside of me!
I'm dying to see what will come out if I just let go!
Whether it's loved or not!

I hadn't planned to paint anything specific and I had no idea where this was going...
You can tell because my proportions are probably off a bit!
I wanted to work with browns and sort of muted colors so my palette was limited.
I painted most of the day in between house hunting!
This piece has already gone through diff looks and stages... esp. that wonderful middle lady!
I'm so drawn to her because in my initial stages her strong face reminded me of my Gran!
She was a strong woman!  But also generous... the tea!

I feel oddly emotional about my art lately and each pieces is drawing something deeply emotional inside of me.
I guess as much as that is a little scary - I am challenged by it to keep searching for that!

Other little victories and things I'm enjoying right now is this piece...
is that it's coming completely from within, no referencing and nothing in front of me.
These aren't real people in the world but I'm hoping as we look at them,
we will find bits of ourselves, bits of our stories and loads of emotions in them!

Monday, 7 October 2013

#InMyStudio... A creative weekend in a nutshell!

So I woke up on Friday with a bit of cold.  Which is my worst thing in life!  I hate being sick.  I knew I would lie low this weekend - and I needed it.  I have my finger in many pies at the moment creatively and I'm thoroughly enjoying jumping all over the place.  Don't ask me why because I'm not usually like that but it's giving me so much variety - which I'm loving!  Guess it's helps you not get stagnant or bored.

As you know, I'm still tinkering around in Diary of Faces.  Which has helped me grow so much... maybe it has something to do with things of old!  I love old style paintings and I guess there is something in that that still draws me so much.  Here is a little video of what my Diary of Faces is currently looking like.  I think I need to do two more faces this week.
That's the first time I'm sharing a video clip - hope it works well.

{can't get video to work... but working on it}


In September I also signed up for Juliette Crane's Serendipity class that runs for a whole year - one or two projects a month.  It's way different that anything I've ever done.  I'm not finding it easy at all but I guess that's the point - to be challenged and to grow but most of all to learn different techniques.  Why I signed up???  I love her mixed media and background work and it's area I really want to grow in! I love that it's a year long and not too intense because I still have so much homework from my other workshops.

Project#40 - a Photographic Self Portrait project I've been working on since the beginning of the year.  As you can tell, I'm way behind schedule.  Without meaning to, Sunday has become my SelfPortrait day.  Having to plan for it a bit.  It isn't easy and sometimes it can take me all day to come up with the right image for a theme.  Ever challenged with this.  It's way more creative than you think.  As much as I'm uncomfortable and challenged - I am oddly loving it.  I don't find it easy but maybe one day I will!  This Sunday was "Overwhelmed - #08".  Will share more about this weeks theme on that blog.  08 down - 32 to go!!! A tad overwhelming... right?  Right!

I've been making handmade journals this past month.  And I've kind of fallen in love with it.  Don't ask me why because I'm not huge on working in art journals although I am growing in it.  My friend, Betty send me a Moleskin Japanese art journal the other day because we can't find them here.  So I decided to send her a handmade one back in return.  I've been working on that this weekend... it's made up of different papers, wall papers and canvas', paperbags etc.  It's also Japanese style... Will hopefully send off today! I hope she loves it as much as I do!

Digz has been doing some long hours on the bike this month for a big race he has coming up. Which has left me with some wonderfully long studio hours while the girls do their homework... I've been working on some of my own private projects lately, similar to The Storyteller.  On Friday I picked up some large canvas' because I was all out and working large scale is still my fav.  Here is a #wip shot of a large canvas I started yesterday.  There is so much to this painting - will share more in a separate post.

Friday, 4 October 2013

A delightful unexpected response...

On Thursday night, I gingerly shared my blogpost about my process through The Storyteller piece I painted.  I was nervous to share it because it was quite a personal journey through this piece and it was quite vulnerable for me.  But I'm so pleased I did because on Friday I received this letter from a lovely lady from America.

"Oh my word, I just read your blog post about breaking through your fear and the wonderful way in which you created The Storyteller.  I was in tears just feeling the joy in your ability to break through something so big and to create a piece that absolutely touches others.  Is that painting for sale by any change? xo I want it!  That painting is so lovely that I can't pass it up.  It tells a story directly to my soul.  It's time for me to show up.  To break through my fears not with my art work so much as with my life.  So I will frame and hang this amazing reminder of what that looks and feels like to break through.  Thank you."

I can't tell you how receiving that letter made me feel.  And I can't tell you how much I needed confirmation that I was on the right track.  I guess it's the kind of thing every artists hopes to hear or achieve in the pieces they create and the stories they share around them.
I am so grateful to your letter, hopefully you will understand how much it blessed me!
Thank you so much!
Your painting is packed and ready to ship!  With some added treats! ;-)

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Life through our lens...

The last week or so has been so beautiful, with #SpringInTheAir - we just wanted to get OUT and ABOUT!!!!
So we didn't waste a moment of it... 
With Corks becoming an avid little photographer -
she's a great companion to help capture precious moments... 
with a few of mine in between.
Corks got this wonderful capture of her sister.
I love every single thing about it!

Another beautiful capture by Corks
Kitty feeding a white squirrel!  What a find!

I love that my girls are such readers!
Any time. Any place.

I love taking pics with my girls... And I just love spending time with them.
They make incredible companions!
I love that we share the same eyes, right down to the color!
I took a very similar picture to this one a year ago and I think we have inadvertently started a tradition...
I think we will continue this each year so we can see how we age through the years.

I just love this picture, not that I think it's a particularly good picture...
But it does capture the essence of this precious child of mine!
Only Kitty would go feed squirrels with such a stylish handbag and outfit!
I love this offbeat child of mine!!!

#SelfPortrait Sunday

                                                                 TRUTH                                                                  DELICATE

I'm still working on Project#40 SelfPortrait project - to take #40 SelfPortaits in this year of me turning 40!
Each SelfPortrait has a theme, that I found in Misty Mawn's book called UnFurling and then some!
It took me a while to get going on this project but I am just loving the PhotoApping and Layering!
The objective - to hopefully find out a bit more about myself through my lens!