Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye Beautiful 2013 - thank you!

#Flipagram / Music - by Civil Wars Eavesdrop

I really loved this year!
For many reasons...  It wasn't a walk in the park!  But then I don't think many years are.  But this year wasn't bitter and hard like other years... we worked hard and I think there is reward in that.  Personally, I love that as a family, it's a work ethic that we all have!!  Seeing my girls own that, is {priceless}.

For me, one of the greatest gifts of this year is seeing my girls coming into their own in the various aspects of their little lives.  Sometimes I get glimpses that the #hardwork is paying off.  Every year we do so much and this year was no different... I don't want to bore you with a blow by blow account of everything that happened.  But here are the top 10 things that happened this year...
  • I ran a half marathon, which I hadn't done in years.
  • I lost 30lbs.  This was major breakthrough for me.
  • My hubby traveled to Canada to IceClimb with his brother-in-law.
  • I turned 40!
  • My daughter went on her first date and had her first relationship, albeit short.
  • Took a few online courses and finally grasped the concept of mixed media, acrylic paints and other mediums.
  • I wrote my first article and did my first interview with some pretty amazing ladies.
  • My baby girl really thrived this year and ended the year with the Principal's Award for an incredible letter she wrote to be a school peer mediator.  Love seeing her shine.
  • I made and sold art and I did twice as much as last year... this is really a dream come true.
  • I am happy!
I have to say I'm excited for 2014... we have lots of plans, goals and hearts desires.  Not that I believe in resolutions but I think it is important that we dream out loud and in beautiful technicolor.  There is an anticipation in the air for the coming year, which I will share in another post.  But for now some of my fav shots for this year.

My absolute fav pic this year - Corks captured this!
My 2nd Fav pic of this year - Corks captured this
Finding peace in our 100 year old house

Tender captures of my beautiful big girl

Friday, 27 December 2013

Sleepy hollow....

I've been very quiet on all fronts... #InMyStudio especially.
And on all my social medias.  I'm on holiday but mainly...
for no other reason other than that I've been completely exhausted.
I worked right until the bitter end (December being our cultures yearly shutdown and holidays)
And Christmas shopping and school shopping was a mad-rush!
I feel like I hit Christmas head on, at the back of a heavy year... which has left me completely depleted.
I haven't been able to do anything but sleep... And sleep. And sleep.
I woke up on Christmas morning and shared beautiful tender moments with my sweet family.
And went back to bed.  Got up and went to family for Christmas dinner.
Came home to sleep.  Boxing day was literally just spent sleeping.
And today I got up to spend the morning with my girls and my niece and nephew in the forest.
All I could do was lie on a mat under the trees, I got home and slept some more.
This afternoon we spent the day on the beach and guess what - I'm now off to sleep.

I suppose I have some things to work on or I might just scrap them all and just start over...  I have this painting to finish and I've been thinking about some background ideas.  This evening, I managed to put down some ephemera on this piece, so maybe a background will come together.  I am also trying to rescue another piece I did in the middle of the year, but I might just abandon that as a bad idea.  I have schedule some studio time tomorrow morning because I'm missing it lots.  If I get it right I might finish some pieces in my diary of faces... I would like to get through most of that before some of my new courses start!  I guess I'm not stressing too much because I will have much work ahead of me when my courses start this year.  Just rolling with this downtime... whatever it may mean.

But for tonight... I'm off to bed.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

#InMyStudio - When the Swallows fly low...

I can't tell you how excited I am about this piece.  I just love everything about it.  It just feels like she's completely all me... I think maybe it's because I just let her evolve... I literally let her lead me all the way.  And when I lifted my head again - this is where I ended.  I don't know if you remember she had a butterfly wing at first but I wasn't happy with it.  I always wanted an angel's wing... so I painted out the first wing and went with my first feelings.  And I'm so pleased I did, this works much more and I'm glad I went with my original feelings (it has encouraged me that I can trust that inner voice).  The Swallows are a part of my childhood - I remember us running around our garden and getting excited when the swallows flew low because we could predict that rain was coming... almost like a promise.  I'm not exactly sure why I'm feeling so connected to this piece - but I love that I am.  I have loved every minute of this journey!

Friday, 13 December 2013

#InMyStudio... getting in the mood to paint

I haven't done much painting the past two weeks... because life has been so hectic.
When I've had a bit of a gap - I like to just mess about and get myself into the mood.
I packed up a lot of items to send off this week... I think my last big send off before Christmas,
and I came across these two old pieces that I haven't really been happy with.

As you can see I've been struggling through this piece through the months.
I've changed her three times now.
But I'm finally happy with her.
Her eyes are finally right and I absolutely love where her hair ended.
And I'm loving the consolidated background much more... it kind of brings it together for me.
I love the depth of this shot below.

I didn't mind the one below - I just wasn't wowed by her but the dramatic red changes her vibe completely.
I did fix aspects of her - her eyes, her jawline and mouth, oh and of course I completely changed her hair.
I love her new hairstyle - she actually looks rather old fashioned... which I just love!

 My daughter asked me if I'm in a "bright" mood because both these pieces are bright...
Hahaha - I guess they are fun and different - the best part is that #creativeplay the past two nights,
certainly has got me back #InMyStudio - and that is indeed, very bright!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Quiet and Gentle Weekend...

Nothing gets you quicker into a relaxed summer holiday feeling than hitting the beach on a beautiful day!  After Digs' ride and my morning pages - we headed out for a beautiful drive and an hour on the beach... which actually turned into two hours!  We travelled light so it was more spontaneous!
Digs and Kitty spent some time in the water (as long as humanly possible without their wetsuits)!
And Corks and I did some walking and talking and mainly catching rays!
We have all been exhausted and a bit end of year edgy!
But nothing like some hours on the beach to bring in the "chill" factor!
We had forced rest this weekend.  Afternoon naps, reading, blogging, chatting and listening to music!
I didn't do much painting this weekend, but did work on my #Project40 blog and I am happy to say I'm halfway with my SelfPortrait captures but almost halfway with my writings.
Although Digs and I aren't on holiday yet - we are starting to unwind!
All in all - a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Misty Love

About two weeks ago I bought a little Christmas present for myself... yes I do that every year!

This beautiful girl that Misty called "The Girl with the Flower in her Hair"
Could there be any other place that she belonged, other than with me.  Besides her name - I love her to bits!
Misty was selling some stocking fillers in her Etsy shop and they sold like hotcakes and I managed to get one before they all sold out... well she arrived yesterday!

I swear every time I get a beautiful package from Misty it's like a sacred parcel.
Not only were there extra printed postcards for me (I have a beautiful collection now)
but there was an extra girl that Misty included for me... her words "she wanted to come live with me".
I love that so much - your ladies are always welcome Misty!

It really was a Misty day yesterday because she also announced her new online course called "FullCircle".
I absolutely love what she will be teaching next year!
When Digz asked me what I wanted for Christmas - it was a no-brainer.
So last night he booked me on!!  Thanks Babes!
I got my Christmas Presents early this year!!!

#InMyStudio - so excited my postcards arrived.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am with my postcards... they are gorgeous!
I've been trying to find a local printer who can do these for me at a quality that's acceptable!
It's literally been a year long struggle for me.
So I think that's part of my joy - that now I've found something that will work and it's easy for me to arrange and collect.  So I'm thrilled!
Taking chances and finding ways forward - always exciting.

RIP Nelson Mandela

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived, it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead".

Remarkable man!  It's a sad day!
No one lives forever and 95 is a long life and his life is a testimony of calling and purpose!
You showed us what true courage, forgiveness and kindness looks like!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

#InMyStudio... "When the Swallows fly..."

I found this image of Barbara Streisand a while back because for years now I've been saying in some ways my Kitty girl looks a little like her.  By the way, I think Babs is absolutely gorgeous!  I'm not the only one that sees this in Kitty!  Some of her friends at school have also said it.  This is one of my favorite images of Barbara.  I hadn't planned on using it for anything!  It's just been lying on my desk for ages now...

And I guess every time I walked past her - she was calling out to me.  So I stuck her down... and the rest started to come!

In most of the faces I use in my collages or as references - I usually loose the face, but I guess in many ways I wanted to hang onto the strength of this incredible face and also because I see so much of my daughter in this piece.

I was sorting out all my ephemera box which always leads me to create.  So playing and putting this piece together, if nothing else was so therapeutic.  I love the depth of this third image to bits!!  I've called this piece... "When the Swallows fly low... the Rain will come"  There is a story behind this title.  It feels prophetic in many ways but it's also glimpses of my childhood!

She's starting to come together.  I still have much to do on this piece.
I've already been working on this for a few days and I can't wait to still dig a little deeper!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

#InMyStudio - Painting Hands...

I have been so challenged at the concept of painting hands and trying to include them in my paintings.  I went through a stage when I did try include hands, they would end up with 6 fingers... don't ask me why.  It's what my mind wanted to do and without fail and on a subconscious level - 6 fingers would appear!

It's been my nemesis this year.  But I'm determined to push through and learn.  A while ago, I found a good image of hands in a magazine and I painted over them.  Funny enough - it worked well and I think it's a wonderful way to learn how to paint hands.

I painted this gorgeous girl this week.  I chose this reference because of the hands.  Tad overwhelming.  My reference picture was in black and white which was tough going but I guess in many ways it helped me find my lights and shadows.  And I have to say I'm thrilled with these hands, they aren't perfect but I know it's a good start!  As for those flowrs... harder than you think!  But also happy with them!  Mini-breakthroughs.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Best DateNight Ever!!!

We have been waiting all year for Dave Matthews and his band to arrive.... that's how long ago we booked our tickets.  But more than that we have honestly been huge fans since we got married and swore to ourselves, that if they ever came here we would be going... well that was almost 20 years ago.
Listening to Dave for almost 20 years in our home, their songs, lyrics and
sound has just been part of our lives.  So to see them live - was rather surreal!
The image below is Dave singing "SpaceBetween".
It's one of my favorite songs, mainly because of the are just so brilliant!
#DreamComeTrue!  #GoosebumpMoments!