Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Beautiful things...

We are virtually through the first quarter of this year and it's been a crazy start to the year.
We have been so hectic on all fronts.  Not only that but it appears winter is making a very early appearance - which is never easy for me.  We are already having our first rains.  And it's way too early!
Our fire wood supply arrived today!

This week has been such a good week and I can't tell you how welcome that feels.
Nothing like goodness to warm the heart on chilly days -  here's some news...

Going to a work function this week
This week has been filled with lovely letters, messages of encouragement and conversations with beautiful people from all over the world - I can't tell you how much I love that!  And I can't tell you how it lifts my spirits.  This week too, I had the honor of selling two of my paintings - which I will be shipping today!
I'm always blown away when I sell a piece of art, I'm always surprised and I know it's something I will never take for granted!!  It's honestly such a gift to me!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

We received other good news this week but I will share more about that in another post.
Last night we went out to celebrate as a family because there just seemed so much to be grateful for.
With school exams and assessments being over, all our high school apps being in,
big art pracs being submitted and a very busy work schedule!

I'm reminded, every now and again, that hard work and long hours in the trenches does pay off,
even if it's in small increments.

Scared spaces
I've been slowly working through painting some items around my little home white,
 as I'm very definitely going through a white phase.
My painter comes back this weekend to finish some other pieces for me... seriously can't wait!
My little personal space has made me so happy!
The two pictures there are my Misty and Betty original works!
Makes me happy to see them everyday!

The Sunflowrs are all finished this side...

Last weekend I made a serious dent in my #bigcanvas.  I only have 4 Sunflowrs left to finish and I'm hoping I will be done by the end of this week.  I really learnt so much with this painting... painting big, all the faces and those sunflowrs - wow!  I also tried something new with this piece... I used a palette.  I don't usually use a palette and normally work straight from the tube because acrylics dry so quickly!  So stoked with the outcome.  Will share the finished piece soon.



My friend Sharon Tomilson gifted me with a place on her Diary of Faces part 2.

I sent her some treats from the Irma Stern museum and it was her thank you gift to me.  WOW I didn't expect this - again I'm just so blown away by this kind of generosity.  This was going to be my next sign up.  I can't wait to head there.  I am a huge fan of everything Sharon does.  Check out her blog - she's working on an incredible (mighty) project called 100 faces and as usual, I'm totally in awe.
Today I received our first correspondence from Bill and Kristi and they sent us this gorgeous picture to remind us of that beautiful place and our beautiful time doing wondrous things - let the dreaming continue!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

#InMyStudio - Let the SunFlowr journey begin...

Part of me swerving my studio this weekend past was because I had the enormous task of 20 big sunflowrs waiting to be painted and it was completely overwhelming!  I definitely want to finish this piece so leaving it incomplete isn't an option at all!  I set no mini-goals last week after my marathon painting session on the floor.  But I kind of had 3 sunflowrs a day, in mind, which is manageable.  

Last night after we went to watch some beautiful live music at a small cafe up the road from us, I wasn't ready to go to bed, so when we got home I killed some time by starting this enormous task of the #20sunflowrs.
Well, actually there were originally 20 of them but I've narrowed it down to 17.5 - happy dance!
I worked on 3.5 last night and I'm feeling encouraged... I think I can do this!
And I think I'm going to actually love this final part of this journey!
I worked on some of the faces too - just more layers and still worked on some layout issues and blocking in the last wing.  I had to push back some things and pull forward other things to make the painting flow better!
I think I'm finally happy with the composition.

See the sunflowrs on the left girl... yay finished 3 of her 5!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Happenings...

Sooo our weeks have been full and heavy but our weekends have been beautifully quiet.
The girls have had so much homework, assignments and studying.  Which means I get to catch up on life.
Which I am just loving, by the way... it's been really good for my soul, the forced quiet and calmness.
We are rapidly slipping into autumn which always freaks me out a bit...
I'm not ready for the coming winter months.  It makes me restless.

Misty's tutorials were so incredible on Friday - it was part two of portraiture... but it made me give my studio one big wide birth all weekend - I don't know why I freak myself out so much!  As much as I'm feeling restless about the coming winter months, I'm also feeling restless #InMyStudio, with my abilities and the rate I'm learning etc.etc.etc...  Sometimes I feel like I'm getting no where and other times I feel I am.

So I did everything except do my portraiture homework... bad girl!
So I did other creative things... instead!
Like...
Played with this portrait I did last year

I merged the same painting I did, at different stages... one in the early stages and the other in it's finished stage.
Merging these pictures to make them work, is harder than you think and it takes a fair amount of time... 

I am loving iPhotography and playing with apps so much!!  Warning - it's addictive!

L.O.V.E in4Pics
My online friend and classmate Heidi, tagged me to play this iPhotography/Instagram challenge to create the word L.O.V.E in4pics (spelling it out) using everyday things around you - such fun!

Created new sacred spaces!
I'm definitely going through a white stage!
This past year - I've been refurbishing furniture, frames, whatever I can find, to white!
And loving it!

Long Slow Baths...
While listening to fabulous AudioBooks!
I had a bit of a break but I'm hooked again!  Last week I finished 3 new books!
Storytelling at it's finest!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

#InMyStudio - Blessed is the Teamaker...

Not sure if you remember this one!
I got stuck in the ugly stage so I decided to hide it away!
I found my "The Teamaker" painting that I abandoned a while back.
I wasn't enjoying the color or the hardness of the faces and I had been using the back of the canvas board as a picture board.
I cleared it off and decided to just play with it to see if I could save it.


I left it here on Saturday night... I was feeling a bit happier with it and the flow of it, minus the one face...
But they still felt so depressing and gloomy to me.  Once again my beautiful neo's came to the rescue!  I wasn't sure it was going to work, but once again, I had nothing to loose especially because the bin was seriously calling this piece home!


 Just illuminating the skin with beautiful color made me instantly happy and the glow around them - changed the whole feeling of this piece... Started to feel hopeful for this piece, at last!

Loving this capture... I feel like joining her for tea!
This is the full piece, finished.  Well finished for now.
I think I might still need to tweak some things here and there.
When I think of where this piece started, to this finished piece - it doesn't even look remotely the same.  And I have to say I'm thrilled about that!  So she is no longer going home to the bin!  There is a soft dreaminess to this piece and I'm just loving the gentle blue so much!  It's my fav color at the moment... my "go-to" color - 
and I now know why - it def makes me happy!

Monday, 10 March 2014

#InMyStudio - all day and all night!


I didn't want to delay!  I had 3 faces to finish on my big canvas!  So I got cracking!
They went well and I'm so chuffed to say I had finished everything I had set out to achieve this week,
with this painting...  I guess I should have stopped there.
I decided to just cover my wings before I packed up - I original thought I would leave them blankish.
But they took an unexpected turn and I can't say I'm sorry.
I started with the wings on the right!
And when the wing appeared, it totally took my breath away!!
I dont always trust myself - so I took picture after picture to make sure.
I see more things through my camera lens than I do with my naked eye.

I asked Corks to take another picture like this for
me, to best see the progress from my other shot!

I spent the whole day and night #InMyStudio
I am a little broken this morning... my hand is still and tight and crampy and my back,
well let's put it this way, sitting on the floor for most of the day and night - isn't the wisest thing I've done.
My tight hips and aching back kept me up most of the night and a headache... all that concentrating!
I lay in bed in the early hours of the morning on a hot beanbag trying to loosen the muscles in my back,
berating myself - "to toughen up"... the Great Masters painted on scaffolding on their backs and in cramped places all day and night until their commissions were finished!
I have such a far way to go!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

HappyMail from beautiful friends from across the world!

Wow I'm so blown away - this week, I received two happy mail parcels!
One from my lovely friend Alissa from Nebraska.  She's a beautiful artist and I've met her in some of my online courses.  She's bought some pieces from me and I've bought from her too and we have postcard exchanged.  She has a beautiful online presence and I am so grateful to have met her.  Alissa not only sent me a painting but a painting for Kitty too and Alissa's daughter also sent Kitty a little postcard painting!  Wow - we were both so blown away by this gesture!  Ems and Kitty are similar in age - maybe pen-pals in the making!  Sweet hey!



The other mail was a birthday pressie from my sweet online buddy Betty from Texas.  Betty and I first became friends on Instagram, can't remember how but she has been an encourager of my work since I opened my Instagram account.  My early stuff wasn't great but she was encouraging me all the way!  It was through her that I discovered Sharon Tomilson (who I later got to meet in real life).  Betty's work has always blown me away.  And we have exchanged art several times.  I'm so honored to have some Betty originals around my home!  What really touched me about this piece is that Betty did this piece esp. for me for my birthday... what further touched me is that she did this piece on newspaper and to the side of her face is the word "Wednesday" - because I was born on a Wednesday!  I love synchronicity like that!!  She's already framed up and #InMyStudio.

A few weeks back I received another incredible parcel from my friend Camilla from Sweden, also for my birthday.  Camilla's parcels are always full of delightful treats.  She always spoils me.  I love our friendship!  And this parcel was no different.  She hand-picked a beautiful necklace for me as my birthday gift!  I love Camilla's heart and generous spirit!  I wear my necklace almost everyday!

I have experienced generosity like this for the past 18 months since I started my online journey, from napkins to paintings to gifts - I'm always so moved by this kind of kindness!  I'm always so surprised.  Maybe because life takes unexpected turns and never in a million years would I have expected to find community like I have online... not only the support and encouragement all the way, but generosity and such kindness!!


Who knew that I would find this beautiful gift along the way!!!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

7 Words 7 Sentences 7 Answers...

"Quiet... peace, tranquility. Turning down the volume" Khaled Hosseini, the Kite Runner

Half Painting / Half photo = Montage Homework 
It's a SelfPortrait I took and painted last year!


these icons and questions are From Misty's Class FullCircle

Hippy, happy, love laughing, sensitive and deep!

Saturdays.. Slow start, quiet, home, cappuccino's #InMyStudio

At home, with my most special people

or

Moonshine on Whiskey Creek, favorite holiday place

Better, happy, alittle sleepy, relaxed - it's Friday!

Beautiful, precious quiet day at home... Content!

Tired from hard week, but still grateful!

Quiet morning, home, coffee, studiotime, family togetherness

___________________________

Again, I totally loved this homework assignment!  I am loving the iPhotography homework to bits!
And I'm ever challenged with the written work!
I only did two photo/paintings edits but would definitely like to do more of these!

Misty's examples are exquisite!
Not only is it challenging and growing your drawing skills
but Misty is forever challenging the creative and making it fun and interesting at the same time!
Love it!

Friday, 7 March 2014

#InMyStudio - Big Sunflowr Angel Painting!

1.8m long and 1.2m wide - this is a third of the canvas
Slowly making some progress...
I know I might be a little obsessive - but I've put this big canvas up against the wall in my bedroom.
So when I lie in bed - I study it!  I go to sleep studying it and wake up studying it!
I know it sounds crazy - but each morning, I'm waking up knowing exactly how to move forward!

I was immediately annoyed with my flat perfect faces so I grabbed my neo's and I started scribbling in shadows, depth and totally changed the hair!  I don't know what it is about the neo's that give me the courage to do that - but they are heavenly!  Once I had a better idea of the direction it was going - I added my paints!
I am loving the way the hair is happening - wispy and dreamy!
I love it when that happens - little happy mistakes!
When I drew up this piece quickly, in charcoal - my ovals were a bit long but I just left it.
So these faces are a little longer than the way I usually work but I'm really enjoying them!
I am so loving these two girls and my other two I know I'm going to love too but my middle one is challenging me!  So I am hoping we will find our way forward!

I'm working to a kind of schedule...
This week, I was to finish at least two faces - check!
Yesterday, I was to block in my background - check!
And this weekend I will finish my other 3 faces - hopefully!
I am not trying to be prescriptive or steal the joy of painting this piece because it isn't doing that!
I'm loving each new stage - but having mini goals is helping me finish this ginormous piece!
If I don't I'm afraid I will be too overwhelmed to ever finish!
So small attainable goals, is definitely helping!

More to follow...

Monday, 3 March 2014

#InMyStudio... A beautiful creative weekend! Long overdue!

I saw the clinic sister this week because I've still been struggling with exhaustion!  She's finally got me on a Vit B jab schedule and put me on an extra iron rich supplements.  I have low iron absorption which has been a long struggle, something that I inherited from the women in our family!  But within 24 hours I started feeling better.  And by Friday I was already enjoying much more energy! Yay, happy dancing over here!  We had absolutely nothing planned this weekend, besides catching up with some chores and some decluttering... But other than that, we had planned a very quiet and slow weekend at home!                                                                                                                                            On Friday afternoon, I finally finished my Mandala Assignment Painting.  It felt good to finish something.  In fact, it was just good to be painting!  I knew from the beginning I wanted my mandala to include a girl!  I need to work more on doing fun mandalas, just in general.

I woke up to do my morning pages - I love gentle Saturdays!
Haven't had a quiet Saturday #InMyStudio for a while!
I have had this massive canvas #InMyStudio for a while and it's been gently calling me!
I got the idea while I was writing my morning pages,
to do our spontaneous Sunflowr painting assignment on this big canvas!
I loved the homework assignment so much, it really touched me!
This will the 3rd painting I've done on this canvas!
I think because it's so big I never finish it!  It's a massive undertaking!
I'm hoping because this painting is free and spontaneous it will go quickly and I might actually finish it!
Corks got these captures of me!
A perfect Saturday!  More #wip pics to follow!


 My beautiful Explosion DreamBox is finished and ready to fill with my dreams!
That used to be a foreign concept to me but seeing dreams come true - has been such a gift to me!
So in a nutshell - I'm huge on Dreams!  Maybe that's why I loved this assignment so much!
My girls love my box so much, they have begged me to make them each one!  Which, I will, of course do!

One of this weeks assignment was also to create and edit and small video clip with iPhotography.
I used Vintagio!  I combined this homework with my DreamBox, I think I might be a little addicted.
It's a precious way to tell stories this way!  See below!

video

I found some LED lights when I was decluttering and now my lantern is all lit up!
I just love this light catching my little sculpture!!