Saturday, 30 August 2014

#InMyStudio - Journeying, scraping back and finding a new face...

I was just finding her face so hard and stylized and her eyes a little high which was giving her such a masculine face and to me, my lines were just too hard.  Perhaps I was painting so tightly because I have been so tightly wound and rather stressed.
My schedule and the girls schedule has been off the charts and this week, every single night was spent out or we had something on for various reasons... just really stretching!
So when the pressures of this week were behind me and come Friday night - I completely covered her with gesso and I scraped it back until I had a light shadow of her as my under drawing and I started to find a new face... just seeing the difference in these two paintings does reveal much about where I was at and where I am now.
Wow - she was already softer and more beautiful.

Seeing it so tangibly in my painting has shocked me a little.

I left her here last night - already feeling much happier with where she was heading.
She feels so sweet to me!

I spent the most of the day today with my eldest daughter at a fundraiser event for abandoned children and we got to hear amazing inspiring stories of different peoples lives and how they are making a difference.  Incredible!  It certainly did force us to slow down a bit and just listen and take it all in!  So needed.

I only played a little bit tonight... I carried on with the stabilo and gesso but eventually I reached for my colors... just lightly.  I just love her sweetness and innocence.
What a change from that hard face to this gentle feminine gal.
I really learnt a lot this week about how to incorporate pencil into my paintings.  It kind of just added a depth to the shading, the undertones and overtones.
I so enjoyed it!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

#InMyStudio - well actually in bed...

With my days merging into each other... I just felt a bit desperate to do something quick, easy, loose and fun!  No draw ups I just started with a smudge...

I got home late last night so I crept into bed with my stabilo-all-marks pencil and gesso and just started playing.  I'm learning more and more about using this incredible little pencil!  This has been part of my homework on various courses... but for some or other reason I have never done it.  I'm kind of wondering why because it's so lovely and the stabilo is great to use for tonal studies.  I plan to play some more with this technique this week... I am not finished with this bigger piece - her lines are hard and I've been doing work to soften my lines and make my paintings less stylized.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Crazy beautiful week... and we have another one coming....

Its been a crazy week... and it felt emotionally charged. Corks had her school dance this weekend and we still had much to do... putting up hems, shoes, lifts etc.  It came together beautiful and she looked incredible.  But what an affair... I have done it two years in a row now and I have Kitty's coming up at the end of the year - I might need a Valium.  I am not sure how to be a mom to teenager girls but I'm learning as I go... and fast.  I listen to parenting books while I'm driving, working and painting - I need all the help I can get.  Sometimes I get it completely wrong and sometimes I get it completely right... these are challenging times we are currently living in.  I can hear you saying - every generation's mother of teens say the same thing... but I do feel ours is seriously more compounded because of the information age and social media that has hit hard and fast.  And it has seriously changed the game.  And although there are now books on the subject - it's mostly new materials and we are still discovering the affects of how this has changed the game.  Raising beautiful girls (from the inside out) in this era with values, morals and dignity... not easy.  Helping them choose people in their lives with the same values - equally as challenging.  So grateful for this slow quiet Sunday morning today... I need it.

I thought I finished this piece a week or so ago but she just didn't feel right and I felt I had gone backwards... back to playing it safe (maybe still a default setting).  But she's been calling me back all week to go a little deeper together... and I'm so glad I have.... I've changed her completely.  I'm not ready for her to be over and hope to spend much more time with her - she feels special to me and I don't want to be flippant with this piece.

I have been stealing gaps on this piece all week - my workload was insane so stealing any studio time has been a bonus... I had a gap one afternoon and I just  got to play a bit.  They are of course no where near done and I'm enjoying going deeper in certain areas.  I can't seem to get a clear shot of the picture because of the size of this piece and I know no picture so far does it justice... but hopefully one will come.
I am, on the side lines doing a study on hands because I want those hands to really work.
I know this picture doesn't capture it but this piece feels so powerful in real life.  Sometimes I'm finding myself just standing in front of it and staring at it.... maybe it's because their chests are so big - I love that - it feels symbolic of womanhood or maybe it's motherhood.  Big chests, big capacity and big hearts.  So far just loving the journey.

I love that we have destiny over this... I am hoping to instill this in my girls!
That by their choices, behavior and attitude they choose their beauty from the inside out - because to me actions trump words every time.

I couldn't sleep Friday night so I got to creative play with a difference.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

#InMyStudio - When a painting is calling you...

When all you want to do all day is work on this - instead life gets in the way and that's tough!  Can't wait to get home... They have been calling me all day.
I still have so much to do.  But I'm excited to venture with them.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

#InMyStudio... I had a lovely creative weekend.

I didn't expect to have studio time this weekend - every moment I get these days... I'm grateful for it.  I'm trying different things and playing a lot and it's just been so lovely!

Reworked this piece

Gessoed an old canvas and I was too impatient to wait for it to dry - so I started working the paint into it wet - It was so so lovely and beautifully messy and I will def do that again!
Happy findings...

Beautiful tiny little faces... no bigger than coins - such a beautiful exercise
Can't wait to finish this piece... well at least to see where they take me... 

Another rescued canvas that got a coat of gesso.
Just started playing on this one a bit - it's a big canvas and it's up in my hallway.
I'm not done and I still have much to do... 

Loved this creative weekend!

Weekend Bliss - Maximizing the Beautiful weather

The seeds of our creativity require enough solitude and space to grow unhindered - Julia Cameron

Today was utterly perfect - weather wise...  Everything wise.  We had a beautiful slow brekkie, good coffee and cellphone free morning.  And then headed to the forest for a picnic and a ride.  While my beautiful peeps were riding, I had a little walk to the faerie garden and then I went to sit in the beautiful forest gardens to write and have a cup of coffee... finding beautiful solitude.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

#InMyStudio - EvolutionOfATexturedBackground...

I first started in landscape but changed to portrait.

Starting to find her...

 I'm already loving her...

#InMyStudio - time in the seat...

This is a new piece I'm working on and I'm totally in love with it already.  I wanted to work on my textured backgrounds today.  I have only done one from FullCircleWorkshop and I loved the result...  Lately I've been working on some offcuts of old paintings and working on an existing background is rather pleasing.  I want to experiment with this more.  I had an idea about the flowers from my last painting (I used that lacy flowr in the dreamcatcher) and I knew I wanted to use it again on a dress and so far - I'm loving where this is going.  Doing a painting from the background forward... feels less pressurised and I have to say a rather enjoyable process.

I've been slowly collecting hand carved Indian wooden stamps and I can't tell you how stoked I am to find one this size... happy dance going on over here.  I plan to take a little train trip down the coast to go get some more... I found a shop that has a whole bunch... can't wait to play with my stamps!

I've been too busy and exhausted to do anything this past week and this piece had stumped me.   It's a big canvas and I wasn't enjoying where it was going.  I tend to paint more seriously and the piece just felt too whimsical for me... so I kept going back to change it.   I didn't do anything on Friday and the whole of Saturday until late - and then I started pulling back, covering and using lots of gesso... (thank goodness for my beloved gesso) but I feel I'm finally happier with her.  I loved her face and still do.  She feels a bit old fashioned.  But for now... I'm happy to be moving on.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Life in General... rather hectic....

It's August and all I can say is it feels like November.  My toughest month of the year... I'm exhausted and I can't afford to be this tired yet.  I still have so much to get through and to do before November.  My weeks are merging into each other and every time I take note of the date - 10 days have past... literally.  This week, I have one month to go until I leave for Italy.  Because our schedules are so hectic we are forcing quiet moments and are stealing moments to connect... early morning coffee dates and no tv 
but quiet evenings together around the table!

I turned around today and spotted my angels sitting together like this... my heart almost burst.  I love it when they are loving each other spontaneously.  They seem to be getting closer with age.  The other shift I'm seeing is that they seem to be finding ways to connect regardless of us.  Today Corks was tutoring Kitty with her Maths - hmmm let me think about that... YESSSSS please and thank you!  Other ways they are connecting at the moment is on their bikes.  Digz has been taking them out on Sundays and it's their father daughter time... and they are raving!  Corks is riding my bike and Kitty got her bike about two weeks ago and they are having a ball in the forest!  So stoked about this new development!!!  I love that we all exercise together!  To me it's a form of playing together.  A family that raves together - stays together.

Friday, 8 August 2014

A beautiful ArtWalkAbout - through the beautiful city streets

Every 1st Thursday of the month - CapeTown has a ArtWalkAbout.
All the Galleries stay open late and you can wander through the beautiful city at night admiring local talent and can meet some of the artists too.  Some galleries offer wine and snacks too.  It's rather special.  There are too many to see in one night but it might be a wonderful thing to do once a month for the next while... I'm so in.

We discovered this incredible wall art and it was definitely love at first sight.
I love the neutral tones and obviously the subject matter too... but the sheer size of this piece - well I just hope that one day I can paint something this big and this beautiful.
It was such a highlight of my night... even though on the way up to the painting I took quite a bad fall and pulled a little muscle in my stomach, bruised my hip and hurt my hand.
I'm pretty stiff and tight today - but all I can say is that it was worth it!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

#InMyStudio... Including hands with creative play

"Draw Close to me - I want to tell you the stories of my heart"

So I had some bits of off-cuts from an old painting background lying around #InMyStudio
so when I was tidying up this afternoon - I decided to just mess about on them with my StabiloAllMarks.
I love that pencil.

I first started with this little one below - I stuck to the monochromatic idea, just using the StabiloPencil and TitaniumWhite.  It was mainly a fun exercise to keep it loose and mainly use what paint markings were already on the off-cuts... like the red hints and the patterns in the hair and add to that.  As you can see on the one above... the markings and lines in their dresses is just the background I left showing through!

Another objective of this fun play was including hands.  If you look at all my paintings or drawings, in the past few weeks... I'm trying to include this aspect.  They aren't perfect or realistic and they are mostly indications - but they are emotive... And I'm absolutely loving that!