Tuesday, 31 March 2015

#InMyStudio - #1FaceaDay - March is a WRAP!

#90 of 365 Faces for March
Yay I made it... skidding through late last night.
Deadline story of my life!
But with one massive grin on my face.

I can't tell you how much I'm loving this project.
It feels like it has broken something inside of me!  Maybe helping me find my own voice...
in each new piece, each new face... whatever it is, it definitely has helped me find my way.
Especially after such a long slump.

March has been an epic month Art productivity wise.
Life wise.  Work wise but all n all - it's good!

Starting April with a clear easel and up to day with my #1FaceaDay = bliss!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Weekend news...

It was such a treat to meet up with Mel, my once regular running buddy.
It was long overdue.

Mel has kept running through my almost 2 year break.
I made the decision a while back to hang up my shoes.
However, I do tend to run a bit in the holidays when I have more time...
but let's hope I'm getting my running mojo back and maybe, just maybe I may stick it out.  Trail definitely helps.  So grateful for my runs and training last week.

New canvas, plaster bandages and more Italian paints
Now that I'm finishing pieces, I'm running out of big canvas'
So it was good to get some spoils... I can't wait to play with my plaster bandages.
To make textured sheets to paint on.  Also to sculpture with it. 
Took me ages to find plaster bandages.

While Kitty and I were picking up art supplies - Corks and Digz were picking up Corks new mountain bike.  Lucky lucky girl!
She's having the time of her life at the moment with her riding and running.
I love that my girls are sporty!
Dig took the girls out riding this weekend.   I totally love their #FatherDaughtMoments.
After their morning ride - we had some special friends over for a late Sunday lunch!
We don't entertain that much but we really had such a beautiful time.  So grateful!

A little #evolutionofapainting or rather a icon.

I started this piece when I got back from Italy, literally 6 months ago now.
It was part of our icon homework.
I started with great gusto and I kind of loved it where it was and got a bit of stage fright.
I was nervous I would ruin it.   So she got buried under a pile of unfinished pieces.
I continued to do 2 other Madonnas around the same time.
(The Secret Keeper and The Wisdom Seeker)
Who are currently living together...

So in the spirit of finishing pieces... this sweet piece finally got finished.
And she was my last unfinished piece... you know what this means, right!
I'm finally free to move forward... And I have to say - I am thrilled and excited.
(Hence all the new art supplies)
"Extending an Olive Branch" - 18"x24"
I absolutely love where she ended... as you can see from my original startings of this piece...
red wasn't an option but I love the red here - it really was such a joy to do.
Sometimes, I get so cross at myself that I allow fear to steal from me.
Yet I do also understand that timing is everything.
And I do also believe everything happens when the heart and mind is ready.

She's off to join and live with her two other sisters... 
her first sister held Wisdom, her second sister held Secrets and as for this sweet girl
- she holds Forgiveness.

I love that they will be reunited.

Once again, thank you!  I am so grateful that these gentle souls are with you!
It means so much to me.

Putting together special packages - literally makes my heart sing.
I am so grateful and so exceptionally happy!

All I can say is... thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Some of my March #1FaceADay pieces - have I told you how much I'm loving this project.
Well I'm really loving it and trying different, crazy, fun things.
It's kept me coming back for more.  And it's kept me present.
So we are almost through our 3rd month and that's pretty impressive.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Happy Dancing #InMyStudio tonight...

Little Women in the FlowrBeds - 60"x36" Stretched Canvas
 We are finally finished and she's up in my little online shop.
I'm beyond excited.  Wow - what an incredible journey!
I finished 3 BIG pieces today.
I've been waking up early before work and going to bed late to do those finishing details,
which can take as much commitment as the whole piece itself.
But it's been so worth it!!!

"And I will embrace you with my whole heart" on  40"x30" Stretched Canvas
Those beads were my final step and wow - what a job.
But I do love them so!!!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Remembering Italy...

Sooo I've been taking a slow meander through my memories of my trip to Italy last September and October.

I have taken my time to blog about it and in hindsight I am so pleased I did.  Recapping after almost 6 months has been truly wonderful and it also allowed time to pass and really see the impact Italy had on me this time around.

All I can say is I'm totally blown away realising how profound this time has been on me since.

And how grateful I am for the memories, the treasures I came home with and the photos...

So blown away.

Please feel free to meander down my memory lane too.

FlowrsinItaly - Take 2 2014

How awesome is the picture with the clock tower in the background.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

#InMyStudio... #1FaceaDay continues...

 Painting on some of my final plaster sheets.
I'm in love with these sheets... and these colors...

#InMyStudio - My Chest will always have room for you, sweet one

Well I'm still loving playing with these colors... ahhhh and this theme... I think it's one of the dearest themes to me.

My other #motherlove piece was so loved and so was this one and that makes me so happy.  I think as mothers, this subject is close to all of our hearts.

The tender warm embrace we have for our babies, especially our girls.

No matter how old they are, I know I will always have room for them on my chest.

I created this piece as a gift. I'm thrilled to say, she's loved and she's going home this week.

Friday, 20 March 2015

A week in the life of....

our piece of heaven on this earth!
This week we took some very positive steps to book time away... for the year.
Exceptionally long overdue.  We are into the 3rd year of no family holidays.   And we are feeling the strain of that.  So we booked some winter time and our Christmas holiday.  And knowing we have these moments to look forward to, has literally made my heart leap right out of my chest.  We booked in our usual special place because to us it's where we switch off, deeply connect and always make the most precious, beautiful memories together.

To me, it's one of the most creatively visually beautiful places on earth to restore your soul...
and without fail, each time it has.  When we go in winter now... it will rain most of the time and I plan much time wrapped up outside there and around the fireplace.... reading, chatting and resting.

It will also be our last Christmas holidays with Corks still in school... 
Right - that's pretty darn scary to me today.
Sending paintings home = happiness

Yep - life with a Teen!
We have a family group chat called the "The Total Fruit Cakes" and our family picture is The Simpsons... need I say more.
This convo went down this week when I found Corks dirty bowl on the sink.  I love that we have these crazy chats through the day.
I love my Total Fruit Cakes to bits.
Are we the only family that's this weird?
{ps... I didn't really put it under her pillow - but she got the message!}

how cute would this look framed up

It's my last plaster sheet from Beautiful Lorraine - I'm going to have to make more.
I'm so grateful for her little book that she handmade for us in Italy and that I've managed to fill mine with my #1FaceaDay images.  I was thinking about Italy and our time with beautiful people a lot this week and how our lives have all touched each other, some deeper than others... but I'm #SoGrateful for the friendships I found there and have continued.  It's been such a blessing to me.  It's a reminder to me that nothing happens by chance and nothing is for nothing.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

#InMyStudio.... my seriously happy place...

Some days I find it harder than others.... And I've really struggled this week.... 
The pull to stay right here.  In my happy place.  All day - is so HUGE some days.

I need more time here.  Because I need to learn more, practice more and get better and maybe,
just maybe... oneday... just maybe... I'll get to stay!

#InMyStudio... tiny tiny tiny..

Just so you can see how tiny it is...

I had 30 minutes before work the other morning and I was keen to regroup after the morning and school rush and I was feeling a little sad and pensive... I have much on my mind.  Art really does settle my heart.  It's my best way to start my day... with a brush in my hand!   I just wish I got to stay... all day, in my happy place.

I painted so big this weekend that I just wanted to bring it back in because painting small definitely helps me be more expressive and it's like it reminds my mind how to do it... I seem to loose the ability the bigger I go.  So I did this little clothing tag quickly and I just lay color after color next to each other - absolutely no blending.  It was wonderful.  It was the smallest I had ever painted.
I shared it on FB before I went to work...

My friend Mark, from the UK suggest that I try go even smaller and paint on a postage stamp.
And myself, Mark and Lyn Tivenan got into a chat on FB about doing it.
I thought about it all day long - so when I got home, I dug out my stamp collection and I tried it.
I wanted to see if it was possible.  Oh my word - it WAS!
Omgoodness - it made me laugh out loud!  I think I might have shocked myself!
And it was delightfully fun!!   I had to use my glasses (don't laugh).

I had already prepped a TeaBag.
You can see I did all these on the same day!

Before bed... I couldn't resist doing another little stamp!
So lovely to play this way!
I think I might have started something!
look at all these awesome mini canvas'

Sunday, 15 March 2015

#InMyStudio - The Queens of Hearts...

I am not sure if you remember the piece I was working on in November.
It was a commission piece.  With the 3 Angels.

I don't often do commission work because it's intense pressure.  I thought after 2 years of not doing it, I would finally be ready, but I am still not sure one is ever really ready.  To try and fabricate a piece that will evoke the emotion that that person is looking for based on a previous piece of work you did, is tough going.  Especially for intuitive work.  Also the way I paint, I need to feel connected to a piece because that's where the emotion comes from.  And that, I can't fabricate.  It definitely was an interesting journey for me.  One I'm grateful to have taken... so no regrets.

I got my initial layers down at the end of November and I really struggled to get the lady on the right's face, right from the get go.  She literally gave me stage fright.  I changed the crowns from this picture but we avoided each other for the next 3 months.  In fact, when I looked back and I hadn't finished a full painting since this piece landed on my easel.  All I could manage to do, is show up for TeaBagGirls and #1FaceaDay. I messed myself up good and proper.  I finished my first piece again now at the end of February.   Returning ultimately helped me finish this piece.   But that's 3 whole months...

After solid chunks of time this weekend, I was finally ready to call this finished and I was finally in love and connected with this piece.  Unfortunately, she was no where close to the original commissioned piece.  That was my lesson in this journey that I can't fake it or fabricate it.  One lesson I won't forget in a hurry.  And I'm so grateful for that.

I learnt that finishing a commitment is everything.
Even though it took it all out of me and I had to find incredible courage to do so.
But now that I'm finished - I feel such freedom.  I finished 3 pieces this weekend.  I also learnt that I don't like to do commissions - they seem to steal my joy of painting.  The pressure of delivery vs painting organically totally stole my joy!  It's not how I want to work at all, right?

Maybe, but all said I done - I do know that it was still so good for me...  To push myself through the fear, my comfort zones and out of my safe places and ultimately leads to growth and that is always more important to me, than my comfort.  I really had to dig deep through this piece that didn't come naturally, I had to work and rework it to a place that I felt that I could feel good about it.  Even though I veered off path (another lesson) - I learnt that I can't give/sell something to someone that I'm not feeling good about or totally proud of, I know that would have been more damaging for me.

And to me, the joy IS painting not the sale - I never what to loose sight of that.

SO all that being said... I have one commission left but that's next weeks journey.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

My art books collection is growing...

My new art book arrived this week and I'm so stoked.  It's so beautiful.  It's been in my wishlist for ages and when Misty recommended it the other day on Art Entwined - I knew it was time.  It's by Stephanie Lee and Judy Wise - two incredible artists.  I highly recommend and I can't wait to start playing.

I am itching to play with clay.... I just need to block in some time.

Eeck I can't wait.

I'll keep you posted as I go...

Friday, 13 March 2015

I finished "Come stay with me, kind little darling and I will keep you safe..."

I wasn't sure how I was going to finish this piece...

I wasn't happy with the light background, so I did a dark one and I wasn't happy with that either... but I seem to have fallen in love with color again.  And I'm sooooo loving playing with it.  And I got to play this morning and I totally got lost in the process and I love where she's ended.

When I first shared this piece when the talks of culling the Deer in Pittsburg first started - someone had asked to buy this piece.  I get really anxious when people ask to buy pieces before I'm finished them because I feel the pressure and I totally give myself stage fright.   I know it's just me and me being silly - but I can't help it.  But part of my journey is the follow through too even when it takes all my courage.

It's way easier selling finished pieces... 
And generally it's a rule I stick to, so the pressure of delivery or performance doesn't steal my joy of painting, especially my intuitive work.  So I'm feeling pretty thrilled that the painting ended well... 

Sadly not so well for the deer, I heard this week that the culling has begun and I'm heartbroken.  I thought the outcry of the people would be enough.  I understand culling - so I'm not being naive, but it's the way they are to kill these beautiful gentle beings that is so insane and I don't fully understand how it can be allowed, in this day and age.   Some of these deers are pregnant and when they are dead their bodies will be used as landfill.  Sometimes the human race breaks my heart.  And this story really has...

"I will always hold you close, my dear one" - goes home!

"I will always hold you close, my dear one"
This tender painting... I did is part of my #1FaceaDay challenge. 
You know how close this theme is too my heart!  The beauty of a Mother's Love.

I haven't shared my work on Facebook for March - not for a specific reason.
  I think I'm just enjoying Instagram so much more at the moment that sometimes I forget about Facebook and other media's.  But I shared this one last night before I went to bed.
I woke to such sweet messages to this piece and two offers to buy it.
That totally made my Friday!  And I love Fridays!
Thank you!

This piece is going to a beautiful lady.
I met her in our virtual classroom, in Studying under the Masters 1,
and I was privileged to hear her story and be touched by it.
The best part of selling this piece to her, is her own personal story and the reason for buying this specific piece.  Nothing gives me greater joy than the reason why a person chooses one of my pieces... esp. because it's touched something deep inside of them.

That's enough to keep me painting, right there.

I haven't sold a piece since Christmas.
I am not bound by my sales and I don't paint to sell.
I paint for the love and joy of it and my journey through each piece.
Each time I get lucky enough to sell a piece - I'm literally blown away.
And this morning this was no exception.
Thank you!!!

Monday, 9 March 2015

#InMyStudio... #1FaceaDay

For the first time in ages - I am running current with #1FaceaDay... sometimes life is such that I miss days #InMyStudio and then I'm constantly play catch up.  It's not nice always being on the rear foot and feeling the pressure of being behind.

Today finally allowed me to start ArtEntwined too.  Before I ran out the door today, I grabbed my new note book that Gilly gave me and while I was waiting for Corks... I got to start with my Elements of Design and Principals of Art.  It's art theory and I'm already learning and enjoying!

I'm going to keep my notebook with me wherever I go.  I'm jotting down the homework lists and will work through them as I go... part of that is allowing myself to see the homework and really mull over it.  Especially the written work... poems and assignments.  It's like they have to take root in my mind first.   For the first time in ages I'm feeling really excited about learning and getting through new material.  Can't wait to dig in and deeper... 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

#InMyStudio - MotherDaughterLove

Sooo I am not sure if you remember this piece.  I did it last year sometime, mainly in stabilo and gesso and it was pretty special to me at the time and it's been up in my room because it totally represented me with my girls... #MotherDaughterLove.

I've been looking at it for sometime and I knew I wanted to rework it... add some color.  And I started my time #InMyStudio this weekend with this piece.  I find it's a great way for me to warm up before I start new projects... especially if I am feeling a tad bit overwhelmed.  It's a perfect place to start because the canvas isn't blank and it's like working with an under painting and that is always less intimidating...

Ahhh man that was so lovely to do... fun!
That totally made my day... a great way to start my studio time.
This piece is actually quite small and those faces are tiny and at times it was down to a tiny brush and virtually putting down dots of color... wonderful tiny detail work.

I'm still so attached to this piece... and I just love the sweet tenderness between them.
It's back up in my room.

I think I am so attached to this piece because it's often the position I find myself in... always flanked by my two beautiful daughters - it's such a privilege to have them walk along side me daily, wherever I go... always by my side usually still holding my hands or arms wrapped around me.  It's something I value and adore.
I pray this lingers longer in my life!

My week in bed, creativity and my week in color pics...

So on Monday, after a horrible weekend in and out of bed with fever - I went to see the doctor and got some antibiotics.  I'm so glad I did...  my ears, nose and throat were an issue and my lungs were rattling and in a nutshell I was feeling bleak.  I had Monday off - tried to go to work on Tuesday and that set me back and I spent Wednesday back in bed.  All in all it was 2 weeks of bleakness and I am not a fan of bleakness or being man down.  But that being said - I was so grateful for the bed time.  All in all - I didn't have much capacity for StudioTime so I did one or two things here and there.  And generally played catch up this weekend.

I think I could get addicted to continuous line drawing.
Funny enough Corks is doing this as her art theme together with portraiture, for this last part of this term.  So we are working through some of her assignments at the same time.  I said I would try and do whatever assignments she gets.  And funny enough that is totally in line with Misty's Art Entwined - week 1 - Elements of Design - LINE.
I have added this to one on the right to my #1FaceaDay... the one on the left became this graphite drawing with gesso below.

Corks hasn't really seen continuous line drawings and I have some friends on IG that do it so we sat last night working through the concept and doing some exercises and research together.  I love that we have this.

Some of my pieces from this week for #1FaceaDay

I drew this up last year on FullCircleWorkshop - Icon Homework
It was nice to play a little with this piece - just a sweet little piece.
I found beautiful new paint colors the other day from The Italian Art Shop and we have been playing non-stop together.

How awesome are these two...
First CapeTownCycleTour for Corks - FatherDaughterMoments!
Just felt so sad for her that the distance was cut short (47kms instead of 109kms) because of all the fire damage along the route - she was good for the distance.  But such is life and she embraced it!  She was the 15th Junior Woman (Age 16-23years) home overall.  That's pretty impressive considering the crowds and her lousy start group.
I'm seriously so proud of this young gal!  She's awesome!
I kind of like her!  A lot!

While the other two were at the Cycle Expo and race - my Kitty Girl and I stole moments together all weekend.  Relaxing, feet up and catching sun rays... also studying and lots of homework while I worked #InMyStudio too.
Beautiful gentle recovery weekend!  #SoGrateful