Category Archives: painting

In a Vase on Monday: Altered Art

In a Vase on Monday, altered art, pink dandelions, figs

In my vase today is a posy of Pink Dandelions, thank you so much for the seeds Cathy, they are such gems! And twigs of snowberry bush, well that’s what I called it as a child, don’t know its proper name.

These were picked to accompany a card and three figs from my fig tree, for a dear friend, for her birthday. I also gave her a book, ‘Waterlog’ by Roger Deakin, which I forgot to take a photo of. She loves swimming, in fact she was a swimming teacher and taught all my children to swim.

She is an artist and I absolutely love her sketches and paintings, but she often struggles to like them herself. She tore up one of her paint sketches and gave me a piece folded over into a card for my birthday in November, I tore it on the fold line and did some stitching to make a card for her.

Then I took some of the paper I coloured with Koh-i-Noor, watercolours,

looking for colours that would make a good background

choosing background

I chose this one

Koi - nor inks

staining papaer with inks

I was a bit apprehensive to see what J’s reaction would be to what I did to her painting

altered art

It took her a little while to realise it was one of her painitngs. I think she liked it.

Do you have any blooms to pop in a Vase this Monday?

Joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

Thoughtful Thursday

The Great Wave

The Great Wave by Hokusai

reversed …..

the wave reversedThe Japanese read things from right to left so this is how they would ‘read’ the print of The Wave, by Hokusai.

The focus is more about the boats heading into the wave.

(this is a photo I took of the picture on my computer screen, then flipped it).

For years I looked at The Wave and hardly noticed the boats and the people in them.

Now I see the picture differently

The Great Wave

I wonder how this affects our cultural differences in many and various subtle ways.

39

Sometimes you don’t know what you are doing or why you are doing it until later….

In memory of 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

lift the flap of old blanket and there hidden beneath is the number 39

in memory of the 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

I was on an Art Course last week and on Wednesday I created this piece – today, as I realised its connections and significance, I added the number 39, painted on with my finger, hidden beneath the piece of old blanket.

The process:

Our tutor, Helen Turner, did a demonstration using this red acrylic paint. It is not a colour I usually use, so to push myself out of my comfort zone I used the paint in various experiments.

At the end of the day whilst clearing up I cleaned my brush by wiping it backwards and forwards across a piece of A2 cartridge paper

I wasn’t sure how to use the piece of canvas, so I placed it on the paper whilst clearing up and left it there overnight. It had the look of a blood-soaked piece of cloth.

The next day, I put these three elements together. The weave of the blanket going with the criss-cross of the paint on the paper. The red blanket stitch, chiming with the colour of the paint. (The blanket is one that I had collected to send to Syrian refugees a few years ago – it was so old and threadbare, I had kept it back, wondering if I could use it in some creative way.)

I did not make the connection until today, but that morning at 1am, 39 dead migrants were found in a container in Purfleet, Essex, 50 miles away from where I was staying. The container was being driven by a red and white truck.

The aesthetic we were trying to embrace is Wabi Sabi, an Eastern concept, the migrants, so we have heard, were either from China or Vietnam.

Today I was going through the artwork I had done on my course and suddenly made the connection – I added the number 39.

It is now a piece in memory of those particular 39 migrants and all the other thousands who have died fleeing from war and poverty, searching for a better life.

Wordless Wednesday: Wabi Sabi

wabi sabi, art course

wabi sabi art course

wabi sabi art course with Helen Turner

charcoal, wabi sabi, art course

On a fabulous art course with Helen Turner this week.

Art Exhibition

I am so proud of my sister and niece who are having an exhibition of their art this weekend, ably assisted by my brother-in-law who kept everyone well supplied tea and cakes!

paintings

My sister Caroline,  paints absolutely amazingly beautiful and detailed watercolours of animals and mixed media seascapes AND she is very skilled at making silver jewellery

To see her work in better detail have a look at her Instagram Pagepaintings

watercolours

And meet Lara, my multi-talented niece and her Sealife paintings

selife by Lara

All acrylic on canvas – all so vibrant and full of colour and energy. Lara is a hard-working Vet and paints on her days off. Go visit her Instagram Page to see all her wonderful creatures.paintings

Lots of lovely Red Dots, lots of visitors, and it was just so good to see all the paintings displayed so well together.

They were exhibiting with another silver smith and a fabulous portrait artist, Bernie Lusher who had painted Lara’s portraitpainting

Wow – so much talent in that room!

Well done everybody – so many months of concentration, so many years of learning and practice, so many hours of skilled artistry. Here’s to a successful weekend with lots of sales and spin-offs.

Painting a Cow

Miss E and I were watching a TV programme called ‘Home is where the Art is‘, which had 3 artists pitching to a potential buyer for a commissioned work of art. I asked her, “If you were to commission a piece of art, what would it be?” To my surprise she said, “a painitng of a cow”. Not what I was expecting from an 11 year old.

She had a birthday coming up so ………. off I went trawling the web to see if I could find some inspiration. Hey presto! Kath Dunne on Instagram was the answer. Her work is full of life and colour.

I saved this image to my computer

Kath Dunne

Isn’t it fabulous!!! Do go and have a look at Kath’s other work. She is an Australian artist and you can see her work on her website: kathdunneartworks.com

I wondered if I could paint a similar picture for Miss E’s birthday present.

I tried it out in an altered book to see if I thought I could capture something acceptable

altered book

Hmm, yes, I thought I could, so I started to paint with acrylics on canvas, sketching out the basic shape with thin white paint that I could rub off with a damp cloth til I got the shapes I wanted.first sketch for cow painting

With hindsight, it would have been better to block in the background of the shape of the cow first, in light and dark tones, before adding splashes of colour.

sketch

At this point I knew it was time to put the eye in – yikes – scary – the eye and the expression in the eye can make or break a painting. I needed to have a practice painting to work on alongside this one

practice painting

Gosh I did find it all a bit stressful!

Back to collage and sploshing paint around in an abstract way for a bit of relaxation, for a while – then onwards ……

cows

And here it is, below, the finished painting – I wish I could have captured the look on Miss E’s face when I gave it to her – she was absolutely surprised and thrilled. She said it looks like Clover, her current show calf – so that is the name of the painting: Clover.

cow painting

I contacted Kath Dunne to ask her permission to share my painting with a link to her website and she said ‘go for it’! Creativity and connection across continents – love it!

I’m looking into making a few prints of Clover, let me know if you are interested.

Scrap Happy

Joining Kate at Talesfromchiconia for her Scrap Happy gathering on the 15th of every month.

A friend’s birthday was approaching and I knew she would appreciate the recyle/reuse ethos behind this meme, so I went to my vast collection of bits of crochet I have made as experiments with either pattern or colour. crochet experiments

I have a similar collection of art experiments with acrylic paint on paper, so I chose one of these for the basis of the card

Folding the card into 3, I tried out a couple of ideas

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I decided to use the flower which is the centre of the Amanzi block, I lined up all the ends and marked the positions of the holes I wanted to make in the card

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sitting it atop a ball of yarn to pierce the needle through

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Then I sewed the threads through and tied them at the back

Ta dah!bday card

The present was some handmade soap I had bought in St Davids, Pembrokeshire, from the force of nature that is Julia Horton-Mansfield who owns the Really Wild Soap Company.DSC_0491

I first met Julia on one of her guided wild food foraging walks

The soaps and card were wrapped up in a page from an old magazine

present

Pop along over to Kate’s to find others who can inspire you to usefully use up bits and pieces of this and that.

Happy Scrapping

Whimsical Collage: 2

Back in November I went to a fabulous 4 day Mixed Media Collage Workshop led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach. See my first blog post about it here.

It was such fun getting messy and creating colourful papers in readiness for our first 6 collages. We used pages from old books we had been supplied with – books that would otherwise have gone to landfill. The print adds a layer of texture and interest.mixed media collage workshop

And the books themselves make perfect little sketchbooks to carry around for those odd doodling momentscreating collage papers

Julie and Nathalie have a great way of introducing the theory of colour and composition in fun bite-sized exercises. Julie BalzerIn this one we were mixing tones of one colour using black and whitemixing tones, acrylic paints

no paint was wasted, we cleaned our brushes on more paperusing old maps for collage

collage paperand then experimented with stamps, building up layers of marks, pattern and colour – my memory is a of a frenzy of fun and activity as we all dashed off all these wonderfully inspiring pieces without really thinking

stamping, acrylic

In this way we gradually built up supplies and confidence, moving towards creating pieces we were pleased with.six 6 x 6 collages, mixed media

The background of this one is the newspaper I was using to protect the cloth beneath. I think at this stage it reminds me of textiles …. still more to do in those blue squares, but I’m not sure what yet……

newspaper as art paper

I wondered about adding a little knot of silk remnant

mixed media, sari silk

and maybe some stitching …… hmmm …. not there yet.

Julie’s first Blog post about the workshop  explains the format of Day One and Two.

There is a picture of me (the 8th one in) in pink Tshirt, working away, ( and a couple more later on) plus loads of pictures of fellow students and their work. This blog post alone is inspiring enough to keep me busy for weeks as I remember all I learnt and discovered.

And then we were ready to work towards some finished pieces.

Next up –  working in a series: six collages on 6″ x 6″ card

collage

Julie’s second Blog Post: Whimisical Collage in the UK Part Two shows lots of these from the group. You might be able to spot mine in amongst them.

mixed media

The best part – building the layers with stamps and oil pastel lines and scribbles

The next part is wondering if they are finished or not

mixed media collage

The 4 on the left have a story attached to them, but that is for another day ……

Joining in with Kate and her Scrap Happy January band of happy scrappers.

 

 

 

Whimsical Collage Workshop: 1

At the beginning of November, on my way up to Yorkshire, I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous 3 day workshop: ‘Mixed Media, Whimsical Collage Circus’ organised by Art Workshops and led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach.

It was a residential workshop held in the Holiday Inn in Coventry and there were about 36 attendees.

We were 6 to a table. Look at the contents of the goody bag that greeted usworkshop goody bag

The organisation was superb, and Nathalie and Julie are excellent tutors.

They would first do a demodemo in art workshop

 

Then we would go back to our tables with a simple set of instructions and create.

One of the first exercises was mark-making

mark making, art workshop

No paint was to be wasted – to clean our brushes we used up any excess paint on newspaper and old book pages.

See the wonderful creative flurry on our tableart workshop, mark making

The best thing was that we were only given about 5 – 10 minutes to do each exercise – no time to think, just paint – it freed me up so much.

At this stage we were creating papers we would later be using in collage.

creating papers to use in collage

Gosh it was fun!

Julie and Nathalie both create a range of foam stamps that were there for us to excperiment withfoam stamps

We could also buy packs of them, foam stampsbut by the time I had decided which ones I would like, they had been snapped up!

There was an amazing array of art supplies in the ‘shop’ and lots of shopping going on!shop

It is hard to know which ones to buy before using them – this one of Nathalie’s turned out to be one of my favourites. She had made a book with each of her Foamies stamped as a simple repeating pattern

Nathalie Kalbach stamp

The fun comes when you use the stamps over other layers of paint. Here’s what happened when I started to play with it

mixed media

The trouble is I like it too much to tear it up for collage. You know that feeling I’m sure.

We did some fun exercises and had lots of laughs – at the end of the three days we all had 12, 6″x6″ collages to take home.

I will tell more in a future post, but in the meantime, Julie created a Vlog about her whirlwind trip to Ireland and Coventry which includes our workshop (starts at about 18.40 minutes in) – she has such energy!

 

Happy crafting!

Image

Wordless Wednesday

painting, collage, stamps, yellow

Silent Sunday at Tate Modern

Tate Modern, Bridget Riley

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Bridget Riley

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In a Vase on Monday

It’s Summer! No more fires, so I can cover the top of the woodburner with a few crazy objectsfunky art

From left to right

Back Row

Pink Watering Can

A few years back, after helping put together 3 weddings and numerous Christenings, it was about to be my 60th birthday – I was planning a big event for ME! The theme was to be English Country Garden, I bought tiny colourful plastic  flower pots in which I was going to serve chocolate mouse (earth) with pop cakes flowers in them, I bought a garden arch through which guests would enter the village hall, I intended to cover it with crocheted flowers, The drinks were going to be poured from brightly coloured watering cans …………..

woah!

Then my son and daughter-in-law annouced the impending arrival of twins – guess when they were due ON MY BIRTHDAY!

All plans for a big party were (happily) dropped – but I still have the watering cans!

And my children gave me a wonderful surprise birthday party in September on our family holiday. So all was very well!!!!

The can holds Jodie’s Forever Flowers and astrantia.

Orange Giraffe

I know you have seen the Giraffe before (from Chive), I hope you don’t mind her making another appearance. I’m very fond of her and her headgear today is a white perenial foxglove called Snowy Mountain.

I bought the seeds at Chelsea Flower Show.

I grew 6 for myself and gave some to friends – they were beautiful in the first year – last year, gorgeous I was thrilled with them. All but one has died, the one I have left is pathetic, it has this one flower spike. Oh dear!

Painting by Kaneda Hanaki

I saw this painting when I was in Japan. When I got home, I contacted the gallery to see if it was still available and it was! I love its quirkiness.

Front Row

Self-Hardening Clay objects:

Hedgehog with bead eyes: Made by Little Miss M

Pineapple 1 made by Little Bro

Pineapple 2 made by Bog Bro

Crocodile made by Miss E

Candlestick

Made by Devon ceramicist Ross Emerson

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Joining the Garden Party at In a Vase on Monday.

 

 

 

Paintings for sale in aid of two wonderful causes

My dear friend Rachel and her husband, who live in America, have created some wonderful paintings  – and they are all for Sale:

“Your purchase will help support Healing the Healer workshops for youth in foster care and Everytown For Gun Safety, which supports common-sense reforms to end gun violence.”

Click here to read all about it.

I am so excited –  I have bought this oneRachel Bavis

All paintings are sold by donation (+shipping) and every penny will be split 50/50 between the two chosen causes.

Please go and have a look at all the amazing art still available.

❤ Blessings Rachel and Rocky ❤

 

 

Do The Monster Mash

assemblage art, shells, coral

On the scariest night of the year

The Halloween Disco was here

The Shelleys so cool

Dressed as ghosties and ghouls,

Looking rather scary and weird

 

Thriller got them up on the floor

Monster Mash had them begging for more,

Bewitched went down well

As did Bat out of Hell

And they danced as never before.

 

poem by Judy E. Martin

assemblage art by  Sandra Dorey

background painting by Master R aged 8

 

Are you all ready for Halloween? The Shelleys are and at the Dee-I-esS-Cee-O!

Dancing to Bobby Pickett’s 1962 Monster Hit

 

Silly Saturday!

Joining in with the Daily Post: Ghoulish

Paint

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Our One-aWeek Photo Challenge Prompt this week is PAINT

Join Cathy and me by leaving a link to your post in the comments.

Archive posts and photos are as welcome as new ones.

On the hook this Friday

mandala madness with spirostar centre

Can you see the hint of a darker turquoise?

This is how she looked just after I added that row:crochet table cloth

Sitting on the table I am making her for. I did wonder whether to stop here and leave it as a large mat for the table as it looked so pretty, but I’m itching to see what this pattern looks like when finished, so on I went.

I’ve had the mahogany table for years and I love the details in the design. I had to take it outside to get a decent photo of it.

vintage mahogany table

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As you can see it is not easy to clean!

The crochet pattern is Mandala Madness by Helen Shrimpton and I have used Spiro Star in the centre. You can see my tutorial here.

I am using Scheepjes Cotton Bonbon and a 2mm hook.

It will measure approximately 1m across when completed.

In the top picture I have just started the 10th ball of the main colour.

It measures 29″ or 74cm across.

The background is one of my unfinished abstract paintings on canvas in acrylic paint.

Pop over to Nanacathy for her weekly gem ‘Knit and Natter Friday’ where you can chat about all things yarny.

 

Monday Mandala

crochet and petal mandala

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Joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for ‘In a Vase on Monday’

with Purple Loosetrife, Marigold, Gardeners Gaiters, Pelargonium, Erigeron

and

Cee for Flower of the Day

Crochet Spiro Star as a centre for Mandala Madness in  Scheepjes BonBon cotton, using a 2mm hook.

Silent Sunday: Star

Spiro Star into Mandala Madness

Pattern.

Pair

Girl power Cerne Giant, gouache resist and ink

Girl Power Cerne Giant

reactions differ 

altering ancient symbols

amused or irate?

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Our One-A-Week Photo Challenge prompt this week is PAIR

Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku challenge prompts are : AMUSED and IRATE

~

The photo is of a painting I did in 1994. I had just returned from a round the world trip looking at all sorts of ethnic symbols in Nepal, Australia, Tahiti and America and realised there is a very powerful symbol in my home county. The Cerne Giant.

I have written about him before a couple of times, here is one post describing a walk in that area. Rainbow Junkie has also written about visiting Cerne Abbas.

When I was playing around with the Giant design, first I gave him a mate by putting my girl version next to him in a painting, but this one is my favourite – girl power!

My 7 year old grandson, Master R asked to me the other day, “Why are boys more important than girls?”

“They’re not are they?” I replied

“Well why do we have the World’s Strongest Man competition and the World’s Tallest Man competition but not the World’s Strongest Woman or the World’s Tallest Woman?”

“Good point,” I said, “I think a long time ago men thought they were more important just because they were in general taller and stronger than women, and some of that still stays on in our culture, but we know better now don’t we, all that thinking is a bit old fashioned.”

We then had quite a long discussion about all the things that girls were better at doing, boys were better at doing and things which boys and girls were equally good at.

They take me into interesting arenas of discussion these grandchildren of mine – looking at the world through their eyes is a very useful thing to do.

~

Cathy and I have created a list of Photo Challenges, just for fun. You can see them all here.

Please leave a link to your ‘Pair’ in the Comments, we’d love to see them, and i will include your link in the monthly Round-Up.

 

IaVoM: Honeysuckle, Alchemilla Mollis and Feverfew

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In my vase this week is honeysuckle, feverfew and a froth of Lady’s Mantle.

Pop across and Ramble in the Garden with Cathy to see her Vase and those from gardeners across the globe.

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This honeysuckle pleases me hugely because I grew it from a cutting. The flower is not as beautiful as some honeysuckles but the scent is magnificent, especially in the evenings.

Look how it has grown! All from a cutting, isn’t nature amazing! I grows through a Clematis Montana, which flowers in the Spring.

Joining Cee’s Flower of the Day.

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I have been having A-Good-Clear-Out in the kitchen, thus ticking off a few of my 17 for 2017 Aims/Goals/Challenges.

Goal: Sort out 13 shelves, boxes, cupboards or shelves. I have done 5 this week (that’s 12 altogether!) – Well done me! 😀

A. I have a 3 drawer filing cabinet with files stuffed with papers from goodness knows when  – I’ve been through all three drawers and discarded everything that is no longer needed, either shredding the paper for compost, (P) or rolling it into fire-lighters (P)

B. These shelvesDSC_0214

needed painting, and so did the wall behind them.

Do you recognise some vases from previous IAVOM posts?

How was I going to get the shelves off the wall by myself?

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(C. see that desk top – I could not have shown you the toppling heap of stuff that was on there – far too embarrassing  – number 3 surface cleared!)

I could have asked a neighbour to help, but I get a kick out of ‘The Power of One’ solutions! So ……

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I put chairs piled with stuff to rest the shelf on as I undid the screws – it worked.DSC_0265

A clear wall, with a mist coat painted onto the raw plaster. I’m using some of my Mum’s old paint – Dulux Barley White, it must be ancient but it still seems ok. (P)

I have quite a few things that need sanding so I treated myself to a Detail Sander and sanded the shelves

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I do love a gadget. It cost just £30, well worth it!

The sanding was needed to create a surface for the Dulux ‘Quilted Calico’ Eggshell to key in to

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And then of course there was D. Under the Table to deal with – a whole tub of used flower pots – DSC_0023luckily I have found a Garden Centre, Groves, about 20 miles away that will recycle them (P) in the  Pot to Product Scheme. 

I used to live near there, so I can combine the trip with meeting up with old friends. (P)

And the last of the 5- E. The top of the filing cabinet which houses the paper shredder and piles of office related detritus (no ‘before’ picture here either!) A broken child’s chair is acting as a shelf (P)

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There are several great ideas for using chairs as shelves on Pinterest – here’s one

9351a0563f59e66645bdccd3aafb1901

 

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And a vase of flowers – just the thing to celebrate the transformation.

I removed over 40 old redundant business cards from the letter rack. They have gone in the collage cupboard and might be used as collaged tags in journals – oh dear – not thrown away yet then!

Have you noticed a few (P)s  in the text – can you guess what they stand for?