Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Artistic Subtlety

Am still doing Jane Davies online workshop.  It's a 10 week commitment and is getting harder each lesson.  In the past two lessons we have gone from the sublime to the gorblimey, or vice versa depending on your point of view.

In this lesson we were to use as many and varied techniques as possible, making each quadrant of the piece completely different.

On the left is a start...but we were asked to push it further, so the image on the right is the result. Similarly in those below....

In the following lesson...quite the opposite.  We were to make images with as little contrast as possible, but still make them interesting.

This was not as easy as it sounds. I really had to overcome the hurdle of thinking of them as backgrounds, but regarding them as complete works. It was a lesson in subtlety...and one that I needed.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Online workshops

Doing online workshops is every bit as good as doing them in real life. You get to see the work of your co-participants, get feedback for each lesson from your tutor, and can work at your own pace.


The above are part of my Lesson #4 work in Jane Davies '100 Drawings on Cheap Paper' online workshop.  This workshop, despite it's name, is a serious class in process. The object is to pursue, within Jane's guidelines, variety in all aspects of mark-making.

Working on at least ten 'drawings' at a time has forced me not to get too precious about each  mark, and to allow more freedom of expression.  We are not expected to complete a 'finished' work of art, but to get in touch with the muse within ourselves.  It's working for me.

For ten weeks I'll be 'playing'....and loving it.

Meanwhile there is some serious painting going on as well.

...I never stop trying....

Saturday, January 24, 2015

When is a drawing not a drawing?

Hard to say these days. Most non-artists think a drawing is a linear depiction of something real. In my book, modern drawing is an arrangement of marks forming any image, real OR abstract, using pen, pencil, brush, or any number of instruments or mediums.

Take Jane Davies' "100 Drawings" workshop for instance (and I'm doing just that).  I have gone from this, in Lesson 1...


via this, in Lesson 2... this, in Lesson 3.....

We have used line and shape, black & white and colour, so far.... AND all sorts of mediums including print and collage.  Where will we go from here?  There are seven lessons left, and I suspect that Lesson 10 will seem more like painting to most people.

It is a question that interests anyone entering a drawing prize.  Perhaps the boundaries between drawing and painting have been irrevocably blurred.....and it doesn't matter....or does it?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Back in the saddle again...

...not that I've had such a non-arty time.  I sneak the odd moment in between festivities.

Have been working on collages for the 17th International Collage Exchange.

I tend to move between 'cut and paste' (usually on a painted background).....

The Offering

The Admirer a more 3D technique....


Chained to the past


Las Profundidades (The depths)
....and there's more to come.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


It's come with a rush and caught me unawares...well almost.

There have been a few signs of the  festive season around the house.

....including the inevitable Xmas tree....

....and I've made a little jewellery for the occasion (sorry about the photo)

...and the odd card, that also doesn't photograph too well.

(it's actually silver, tho' it looks grey)

I guess that's as creative as I get at this time of year. Am pretty good in the kitchen and have been cooking up a storm... and sharing the bounty with lots of great friends.

That's what it's all about isn't it?

I wish you all similar joy, surrounded by family and friends.  May you all enjoy health and happiness in 2015.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

When you give, you receive.

The great thing about trading ATCs is that for every one you make you get one in return.  As a result I have a growing collection of mini-art pieces from all over the world....but mostly the USA.

Cathy Calamas (USA) is one of my favourite traders.

An 'eyes' theme resulted in the following:

From Noora Jarvela, Finland.

From Debra Claxton, USA

Using postage stamp heads is such fun, and results in some very amusing cards.

From Barb Adams, USA

From Marion Bockelmann, Germany

Two Heads - by Corrine Gilman ,USA

Of course not all are collaged, tho' I'm a bit of a collage 'freak'.

Homage to Jasper Johns by Laura Mahutchin, USA

Beautifully drawn and painted by Debra Claxton, USA

Halloween produced some interesting cards:

From Eileen Kirkban, USA

From Mary Szymanski , USA

These are but a tiny fraction of my gallery of mini-art from all over the globe.  The best part is that I get to correspond with these clever people, and exchange ideas and inspiration.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blogging is fun....but

You collect so many links and 'friends' when blogging that it seems that you can't keep up.  Truth CAN'T.  I hope I'm forgiven when I don't comment.  Sometimes I can't even get to read all my favourite blogs. There is SO much to see...and it's all fascinating...but time is short.

I've had a break, but don't think I've been sitting around doing nothing.

In progress:


(not a brilliant photo...but you get the idea)

On the easel:

Still thinking about:

ATCs I've traded recently:



  I'm still having fun!