Friday, March 30, 2012

Terrie's Tag

Patience Is A Virtue
I've put this portrait I did of my friend's dog 'Shirley' first to grab your attention, as this post will be mostly about 'blogging'. Hope it worked.

I've been TAGGED by my loyal follower Terrie of Creative Explorer.  I really love having Terrie as a follower as I value her comments. The title of her blog says it all. She is not afraid of trying new ways of expressing herself artistically.  You can see by her workdesk that she is extremely creative.

(photo: Terrie)
Manipulated photos.....

(photo: Terrie)

Zentangled letters for the ALAW project....

.... Terrie is multi- skilled when it comes to art.

Now, I've been blogging for just over a year and have been 'tagged' several times, for a 'pay it forward' sort of thing.  While I have always participated I find that it can be VERY time-consuming, and not everyone's cup of tea.  Sometimes I feel it smacks of the old 'chain-letter' thing.

This 'tag' requires that I answer 11 questions posed by Terrie and that I tag 11 other bloggers with questions that I have for them.  I am to put links to those bloggers on my post.  This seems an excellent way for my followers to see the work of people who are new to them.  However, the feelings that I have about tagging might be shared by those I tag. Soooo, sorry Terrie, after some thought I'm opting out of this one.

BUT, I will answer your questions (as if anyone would care what I think)....

Terrie's questions
1. Favorite season - why?
Summer. I hate the cold, always have. When I was a child my parents took me to see snow and I wouldn't get out of the car.  Nothing's changed.  I'm a beach girl.

2. What do you 'need' to have on before venturing out in public?
Lippy. I look like death without it.

3. What do you collect?
My God!  What sort of question is that?  Like most people who dabble in the arts...I collect EVERYthing!  Hubby is always amused at me picking up squashed and rusty bottletops when we go for our morning walk.  You'll see them in collages from time to time.

4. Favorite style of art?
I have eclectic tastes in art so anything and everything is of interest to me, but I lean towards Abstract Expressionism.

5. Symmetrical or asymmetrical?
Depends on the mood.  I do rather fancy assymetric clothing and jewellery.

6. What do you find difficult to learn or work with in your chosen medium?
What chosen medium?  I move between many (as do you Terrie).  At present am having some problems with 'image transfer', but I will soon be over it.

7. Vacation in cold & snow or hot & sunshine?
Guess I answered that in question #1.

8. How do you relax?
Sleep.  I am on the go so much that when I stop I sleep.  I used to read a lot but find it hard to get past a couple of paragraphs before I nod off.

9. What's one of your guilty pleasures?
Chocolate.  I LOVE it (doesn't everyone?).... preferably Belgian.

10. What wakes up your muse? (or, where do you find your creative inspiration?)
Art books.... now THEY can keep me awake. I have a huge collection. (must blog about it one day).

11. What food do you crave most often?
Apart from chocolate? .... Asian food, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese.  I cook these a lot.

.... and that's it folks.

During the course of my blogging I provide links to other bloggers from time to time so wont be 'paying this forward' at the moment.

Sorry Terrie... but thanks for your endorsement of my blog.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Painting's Progress

It is often difficult to remember to document the progress of a painting. You are usually immersed in the work.  Occasionally tho' I like to see where I have been so here is one of my recent paintings in three stages.

In the first stage I establish shapes and where the darkest dark, and lightest lights, are.

Arley Farm - initial underpainting
Next I add more colour and drawing with my brush.

Finally I refine the whole and do it with plenty of paint on the brush.  I like a 'juicy' surface.

Mind you, I usually get to the end and prefer one of the stages that came before, but I guess lots of us have this problem.

I think the end reult is a little green but, hey, it's been raining here for weeks and everything is green, and growing.  It's a battle to negotiate your way through the grass and mud.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

In The Picture - March challenge

This month's  In The Picture  self-portrait theme is 'black and white'.  For me this means I can muck around with my image in PhotoShop.

"...and the mirror cracked"

Altered images are soooo flattering compared to those straight from the camera. This was taken in a friend's artfully cracked mirror.

I did try to take another, while lying on my back with a tiny plastic apple balanced on my eye....

"The Apple Of My Eye"

... but I couldn't stop giggling and the apple kept rolling out.

Oh well, at least I fulfilled the brief.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Travelling Treasures

Mieke van Sambeeck
You might remember a few posts (27/2) back I participated in a blog "Pay It Forward". This meant that I left a comment to receive a gift, and had then to post a "Pay It Forward" blog and send handmade gifts to the first three who left me comments.

This was started by Erin of Art-Is-Try. I found out about Erin's project from Andria of Drawing Near and thought it an easy and fun thing to do. The thought of little artistic gems travelling around the world delights me.  If the project grew, as it should, then there would be thousands of these little treasures on their way around the globe.  What a thought!

I commented on Andria's site and duly received the most delightful package, decorated with stamps, flags, and tape....

What looks like an airmail envelope is in fact a lovely little handmade booklet....

... and an enclosed plastic sleeve contained all these wonderful goodie for me to use in collage. YAY!!  Maybe those bits will end up in that book?

Thank you Andria.

The three who responded to my post were...

Mieke of Short Snippets
Robyn of rObfOs
Deb of Deb Ammerman Art and Design

Well, Mieke is a friend who belongs to the same art group as I...COMA, the Collaboration of Maleny Artists, so I see her fairly often.  I knew what she would really like and I could deliver it by hand, which I did. Soooo, I made her a special piece and hung it on a buna cord. These 'bits' are very beachy... coral, and a pebble and driftwood I found on the beach.

I certainly didn't expect a return gift, but she insisted, and I now have the beautiful raku heart that she made, and you can see it at the top of this post.

Thank you Mieke.

I have not met Robyn, but she is a Queenslander and I checked out her site to try and get an idea of what she would like.  I decided to make a mixed media ATC and include some interesting papers in the package, and a ceramic brooch that I'd made.

Rainforest Remnants

I had forgotten to photograph the ATC before I posted it so Robyn kindly sent me the above images.

Thank you Robyn.

Finally, I was so pleased that my last participant was from the other side of the world, the USA.  After all, that was my idea about the whole thing.

Deb's site showed me her interest in mixed media and collage AND she had left an encouraging comment on my 'Rust' post.   I just had to use some of my rust-printed fabric on a collage for her, and include a piece of the fabric for her to play with.

Framing The Moon

So you see, it was all worth it.  I loved making for a 'special' person, and hope you visit my three recipients and join the 'Pay It Forward' challenge.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Letter A Week - I,J, K, L

Time for the monthly ALAW challenge.  My first letters for the year fit the 'spots or dots' theme. 

Each month the backgrounds are based on a different painting of mine, photoshopped and given a film grain texture. The font used is Blackadder.

It's worth hopping over to A Letter A Week to see the amazing variety of letters everyone's doing.  There are stirched and dyed letters, zentangles, beautiful calligraphic letters, and lots more.  You wouldn't believe it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Creative Workshop

Rainforest - Jo

The weekend before last I spent at a workshop run by my friend Aileen Shaw who is a wonderful artist and tutor.  The concept was a relatively simple one, but an excellent way to introduce painters to collage.

We were a mixed group, of varying experience, but everyone was open-minded and prepared for the challenge.

Our first task was to prepare several sheets of paper with:

1.  A simple colourful painting, either realist or abstract,
2.  A black and white pattern, either repetitive or random, and
3.  (Opt) A plain background of your own colour choice.

Gaynor working on her black & white

Brenda with her painting
Karen's painting and background

Once dry (it took a while as it was hot and very humid) these sheets were to be torn up and re-arranged into a totally new image.

Aileen tearing strips

Aileen with examples of finished work from a previous workshop
The first pieces produced were all in a linear format.



Annie with her work

Soon some began adding other elements...

.. and I never was one to follow the rules...

Collaged over an old painting on canvas - Jo

... tho' I did try to stick to the brief...

Oriental Fortune - Jo
It was two days of dedicated creative play, with some amazing results, and well worth doing.

Thanks Aileen!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


How often do we hear during the latest fashion season that a certain colour is 'the new black'?  Well, in my book there are trends in art too, and 'rust' is the new black.  So many artists use rust in their work... rusted metal, rust-dyed fabric, rust on paper.

In my travels around the net I have come across some stunning work using rust.  Perhaps you'd like to see some too....

Of course many people use the rusty metal to make sculptures like these:
Daniella Woolf uses rust on lots of her work but I particularly like this wire sculpture, a collaboration with Lynda Watson ...

Love Child 1, 2008
Steel Wire
24" x 24" x 48"

... and Barry Smith, who makes outdoor sculptures for small spaces (as well as HEAPS of other fabulous stuff).  Don't you just love the way this piece frames the view?

... and particluarly my mate Kim Schoenberger who always seems to crop up when I'm admiring other artists' work....  ( I just love her small works... there's always a place for just ONE more)...

The Squeeze 2011 - H18cm x W 16cm x D 5.5cm

But, what about people who dye fabric with rust?.... like LuAnn Kessi who uses her exquisite pieces for quilts...

Noela Mills makes extraordinary fabric books, among her many talents.
rust dyed and shellaced satin book.
.. and I really like the people who add rust to paper for their art.  This work I found on Flickr  by Moo2Me.  I can find no other information on this artist...sorry... but the work certainly has a voice of its own.

Rust Print, on gesso on paper, 2009

Chris Drury is an English artist using rust...
Chris Drury (b. 1948)
High Desert Wind, 2004
Map of the Leh area of Ladakh
Inkjet print over a pattern from a diagram of a cross-section of the human heart, rust on paper
54-1/3” x 40-15/16”
In fact there's a whole website dedicated to  RUST PAINTING.

One of the painters that can be seen there is Sean Healy

Waiting On The Sea - Sean Healy

It's all so inspiring that I've decided to give it a go too.

Here are my potential dyeing materials....

Interesting how I arranged that... only just noticed how artistic it is.

...and the results on a textured white pillowcase I bought for 50c at a yard sale.

Lots of stuff for collaging ....yippee !!... and the back of the pillowcase is just as good. You'll see bits of this iin some work soon.... well, sometime in the future.

There's lots of info about rust dying HERE where there is also a warning !!! Wear a mask and gloves when dealing with natural rust: "Iron in this form wants to bind with your hemoglobin blocking all available sites for oxygen, .... You can become gravely ill from too much contact with raw iron products"


...AND, while I have you here... am still looking for another 'Pay It Forward' participant. Robyn, has a mini-collage ATC on the way, and Mieke a handmade pendant.  See previous post.