We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

... from little acorns

At the weekend I went foraging for acorn caps with Laura, my wood-turner sister. Laura turns acorns from all different woods then puts them into the natural caps. The difficulty is turning them the right size so they fit into the caps (which are all different sizes!).

Last year there were hardly any acorns to be had, but this year there is a bumper crop, so we collected bagfuls!

With that excursion in mind, and this month's Craft Barn challenge couplet being ...

Fresh October brings the pheasant;
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.

It was obvious to me that I should use one of Laura's creations, so I resorted to Photoshop and played around with the images, settling on a couple of the artistic filters.



When the oak tree is fallen, the whole forest echoes with it;
but a hundred acorns are planted silently by some unnoticed breeze.
Thomas Carlyle


Friday, 6 October 2017

Feeling a little rusty!

Did a fabulous workshop recently, incorporating Powertex into a painting. This was all done in five hours - pretty intense at times trying to keep up!

The base is a 18 inch by 15 inch box canvas.We used corrugated cardboard with the Powertex, and when that was dry, we painted over it with something that contained iron filings (can't remember what it was called but it had a rather strong odour!). To create the rust we then sprayed copper sulphate (I think). It started going rusty within minutes.

The bottom corner is random detritus - bits of wood, hemp, sand and dust.

In between all those steps, and whilst the layers were drying, we painted the farmyard scene with acrylic paint.


It is difficult to convey what it feels like looking at this, as it is quite large, it really does seem like I'm inside a rusty old barn looking out!


Friday, 29 September 2017

My favourite colour is sunset ...

... I just love that pink and orange combination that spreads across the sky, and is always so fleeting.

This piece is pure experimentation!

I started with an 10 x 8 canvas board, and covered it in iridescent orange acrylic paint.

I've got these little boxes of wood shavings in various colours, courtesy of my sister. Regular readers of my blog will know that Laura is a woodturner, and some of the wood she uses comes in fantastic natural colours (see Laura's Etsy shop Treasures From the Tree here).

By the way, the link to my Etsy shop is on the sidebar!

One of the wood shavings is from a tree called Pink Ivory, and is also a stunning pinky-orange colour.

I took that and sprinkled it over lines of PVA glue, patted it down and then waited for it to dry.

Meanwhile, I added some blues to the sky.

When the wood shavings were dry, I took Pebeo Prisme paint in a couple of colours and poured it between the wood trails.  Note - when poured this paint spreads far and wide, so it soaked into a lot of the wood! Never mind ... my sandbanks are being inundated with the turning tide!

When everything was dry I took some metal leaf and created a setting sun. I also used metal foil for the wave tops.

So, a semi-abstract creation which has quite a few errors, but I had fun - which really is all that matters!


Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add colour to my sunset sky.

Rabindranath Tagore

The current Paper Artsy challenge is all about metallics, follow the link to see some fabulous inspiration! I'm going to add my effort to all the other great entries!

Friday, 22 September 2017

All things being equal ...

Today is the Autumn equinox when the day and night are nearly equal in length, apparently there is about a 10 minute difference in the UK. The days on which the length of day and night are exactly equal is called the equilux, and occurs a few days after the autumn equinox. This date will vary depending on where on Earth you are, and indeed equiluxes do not occur at all close to the equator. Mr Google can give more info!

So, I've nearly run out of time on this month's Craft Barn challenge. The next couplet is -

Warm September brings the fruit,
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.

There is an abundance of blackberries around at the moment - blackberry and apple crumble - yum - proper comfort food!

Anyway, I have done a quick watercolour of some blackberries.



Happy equinox - and if you are reading this on Monday/Tuesday - Happy equilux!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Pals, Powertex and Pebeo

The Fearless Four recently got together, and we are still on that Powertex road! This time using a mirror as the base. As I had recently done a mirror with other friends (see here), I decided to turn mine into a picture.

Last year, I had a Pebeo play and used some Eco-board tiles, to create this ... using the Moon and I think a bit of the Prisme, not sure though, so long ago!

Since then they have sat in a box waiting for inspiration to strike. I found they fitted perfectly over the centre mirror ...









I first blocked the mirror aperture with cardboard, and covered the whole piece with a mixture of ivory and grey Powertex. I then used Stone Art all over, into which I embedded some loose woven hessian.

Once dry, I've used acrylic paint for the colour, and dry brushed gold paint, together with some copper gilding wax.


And what did the others get up to ...

Lin's mirror has some metal butterflies and flowers, with Bister. There's a bit of crackle going on there too.















Linda went for texture and flowers, with a bit of silver sparkle.

















Monica used buttons - makes a change from shells!

I think we all have a button box, so a great way to use up those odd ones.












Another great day. We have already put the next one on the calendar, and we will not be using Powertex!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Bluebell the Third

Well, I've finally done it - opened an Etsy shop!

The house has become slightly crowded with all my artwork, so thought I would see if anyone else loves it enough to buy it!

Let me know what you think... I've put a link on my right side bar, or click through from here Art By Kaybee.

Just finished yet another bluebell painting! I've tried to analyse why I love bluebells so much, and I think it's because they are a sign of Spring, which always makes me happy.

This is semi abstract with a watercolour background and a touch of acrylic ink. The main bluebells are done in heavy body acrylic paint.


Starting to feel very autumnal, with chilly mornings, and lots of spiders' webs appearing!

I start another art course in a week's time - Intermediate Acrylics - should be fun.

Happy September!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Temporary loss of creative thought ...

Don't seem to have had much time recently to come up with something for this month's Craft Barn challenge.  The next couplet is -

August brings the sheaves of corn,
The the Harvest home is borne.

and we have to include a tractor.

Probably because I'm pushed for time my mind has been a blank on this one - no inspiration whatsoever! Anyway, I've found some clipart and created it on my computer (very unusual for me), and added some glitter to the corn, which you can't really see. The background (of which very little can be seen) was a scrap piece of painted paper I found.

So, all very boring really - I hope to get back on track for next month!


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Power(tex) to the people ...

Had a session with a couple of other friends who wanted to try Powertex on a mirror frame. Unfortunately I forgot to take pics of their pieces - sorry!

I've used t-shirt yarn, paper clay roses and dragonfly, and bits of wallpaper, together with ivory Powertex and Bister sprays. I've done a lot of acrylic paint dry brushing on this, particularly in gold, which doesn't really come out in the photos.

Having finished it I can see a touch of Art Nouveau and Mackintosh in it, which just goes to show how we can be influenced by other art, even subconsciously!



Last week I went to this year's Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. The usual eclectic mix, here are a few of my favourites.

Sanctuary by Barbara Rae

She does a lot of work with the collaged birds, and I love them all.

This year, the red one attracted me!

















Golden Wasp Game #7 by Mike Chisholm

This is a digital print. I am drawn to the simple almost monotone image.




















Watching by Wendy Freestone
(bronze)
Quite small, which is what caught my eye, and maybe a little disturbing too.











Another fabulous art-filled day!

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Abstraction, Modernism and a pinch of Surrealism

I've just remember I haven't told you about the last 2 day workshop I did on encaustic collage.

This combined my love of collage with trying wax, so of course, I had to sign up!

I decided I would do an abstract using a beach sunset as inspiration. I also thought I would not use any paint (apart from a quick under painting), and all the collage pieces would be rectangular - I do like to challenge myself!

I used watercolour paper, which with hindsight is not really robust enough for adding a lot of wax. When I cut it off the support board it becomes quite difficult to handle. I need to think about what kind of frame to put it in.

The wax we used was a mix of beeswax and Damar resin, which strengthens the beeswax.

After doing a quick watercolour under painting, I started cutting up various bits and pieces, including speciality papers, cardboard, fabric, hessian, bookprint, and laid them out as my initial thoughts on construction.

As you can see, it is very rough at this stage, and I took a photo to remember placement, but I knew it wouldn't turn out like this!









Next, using wallpaper paste, I starting sticking everything down - quite tricky to get the order right!













I used the wax to stick the corrugated card and hessian, and started layering wax is a few places. I also spattered some wax for a bit of sea spray.












Finally, after several layers of wax, and a few more additions - including orange for the sunset reflection, and a rockpool (bottom left) using seed beads and abalone shell, I finished with some gold paint through a fossil fish stencil. You will have to enlarge the picture to see them properly.


I liked using the wax as it provides another dimension, but I need to get to grips with the technique a bit better!

This week I had a day trip to Charleston and Farley Farm - fabulous day!

Charleston, home from 1916 to Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, was the country retreat for the group of artists, writers and thinkers known as the Bloomsbury group.


I loved this house, and wanted to move in immediately. Every room was decorated by the artists, with murals on all the furniture, fireplaces and walls. It had a beautiful atmosphere, and the studio was to die for!







Not allowed to take any photos inside so if you want to explore further I'm sure Google will help.

The gardens were stunning too.

















Then on to Farley Farm, which in 1949 became home to Roland Penrose, Surrealised artist, and Lee Miller, American model, photographer and WW2 correspondence.

Another stunning home, full of artworks ... many created by their friends and visitors, including Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, and Max Ernst.












You may recognise this one by Roger Penrose, of his first wife Valentine, entitled Winged Domino.












The gardens were extensive ...

















... and full of  modern sculpture.

I was quite taken with this one - Sky Seed
by Mark and Rebecca Ford (2017).



















I bought a couple of books and some postcards.













I was fascinated by the stories regarding the Bloomsbury Group, so I'm going to get some books from the Library and have a good read!

Friday, 4 August 2017

It's not about what it is ...

... but about what it can become!

Recently the Fearless Four got together for a Powertex play, using empty Horlicks containers.

We used bits of fabric, string, wood shapes, shells and other found stuff. Also included in our ingredients lists was Bister, acrylic paint and ink sprays. Because the Horlicks containers are plastic, we wrapped masking tape around them so the Powertex would stick.

So, here are the results ...apologies for the quality of most of the photos, but I forgot to take my camera, so used my phone.

Lin used ivory Powertex, with ric rac ribbon around cotton fabric, and embellished with some wood shapes. Bister and gold sprays used too.



















Linda used bronze Powertex on cotton fabric, with some string, and a skull (Linda is a little bit Gothic too). She also used Bister and silver spray for colour.















Monica seems has a never ending supply of shells! Some have been incorporated into the cotton fabric, together with lace and string.

Bronze Powertex also used with  silver spray.



















Every Halloween I'm on the lookout for likely stuff to use in projects, and I found a bag of plastic skulls one year and still have loads! I had to saw the backs off so they could be incorporated into this project.

I  have always been a little bit Gothic and fascinated by skulls, so I put three on my pot, but the other two are round the other side!

I've used some t-shirt fabric, with hessian, string and dishcloth material.

I also thought the plastic cross added to the look!

I used black Powertex, and dry brushed some blue paint, and also used Linda's fabulous silver spray (I've now bought some too!).

I'm using my pot for some of my (rather large) stash of paint brushes.



So, another fabulous day. We've already booked the next get togther, and guess what - yes - we will be using Powertex again!