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

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

FLOWER power!

It's time for the next Craft Barn Q&L Challenge, and the words this time are FLOWER and ROAD.

I've long been a fan of Emily Dickinson's quirky poetry, so have taken my inspiration from one of her poems;

The lovely flowers embarrass me.
They make me regret I am not a bee...

I'm sticking to the 10x8 format, using 300gsm card this time. Using my favourite Fresco acylic paints, I created a  brayered background, with added stamped images.  The main tulips were first stamped onto black card (using the same paint), then cut out.

I drew a couple of bees, and had a go at doing some different lettering.

And not a drop of blue paint found it's way onto the page!

Can I take this opportunity to thank all of you who have left comments on my previous submissions, the are really appreciated.  I do look at all the entries, but can't comment on them all because I'm not a member of Facebook etc.  Although at the moment I'm sticking to quotes, so many of the other entries remind me of favourite songs, which end up in my head for most of the day!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Making faces!

In the past I have struggled with drawing faces, something I've wanted to do, but never really been successful at, and attempts have found their way to the bin!

A little while ago I came across a little video on the Paper Artsy Blog, (see here) which inspired me to have another go. This time using paint and coloured pencils.

I started with creating a stencil for the head and a separate one for the neck and shoulders. I used card from some clothes packaging (does anyone else have a drawer-full of used packaging material???).

This is quite a neat trick if you lack confidence in creating face shapes directly onto your canvas.

Using 300gsm card, my first attempt followed the instructions precisely, (I even had the right colours of Fresco paint) resulting in this - not bad, but I think she looks as if she is sucking lemons!!

I do like the combination of using paint and pencils though!

Another go, this time with some hair movement (hey, I'm getting a little adventurous here!).

She looks more relaxed and pensive, with a kinder face maybe!

I did try this particular version on canvas too, but using the coloured pencils on that surface was not very successful.

Then ..... let's get really adventurous and change the face shape and hair!

Hmmm - needs a little more work I think - but at least she's got some clothes now!

Tried again, this time on watercolour paper, quite like the texture, but the eyes are a bit wonky so she is looking quite startled ..... she has probably seen her own reflection!

Flushed with a bit of success, and confident that I can now have a go at faces, I then did a collage; this is part of another challenge which I will expand upon another time. Using blue paint and pencils, copious amounts of blue patterned paper, including some from magazines, and a little wool trim, this is The Blue Girl (though no real competition to Gainsborough!).

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

All ROADS lead to .....

.....the next Craft Barn Q&L Challenge. The words this time are ART and ROAD.

Again, no contest, as there is a particular quote that my mother had on her bedroom wall, which I have kept, and subsequently used on a card (see here).

It is by J R R Tolkien, from The Lord of the Rings, and forms a verse from a Walking Song (so is also a lyric too!).

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

I did a watercolour wash background, with the sun in Distress Ink, and then added a little stamping.

Happy walking!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Feeling a little bookish?

Book pages were the subject of the recent Ashtead Craft Club evening get-together, and although I didn't complete anything that evening, I did finish some cards at home.

Using book pages as die-cuts; decided not to add any colour, just a little line doodle.

These were cut from an old gardening book, so the text is appropriate too.

Used a Gelli print background here too.

Old book pages make interesting backgrounds too.

Stamp or doodle, then colour in - I used Distress Markers.

And another one.

For more examples, see the Club's blog here.