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 August 2015

Going round in crazy circles!

Firstly can I welcome new followers, and also say thank you for all the comments I receive - I love reading them and they are truly appreciated.

This week's Craft Barn challenge is about sprays, and the current Paper Artsy challenge is all about circles ...

I'm still into my Crazy bird stamps, so I sprayed a piece of card with some Dylusions sprays, stamped a load of  the birds, cut them out, and added another layer of eyes and beaks - some of those dies are soooo tiny, I keep dropping them in the waste bin and then spend ages fishing them out!

The background is Brushos blown around with my Color Spritzer, the tool that you can attach pens to, to get an airbrushed effect.  Mine is made by RenArt and I've had it for years, but I think Tim Holtz does one too. Anyway, I don't use it with pens, but it is great for blowing paint around!

I then cut a circle from a piece of sheet music to create a circular swing, and added some words from a Paper Artsy stamp set.

Maybe it is time to say happiness is singing in the rain - as we are getting rather a lot of the wet stuff!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

2B or not 2B

I recently completed my intensive drawing course - which involved every Monday for 5 weeks.  Each day we covered a different aspect, and each day was mentally exhausting - but worth it!

I started off using just an HB pencil, but did progress to using 2B, 4B and 6B.

Each session involved quite a few exercises, but I have only shown one piece from each day, as I don't want you to get too bored!

The first thing we covered was line.  Now this course is all about using the right side of your brain, so for our second exercise we had a Picasso line drawing which we had to up size and copy, but do it upside down.  I was quite amazed at the result.  Here is my effort right side up!

Quite difficult to photograph drawings, so click on each picture to get a better look!

The second topic we covered was negative space.  Again, producing a drawing upside down, but only drawing the negative spaces.  I had no idea what it was looking like right side up, but after shading all the negative spaces I had drawn ...

Next was perspective.  I have always found this tricky, but I was starting to realise the key is only drawing what you actually see; using kebab sticks for getting the angles also really helped.

Here is one of my home work pieces, which involved drawing a corner of a room, in this case my stairs.

Session four concentrated on tone. This was one exercise we did, which was to randomly fold a length of paper, and draw it.

And this was a piece of homework - a rose.

The final session was to draw a still life group and we could choose the subject matter.  Now I don't have much in the way of ornaments or knick-knacks, so decided to raid my craft room and took along some brushes, my bee vase, pots of medium, a brayer, some tubes of paint and a rag.

This took about 5 hours.

I am quite stunned at how far I've come after just 5 days, and that is all down to my teacher. I now feel equipped to develop my painting skills further.

Happy drawing!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Not pink elephants then!

The Craft Barn calendar challenge words for August are pink and butterflies.

I decided to see if plain, heavyweight card could cope with collage and paint for the background.  It doesn't, too much stuff on the card means it struggles to lie flat, even after being squished by half a ton of books!

First I took 2 pieces of A4 card (I always do things in twos, not sure why!), and adhered some book pages, sheet music and paper pattern pieces with matt medium.

Then I used some watered-down acrylic paints in shades of pink.

Now, why I did both pieces pink I have no idea - just got carried away!

I also applied some white paint using a scrunched up kitchen paper towel.

I took one piece and cut it down to 10 x 8 - the size of the calendar I'm making; then drew a butterfly using my Derwent Inktense pencils.  I also splattered some paint, and used a credit card and bottle tops to make some marks.  The darker circles are in antique silver paint, which give a good bounce of light, but they have come out grey in the photo.

I was in a pensive mood, so wrote this Haiku -

August's graceful breeze
Wings colour across my face
Laughing butterfly

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Colour me happy!

The Craft Barn weekly challenge is to use pens and pencils, which also happens to be this month's Craft Stamper challenge too.

I used a Gelli print for the background, and got the Crazy Birds stamp set out, together with the recently acquired matching die set; yet to be used!

I stamped and heat embossed a couple of the birds, then used my favourite colouring pencils - Coloursoft Pencils from Derwent.

It took me an age to sort the 18 dies out, as there are 3 for each bird - bit like a jigsaw! Anyway, I've numbered all the pieces as I don't want to go through that process again!  Quite tricky lining the dies up, and I've only used the main dies, but much much easier than a pair of scissors - especially those quiffs!

Found some words which are stamped onto a piece of sheet music that has been lightly gesso-ed to knock it back.

Finally, took a fine liner pen to frame everything.

Oh to fly away from this miserable weather!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Serendipity at work ...

Glass is such a beautiful material, the way it catches the light; and I've had a go at glass blowing (see this post).

Last September, at the Sandown craft show I tried stained glass, and made this glass suncatcher at a workshop, which now hangs in my kitchen window (the glass was all pre-cut).

A friend has done stained glass for over 20 years, and four of us got together to have a play with all the off-cut bits of glass that have accumulated over time - and there is quite a lot!

Now, I'm not the most expert at soldering (to say the least), but I had great fun making these funky birds.

Take an odd shaped piece of glass, see what comes to mind, do a bit of reshaping (I did get the hang of cutting the glass!), then add other bits; in this case beaks and wings.  Finally add wire legs and a bit of solder for the eyes.

Not sure where to hang these yet, but I love them, they make me happy!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Keep it simple ...

The latest Paper Artsy challenge is all about flowers, and this week's Craft Barn challenge is "clean and simple".

I love flowers, but I am not naturally clean and simple.

I had already stamped and white embossed some Paper Artsy flowers onto Brusho'd watercolour paper, so I tried to be a bit minimalist!  I added some dots of glitter glue into the flower centres, but they don't really show in the photo.

Here is the result.

Happy August!