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

Monday, 28 September 2015

Shooting the moon ...

So ... there I was at 3am this morning, in my dressing gown, in the garden, looking at the moon (as you do!).

Seriously, I did manage to get up at 2.30 am this morning to see the super moon total lunar eclipse. The combination of a super moon with a total lunar eclipse has only happened 5 times since 1900, and the next one is not due until 2033.

It was quite magical, and I wanted to try and get a photo. I only have a compact digital camera, but decided to have a go. I have a tiny patio garden, so was creeping around as I didn't want to alert the neighbours in case they thought I was someone up to no good! To try and lessen camera shake I eventually went for leaning against the fence to steady myself -  right under nextdoor's bedroom window! I did the wrong settings on the camera a couple of times, so the flash went off - oops!

Here are my efforts - not brilliant but -

I took a shot of moonrise earlier in the evening, hanging out the bedroom window, but at least I was able to steady myself on the window frame!

Then, at about 2.30 am I took this shot of the partial eclipse (from the garden).

Finally, at about 3am - this one - very difficult, and the best shot out of 25!

Inspired me to write another haiku -

Earth reflected red
moon falling into soft white
Fleeting attraction

Friday, 25 September 2015

A Brush(o) with Paper Artsy ...

I was just a bit excited to be asked to do a guest designer spot on the Paper Artsy blog, all about Brushos!

Hop over to the PA blog to get the details on how I did this.  I've used several surfaces, including glossy card, book pages and felt.

A couple of my favourite bits - the caterpillar has some hairy wool fixed at the back ...

And the felt flowers, just love the soft effect of Brushos on felt ...

Nothing happens unless first we dream.
Carl Sandburg

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Bee confident ...

The new art course I have just started is "Collage, watercolour and mixed media" and is only partly structured - so room to do my own thing! It is run by the same local artist - Kay Mullen -  as the drawing course I've just completed (see this post).

I love collage, so that is what attracted me to it, but it would also challenge me on the drawing and painting front too!

The first week we concentrated on making the collage background.  I'm using an A3 piece of watercolour paper, which I had to pre-stretch, but I will be moving on to half imperial size, which is 22" x 15". I have never pre-stretched watercolour paper before, but it was quite easy, though I had to use the bath as I don't have a receptacle large enough for A3 - and certainly not for half imperial!

The paper is fixed to a piece of thick MDF board with brown paper tape.

So, here is the first stage; I've used book pages, sheet music, Japanese newsprint and paper pattern tissue - oh - and a raffle ticket! And no knocking back with any kind of wash - scary!

I then did some stencilling with modelling paste which I coloured with acrylic paint.

Our second session was mainly taken up with drawing, and I chose a bee as my main focal point - done with pens and coloured pencils.  The wings are painted with clear Wink of Stella. Having done the drawing course I feel more confident about drawing, but this was another scary moment for me - drawing on top of my collage!

I finished off with a bit of foiling, and also some hexagonal pieces to give it more balance.  I've photographed it at an angle to try and catch the wing glimmer and foiling.

The Craft Barn challenge this week is about masks/stencils - good timing!

So ... Bee-lieve in yourself!

I think that is enough bee puns - unless you can leave me an appropriate comment!

Friday, 11 September 2015

She stood in the storm ...

... and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails.
Elizabeth Edwards

This week's Craft Barn challenge is "stamping", the same as this month's Craft Stamper Take It Make It challenge.

I've recently discovered some delightful stamps from the Unity Stamp Company, which don't seem to be available here in the UK, but I found some in the US.

I'm using paper made for acrylic paint as the base, as I like the texture. I started with blown Brushos, and coloured with Distress Pens.

Started my new art course this week, so I'll be blogging about that soon.

In the meantime - happiness is discovering the new!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Hello Autumn ...

It is time for the September Craft Barn calendar challenge, and the key words are brown and trees/leaves.

I think it is too cold for September - so the colour should be icy blue!

Anyway, took to my Brushos (again!), and sprinkled and spritzed some autumnal colours.  I then found some Glassine paper - that brown crunchy stuff that came out under the Tim Holtz name some time ago.  I bought a pad of it at the time, and it has been sulking at the bottom of a drawer ever since.

I die-cut some leaves, then stamped some, scrunched some, and used a bit of gilding wax too; created a cascade of dry leaves - reminiscent of my childhood love of running through a pile of leaves (not the soggy ones though!).

Again, I was inspired to write another haiku -

Autumn leaves the tree
Cloaked in impetuous hues
Bold in winter's face

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Mirror, mirror ...

Time for another Fearless Four get together, and the challenge this time was to start from black and use metallic and iridescent colours.

I used a mirror for the base, which started out black anyway.  I added some paste through a stencil, and some  hot glue drips.

I found some wooden pieces which I decided to use too.

Then I covered the whole thing in black acrylic paint.

When that was dry, I gave it a wash in a very diluted Old Gold Pinflair Liquid Buff It paint.

The shimmer doesn't show in this photo - but it is there!

Then I used various colours of neat Liquid Buff It, together with some Pebeo iridescent paint.

Finally, I added a couple of coats of gloss varnish and some crackle glaze - it's quite subtle and difficult to see in the photo.

Reminds me of that oil on water look.

What did the other's get up to?

Monica's mirror

Lin's triple panels

Linda's mirror

Another fab day with good friends, a good lunch and lots of paint!  What more can a girl ask?