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, 28 December 2016

A positively peculiar photographic production!

It is the final letter in the Craft Barn Alpha Dictionary challenge - P.

I realised as I looked around me when working on my latest art project that so many things I use start with P. Then - light bulb moment - it is my paraphernalia!

For this last letter I decided to do something completely different. This entry is done entirely on my computer. I took a photograph of all my stuff - paint, pastel, pencil, paintbrush, palette, paper, pipette - and created this ...

So, I've survived the year, and managed to keep up, here is a montage of the complete alphabet. If you wish to revisit any, just pick Craft Barn 2016 challenge in the label list.

Thank you for all your comments, I've really enjoyed reading them and they are very much appreciated. I've also enjoyed visiting other participants in the challenge - such an inspiration.

Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful 2017.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Green Christmas!

Recently completed my latest art class exercise, all about mixing greens. Now I understand a little about the science of mixing colours, I have no fear of mixing green, and the infinite number of tones and shades that can be achieved.

We used a very stylised picture as a reference, and we were also introduced to gouache. We only used the white goache and mixed it with the watercolour, but a very useful tool to have, as it creates an opaque colour, so you can paint over watercolour. The gouache mixes are the cornfields and also the far right field, plus a little on the near trees.

A three week break from my classes now, and I'm hoping to do some of my own "thing" in watercolour over the holidays.

Here is a photo of my bay tree suitably festive!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas,
and a peaceful 2017.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Mistletoe time!

The penultimate Craft Barn dictionary challenge letter is M.  So I must have missed one along the way, as I still have P and T to do. Perhaps someone can tell me which one passed me by, and I'll try and catch up!

M - had to be mistletoe! My latest art class exercise is mixing greens, so good opportunity to have a practice!

I drew the mistletoe, then used masking fluid over the berries. A light background wash with a couple of different greens, and then on the mistletoe itself I've used watercolour, Neocolor II crayons and coloured pencils.

Christmas is looming and I need to get organised - really? Why should this year be any different!!!

Update - silly me, I've found T, so I haven't missed any. Just shows you what a bit of a pickle I'm in at the moment, trying to catch up with stuff!

Friday, 9 December 2016

Driving me to abstraction ...

My art course continues to challenge me! The next exercise continued with primary colour layering (see previous posts with primary layering tag), and also included hard and soft edges, and distance.

We were given a reference photo to work with, of tulips, and this is my result - not my best work, but it is a continuous (sometimes steep) learning curve for me! My hand doesn't do what my brain tells it to, so a bit frustrating!

Probably still haven't found my style yet - unlike the works in the latest exhibition I visited at the Royal Academy about Abstract Expressionism.

I've always loved Jackson Pollock's work, and I know a little about De Kooning and Rothko, but I also discovered Arshile Gorky.

Here are a couple of my favourites -

Blue Poles (1952) by Jackson Pollock
Probably one of his more famous works. It is huge and quite stunning, measuring 2.1m x 4.86m.

Arshile Gorky
Diary of a Seducer (1945)

I've also recently joined the Epsom Decorative and Fine Arts Society, which is affiliated to the national body.  Amongst other activities are the monthly lectures and the January and February ones are about 'New York - The Crucible of Modern Art (1940-1970)', so my visit to the exhibition is quite timely!

Art is not about what you see
But what you make others see
Edgar Degas

Friday, 2 December 2016

Its all about the balance ...

The Craft Barn's Alpha Dictionary challenge next letter is Y. I have chosen Yin and Yang. I've copied this fuller definition for those who are interested!

Yin Yang is perhaps the most known and documented concept used within Taoism.
A starting definition: Yin / Yang : Two halves that together complete wholeness. Yin and yang are also the starting point for change. When something is whole, by definition it is unchanging and complete. So when you split something into two halves – yin / yang, it upsets the equilibrium of wholeness. This starts both halves chasing after each other as they seek a new balance with each other.
The word Yin comes out to mean “shady side” and Yang “sunny side”.
Yin Yang is the concept of duality forming a whole. We encounter examples of Yin and Yang every day. As examples: night (Yin) and day (Yang), female (Yin) and male (Yang). Over thousands of years quite a bit has been sorted and grouped under various Yin Yang classification systems.
The symbol for Yin Yang is called the Taijitu. Most people just call it the yin yang symbol in the west. The taijitu symbol has been found in more than one culture and over the years has come to represent Taoism.

I've tried to create a balanced page! The background pieces (which I found in my off-cuts box) consist of brayered acrylic paint and some stamping.

I then cut the symbol from black and white card.

Happy December!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

My sister and me ...

My sister, Laura, is a wood turner, making all sorts of (mainly small) delicious things. Her lathe is in a 6 x 4 unheated shed, which can prove problematic in the winter months! She has recently set up an Etsy shop, so you can see her creations here.

Anyway, at the end of each session on her trusty lathe, there is this small disc of wood, which she polishes and puts into a little box.

Well - I couldn't pass up the challenge of doing something with them!

I've used a wooden box frame, with acrylic paint for the background, a bit of texture created with the gesso layer, and copper gilding wax. The tree truck is made from fabric dunked in fabric hardener (Powertex). I've also added a little airdry clay owl. We called this creation Watcher in the Wood ...

Since Laura has been wood turning, I've learned so much about wood, and the amazing array of colours you find beneath the bark.

Sticking with a tree theme, this from Emily Dickinson makes me smile -

Not at Home to Callers
Says the Naked Tree -
Bonnet due in April -
Wishing you Good Day -

Thursday, 17 November 2016

I'm out to impress you!

There are only a few letters to go in this year's Craft Barn Alpha Dictionary challenge, and I've managed to stick with it!  This time the letter is I.

I wanted to impress you with an alternative definition of that word!

The background is some spray inks with cling film scrunched on top to create a random pattern. I then found some metallic effect sticky backed stuff and die cut and embossed (or impressed) the butterfly.

I've also got a set of metal sticks with the alphabet letters on the end which you hammer into a surface to impress the letter. You can just about see the letters.

I think there are 4 letters to go - just hope I don't get brain freeze as the weather seems to be turning colder now!

Loving all the autumn colours against blue skies, just a perfect combination.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Prime time!

I've finally finished the second primary layering exercise that I started a couple of weeks ago in my art class.

Primary layering is mixing primary colours on the paper - each layer must be dry before doing the next layer.

All the layers (I did about 20), were done wet into wet.

First, yellow - there is about 3 layers here ...

Then red - probably 5 layers ...

Before I started on the blue, I did some adjustments with more yellow and red layers. There is an impression of a roof, and I had to remember to lift out the paint after each layer! I didn't use masking fluid as it had to remain quite soft.

I then added blue layers, before painting in some trees.

I made final adjustments with some more red and blue layers.

This looks quite Turner-esque to me!

I love the softness of wet in wet multiple washes, and primary layering is a fantastic technique to do, all you need is a little patience - so have a go!

It is only when we are no longer fearful
that we begin to create.
JMW Turner

Saturday, 5 November 2016

An ultra celebration ...

The Craft Barn's next dictionary challenge letter is U.

As I'm currently learning about primary layering in my art class, and as it is my all time favourite colour - I've chosen Ultramarine.

So this is a bit of an abstract celebration of ultramarine, on watercolour paper, with ink and ultramarine paint (in graduated steps) with a bit of coloured pencil too. I've also added some sparkle with glitter glue.

It is the most used colour in my six colour palette, and I'm already on my 3rd tube of the stuff!

Its history ...
Ultramarine is a deep blue colour and a pigment which was originally made by grinding lapis lazuli into a powder. The name comes from the Latin ultramarinus, literally "beyond the sea", because the pigment was imported into Europe from mines in Afghanistan by Italian traders during the 14th and 15th centuries.
Ultramarine was the finest and most expensive blue used by Renaissance painters. It was often used for the robes of the Virgin Mary, and symbolized holiness and humility. It remained an extremely expensive pigment until a synthetic ultramarine was invented in 1826.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Looking after the pennies ...

I seem to be in the middle of a few lengthy projects, but nothing is yet finished! So, as a break from painting I decided to decorate a moneybox blank, perhaps in the hope I may save a few pennies!

I was taken with my butterfly of butterflies wall plaque (see here), and I had some leftover die-cut butterflies, so went with the same theme.

Stuck all the butterflies on first, then covered in black gesso.  When dry I used a dry sponge (as opposed to dry brush!) to apply irridescent paints, and finished off with some gilding wax.

I protected it with a coat of varnish.

I thought I had used different colours to the plaque, but when I put them side by side ... virtually the same colour palette. Well, at least I'm consistent!

Detail close-up

Now - where are those pennies!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Green remembered days ...

The current Craft Barn challenge letter is V.

As my soul is still in the Scottish Highlands after my recent trip (see previous post), the first word that came to mind was verdant.

I got out my Distress Inks and a selection of stamps and used a brayer for the background, followed by a bit of stamping. I also used a little water to pull some of the ink into the images.

This morning was a little misty, with the sun looking very wistful as if remembering summer - I should probably write a haiku!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

It's all about colour ...

On my current art course (Intermediate Watercolour and Mixed Media), we learned about primary colour layering, which I'm finding fascinating.

Instead of mixing, say, a purple in the palette with red and blue, you mix on the paper. So, the first layer would be red, and when that is dry, you paint blue on top. Because watercolour is transparent you still get purple, but it is more vibrant.

Just making various strengths of primary colours and layering them up can create any colour you desire - but on the paper!

The first session involved creating an abstract painting, using primary layering - amazing! The only colours I had in my palette were yellow, red and blue. I also did the outline with India Ink and a dip pen.

We are now working on a landscape using this method, so watch this space!

I had a fabulous time in the Highlands, it was great seeing my friend and going for walks. The air is so clear and the landscape is so beautiful it hurts.

Just a taste -

Eilean Donan Castle on Loch Duich at Dornie, on the way to Skye

Featured in many films, including Highlander.

Bridge over to Skye

The last time I went to Skye on the ferry, as the bridge hadn't been built!

Glen Affric - National Nature Reserve - stunningly beautiful

Glen Affric again

Back to reality, traffic jams and pollution! but I've got lots of photos for painting inspiration.

Monday, 10 October 2016

A little bird told me ...

The current Paper Artsy challenge is all about die-cuts, a topic close to my heart, as I love the dimension and texture die-cuts can give.

This is a mirror I did a little while ago, starting with some texture paste through a stencil, die-cuts, and bits & bobs from my "maybe I'll keep this" box.

Then lots of acrylic paint - Paper Artsy Fresco - of course! And other bits, including some paper flowers I painted first, and some little butterfly beads.

I'm now all packed for my trip - very early start tomorrow. Must remember to set my alarm!

See you soon, with lots of painting inspiration!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

It can be just black and white ...

The next letter in the Craft Barn's dictionary challenge is E. My first thought was emboss, so I'm going with that!

For a change, I've kept it really simple and used just black and white card, with embossing folders.

There is something quite liberating about creating a project very fast!

I may not be able to visit everyone this time, as I'm going away, but I'll try and catch up later.

Off to bonny Scotland, visiting a friend in the Highlands - hope it's not too cold, but whatever the weather it is stunningly beautiful. Hope to get a few photos for some painting inspiration.

"There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter."
Billy Connolly

Saturday, 1 October 2016

A drop of red, a pinch of blue ...

For the first couple of sessions on my Intermediate Watercolour and Mixed Media course we mixed more colours, using a nine primary colour wheel.

For the beginner's course we used a six primary colour wheel - cool and warm of red, yellow and blue. Now we have added neutral red, yellow and blue - created by mixing both reds, both yellows and both blues together.

I hope you are following this ...

So now, I have created a new chart - this one is bright secondary and sub-secondary colours and complements. Mixing different quantities of the six tubes of paint we used in the beginners course; though I have now purchased some larger tubes of paint as I realise that only using primary colours I get through quite a bit!

This chart is only one of four, but I think I'm going to pass on creating three more, as this one took some time, and quite honestly, gave me a headache trying to work out all the mixes. I now understand the theory, so I'm going to leave it at that!

A very useful exercise though, and proves the point that you only need six tubes of paint.

Hubble bubble - mix it up!

Happy October.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Waiting for lunch ...

Following on from Mr Hare (here) and Mr Cheetah (here), may I introduce Mr Kingfisher!

I've used the same technique - drawing first, then going over with a dip pen, followed by a very wet wash of acrylic ink. This time I did dilute the ink a bit first, but I'm not sure that was a particularly good idea as I've lost some of the vibrancy.

Anyway, once dry, I used coloured pencils and Neocolor II crayons for the detail.

Did you know, apparently, kingfishers dive so fast that they can penetrate a layer of ice to catch a fish!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

X marks the spot ...

The latest letter in the Craft Barn Dictionary challenge is X - oh joy!

Not a lot to choose from - one if my mantras is - if stuck go to the Greek alphabet! ... I'm joking of course.

But I have gone to the Greek alphabet and my chosen word is the 14th letter - xi.

I've used a multilayered painted background, and dug deep into that area of my craft room that has been neglected for so long. I was searching for some alphabet letters - which I did find eventually (woo hoo!) along with a whole heap of other stuff which hasn't seen the light of day for soooo long. A bit like the toys stuffed into a box that are no longer played with ...

Anyway, here is my offering -

Tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox - looking forward to misty mornings and that spidery web-fest on all the shrubs, plus crunchy leaves and stunning  golden colours - oh, and curling up on the sofa with a good book!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

The butterfly effect ...

The last time the Fearless Four got together I forgot my camera, so didn't record our efforts; this time I remembered my camera, but we were only three, as one of us was unwell; so this is about the temporary three!

We started with quite a large MDF butterfly shape, which we  covered with a multitude of smaller butterflies, mostly die-cut and embossed ones.

There are quite a few collective nouns for butterflies - swarm, flight, rabble, flutter, kaleidoscope, wing, rainbow, flock - take your pick!

The whole piece was painted with black gesso, then - time for lunch!

Next we used different metallic/iridescent paints and mediums, blending and highlighting the shapes and patterns.  At home I added some little pearly things and made some wire antennae.

And the other offerings ...

Here is Lin's frenzy of butterflies

(a collective noun I just made up!)

and this is Linda's creation, which also includes some wooden butterflies.

Great fun to do and something a bit different to hang on the wall. Always good to craft with friends! Next time I hope we are back to full strength.

A power of Butterfly must be -
The Aptitude to fly
Meadows of Majesty concedes
And easy Sweeps of Sky -

Emily Dickinson

Thursday, 8 September 2016

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth ...

... when it is quite clearly Ocean ...
Arthur C Clarke

I've not done any stamping for some time, as I been immersed in painting, but the latest Craft Barn Dictionary challenge letter is O, and, unusually, I had no inspiration whatsoever.

Until (light bulb!) I decided to dust off some stamps - and do an oceanic scene; starting with a random acrylic ink background with a bit of cling film to create some texture.

The fish stamps (and associated dies) are by Heartfelt Creations stamped onto some left over sprayed background pieces. My favourite is the sea horse.

No-one does water drops and bubble stamps like Ryn, so added some bubbles to the mix, together with some pieces of oceanic flora!

Also entering Ryn's monthly challenge, and the Craft Stamper stamping challenge.

I start my intermediate watercolour and mixed media course on Monday, which I'm really looking forward too, though I think it is going to be a bit challenging!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

I'm ready for my close-up ...

Following on from my experimental Mr Hare (see here), I wanted to have another go using the same media, and this time Mr Cheetah is in the spotlight!

I started with the drawing, and used a dip pen with India ink over the pencil marks. I then flooded the paper with water and dropped in some acrylic ink. I also dropped in some granualation medium, but it is quite difficult to control, so next time I'll leave it out!

When thoroughly dry, I added the detail with coloured pencils and Neocolor II crayons.

My next project is a kingfisher!

Happy September - hope it is a sunny one!

Friday, 26 August 2016

A sweet life ...

H is the next letter in the Craft Barn Alpha Dictionary challenge, and there was only one option for me - haiku; the Japanese verse form.

I've been writing my own haiku for a little while now; traditionally, these verses are about the natural world.

Now, what to write about? Hummm - could it bee ...

I decided to get the Distress Inks out and made a background, using some stencils too. Then, my favourite bee stamps.

And from one of my favourite poets - Emily Dickinson

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.

Bee happy this Bank Holiday weekend.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Mr Hare does razzle-dazzle!

During the past year, whilst I've immersed myself in my art classes, I've also been reading about lots of different techniques that I've added to my try list, which includes this one.

I've talked previously about the bluebell wood workshop I did, when I discovered I really liked combining watercolour with other media. This is on similar lines. I can't remember where I read about this, and I am using different media to that used in the original article, but it starts off using acrylic inks as an underpainting.

First, I drew Mr Hare then went over the image with India Ink and my trusty twig pen (see this previous post).

Once dry, I flooded the paper with water, then dropped in some acrylic ink in various colours, and tilted the board to get some interesting effects. I also dropped in some granulation medium, which makes the pigment clump together.

When that was completely dry (I left it overnight), I took my coloured pencils and Neocolor II crayons and when to work building up quite a few layers. The whiskers are done with a Sharpie white paint pen.

I really like the way the underpainted colours, being so strong, show through.

Now I've got the measure of how all this media works together, I've started another painting, this time a cheetah!

Happiness is a bit of random razzle-dazzle!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Sublime blue ...

The other fortnightly Craft Barn challenge this time is using blue. Well, as that is my most favourite colour, I had to join in on this one!

I used an embossing folder on a piece of white card (I've got a very old Cuttlebug which has seen a lot of use over many years and is still going strong!). Then I lightly hit the high points with a Versamark pad, followed by gold embossing powder. It doesn't matter if there are some stray areas of embossing powder, that just adds to the random-ness!

Sprinkle some Brushos (blues of course) and spritz with water. Use a small paint brush to push the paint into the embossed image.

A pretty die-cut butterfly finishes it off.

I went to Tate Britain yesterday to see the Painting with Light exhibition, which explores art and photography from the Pre-Raphaelites to the modern age.

Fascinating exhibition; I hadn't really thought about what effect the invention of photography had on art.

I've always loved the Pre-Raphaelites, particularly Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and there were quite a few of his paintings included.

So, continuing with the blue theme, this painting was in the exhibition - Mariana (1870).

The digital reproduction doesn't show the vibrancy of that dress!

Also at Tate Britain at the moment there is a free Turner exhibition, also very enjoyable.

The Painting with Light exhibition is on until the 25 September.

That's my culture fix for this month!

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Bluebells Take Two

Following on from the all day mixed media workshop I did last month, when we painted a bluebell wood (see here), I decided to paint another one; this time from a photograph I took in Margery Wood, which is quite near me.

I did it a little differently from how we did it in the workshop - my way - and added more watercolour strokes and splatter (including white gouache).  I still used coloured pencils and my Neocolor II crayons.

I've also now got some mounts, which really help to frame it.

In my other bluebell post I included the first verse of "The Bluebell" by Emily Bronte.

Now, here is part of the first verse of a poem by Anne Bronte, also entitled The Bluebell.

There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

You zig ... I'll zag ...

Where does time go? If you find it, let me know! It seems like only yesterday I did the letter C, now the new letter in the Craft Barn's alpha dictionary challenge is Z, and it is combined with pearl (huh?).

Anyway, I've gone for zigzag, as I love patterns, and I fancied a bit of colouring in. Rhythm and harmony can be found everywhere, and there is something quite comforting in that.

I've used Windsor & Newton pigment markers and pearl pens. I accidently used the transparent pearl pen first, so I filled in with the actual pearl one!

Coincidentally the current Paper Artsy challenge is about patterns - so I'll zigzag my way over there too!

"What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognised.
What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher."
Chuck Palahniuk

Monday, 1 August 2016

Happiness is cloud shaped ...

The next letter in the Craft Barn Alpha Dictionary Challenge is C. I couldn't visit everyone for the last letter as my internet decided to give me some grief, but hopefully it is all fixed now.

As I need some watercolour practice I decided on cloud as my word, and have done a sunset sky, with a few clouds - cirrus... cumulus ... Quite a few clouds begin with C too!

Love clouds, just looking at all those ever-changing shapes - nothing like a bit of cloud watching!

I've used just two complementary colours - blue and orange, which takes me back to one of my first watercolour workshops last year.  I've always loved colour, but never really analysed it, so I have learnt something this past year!

The current Paper Artsy challenge is all about colour mixing, so entering that one too. The PA post is very informative if you want to learn more about colour, so check it out.

Sunset skies are very beautiful, so I was moved to write another haiku -

Silver misty wisps
Cloudy nomads of the air
Wrapped in red gold threads

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Daisy, daisy ...

I'm currently experiencing internet problems, so this will be a short  post (don't you just love technology!).

Here is a small watercolour, done with Brushos, that I've turned into a card. I've used a mount so that it can be framed too.

Daisies always remind me of hot summer days - making daisy chains!

This week I went to the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition. Fabulous - really enjoyed it. A very eclectic mix of work, some weird and wacky, some very traditional - and everything in-between.

There were so many pieces I loved, that I have put them all onto one of my Pinterest boards. See what I pinned here.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Look on the positive side ...

The Craft Barn's alpha dictionary challenge is every 2 weeks, but it seems those 2 weeks go in the blink of an eye! The next letter is N - with no twists (phew!).

I did contemplate doing Nothing and presenting a blank page - but then had a Negative thought!

I took some black card and some card that had been sprayed with inks. I then die-cut both pieces exactly the same.  Then I pieced the images together using opposites - the birds were quite tricky!

Again, the definition was very long, so I took just one aspect and printed it separately.

Thought for the day -

Turn every negative into a positive!

Monday, 11 July 2016

If you go down to the woods today ...

... sometimes I surprise myself - and when I look at this piece, I think - did I do that?

Recently I attended an all day workshop to paint a bluebell wood in mixed media. This is a large painting on half-imperial (22 inches x 15 inches), and we had to pre-draw the main tree outlines before the workshop to save time.

The painting was built up in layers; with a watercolour base, and the detail added using coloured pencils (I use Derwent Coloursoft), and wax crayons (I use Neocolor II).

I find all day workshops are quite demanding, when I have to be focused for so many hours, (my back and neck don't like it either!). I didn't finish completely on the day, and it took me a couple more hours to finish at home.

I have rather taken to using the pencils and crayons with watercolour - maybe I've found the mixed media selection to focus on? Time will tell!

Emily Bronte wrote a poem entitled "The Bluebell", here is the first verse -

The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit's care.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Flights of fancy ...

I seem to have started a few projects recently, but none are finished, as I'm flitting between them!

So, thought I would enter this card into the Craft Barn's other fortnightly challenge, which at the moment is all about "butterflies".

Butterflies are a perennial favourite, and this card uses magazine pages for collage.

The background is part of a text page, and a piece of handmade paper for texture. The butterflies are punched from magazine pages. My butterfly punch is pretty old and struggles with very thin pages, but I found if I punched through the page together with a piece of copy paper, the copy paper gives it something to bite into.

Finally summer seems to have arrived, so hope to see more butterflies!

A power of Butterfly must be -
The Aptitude to fly
Meadows of Majesty concedes
And easy Sweeps of Sky -
Emily Dickinson

Thursday, 30 June 2016

A whiter shade of pale ...

The next letter in the Craft Barn challenge is W. I must have over-dosed on paint with all my watercolour classes, because this is another entry where no paint is involved!

My chosen word is white. I've long been fascinated with colour - and the absence of it; how white comes in many shades, and how you can play with shadows to create shapes.

Hence this abstract piece! The definition of white was so long it would have taken up half the page, so I've just extracted one aspect.

Women think of all colours except the absence of colour. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.
Coco Chanel

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Hug a tree!

I've now completed the short painting trees watercolour course, and found it the most difficult one so far!

I've learned a lot, but so much more practice is needed - anyway, here are my efforts.

I used a photo I found, which had far distance, middle distance, and near trees. I've made quite a few errors here, but I now know where I went wrong, so perhaps I'll have another go sometime, with the same picture.

Every time I go out now, I can't help but look at all the trees - shapes, colours, effects of distance ...

"Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?
Supposing it didn't, said Pooh after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this."
A A Milne

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Look - no paint!

The next letter in the Craft Barn dictionary challenge is K. This had me flummoxed for a bit, and isn't it strange how suddenly something pops into your head! Anyway, I was taken back to my childhood when I remembered my kaleidoscope, and how entranced I was with all the colours.

I then thought about a particular origami flower that I've used in the past on cards, which reminded me of my kaleidoscope, so ...

No paint was used in the making of this entry - which will probably be the one and only time, but, you never know!

Yesterday I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum to see the Botticelli Reimagined exhibition, which explores the variety of ways artists and designers have responded to the Botticelli's legacy.

The most popular painting to inspire others is this one - The Birth of Venus (painted in the mid 1480s).

And here are a couple of others -

This one by Yin Xin - Venus after Botticelli (2008)

And one of a series by Andy Warhol - Details of Renaissance Paintings (1984)

In all about 150 works from the Pre-Raphaelites to the present day, such as Rossetti, Ruskin, William Morris, and Dolce & Gabbana; as well as over 50 original works by Botticelli.

Fabulous exhibition, which is on until 3 July 2016.