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, 30 March 2016

Me and Monet!

I wanted to have a go at watercolour glue painting, which uses wallpaper paste. Fascinating technique.

Make up some wallpaper paste, and mix watercolour into it. The colour is held in suspension and when applied to the paper it stays exactly where you put it; but more importantly you can add texture.

Background was done wet in wet, and the poppies wet in dry.

As it dries it soaks into the paper and so leaves a flat image of the texture marks made.

Ealier this week I visited the Royal Academy's Painting the Modern Garden Monet to Matisse exhibition. Absolutely fabulous!

Monet is one of my favourite painters, and for the first time in Europe the very large waterlilies tryptiche was on display.

The three panels together are 42 feet long, and 7 feet high. To see them all together gave me goosebumps and I felt quite emotional - I just did not want to leave the room!

Of course I had to buy the rather sumptuous catalogue which shows every painting - such a lot of inspiration.

The exhibition is on until 20 April - if you love Impressionism - go!

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Emily's naked tree ...

Since my beginners watercolour course finished I have been challenging myself  on various aspects I learned over the past few months.

Having used acrylic paint for many years, I have struggled with not overworking watercolour and creating a utter mess. I have discovered that if I make a mistake to just leave it - trying to rectify it only makes it much much worse!

So, this challenge was all about speed, and not pushing the paint around too much. It didn't matter how it turned out, because it could always go in the bin!

This is A3 size, so not so daunting as the larger half imperial size we used in class.

I'm reasonably satisfied with the result, and I did feel a sense of freedom with the washes, probably because the pressure was off!

Happy Easter to everyone. Storm Katie (no relation!) is on the way for Easter Monday, so I think I'll be holed up in my craft room.

Not at home to callers
Says the naked tree -
Bonnet due in April -
Wishing you good day.
Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

A different angle ...

The next letter in the Craft Barn alpha dictionary challenge is G.

Always good to go with first thoughts - which this time is geometric. Why that is the first word that came to mind - who knows?

This piece is inspired by the works of Modriani, though I have put a new slant on it ...

I've used acrylic paint on watercolour paper.

The object of art is to give life a shape.
Jean Anouilh

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Don't forget to play!

My Pebeo paints haven't had an outing for a little while, so, with a friend, we recently had a play.  We tried it on some Stampboard with a view to stamping on top.

Used mainly Moon with a touch of Prisme on these pieces of Stampboard.

Several attempts made to stamp onto it, as it is very slippery, but at least all the fuzzy attempts could be wiped off immediately!

Used Archival ink and heat set it.

I decided to make a card for an upcoming birthday. I used a background piece from the masterboards created earlier this year (see here), and die-cut some leaves similar the the stamped ones.

During our Pebeo session we made a lot more pieces, so I'll show those another time.

This card is appropriate for the current Craft Barn fortnightly random challenge, which is about background circles, and this month's Craft Stamper Magazine challenge which is Anything Goes (as long as it features some stamping).

If you never did, you should.
These things are fun, and fun is good!
Dr Seuss

Monday, 14 March 2016

Daisy, daisy ...

The last exercise on my beginners' watercolour course is all about resist. We were given a reference, which we had to draw, and put resist materials where we thought they should be!

All these exercises have not only been about techniques, but also observation. Something that I really got to grips with in the drawing course I did last year (see here).

I used masking fluid over all the daisies and leaves, and also where the gypsophila is, plus a little splattering.  There are also a few lines of masking fluid on the vase, but not the large highlight, which I just painted around. I used candle wax on parts of the surface area too.

Once the background is painted the masking fluid is removed. The daisies are mostly just the original white of the paper with a little shadowing.

Still having trouble with my washes - so more practice needed!

I've got a couple of weeks break now before I start my new course - Line and Wash - should be interesting ...

A few days ago I went up to Chinatown with a friend, and we found the London Graphics Centre (like a sweetshop for artists), and revisited a Chinese shop that sells art materials.

Yes, I bought a few things - couldn't resist! Including a bamboo dip pen, which I thought would be useful on my next course.

The Chinese New Year decorations were still up so - kung hei fat choy ...

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Resistance is futile ...

The next letter in the Craft Barn Alpha Dictionary challenge is R. It just so happens that my latest in-progress masterpiece (yeah - right!) on my art course is all about resist techniques - so that had to be my word!

But, back to this little masterpiece! Started by masking off two areas with tape. I drew a daisy and used masking fluid on that, and also wrote the word resist in wax crayon (from a box of cheap children's crayons which I originally bought to try melting them - not very successfully I might add).

I then did a watercolour wash (wet in wet) with three colours. When dry, I rubbed off the masking fluid, and painted the daisy stem, leaves, flower centre and a few petal shadows.

At 5.30am this morning I was woken by rain lashing the windows. Couldn't get back to sleep, so wrote a haiku - as you do!

Flower fragile white
Facing the storm, bow your head
Beautiful resist

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The geometry of elephants!

I had a go at block printing when visiting the Make It show at Farnborough last weekend. Great fun - I think those carved wooden blocks (mainly made in India I think) are works of art in themselves, and would look great displayed on a shelf!

I chose to do a tea towel - there was a good selection of blocks to use, as well as fabric paints. This took me about 45 minutes, and was great fun. I just needed to iron it to heat set the paint, then it can be washed with no problem.

The question is - will I ever use it as a tea towel - I think it is too pretty!

Whilst on fabric matters, at another show I had a go at screen printing - this was also really enjoyable, and quite easy to master. I did a tote bag. First we had to cut out some paper shapes, from a piece of A4 copy paper, then used the positive and negative on either side of the bag.  I went a bit geometric abstraction!

And I have used this to carry stuff!

Happy March - Spring is on the way - I hope!