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

Saturday, 28 May 2016

The sunflower is mine, in a way ...

... that's a quote from Vincent van Gogh - so this is a sunny daisy!

I'm struggling with my painting at the moment, so nothing to show you, as one has already gone in the bin ...though I must admit I have been experimenting, so some disasters are probably inevitable!

The Craft Barn's other two-weekly challenge is about using different papers, so I thought I would feature a collage card I made, where I've cut flower petals from various papers, including book pages and magazine pages. Some of the book pages have been coloured with Distress Ink, as has the pale background.

Here is an appropriate poem from one of my favourite poets - Emily Dickinson.

The Daisy follows soft the Sun -
And when his golden walk is done -
Sits shyly at his feet -
He - waking - finds the flower there -
Wherefore - Marauder - art though here?
Because, Sir, love is sweet!

We are the Flower - Thou the Sun!
Forgive us, if as days decline -
We nearer steal to Thee!
Enamored of the parting West -
The peace - the flight - the Amethyst -
Night's possibility!

Happy Bank Holiday weekend - some of us may see a bit of sunshine!

Sunday, 22 May 2016


The Craft Barn Dictionary Challenge letter this time is A, with no additional twist -so no brain ache this time!

I like alliteration (as well as the word itself), so went with that, and had fun doing a lot of doodling. I also used the letter in my alliteration example!

I first painted the words with acrylic paint, then did some doodling with the paint as well as some pens. Finally, threw a little Brusho at it for good measure!

Also including this in the current Paper Artsy challenge all about doodling.

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Earth laughs in flowers ...

...  a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and I think that says it all.

For the final Line and Wash session I started another painting, as I had already finished the final project (see previous post).

Originally I was going to do another line & wash, but there is only a tiny bit of line in this one!

I started out using masking fluid over the flowers. I then tried another background technique which my class tutor suggested. She called it lake wetting. This involves brushing water over the whole area, twice. Then spend 5 minutes dropping in more water. Ultimately the paper is thoroughly soaked and can't take any more water.

Then I dropped in 4 different washes. Because the paper is thoroughly saturated there is plenty of time to get the effects you are after, and there are no hard edges. The paper takes an age to dry though!

I then painted the flowers in about 5 layers. The line element is in the form of yellow acrylic ink in the flower centres, which I did first.

Echinacea is my favourite flower ...

I started my next art course yesterday - Painting Trees. I'll be taking a break from classes after that finishes in 5 weeks time - phew!

Talking of flowers, my wisteria is in bloom - love that scent ...

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Don't look down!

I've now finished my Line and Wash course, which I have really enjoyed, and learnt quite a bit along the way too! Although my watercolour washes are still proving challenging, but I think I'm getting a little better.

Our final project could be any subject and I found a fabulous photo of a pine tree tettering on the edge of a rocky outcrop.

I used acrylic inks with dip pens and twigs, and did most of the tree and rocks first.

Doing the tree first meant I had invested a lot of time and effort, and now ... deep breath ... the watercolour washes. I made up several washes and did some graduated layers.

Right - breath again!

I think it looks a bit oriental ...

... which leads quite neatly to my tree peony (I think they originate in China).

It is in full bloom - I love its big, bold, in-your-face, look-at-me flowers.

Maybe I'll paint it some time!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

All that jazz ...

The next letter in the Craft Barn's Alpha Dictionary challenge is J, to be accompanied by - a dragonfly (really?).

Anyway, I struggled with this one. I've only recently done dragonflies for the letter D, and J is a difficult letter anyway. I didn't get much inspiration from reading the dictionary either!

I decided on jazzy ... I love colour and a bit of jazz too!

I painted a random background with acrylic paint, made a dragonfly stencil, and then threw a lot of colour at it!

Not my best entry - but that is going to happen when I'm all dragonflied out! (Or when inspiration takes a walk!)

So enjoying this warm sunshine ...

"What day is it?" asked Pooh.
"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
"My favourite day" said Pooh.
AA Milne