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!