Category Archives: Miscellany

Autumn, Fairy Shoes and Ticking off lists

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I am entranced daily by delicious vistas of autumn light – and raindrops so big you could loose yourself in them.  The environment is exuding a wealth that beckons a generosity of spirit.  My world is alive with the magic of enticing colour, warm light & shorter days.

Within the art of  photography, there is a time of day, called ‘magic hour’ – without getting two technical the half hour after sunrise & before sunset    Light at this time is warm & soft & you can capture photos with good shadows & tonal transitions. Subjects look warm, saturated in color.  Autumn in our house has me dashing to our front verandah – camera in hand………the half hour before sunrise & after sunset the light is soft & rich & has the depth of velvet.   Shadows are deep, but the light is extremely saturated, which makes for amazing sunset shots – which we are ideally situated to capture.  Autumn is one of my great loves.

(if you’d like to read a little more about ‘magic hour’ you’ll find some good info here & here)

I have been creating a bit of art with a needle lately.  I am thrilled to say that our little princess’s quilt is finished (which you may remember was on my list at the beginning of the year)  She has just turned 2 & she is so full of exuberance & has just a mischievious little laugh.  She is a little magpie and her little nonsensical conversations and comments make you laugh out loud – such a joy!!  What’s the first thing you do when you are presented with an heirloom that has cost many hundreds of dollars & has taken 18 months to make – JUMP  FOR JOY OF COURSE!!!  LOL!!!  We love her to bits – AND OF COURSE – as her grandies – we ARE biased!!  Back to the quilt – it’s huge – it began life as a cot quilt, then transitioned (when DIL & I discussed how the precious cot quilts of the older two had become obsolete now that they were in ‘big beds’) into a single bed, then finally into a king single (when I realized that was the size they had bought for their eldest.  The final size was 66in wide x 77in long…..aka big & heavy to ‘man handle’…..but it’s done now & sick person that I am, despite it becoming a guilty obligation in the end – I am already looking to the next one!  It’s the euphoria of the finished quilt driving me – no doubt!  After the spectre of failure that makes me choke at every deadline is overshadowed by a success – I want to recreate it.

We have an event coming up at the end of May that I am creatively involved in & I have been painting, sewing & doing some watercolours, mixed media & digital work – all around the topic of feet & shoes.  I have had fun creating fairy shoes, sweet little booties, as well as creating artful invites & treasures to sell on the night.

I HAD intended to post up the patterns that I made for the shoes – but that didn’t happen, so it has to be next time!  Til then – take care………..xk

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More Lists and Free Images Too

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I realized two things when I came to post this morning – firstly that I DIDN’T press ‘publish’ last week when I posted AND – my post read like something that is probably rambly introspective trash that people imagining themselves to be insightful (minus an editor) writes.  (also a hazard of posting infrequently – you don’t know where to begin to catch up your readers – if I have any of those any more!)

In several forums of my life at the moment, I am being encouraged to thankful and there really is LOTS…………one of the significant things that kept coming up on my lists were my ONLINE art friends & forums that I belong to…….you all have made such an impact on my artistic journey.  SO – my list is at the bottom of this post – but to start with a THANKYOU – I wanted to gift you some of my ‘altered’ images – to use in your own art work.  I retain the copyright, they are images I have taken myself & altered – however, I release them to you to use in your own work & your own work for publication (BUT NOT for redistribution or resale).

Unfortunately – they are not very big as I have used iphone apps to alter them, and it kept crashing the larger sized files.  They print up nicely at 6 x 4 & 5 x 7’s or even better sized as ATC backgrounds.  They will increase with a double click – then right click to save.

For those that don’t know – I am  participating in Misty Mawn’s Open Studio Workshop.  There are many adjectives that could be used to describe it (I COULD write a list!!!) but in short its the best I have ever been exposed to.  She has certainly sorted ‘the men from the boys’ as we say here in Oz and set the bar high for online courses. It is affordably priced, content rich, beautifully presented (name me one thing of Misty’s that isn’t!) – both challenging & achievable………..and YES – I am in love with her all over again!

The course covers both anticipated & unexpected inclusions like sculpture with paper clay, writing poetry, mark making with interesting mixes of materials, & other fun things.  You can certainly notice the difference between someone formally trained in art & and those that are not in the depth & intensity of material included.  If you have the chance to participate at some point – can I highly recommend it?

Having said that – and noting my post from a few months ago about ‘soooooo many faces’ – I am back to painting faces!  Of course I have returned to my first love (the start of my ‘learning to draw’ adventure began with faces in July 2008)  HONESTLY – they are 100% better than where I started……BUT I am not sure that I’ll ever get really good at this – even IF I paint them forever! LOL! (although, I must admit when ‘altered’ with my iPhone apps [as above] they look better) here is some of my work I have done throughout the 5 week course.

3 lino cuts (bud, blossoming, bloom) printed on vintage text. Pen & ink & watercolour drawings on page

inspired by summer beach trips to 90 Mile Beach, Victoria. Pen & ink w. watercolour

GHOST GUM - a linear abstract

myself - as a shape

i AM grateful…………………
for healthy children & grandchildren
for sky canvas set out before me daily (any one who has read my blog for any length of time will have seen one of our beautiful sunsets – for new readers – I have added one below as a treat!  Taken a week ago from our front verandah)
for freedom to worship
for my home
for the gift of creativity
for pristine beaches
for the clean environment we live in here
for dear friends
for the online art community
for accessible, affordable education
for the wonder that is creation
for the smell of newborn babies
for the joy of a toddler laughing
for the wonder of childhood discovery
for the pleasure of sharing a life
for the privilege of growing old with someone you love
for the freedom to choose

there are plenty of other things…………..but they will be for a list…..another day

Apprenticed Art

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I’ve been spending extended weeks & months with one of our little Princesses who is now a very knowledgable four and a half years old.  My goodness how that time has flown.  Having had restricted reign in my art studio since she was born, she is very happy surrounded by ‘things’ to

Hey Nonna - what IS this white stuff anyway? (16mths)

working on first collage

create with.  Her first experience with PVA was very tactile as you can see from the picture.  Her mum & I were talking in the kitchen & realised she had disappeared…….such a funny memory of discovering her – covered in PVA……much to my daughter’s horror – MY first instinct was to grab for the camera – I AM SO glad I did.   The first collage she made just before she was 2 years old is one of my most valued treasures.  Over the weeks of February, we have been creating some ‘larger’ projects that have been far more intricate than miriad of little notes & drawings & paintings that appear as a part of her imaginative play of the day. 

1st collage (23 mths)

We have spent time discovering the different look & feel of various mark making tools – pencils, crayons, stamping & she has experimented with watercolour and acylic paints.   I don’t have any inflated dreams of her being a famous artist – I am just enjoying the pleasure of nurturing her own passion to create – what ever form that might take, now & in the future. 

We have played with creating colour wheels & I found this site had a great range of free resources that were easy to print out & use. (keep in mind if you are adding any kind of wet media, the print out needs to be lazar copy so it doesn’t bleed).  Kinda Art & Deep Space Sparkle are a couple of my fav sites (although the activities are for children a little older – I can usually adapt it).

The day she discovered sticky tape – about 9 months ago – a bit after she turned 4 years old – we had been ‘working’ in the studio and she said – Nonna, can I have my dinner in here – I don’t want to stop working in the ‘shhtudio’ (as she says it).  It was a first indication of a growing passion, which excited me almost as much as the priceless comment.  It is now common place for her to wake up & head straight for the studio, or for me to find her there, at her ‘desk’ drawing or colouring & sometimes painting (although I still enourage supervision for this)  – sometimes she just gets everything out herself.  At Christmas I bought her the whole range of Imaginisce – Enchanted Collection – Snag ’em Acrylic Stamps for her & she is JUST getting the hang of how to use acrylic blocks with a clear stamp. (you can get them from Scrapbook.com for about $1!)

I feel compassion for the generation of women who are ‘choosing’ to have their children so late in life, that not only will they not enjoy them as adults, but they will not ever experience the joy of grandchildren.  It is an amazing pleasure and joy, sprinkling delights & sunshine through the day like glitter – you don’t know when the sun is going to ‘catch’ it and you are bathed in sparkles.  Like these recent little conversation starters:

‘I am very busy today Nonna, I am going to have 18 babies and they are JUST about to be born!” (hmmmm…….sounds like a busy day to me! LOL!)

Girl discovers Sticky Tape (4 yrs)

(I was reheating some left over Indian food for lunch & she commented) ‘I don’t like Indian food – I just like the yarn (nann – bread); not the saucy stuff’

Nonna could I please have some Mangoes  on my mosquito bite’ (mistaken for ‘Stingoes’ – bite relief)

& excitedly recounting our shopping trip to the local shopping centre – ‘Poppa we used the alligator (escalator) to go up stairs!’

One of my proudest moments recently was when she told a complete stranger…… “My Nonna is an Artist – and I am one too.”

Anyways – I began this post some time ago & was determined this morning to finish it BEFORE I went to bed – & it’s 2am THE NEXT morning!…. all of this rambling I am doing about my grandaughter is all to say – it’s never to early to share your passion to create – start with a colour wheel! Colour is SUCH fun to share! (see the tab at the top of the page)

Mermaid - 26in long

WIP fairy - 30ins

christmas joy

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 I forgot to tell you about my new MOST fav. online shop…………….OMGOOOOODness it’s fab. DH usually gives me an allowance to spend online for Christmas and Birthdays, knowing that I can source interesting supplies from far and wide, this year – I blew it ALL at scrapbook.com and I have a cart waiting for next time! LUV IT! (no………no affliation what so ever) – I just love how well they have designed their on line shopping – hello – by brand, colour, price or type????? WOO HOO! oh…….AND then a follow up email, after you have ordered with project suggestions for every single item in your cart……..this has to be paper art heaven! surely! LOL!! xK Can’t wait to get my hands on THIS little baby!!!!

drawing & a little bling

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more glimpses of Spring the last few days, however today it has poured rain.  Buckets of it.  Good for all of those bulbs just emerging from their winter blanket.  I have created the little ornaments above for a Paper Traders bobbin swap being hosted by Connie.  I began them when we were away & kinda got a bit off track with them.  They are embellished with hand dyed vintage lace & trim & modern beaded fringing.  My ‘kitty’ drawing is the next installment in my Japanese Moleskine exchange with Jennifer.  If you’d like to see more of the book – it’s here on my Flickr site.  The butterfly & chrystalis was created by Jenn, signifying the life changes she is going through at the moment.  It’s beautiful in real life.

Presents & Lines That Ask Questions

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I have heaps of work from my end of year assessment to scan & photograph to post, but some of it (A1 life drawings, are just too hard – even to store & I have already 'binned' them!  In the process of 'filing' & sorting' all of my work from the year, I came across this quote from my drawing teacher.  He said it at the start of the year, at the time, I was still under the illusion that going to 'art school' meant that you would get some actual 'instruction' in art – instead of here's the 'thing' (whatever that happened to be on the day) – draw it!  Lines that ask webso, after quite a frustrating year, I felt it only appropriate that I create something funny out of these 'high brow' ideals of drawing……….. this is my page for the Paper Trader's calendar for 2010.  I will post a link to buy them if you'd like one, in a couple of days when it's ready.  I am not sure if the resolution is high enough for you to read any of the questions these lines are asking of each other, like….

does this drawing make my nose look big?

How do you like your hair cut?

Is it nicer to kiss fuller lips?

I wonder what it would be like to be taller?

Can I help being so straight?

What do you do with your self when you are not part of a drawing?

I used my old typewriter to create the text, then coloured the paper by giving it a 'quick' bath in clean water, spraying some walnut ink & Horny Toad Teal Moonglow on it & then drying it with a hairdryer.  The hairdryer gives nice 'spidery' lines that look intriguing as a whole, but when they are cut up they just add interest & tonal variation.

 

Obsessed & Assessed

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Hi there all those out in blog land…..thanks for being faithful readers – even when I don't follow through with writing up where I am at in the studio.  At the moment – breathing a sigh of relief – end of year assessment is done & dusted, (a fav saying of my DH), & I am in what I call the 'fall out zone'.  It always occurs after a 'big push' event.  I just slept for the first 48 hours!  (UNHEARD OF for me!)

I had 62 pieces to submit – some of which you have seen along the way during the semester – (some of the prints, & book making) others you haven't – partly because they are pretty poor standard & partly because I haven't been diligent about photographing everything & I have lots of scanning to do.  For tonight, I will just leave you with this one………this is my oil painting submission – a triptych called 'fragile life' .  I have included my 'artist statement' below.

Fragile life triptych

fragile life

intentionally primitive,

avoiding the appearance of anatomical pregnancy biology,

this work explores the fragility of the formation of life.

that despite a parent’s best care & intentions,

they have no control over the outcome of a pregnancy

& only with a touch of the divine,

can life be given & sustained.

indicative of the complex web

of spiritual, natural, emotional & physical elements

the textural & interwoven brush stokes & colour

belie the interplay of fears & anxieties after conception

&,

sometimes,

loss.

Keron Lee 2009

 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. Psalm 139:13 

this is a 'zentangle' style page spread that I did for a visiting RR JOURNAL last week…..it explores all of the self doubt & uncertainty I was feeling post submission…..posing the question – IF, in my very being I am compelled to create art – does that of itself, make me an artist?

How-great-thou-Art-web

a little piece of art

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Connie from Paper Traders is running an 'Emotive Faces' swap and seeing as facesAfter Rubens have been such a big part of my drawing journey of the last 12 months – I just HAD to join in.  This girl is one that I am just always enthralled with.  She has such a peaceful, langid look on her face, but it's still pensive.  For me (personally) she has all of the intrigue that comes with the Mona Lisa.  I have made 5 originals of her, (in reverse, because of how I made it) I started, by drawing the pic on to lino & then carving it out & making lino prints, hand burnishing ink onto the watercolour paper with a spoon. (this made the image in reverse to the original)
I then used pencils, chalks, watercolour paint & ink to work in the colours. Being originals, each one is different, but I only scanned one of them.

In Art Theory at the moment, we are studying Baroque artists, & Sir Peter Paul Rubens (June 28, 1577May 30, 1640) was a prolific seventeenth-century Flemish Baroque painter, and a proponent of an exuberant Baroque style that emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. He is well-known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.

Peter_Paul_Rubens_091b this one is a totally different style – but Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia has amazing detail in her clothing, which I find enchanting.

 

Progress at College

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Bamboo-&-ink This week at Collage we have moved on to watercolour classes with the AMAZING Australian artist THORNTON WALKER - WOW – really great stuff – THIS was my fav (it looked like a stylized 'colour chart' – so OF COURSE it was my fav!) – but IT was hard to choose!  So much of his subject matter really appealled to me – still lifes that include china & fruit & interesting bits'n'bobs……the dissapointing part was that our first week was him 'introducing' us to inks – which he uses in conjunction with watercolours – obviously he wasn't aware that we had been working with them for 4 weeks previously.  The exercise was to sit opposite in pairs & draw each other using bamboo 'pens' (made from a sharpened piece of bamboo).  After several goes at this, I lost the plot a little and wandered over to something familiar.Pear-in-shellac

I have finally completed my first lino cut in printmaking, which I have hand burnished out on to some old newsprintUrbania-linocut – it's a kind of play on some of my photographs of Melbourne cityscapes, and includes of some 'John Brack Collins St' people (down the bottom).  Lino cuts are quite fun to do (if you can move your arm that is!) – Lino is much more stable than the rubber (my earlier carving experiences), although it is difficult to get a 'positive' carving as it is a thin surface (about 1/4 inch), so to carve it all completely away, it is tricky to get it away (you often end up with striations) and so many are done in the negative.

More Pen & Ink

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Most of what I do at Uni is hardly worth a mention, while there is lots of it, it is mostly big in scale (we usually work on A1 size cartridge, or bulky news, depending on the subject), which makes it difficult to scan or photograph, & it is often just 'exercises' and practising in various mediums.  We have come to the end of our 'pen & ink' workshops & the work was mostly done on a smaller scale, so I have scanned some to post.Seahorse in Ink  I did a copy of a seahorse I did last year, in watercolour, as I thought the tonal variation leant itself to this medium.  Of course the scan doesn't show it up, but I have used irridescent & silver inks, which give this little critter a 'slippery' fish look & makes the water glisten.Forest Floor in Ink  The page of 'forest floor' bits is a pretty dodgy scan, & of course much of the detail is lost…& the last two are the front & back cover of a little 'Zutter' book I did of ATC sized 'tree studies' at various times of the day.  'The Most Significant Tree' appears in the puddling ink, so after it dried, I emphasised it in the composition. Tree in the SunThe Most Significant Tree