Category Archives: Watercolours

Secrets & Journals


Losses from last week and HOT HOT weather have left me a bit listless and flat…… grasping for my muse………I CANNOT believe how many people I have spoken to recently that have embarrasingly confessed that they are or have been struggling with depression…….I am sure it is the modern day PLAGUE…….it seems that many people are suffering days when hope is hard to find and the future seems too bleak to contemplate………

What creativity have managed to summon has been directed to finishing off some work that is not due for release yet for Alpha Stamps – I will be able to show you soon – it's an exciting project & one that I have loved doing…….. last weekend I finished off these two projects.  I created these pages for a tip in journal about cats…….SO-fisti-Cats-web

and these pages for an RR journal about Water & the Sea

…..I have done a little drawing…. but nothing remarkable……… these are a couple of my more recent ones……….042-I-am-Thankful-for-web




It had been my intention to talk about my visit to Degas in this post however, it's been a kinda odd week – with the losses of someone close and someone far – so dancing doesn't seem to be appropriate subject matter.  I have been continually drawing, getting to the point where I will perhaps start to 'grade' what I show you, there is so much and I can tell from the literal halving of my blog audience – that interest is waining – but I have been drawing so prolificly - constantly looking for something to draw on………… I have always made a point of showing my work good and bad so that you don't get the impression that 'I've made it' or that my art is up on some unattainable pedistal – believe me – I make PLENTY of ordinary stuff – this week I was drawing one of our dogs (German Shorthaired Pointers) – oh my goodness……it went through several metomorphosis in the process looking like a possum, a bear, a wolf and a small horse!  It IS finished now – and The Princess at two and a half can recognise it as a dog – (1st base) – however I think she could have done it just as well herself!  LOL!!  Maddie-is-watching-for-you- This sketch is called 'Maddie is watching for you……' and looks significantly sweeter in real life (particularly without the scan shadow from the gutter of my journal)… I also wanted to share with you about an artist who finished his life journey this week.  I don't know well personally – but he was always encouraging to me and I found his work fascinating……. his 'take' on a scene always provokes a sense of wonder for me…….His name was Andrew Wyeth, & he lived in Pensylvania & was a member of the huge online art community Wet Canvas – to me - Andrew so often seemed to capture what I call 'Ephemeral Moments' – moments that have an element of wonderlust about them – and that  pass in a blink.  They are often missed and rarely recorded……you know, like how a fabric of a dress swishes as someone walks by – or the light that dapples on autumn leaves that makes them almost transluscent….. and the way that the glow of reflected light at sunset can soften the harshest of faces – Andrew did that - he was the master of the moment…….here are some of his moments……


here are some words from him………

 I can't work completely out of my imagination. I must put my foot in a bit of truth; and then I can fly free.

I don't really have studios. I wander around around people's attics, out in fields, in cellars, anyplace I find that invites me.

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.

I search for the realness, the real feeling of a subject, all the texture around it… I always want to see the third dimension of something… I want to come alive with the object.

I surrendered to a world of my imagination, reenacting all those wonderful tales my father would read aloud to me. I became a very active reader, especially history and Shakespeare.

If you clean it up, get analytical, all the subtle joy and emotion you felt in the first place goes flying out the window.

It's a moment that I'm after, a fleeting moment, but not a frozen moment.

It's all in how you arrange the thing… the careful balance of the design is the motion.

One's art goes as far and as deep as one's love goes.

To be interested solely in technique would be a very superficial thing to me.

To have all your life's work and to have them along the wall, it's like walking in with no clothes on. It's terrible.

Artists today think of everything they do as a work of art. It is important to forget about what you are doing – then a work of art may happen.

Goodbye friends – thank you for being a part of my life and art journey

The Quest for Progress


A week or so ago when I did my first Rubenesque-B-web'RubenesqueRubenesque-web' I feel really frustrated that although I was happy with how the end result of my drawing & painting looked – it didn't actually look that much like the original.  I have spent this whole week on a quest to make progress on my powers of observation & to improve the likeness of my 'copy' of this great master's work.   Drawing the same image over & over – DH says that the last one is the best – which kinda suggests that all of the practice has been worth it and ONE more attempt and I'd nail it – but I am really over this girl for now – I need to do something else at least for one evening.   I started out on watercolour paper using watercolour & chalks – then I moved to just chalks on colourfix paper (coloured paper sized for chalk drawings)       Rubenesque-D-web   Rubenesque-C-web










THIS IS THE REFERENCE IMAGE THAT I HAVE BEEN WORKING FROM (obviously just the upper half)  I have spent considerable time this evening trawling through countless websites to try to get some specific information about this piece of work, however without success.  It has the non descript name of 'Woman's Head and Right Hand!' – so it doesn't tie it to any particular piece of finished art – or whether it was a piece of finished art in itself – although practices of the day suggest not….. it was typical to complete sketch studies to prepare for a larger, or more complex work.   One site describes it as oil on canvas which surprised me, it doesn't have that appearance at all – but you never know just looking at it electronically.  Peter Paul Rubens art career was fascinating & well worth a read if you have the time.


Lucky if found Accidentally


These are a couple more of my Christmas drawings, another ‘Rubenesque’ – I have titled ‘Queen of the May’ – just because of her neck ruffle.  The next Every day matters drawing challenge – something Lucky…of course I couldn’t go past a 4 leaved clover, which I read is only considered lucky if found accidentally (I am not sure how many people hunt for them!)……. I am practising underpainting my watercolour faces at the moment, which is producing some interesting results….. I have underpainted ‘Queen of the May’ with an olive wash, & created the shadowing with Graphite – I had to be careful not to give her a ‘5 o’clock shadow’ but I like the appearance of the graphite over the watercolour.  Interesting & worth exploring a bit more.Queen-of-the-May-web Miss-Prim-&-Proper-Purple-w Dancing-web 200-Lucky-web

A little taste of Christmas


Christmas-Belle-2-webHopes-of-Fine-Weather-web I thought you might like a bit of a 'sneak peak' at some of my Christmas paintings for some of my art friends.  Hopefully they will have recieved them by now & so their suprise will not have been spoilt.

I know, I know – it’s terrible


Christmas-Belle-webI know – I know – my blog looks TERRIBLE at the moment – I have had to down grade my typepad package to a cheaper one & there are a whole lot of restrictions I now have to consider with design.  Bear with me while I jiggle it a bit and work out how to make it look better………I KNOW this isn't it!  Here's something nice to look at……..Oriental-Christmas-web a couple of my Christmas faces for some of my art friends.  I am moderately computer literate as far as a user goes, but the whole website & blogging thing sometimes does my head in – I know just enough to be dangerous – but not enough to get myself out of trouble!  LOL!!  It just seems like SUCH a waste of time spending so MUCH time trying to sort this out when I COULD be making art!!!

Noodles, Feet, Onions & Mysteries of the Deep


Ms-Christmas-web      More Christmas – I can show you this one as it has already been recieved – & a recent Face of the Day…..Miss Sunshine & Happiness.  These are some more of my every day drawings – 2 Miss-Sunshine-&-Happiness-wcurrent challenges – Noodles and Toes & 2 catch up challenges – Vegetables and a Book. (I am up to #30 – so only 160 to go!) I have just completed the current challenge for this week titled – 'Lucky', but it is still drying & you will have to wait until tomorrow to see that.  The Vegetables – onions & garlic I did 198-Noodles-webwith c199-Toes-weboloured pencils, however the book I did with watercolour paint to get some better movement & flow in it.  The best thing about coloured pencils is the control you can achieve, although as I have mentioned before, once they are wet, you do end up with the striation marks from the lead.  This didn't matter for the onions & garlic, in fact it suited it quite well.  The idea for the book worked out better in my head than it did on paper & IF this were a canvas or in an art journal that I had some flexibility with thickness – I would certainly cover this over…..I love my book – but the additions were a bit much – I should have left well enough alone!  027-Book-web026-Vegetables-web

Totally Inspired


Old-Time-Dreaming-web WOW – WHAT A MOVIE - as I posted last time I was off to see the movie Australia & it was FABULOUS.  Great story, believable characters, some sad home truths (I was ashamed of the treatment to our Indigenious people depicted in the film).  Like any good film – there was both tragedy & triumph – love lost & love gained.  Although it's cast is flanked with famous Australian actors, I felt that the key child role of a small mixed race Aboriginal boy stole the show……. and his grandfather ('King George' an Aboriginal tribal elder – played by David Gulpilil) was my fav. I guess for anyone that hasn't ever been here – it gives some sense of the enormity of the Outback & the Top End of Australia.  Our land is incredibly huge… and sometimes people don't realize just how HUGE.  OF COURSE I had to come home & try to capture 'something' of what I had just seen – I came back with pages of scribbles made in the dark (hmmmm….that's what I really do in movies!)  This is my 'Old Time Dreaming' – he's a bit 'sanitized' looking which really was not my intention, and DH says he is too smily – however, I felt a little limited by using watercolour as a medium and perhaps will have another go in a couple of days using acrylics……..where I can build up some layering & colours in a way I can't achieve yet (I don't even know if it is possible) with watercolours.  I have a dear friend who loves tribal stuff, & I had been wondering what to do her for Christmas  & this will be perfect for her.

ok – I’m back in the web world


Ok – I am back in the web world with STRICT instructions from 'web-boy' DO NOT TOUCH SETTINGS!  (scary man! LOL!)  It probably WON'T actually stop me from having a go – 'cos of course – I have to pay him every time he comes & 'tweeks' something for me so its a case of risk vs cost!!  Amazing how much art I got done while I didn't have the internet!  I must really spend more time on it than I realise – but then I love it – how else would I have met you fine folk???  In my absence – I have been 'tagged' by the very lovely Tami and Lucy both in the same week.  I am to tell you 6 quirky things about myself & tag 6 others.  So without trying to be too 'DEEP' (how unlike me!)…here goes……..

1. I love the sensation of leaving the ground when I am flyingBill-parrish-library-2
2. I rarely paint with a brush (except now that I am learning watercolours – I mostly do)
3. I am a book-a-holic and my dream house has a huge traditional two story style library (complete with wooden 'shelf' ladders – like the one that belongs to Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) in the film Meet Joe Black – whoa – now THAT's a LIBRARY! I find it VERY hard to throw out a book – particularly if it has become one of my friends along life's journey.
4. I am obsessive about the colour of things and it ALWAYS influences my buying decisions.  (my husband doesn't understand how this even figures in a car purchase, but I think that car manufacturers are starting to recognise this!)
5. I am attracted to soulful, old, imperfect objects, with a patina that only comes with age - I almost take on a responsibility for the heritage they hold.  I keep buying these sorts of things to alter – but then I can't bear to.
6. I like to view life through a lens & reflect on it later

The lucky people that I am tagging for this exercise are: the very clever Debbi Baker, my new art buddy Natalie, the abundantly resourceful Kelsey, the amazing Linda, the young & aspiring art of Dragon Baby and the VERY COLOURFUL & always inspiring Gaby

AND now – for some art –

Chalice-explained-web    Chalice web

I kinda touched on this subject a little at the start of my 'A Journey of the Soul' Seahorse-webjournal – the intangilble, almost etheral mix of factors required to 'create' and for your 'creative process'.  There are days it pours out of me – there are other days I can't STRAIN something out – I currently find myself with a list of 20 art 'obligations' (things that I am committed to participating in) and yet I don't want to work on any of them – I just want to draw at the minute………I am not feeling very 'painterly' lately – which is a little odd – 'cos i generally love the sensation of acrylics oooozing between my fingers…..anyways – I have lots of 'drawings' to share over the next couple of days….here's a little watercolour I did over the weekend….a 'thorny seahorse' with a bit of artistic colour license.

How did it get to be Christmas already????


Partridge-in-a-pear-tree-2-I got a bit of a shock yesterday – I haven't been out a real lot lately & when I went out yesterday - everywhere it's Christmas already.  The shops are decorated, cards and wrapping and tableware is prolific….. Surely we are dreaming – it cannot be that the year is almost gone…..yet its only 44 days away – wow – I SO don't feel ready to be 'merry & bright'…. I feel like I am stuck in February – the 22nd of February to be exact!  That day, this year, changed my world and life as I knew it then & I am still recovering…..working at getting on…….. now I am kinda stuck, after a really significant setback……..nothing is good enough to complete anymore, every project carries with it an inert fear of failure that becomes paralizing - I LOVE the journey, the passion and challenges of creation, the euphoric rush that comes from the 'hunter/gatherer' phase of putting an idea together – but the end result is scary. THAT'S where the wheels fall off – that's where I stall now. Which is why I changed my recent journal topic FIVE times – yes – I Partridge-in-a-pear-tree-1-actually have the beginnings of 3 other journals that I DIDN'T send (one of them was just a topic redirection), I have 6 unfinished paintings, 1 unfinished quilt, numerous projects for the 'grandies' - among all the other "almost-done" projects lurking in my studio. I love to look at them, they're quite nice and not a failure. . . yet.
I have bitten the bullet & started to paint some Christmas cards & here is my first offering.  Sadly, the colour has turned out ordinary in the scan, the are watercoloured, then worked up with H2O's & moonglow powders.  This makes them reflective for the scanner bulb & it has made them look luminous & has distorted the colours.  They are actually mid toned & the 'partridges' are NOT turquoise as they look here!  

Out of the blue (just when I was thinking I had lost all of my readers as I started working on my drawing skills) – Aileen has awarded me with an Arte y Pico award.  Premio+arte+y+pico

"Arte y Pico" is phrase that roughly translates in English to:"The Maximum. Wow. The best art. Over the top."

Here are The "rules" for the Arte y Pico award are: you name & link the person that gave it to you (the lovely Aileen) & you nominate 5 others for the award. (oh, AND list the awards)  I REALLY DO feel honoured at recieving this award at the moment, because I don't feel like I have created anything really special for a long time.  I AM persevering with my drawing though – and that is it's own challenge!  The challenge with picking only 'five' blogs is WHICH ones – a little while ago when I started 'building' my second blog for art journalling I really buggered up this one & lost all of my links in the side bar & haven't gotten them all back on yet – they are ones I visit pretty regularly & enjoy the work they do. I am attempting to list some that are currently influencing me & that you may not have visited from here before.  The artists I nominate for this award are:

Sara Lechner – I adore Sarah's work.  Her studio is to die for as well – but you get that!  I actually can't find the pics of where she had it posted – it's somewhere in her archives – it's just a fabulous space.

the others I have to share – not because these artists are unworthy in their own right – but each has a little part to play in my continuing drawing education….. there have been several artists whom I really feel inspired by to continue with my drawing including Borromini Bear; (fabulous detailer) Fred's Scratchings; (my constant believer & encourager - lovely Micky D breakfast dailies) Andrea (is that a photo?)Joseph; (I am in awe) Anita Davies (journals life so beautifully) and Karen Blados (wow) 

thanks everyone for your great work & your creative inspiration.