Tag Archives: sunset

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

A Different Perspective

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another month has flown by and our souls are starting to dry a little from a very wet winter (which of course we are thankful for!)  Life has gotten in the way of art this last month & I have been trying to find my artistic voice within constraints of limited space, limited supplies & limited time.  They all suck – but it’s just a season & that’s how life goes sometimes in families.  I wanted to create myself a new journal to work in & to be able to at least be doing a little something, & so I started out with to book board covers cut to A4 size & punched that & 20 pages of water colour paper for zutter binding.  These covers were subsequently collaged, layered, painted, glazed & rubbed on but when it was finished I hated it.  Although I recognize that I lean toward the ‘murky’ (clear colours look so insipid to me) I have just lost the plot here, & it’s so MURKY it’s just a green blob – had I just painted it in a mottled effect over some newspaper, I don’t think it would have looked any worse!  LOL!! the saving grace is the gorgeous vintage flower buttons that are on the cover.  They are a treasure & although you can’t tell in the picture, they are really finely detailed.  So I had a week or so mopping, dissatisfied, but not really knowing where to head next………….I am seeing amazing colour all around me as Spring transforms all of my senses.

Baby birds are everywhere & our garden is filled with gorgeous crimson rosellas & king parrots feeding on the seed we leave out for them daily.  As I type this, I can hear the chortling bell like sound of their call to a garden with a generous bounty.

spring light has saturated the dark corners of winter & the days are stretching out into early evening…….the canvas spread before us from our front verandah every night is jaw dropping and a photograph is a poor substitute – but here’s a glimpse

and of course the gardens are resplendant with a riot of colour which our grandblessings are just lovin’…………despite all of this, (I, the COLOUR guru!!! – note the irony,) have felt that I need to parr back & simplify a little.   I have shelved my ‘green lump’ book (the one with totally gorgeous vintage buttons wasted on it!! LOL!) & though I know that will come into it’s own at this point (I have a use in mind, but at the moment, I don’t love it enough to open it, or to want to work in it & when I am already time challenged) – an uninspiring surface to begin with is not going to help progress.

I  have been encouraged in one of my online art groups to contemplate “Sprezzatura”  or  deliberate carelessness.  Wikipedia defines it as: “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.” Vasari, Raphael and Leonardo were exponents. Picasso’s drawings are a good example- simple expressive lines with little or no attention to anatomy

Being such a perfectionist, I struggle here & I have found recently that perfectionism like a ball & chain, because my art is not that good – and my ‘artly vision’ for my piece is that it have a realism impact- and then when my skill deficit kicks in & the piece is mid process, it’s not what I had in mind at all.  Robert Genn (from The Painter’s Keys) has suggested:

  • Put speed into your strokes by lengthening them.
  • Leave parts unfinished- let the viewer complete for you.
  • Put the mark “near,” not “on” the place it should be.
  • & THE HARDEST ADVICE – Just for a while, don’t take yourself so seriously!!
  • Make notes of incomplete thoughts, fragments, figments
  • Let ideas freely associate and take you where they will
  • then, revisit your thoughts and ask, “What could be?”
  • then – Liberate yourself by consciously omitting the word, “I.”.. &.Circle, highlight and re-illustrate ideas in progress

Some other thoughts he has are:

  • Choose your brush, then take a bigger one.
  • Think of your brush as part of your voice.
  • Fight the common tendancy to tighten up.
  • Try working with ‘idea,’ not style.
  • Don’t fret the Freudian slips.
  • Be esuberante (exuberant).
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Sing Italian arias…….not that I sing them – but I often play THIS in my studio

A sweet & dear friend who has seen my recent state, gifted me a gorgeous journal book by Sabina Ward Harrison – The True & the Questions.  The perfectionist in me prevents me from actually writing in it! LOL! but it is provoking & influencing me right now, especially to work with ink again, which has been set aside for for a while.

SO – here’s the new journey – I HAVE parred back, AND AGAIN, parred back – for the moment I am working with a palette of Titanium White, Titian Buff & Burnt Umber, with little splashes of colour, that I am then wiping back & ‘whiting’ over to lessen their impact.  I am also working with stamping & alcohol inks for highlights & text.  Here’s the results so far…………I have titled this new art journal..”A Different Perspective’…………. as it began life by me finding a broken magnifying glass in an antiques junk shed……….

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changing medium with the weather

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I have GENUINELY been a MIXED MEDIA artist lately….changing medium with the weather & accomodating what ever my pain level of the day is…….IMG_0036_resize
We have been having wild extremes of weather – at the end of last week there were parts of our state in 'Catastrophic' Bushfire conditions and today – it has snowed!  We have had so much hail it has been like snow!…& of course this has provided us with a spectacular vista, night after night from our front verandah as the sun sets……last week it was a golden haze that almost hovered from the heat….tonight it is an ominous stormy sky, with smatterings of the purest white…… .. I am continuing my 'learning to draw' journey, done some collage work in a journal, made up a few ATCs, and continued with my 'love quilt'.  Here's a few pics of my recent work: 2-072b-Somewhere-far-Merged
I was incredibly fortunate lately to spend a little time sitting beside this lovely river recently.  A friend & I had caught up for coffee & she had to leave me & get off to work.  As it was so far from home I allowed a little time to explore & had come prepared to art!  I got down enough visual info (as well as photos) to capture what I needed to complete the drawing & then finished it off at home using watercolours, markers & tech pens.

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I've had the priviledge of having a 'play' in Jenene's gorgeous 'Affectionately Yours' Round Robin Journal from Paper Traders…..the journal is based around correspondence, notes & letters, to create the topic for your pages……I have used a whole lot of vintage bits & bobs to create a story around the garment & fabric industry.   I hope Jenene likes what I have created as the last entry in her book.

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This is one of my latest ATC's called 'Fish Garden' inspired by the ads we are seeing at the moment on TV about our City Aquarium.  It has large sharks swimming through the air overhead.  The Princess LOVEs these ads & has put in a special request for Poppa to take her to see the fish swimming in the air!  (they have an overhead viewing tank)  

I have also been creating a Valentines Token to participate in a swap at Paper Traders.  For those from Oz – it seems that in USA the tradition of Valentine's Day has retained some of it's original glamour & extends to friends & aquaintances as well as members of the opposite gender you may have designs on.  (or have re-designed LOL!)  I dithered & dalied with this so much – it was on my studio table for a week and it NEARLY ended up in the bin in frustration.  I have really gotten out of the altered art process & I just couldn't seem to bring this to a happy conclusion.  It is made on 640gsm Fabriano cotton watercolour, so it was a dream to work on & then I decided I wanted to stitch it, which of course was a little bit of a hassle as it's NOT that bendy!  I also created an ATC to add to the Paper Traders' Winner Takes All pot (one artist is randomly drawn to win all the cards entered for that month)  I thought that February's should be one for LOVE!

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As I said I have also been doing a little patchwork, continuing with my 'love quilt' & incorporating some of my Nan's linens (as well as some found vintage treasures) as I said last time, these blocks are 15in square – so they are quite large.  It's a nice size to work with actually.

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actually, in reviewing this post, it may not have been entirely a bad thing being without my computer, it's certainly been a productive few weeks.  The thing that I didn't add is that The Princess has been for a 'little holiday' at Nonna's and we have had some fun times playing.  She has started on her FIRST mixed media journal and I am convinced (in typical Proud Nonna style) that she has the makings of a fine artist!

OH, and BTW – I have FINALLY joined into Facebook – if you are out there and want to touch base via facebook – here's the link to my facebook page.  I haven't worked out how to link my blogs & pages all up yet – I will get on to that shortly! 

The Hand That Paints the Sky

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I have had the priviledge of seeing this view for the last 18 years, knowing that our time here is drawing to a close, each one seems more amazing and more beautiful than the last.  These are just a sprinkling of the many shots I have from our front balcony…….having experienced a particularly beautiful one lately - I felt compelled to record it somehow in an artful way (other than photographing it)Hand-that-Paints-the-Sky

 I had Letha's 'Monochromatic Me' RR Journal on my desk & I thought it would be a beautiful addition.  This page has many layers & is quite textured.  I have built up layers of Golden Acrylics (ahhhhhh – my first love – I am SO over OIL PAINT! [you know the stuff 'real artists use' – well that's what my tutors keep telling me! LOL!])  First I layed down a base of Hansa Yellow – which I know is quite bright, but I wanted to build a luminous feel to the pages.  There are layers of Burnt Sienna, Mars Yellow, Red Oxide, Indian Yellow Hue & Burnt Umber.  These were topped with a glaze of the delicious Qunacridone Nickel Azo Gold……..followed by touches of perfect pearls, primary elements, H2o's, gold leaf & sealed with Liming Wax to stop the pages sticking.  It is quite built up & textured in real life.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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FotD-121108-web I have often regreted that Australia doesn't have a day just to be thankful.  We have a harsh land, one that is unforgiving, is tolerant of the 'battlers' (those a bit down on their luck) and intolerant of 'tall poppies' (sad but true)  This has been a difficult year for us and I have to say that at times it is difficult to see past the black.  This year is a year when things are really stripped back to 'bare bones' as we would say in Oz – down to what's really important to your whole being.  This year I am thankful for:

  1. TRUE friends (which everyone knows are only revealled in tough times)
  2. simple pleasures (every night the sun paints me a new canvas viewed from my front verandah – it is NEVER the same, and I have watched for 17 years)
  3. my faith (I KNOW in whom I have believed – 2 Tim 1:12)IMG_5818_resize

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moving on a little from there – I am a little behind with my drawing, getting caught up with Christmas favours & gifts at the moment.  These are a couple of recent every day challenges…..a rope and a remote (as I remarked when I posted it – it was the longest time that I have ever spent with the remote as DH believes they are divinely ordained for the man of the house!)

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