This week in art…

I only got two days of art done this week. But l was so happy with what l did.

Lesson seven was Carrie Brummer and she was presenting Dorothea Therbusch, to get into understanding Dorothea’s work Carrie had us do a “Selfie” l don’t even do good “Selfies” with a camera let alone trying to paint myself so l put it off and avoided it and dreaded it. I had promised Carrie l wouldn’t cheat by tracing myself which would have been easier because oh gosh was it hard!

I tried to disassociate myself from the piece telling myself “here is an oblong shape (nose!) then this shape has a round bit and an oval bit (eye)” etc etc but then l would slip and say “Gosh my mouth is a weird shape in this photo” l got to a point where l thought l was done so l asked my husband (Quality control, engineer, design Bloke) “to have a look” he points out in his nicest way that the angle of my cheek was not quite right, so l handed him the pencil and he adjusted that. Then l asked him to look at whatever else and then finally we decided that the eyes were wrong so l rubbed those out and re did that. Then he re did the whole mouth 👄 finally we were both “happy enough” with it and so l decided to colour it. Carrie did hers in lead pencil but l wanted a splash of colour, so here is my version!

Looking at it now l can see errors but considering l was avoiding this lesson lm going to call this done.

Then lesson 8- I’ve been waiting for this one for ages “The Lady of Shallot” teacher was Deanna Strachan Wilson and subject was John William Waterhouse. I immersed myself in this lesson l listened to the song by Loreena McKennit which has always been my favourite and l love the painting too, l was surprised at how easily she fell out of the pencil! I used acrylic paint for this one Deanne used mix media but l was so happy with this step l stopped! So here is MY “Lady of Shallot”

I’m still trying to decide whether to add the written element which l like on Deanna’s version.

I also brought myself a frame and framed lesson number one!

And finally here is my little art gallery. I never put my own art up in the wall but this is my Corner and so here is my gallery!


I bit the bullet

And I went back and completed week two, which I have been avoiding because even after watching the video lesson three times, it scared me. But I didn’t want to move too much more forward and leave lesson two sitting there and so I bit the bullet and did it. BUT and its a very big BUT, I cheated. Its ok, Ive already confessed on Facebook and tagged the teacher and let everyone know, I cheated, I traced the outline with carbon paper! So, I really suck at angles, and this piece was scaring me, so I traced it to get the hands at least right. Then we were “supposed” to use a lead pencil and shade it, in the style of Caravaggio, so darkest darks etc, and use black ink for the really dark darks, well, I went and brought the ink, the shop only had brown and I brought it and “thought” I could make it work, until I watched Carrie’s video piece and knew brown just wasn’t going to work, so I painted it with black acrylic paint, over the top of the pastel, it ended up a bit of a hotchpotch of a piece, but in the end its done! Maybe at the end of the year when my skills have improved I’ll try it the “right” way! In the meantime, having confessed my cheating ways, I am moving on!

Class handout and my piece!

And here he is up on my wall, he doesn’t actually look too gruesome. Well he looks better from afar thats for certain! Onwards and upwards, lesson seven is also by Carrie Brummer and this lesson she wants us to do a self portrait eeeek 😱 wish me luck with this one! Carrie Brummer is really pushing me out of my comfort zone!

Great week of art!

I seem to have found my stride and since I’ve started my class, I’m progressing nicely. I think in my last post I told you I had skipped lesson three with Carrie Brummer it looks hard, I will go back, and that I was eager to get to lesson eight “The Lady of Shallot” I could of course have skipped straight to lesson eight, but I impose rules upon myself and insisted that I work in order.

So today I finished module 1- Renaissance period, the final lesson in that module was with Lora Murphy who does encaustic wax paintings. Another rule I’ve imposed upon myself is not to buy anymore art supplies until I’ve used all the ones I have. So far I have used some acrylic paints and acrylic ink, pastels, charcoal and even oil paint, I am not a fan of oils, but I had some so I used them. Listening to Kara who said “The materials are what she is using and are suggestions, use whatever you want and add whatever you want to own the painting as your own” so I did!

I really loosened up and so what if mine wasn’t as good as hers, its MINE! So here is what Ive been working on this week!

This is Lora Murphy’s lesson on Botticelli, we used a piece of his “Birth of Venus” to try and do Venus. Lora did hers in encaustic wax, I did mine is acrylic paints. Lesson learnt, centre your drawing better!

This is Kara’s lesson number six, we worked on Albrecht Durer’s style of sketching out his model in charcoal and then he would take that back to his studio and paint it at his leisure. The image is not a Durer painting, just an image that Kara liked and I liked it too so I did it as well. All in charcoal and since she told me to “own it!” I did and added a little coloured pastel. Lesson learnt- I like charcoal and pastels, but gosh they are messy!

And here is my girl gallery! Lesson one is the blue dress, lesson two is DaVinci, lesson three I skipped for now, lesson four was a failure in oil paint, so I added pastel and kind of rescued her, lesson five Venus and lesson six PomPom hair. It’s been a very productive week and Im so happy with what I’ve created and even more pleased, that while I ignored my art for more than 12 months, it never left me!

Art 2018

So this is lesson three, I skipped lesson two of “Lets Face it” I will go back and do it, but this piece just fell out of my paint brush!

I am so happy with how it turned out, I framed it!

Angela’s end result and my end result!

DaVinci’s pieces which were handouts as part of the class, and the end one is mine!

I loved her so much I framed her!

Art and travel.

Two of my most favourite things. Art speaks to me, when I see art that moves me it makes my heart skip a beat and I wish with a deep desire to be able to creat art that would let me get “stuff off my mind” I remember the first time art moved me in such a way, it was when I stumbled upon an art exhibition of the Dutch artist Johanne Vermeer. I had never heard of him, we, my husband and I were on a “date day” and it had been years since I’d been to the Victorian Art Gallery. My God Mother took me whn I was a little girl and I remember I was fascinated becuse the front of the gallery is a glass wall of water. Aunty Kath let me put my hand in the glass wall of water and we laughed and laughed as we got splashed with water, as an adult there was no telling me off for “being naughty” or for getting my sleeves wet, we had laughed together, I remember her laughing and the sound of the musical water.

So on this “date day” we went in, past the wall of glass and water which still attracts people becuase its different. And this day there was a special exhibition of Dutch Master Johanne Vermeer’s art, so we paid the extra and went in. I remember thinking of one of his paintings- a floral piece, that I could pick the flower from the vase and smell it, it looked so life like! And then there was probably his most famous painting “The Girl with the pearl earring”

His art made me feel emotional, it made me want to step inside his world and stand in the light of the window that he painted so many times. He painted every day scenes, some simple things like women writing letters, and it made me want to paint too.

Many years later, I did! My cousin and I did a painting class, it was a “date day” with my cousin, just the two of us, I brought her a painting lesson for her birthday and we spent the whole day away from our Blokes and our children and we learnt to paint a landscape, looking back it wasn’t that great and I can see how far I’ve since come, BUT it was a start, the start I needed because as I sat there I realised that the rest of the world had disappeared and I was in this heavenly little bubble, me and the paint 🎨 and when I walked away that afternoon with a painting that I had done, with mountains and skies and a Tuscany Villa, I DID THAT! Then a little voice deep within asked “What else can you do?” By applying the steps I’d learnt in that class off I went exploring!

“Date days” with my husband now often include trips to the Art Gallery, we took his Mum on one of our “Date days” to see Monet’s exhibition, and we went last year to see Vincent, oh my gosh! He made me so emotional and he also showed me that by painting half a sheep, the viewer (me) still recognised it as a sheep, although up close ot was not even finished! I was hard pressed not to look at some of his art works and keep myself from crying! Those sun flowers! Wow! I recreated his “starry night” in an art journal as a lesson once and I so wanted to rip it out and frame it, it looks so lovely!

Last year I did NO ART, none at all, I had set myself a crochet challenge and I spent the entire year crocheting, one granny square a day and a temperature blanket and a few baby blankets for various people, I fooled myself that I was “still being creative” but I would catch a glimpse of my easel and my paints and realise I missed that! So I decided that 2018 is the year of art! All art will be explored.

In October 2017 I turned 50! I have wanted to be 50 since I turned 21, this has been my milestone, for my birthday my Husband asked me “What special gift can I buy you?” I asked for a painting course and so he brought me “Lets Face it” with Kara Bullock, a year long class to learn to paint people, faces, positions etc, different artists and different styles.

Which brings us to the reason for this post, I have just discovered another painting course I would also like to do, its about Art and Travel, it has various artists and they will teach about their countries. Lucy Chen, with whom I painted “The Girl with the pearl earring” Oh my gosh! Seeing Lucy was teaching people how to paint THAT painting the one that moved me by THAT artist whom I LOVE! I had to do that, so a few years back, I painted my first oil painting of “The Girl with the pearl earring” and she hangs very proudly in my entry hall. This time Lucy is part of “Around the world through art” Lucy is of course doing China, but today I discovered Katrina Koltes is giving away a spot on her blog ( Click on her name) to this class! So I would like to travel to Italy with her (online, I wish in real life but online is just fine, I can wear my pj’s!) and win a place.

Lucy is doing China, yesterday Annie was taking us to Russia and I think tomorrow is Ireland!

if Art and Travel sound like fun you might want to sign up for this course, follow the links and lets go travel!

Fruit Tingles- A baby blanket.

So last year l made a few maybe 4 blankets for babies and for the nursing home where my M-I-L lives and l got tired so l said “2017 NO blankets!” 

And l started doing the crochet a square a day challenge and the temperature blanket (one row a day corresponding with the day’s highest temperature) 

But then one of my daughters tells me her friend was having a baby and l know this girl and l like her so l said “I’ll make the baby (a boy), a blanket” l used a new pattern a “Granny Ripple” it crochets up quickly and you don’t have to think too hard about it. So l chose shades of blue and cream. The Mother loved the blanket and so l’m glad l put the effort in. 

Baby A with his blanket! I called it “Blue Ripples

This is “Fruit Tingles” my daughter named it. 

This is for another friend of hers. I had a bunch of baby yarn on its own too thin to be useful BUT put two or more colours together and use a larger hook, well its pretty! It’s creating its own stripes on the “corner to corner” blanket which is on its own a plain blanket but l usually zoosh it up with a fancier border. This is a WIP (Work in progress) l’ll share more photos when it’s done.

Next big project? Well l’ve decided l cannot escape blankets so l’m going to crochet “Blankets for the homeless” My daughter went into the local Facebook page and told people about my “Random Acts of Kindness” and how for my 50th Birthday l am going to make blankets and give them to homeless and she suggested if anyone wanted to get rid of any yarn she would take it for me to use! One lady came over with a bag of beautiful yarn and two more are waiting for Amber to go collect some yarn from them! 

I plan to mix these blankets up a bit so no yarn will be turned away. I don’t expect them to be pretty but they’ll be useful, l will have to let go of my “preciousness” and understand that nothing will nessecary match but hey, l’m not keeping them l am forwarding them on! Wish me luck!!