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!

2018 The year of Art!

So far this year I’ve been sketching, Writing letters for the #incowrimo challenge, and yes! I finally got started on my year long “Lets face it” course run by Kara Bullock with lots of teachers! Today I finished lesson one which was with Kara. I started it earlier in the week and then walked away to let it dry, but that night at 11:30pm I gave up “trying” to fall asleep and went and painted till 1:00am. Today I finished her, no name yet, she is by Renaissance painted Piero della Francesca

I am really happy with how she turned out, although I copied Kara’s techniques it looks very different but then I heard Kara say “Always add a little bit of yourself to each painting” so I guess subconsciously thats what I’ve done.

So impressed with her I decided to start on Lucy Chen’s art group challenge, which for February was “Goddess” I started researching the different Goddesses, but none really spoke to me, they had elements that did not fit to me, so I decided to go off track a little (Ha! If you’ve read any of my previous blogs you’ll know this is not an uncommon thing for me!) and so I typed into google “Camping Goddess” because the Bloke has called me that in many an occasion! And I got a hit on “Brigid” a Celtic goddess of many things, including cattle, sheep, ravens. Midwifery, iron forges, sunrises, bees, wisteria and fire! Well, now nothing says “Camping” like an open fire! So I started looking into this Goddess and roughly sketched up an image in my head, normally this is where the problem begins, what I see in my head rarely comes out on the canvas! But this time oh my gosh! It did!

So I’m not really happy with her hands, or her eyes and definitely not her hair, but that cow and the raven I love! Seriously I can always improve and thats what I am aiming for this year “Increase my creativity” so I’ve been watching lots of art videos, lots of you tube how to’s and last week on Facebook when I got annoyed at the silly debates and nastiness I was reading, I went on a deleting spree, pages, people, apps, I also unfollowed quite a bit and after talking to one friend I decided that since Facebook is my happy place I am only going to see “Happiness” there, this week I am seeing lots of art, cute animal pictures, crochet and food! Thats Happiness right there! I wanted to delete Facebook but realised that all my art classes and groups are on FB so I stayed and got rid of the negativity instead! And I’m finding, I am enjoying Instagram so much more just lately.

I think also this month I might do the “21 Faces” challenge, where you draw or paint or create a face for 21 days! I did one today its no so good, but then there’s room for improvement, no photos of it though! But then I could count “Brigid” for todays face since I drew her and then painted her as well!

Keep watching this space for more arty stuff coming up, next lesson in Lets Face it is Carravagio (I think thats how you spell it!)

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!

Pinch punch first day of the month!

Its also the first day of summer and ironically enough it’s raining, and not only that, the forecasters are expecting us to receive the whole months worth of rain in the next twenty four hours!

I feel kind of blessed that most of November sweltered through above average temperatures and so we’ve had some kind of summer!

What else has been happening? Well, I was reading on Facebook, how one of my fellow bloggers, Corina, was doing the writing challenge NaNoWriMo and she had been counting down the time to start, so I got a bit intrigued and asked Corina about it, before I knew quite what I was doing, I had signed up, and started writing a Novel, the goal being to write 50,000 words over the month.

I don’t know about everyone else, but as a little girl I did dream about writing a book and dedicating it to my Dad!

My Dad got me hooked on reading when I was really young, my Dad’s idea of reading home work was to hand me the “Herald Sun” newspaper and making me choose a page to read out loud to him. Then when the local library opened, he took me there and because I was too young to get a card, Dad would borrow for me on his card. We spent many happy hours at the library choosing books from all areas of the library and my first particular favourite was a novel by Nina Bawdin- Peppermint Pig!

I read that book so fast Dad decided he should read it too, and agreed it was well written, we then hunted down all of her books and read them together. That started a new tradition of swapping our library books, and then reading the same series of books, which lead to some great discussions, it was a very strong bond of Dad and Mine, books!

So back to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) the goal is 50,00 words over the month, I was expecting to give up, I’m busy, I baby sit my Grand daughter most nights while her Mum works, I was working for the first half of November leaving home at 7:00 am and returning by 6:00 some nights, and then you have the usual cooking, cleaning and laundry to do. So I signed up with that annoying inner critic in my head saying “You wont finish it, you’ll give up you always do!” I recognise that voice, and have come to hate it, but just recently, somewhere inside me I am learning to shut her down!

I knew exactly what I would write, this book has been brewing in my head since the year two thousand. I started writing it and of course that evil inner critic was right there, nagging, droning on and on, but once I had set myself this goal, I was able to tune her out somewhat, there were parts of my story where she was louder and telling me “You can’t write THAT!” Which made me all the more determined to write it! And the more I wrote, the easier it became to tune her out. Suddenly I couldn’t wait to log on each night and do some writing, I missed a few days die to family commitments but I was able to make up the missed days.

The deadline was drawing nearer, I never had any doubt I would make the 50,000 word goal, but my story is far from over!

Yesterday was the final count and here is my Months worth of writing, 51,238 words! I did it! And I got a huge chunk of my story written. I feel so much lighter and freer for having gotten that part of the story out. What’s next? I will finish writing my story, and then maybe print it out and file it away. I have no idea what to do with it, but my shoulders feel like a weight has been lifted from me. I feel freer but mostly I feel relieved, and thankful to Corina for sharing the fact that she was doing NaNoWriMo and for encouraging me to join in that challenge. My husband always says “Give her a challenge and she’ll work at it” thats the secret to my life, I thrive under deadlines.

My weight loss is no different, the Dr says “You need to loose seven kilos, lets set a six month time frame!” So I prepared my home, I prepared my kitchen, I prepared my mind and a week after turning 50!! I started my weight loss plan. Its been six weeks now, I have officially lost 3.3 kilos, so I am almost half way, and I have lost inches, and I have lost that brain fog and most importantly I’ve gained confidence and energy!

Last weekend we had to go to my Nephew’s wedding, it was being held in a fancy resort. We decided to take our camper and set up with an ensuite site, camping and getting dressed for a fancy wedding, the ensuite was a brilliant plan, we had a relaxed day before the wedding and I had prepared everything I would need to take with me. Normally when preparing for anything like this I take hours to get ready and stress about every little thing, this time it was different and I honestly believe, that having been doing my NaNoWriMo challenge helped because that annoying evil Inner voice that I recognise so well, did NOT show up once!

Previously she would have been in my head screaming at my choice of everything from dress, to make up and shoes. I picked up this dress months ago, and tried it on at the shop! It fit back then and I certainly hadn’t gained any weight, In fact having lost some I had a moments thought “What if it looks silly now too big?” But that was literally a moment. It was a hot day at the wedding and so I feared again for a moment, that my war paint might melt off my face how embarrassing, but then my husband’s much louder voice said “It’s okay, we can come back and re apply if needs be! And what about the other women attending the wedding, they’ll all be in the same boat!” He is my voice of reason when the evil inner critic gets out of hand!

It came time to get ready, It felt like someone else was applying the “war paint” so called because I always feel like I am putting on a shield something to hide behind, war paint, to get me ready to face the criticism that will surely come, that everyone is judging me on how I look, I am so not good enough to be there. Oh yes! That inner evil critic has conditioned me well over the years, always I am doubtful that where ever I go I am good enough to be there.

Here I am with my sister-in-law- Mother of the Groom!

My eldest daughter and I discussed something like this the other day she said “Its your self conscious speaking,” she said “We both have issues that we don’t admit to” I replied “Oh no I know I have issues, I’m the most f’ed up person I know” but somehow since turning fifty, it seems to bother me less. Anyways back to the wedding day, I slipped on the war paint aka makeup, fully expecting it to melt off in the hot weather, I don’t use a lot of make up for that reason! Somehow it looked good,I nailed the eyes, I nailed the nail colour without smudges, I was flying along, the hair was still a slight issue but I shrugged and thanked God that it was windy that day so it didn’t matter really about my less than perfect hair! I walked out to show my Bloke and his face said it all, I did look ok! The mirror hadn’t lied to me I looked ok! Its the first time in maybe forever that I went out to an event and felt comfortable enough to enjoy myself, knowing I looked as nice and I felt. So thank you again Corina and NaNoWriMo, for giving me the confidence to not only write my story, but to shut up that evil inner critic who has haunted me for so long!

Dad here’s your dedication, (in case it never becomes a real book,)

“This book is dedicated with much love to my Father John Oliver Scarffe, who always told me “If you can dream it you can do it,” without that phrase and your voice in my head, I would never have made it to America and would never have written this book! Thank you Dad for teaching me about the magical world of books, and again you said “If you have a book you always have a friend” I loved you always and always will. ”

Only twenty one days until our next camping adventure, we’re getting on the boat and going across to Tasmania for a month!