Tag Archive | art

Personal Project

On Sunday 8th April, my Dad will be gone from my life for 26 years. So officially he’s been gone longer than l had him in my life. He died six months before l turned 25. He hasn’t met his two Grandsons who look a LOT like him!

John Oliver Scarffe

Both my sons middle names are John after my Father and my Granddaughter is Scarlett Olivia the female equivalence of Oliver!

He lives on but April is a sad month he died and we have ANZAC Day for my overseas friends click the link it’ll explain it all. On ANZAC day they play “The Last Post” and without fail l cry because that was played at my Dads funeral. I don’t much like Aprils!!

So this morning l decided that l would try and incorporate my Dad into this weekends Art because he always was my biggest supporter in everything l tried. I may live to regret this BUT if l don’t try l won’t know! I’m going to attempt to paint my Dad!

15 minutes intentional drawing (it’s rarely “only” 15 minutes.) The Bloke draws the grids and then double and triple checks my angles.

On the Easel ready to go! But lm nervous to start! I told my husband he should sign my art pieces with me since he does as much preparation for some of them as l do!!

I think it’s nerve wracking doing someone l know but then l reckon when l “love” something l do it easily and l certainly loved my Dad!!

He might be gone but he is never forgotten.

Watch this space!!

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Two pieces today!

I forgot to tell you in yesterdays post about the newest challenge I am doing. I find when I schedule myself to do something I tend to get them done. So each day in my journal is a check list of things I want to get done at the moment it looks like this….

  1. Bible study 15 minutes (with a little box that I can tick off as its done)
  2. Drawing- 15 minutes
  3. Water- 3 x 800mls= 2.4 litres
  4. 10,000 steps
  5. Shedding the weight Meditation
  6. Read at least one chapter of current book.

So it seems silly to some people but for me if I don’t hold myself accountable I will put these things aside, and so what if I don’t read a chapter of my book? Well, I won’t finish it and then I wont hit my end of the year reading goal “Read 40 Books

Its been said that if you do a thing for 21 days it forms a new habit, so by scheduling these things and ticking them off I am helping myself create new habits. I am so bad at drinking water, so that is an important one. I also track this on my Fitbit app! Shedding the weight meditation I am doing with Oprah and Deepak Chopra, its to help us change our thinking and to shed the weight by shedding thoughts and feelings that are negative and I am enjoying it, but by the time I have time to sit down and do the meditations, sometimes I am sleepy and cant be bothered, but then I don’t want to look at this list before bed and see that I haven’t checked it off! So I force myself to do it, it ends Sunday and I’ve only missed one day which I did the next day anyways! And the drawing reminder, well, research shows that if you do something for as little as 15 minutes a day you improve at that thing, and who doesn’t want to improve their drawing skills? Bible study is pretty self explanatory as well. I do an in home bible study afternoon each Wednesday but if I don’t do any for the other six days its a bit pointless.

So this week I found a new challenge, my Bloke says “She loves a good challenge” its called the “100 days project” and the goal is to chose anything at all, to do for 💯 days and take a photo and post it on Instagram with the hash tag #100daysproject I figured that while I am doing this art course and posting that online I might as well make it a little bit more exciting by making it a challenge!

Speaking of art… today I finished two pieces, both of which I don’t actually love, but I didn’t avoid them, or put them off, or worse still skip them! I did them and I am moving on!

Lesson 13- Teacher- Toni Burt, Subject- Berthe Morisot. It was a collage piece and I felt like I had gone back to preschool, having said that her face turned out really well and I loved that! I called her “Alice the music teacher” because I used sheet music for her dress and hat and the song was something about April!

Work in progress.. I am super happy with her face which was a limited colour palette in pastels.

I lost momentum with her dress and so just gave up.. isn’t that just what some of the impressionists did?!

Then lesson 14- Teacher- Jun Toyama, Subject- Nicolai Fechin. We used charcoal, I don’t actually mind charcoal its messy but its also nice because you cant be too fussy. We were supposed to use a live model, I didn’t and Im not sharing the photo of who it was supposed to be, it’s disappointing maybe I’ll redo it sometime!

I still need A LOT of practise with my angles! But like everything, practise will help me improve!

So thats me for this Thursday! This also means that I am now officially up to date with “Lets Face it” next lesson gets released on Monday, so that means, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I will work on “Soul brush sessions” and “Better drawing bootcamp” both of which are course run by Carrie on her website Artist Strong 💪 both of these course are run Free, so maybe you want to have a look!

I almost forgot to tell you about another challenge on Facebook, its an art group called “Weekend Challenges” each weekend we are given a photo and we have to recreate it as close as we can, or alternatively anyway we want. I’ll probably give that a go tomorrow, watch this space…..

Art- week 12’s lesson.

You know that “Evil inner critic” you know the one!

That voice that is inside you telling you “You can’t do that or this or the next thing” I know I am not the only one who has one. Well I know mine personally, up close and dangerously. I’ve listened to her through out my life and even now she’s dead I still hear her, there are several key phrases she likes to repeat to me, but just lately, and I think mostly it’s to do with my Bible study and councilling I’ve been having, that “Evil Inner Critic” is starting to loose her power!

Now when “She” starts in and starts telling me “You can’t do that!” I am starting (at 50 years of age!) to reply back, “Well maybe I can’t do that but I won’t know if I don’t try!” And by finally talking back to her and then actually doing what she tells me I can’t! I find I am stepping put of my comfort zone and into a whole new level of ME!

Last week was a classic example… with doing the Mary Cassatt piece, I decided to use the real Mary’s face as my model, I know parts of it were wrong, and sure enough in comes “Evil Inner critic” to rudely point out “That chins not right, paint over it and do it different” and then “There’s something wrong with her eyes” and so finally I put my paint brush down and walked away, nope I didn’t argue with her or get upset like in the olden days, I walked away, for quite a few hours, I told myself “I am waiting for the paint to dry” maybe I was and maybe I was running, whatever it worked, because when I went back, I could see what the problem was and I had an idea of how to correct it. In the mean time, I had shared a photo of the piece in Carrie’s group “Artist Strong” on Facebook, and complained how I had ruined her. Carrie replied ” it’s closer than you think” which gave me courage to have another look and see where I could improve it. The best bit about that day was when my cousin who hadn’t known I was using Mary’s face as the model, saw the painting of the Girl in the blue hat which Mary had painted and we were to recreate and the photo of Mary, my cousin asked “Did you take these two photos and morph them into one!” Why yes I did! Which means that my painting must actually have resembled Mary somewhat! I was so excited! It means that someone else had seen what I had set out to do.

So now fast forward to this week, Lesson 12 B was with teacher Tanya Cole another Aussie lady, and her subject was Monet and so in her lesson she wanted us to try and recreate a flower loosely like Monet did his flowers and then to add a portrait of Monet. I felt the prickles of apprehension run down my spine and then I recalled my cousin mentioning the “Morphing” of the two photos in the other lesson, so I wondered if I could do it again. I think, by George, I’ve done it!

Tanya used a hibiscus flower and a portrait of young Monet in a black beret. I like hibiscus 🌺 they remind me of tropical islands, but when I read “Monet” immediately I put him with water lilies. My husband took me and my Mother-in-law on a “Date Day” and we went to see the Monet exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria a few years back, and it was beautifully set up, but I remember that I was so so so disappointed at seeing these famous paintings up close. They were terrible up close, some art is much better from a far, his edges were unfinished and some of the brush strokes were lumpy and messy, I left there disappointed. Then speaking to people and learning about his failing eye sight and the whole “Impressionist” movement I eased up on him a bit. Doing this course has helped me ease up on him a bit more.

Anyways, So I decided to deviate from Tanya’s painting and do my own, Kara tells us to put a bit of ourselves into each piece of work we do. So I did! I painted water lilies and an older I think more handsome Claude Monet, not my painting is more handsome but that Claude was the older he got! So here is my version of week 12 with Tanya Cole and Claude Monet!

He turned out better than I had hoped! The water lilies leave a lot,to be desired BUT its impressionist after all!

Sorry it’s been a while

Here’s a quick update on my art! It’s going amazing! I am so happy with how well it’s going.

Lesson 8 was”Lady of Shallot”Teacher was Deanna Strachan- Wilson. Subject- John Williams Waterhouse loved it!!

I love how sad the Lady of Shallot looks my favourite poem, song and painting.

Next lesson number 9- Teacher Juna, Subject- Rembrandt and we used Charcoal.

I was a little disappointed with how she turned out until l looked at her again the next day. That chin! Beautiful!

Lesson 10- Teacher was Sharon Harkness-Dobler. Subject- Henry Ossawa Tanner, and l copied Henry’s original painting and l had a ball! I love this one!

Henry’s original painting on my computer screen, Sharon’s on the wall in yellow and mine next to it! First time doing a still life!

Lesson 11- Impressionists are here!

Teacher- Kara Bullock, Subject- Mary Cassatt, loves this lesson too and lm going to frame her!

Mary Cassatt l used her face to recreate her painting, happy with how she turned out. I almost gave up!

And then there was lesson 12- Teacher- Lucy Chen, Subject- Matisse we had to do a Fauvism style painting a selfie! Not my favourite!!

I don’t love this but l did it. I’m finding when l push past “I don’t like it” l feel prouder of myself for having done it!

So that brings us up to date on my “Let’s Face it” course!

I am currently away camping in Brim Victoria, we are doing the Art Silo Tour, it’s over a 200 kilometres stretch and the unused unloved wheat silos are being transformed as giant canvases! Here is the Brim one!

I’ll come back tomorrow and post some more of them.

Happy Easter everyone and spare a thought for the reason behind the season. Jesus died for our sins.

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 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!