Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sandra's project this weekend.

This weekend has been a busy one.

Sandra started a new project, a project I think she enjoyed a lot. Decorating boxes of all kinds. I had these wooden heartshaped boxes and she was going to decorate one of them. We discussed a lot of possibilities and she landed on  drawing and painting. First she drew the heartshape from the box and then she made her design.

She chose the colours she love the most and started colouring before she used the brush and water. In the end on top of all we added a layer of laquer, to make it more sustainable

Phew, first box made, then just to start next one.

The next was an old box I had in my stash. Round and a ribbon fastened to it. Original the box was blue but after a short discussion Sandra decide to make it black and white. Mostly because of the ribbon and she had this lovely dotted paper  from a shoebox.
She used a layer of gesso to hide the blue colour and then we added matte medium and the paper.
She wanted this box to be special and I showed her my very old mother of pearls buttons. There's this lovely shine in them and she loved them too. Top of the lid were painted black and she glued the buttons on top.

We ended up using some larger buttons in the senter. I didn't have enough buttons to coover it all.

Below you see her two boxes. I think she did well even that she became unfocused from time to time. Her boxes are unique and will do well in her display, don't you think?

Last photo shows a tired and proud girl with her two boxes. Now the documentation remains. She'll do that tomorrow before she leaves.

I hope you've had an interesting weekend too.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A real garden beauty.

I couldn't get a good snapshot of this one yesterday.

It's a shame to cut her down like I did last evening, but she started acting like a rotavator. It was my fault in the first place since I didn't bind her up. But this way I was able to have some nice photos taken.
Her name is Fritillaria imperialis.
You can see that she's nodding towards the floor here.

She won't bloom everywhere and some years ago I decide to throw her away if she didn't bloom that year. But, luckily she did and has done every year since.
In some ways the flowers reminds me of hanging tulips.

This flower has the most stunning inside. Look at these white spots, so shiny and what a geometric genius. Nature is facinating. The fine darker lines in both flower and foliage. Right before flowering this darker brown stem grows to hold the flowers. She is nothing less than a wonder.

Just had to share with you. Do you have any wonders in your garden?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Do you often see shapes?

This winter I have seen a shape on my frontdoor step each time I went out.

 This morning I took my camera outside to photograph a bit in my garden and at the same time I remembered to photograph the shape on my frontdoor step.

 Spring is here alright. I love these yellow "lights"

 And some pink too.

More yellow, but these are nearly gone now.

These pale yellow tiny flowers are my absolute favorites. They grew wild below the mountain in my childhood.

These blue balls are a sight too.

These were never amongst my favorites, mostly because they tend to show up everywhere. But with a closeup they are beautiful.

Here is the shape I've been seeing all winter. Can you see it?

And here is what I did to it this morning. I used some crayons and added some colour. Isn't this a nice bird? You should have seen my bathroom floor. New shapes every day, but I don't colour them.

Have a wonderful week !!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A painting and a tablecloth.

Are you all enjoying your Sunday?

I have kept painting faces, and one should think I improved in doing it but, each face is a new one with different ways of doing it. For me it's impossible to decide to make, lets say, a sad face and then do it. I have seen some you-tube films doing it and I'm so impressed. What I do notice though is that practising every day make my drawing moves more confident. One week away from it and it feels like starting all over.

The last face I did was a copy from a small image I saw in a magazine. I wanted to try making the clear differens between light and shadow. I should perhaps have done it on ordinary paper but then again it's quite interesting  with that uneven result. I did some small changes on my drawing compared to the original.  It was fun to see how the light changed the painting as I worked on it. Just to avoid any misunderstanding I chose to glue my inspiration image at the back of my painting. As you see I added some more colour .

Below is the original. It's quite small but big enough to see what I needed to see.

My version. It's painted with watersoluble crayons and a black pen. I'm sure I will experiment a lot more with light and shadow. It's very facinating.

Yesterday I got a phonecall from my friend telling me that the tablecloth had arrived in her mailbox. I didn't want to show it off here before she saw it in person.(She reads my blog from time to time.) She was so pleased and it fitted her table perfect. The most difficult task when making it is to join the fabric and the crocheted parts. It's very easy to get that wrong so that the fabric will always wrinkle in the joints. As promised, here is a photo of the piece. Can you see the beautiful shine in the fabric? As I was working on it I thought of doing one with much smaller squares. That could give a very different result I believe. I have this fabric with Lily of the vally design on it (all white) and that would be suitable for smaller squares. Perhaps I should think a bit more of that.

We have a beautiful day here, the sun is shining and the birds are singing. I love Sundays!!
Best wishes to you all.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I had to pull myself in a bit.

Good Morning!

Yesterday was such a happy day, for no reason. I just felt happy.
 My prepared covers shouted at me and I had to paint another face. This time I felt for making a realistic face so, from time to time I studied a photo to get things right. I also felt for getting closer to nature than my last faces have been.
Did I say right.......I always see things that's not right. Why didn't I notice the right eye before painting?? Ugh... And her chin and and and...... Do you experience this kind of things too??
I'm so deep into the process that I start painting immediately when the drawing is done. I don't remember to put it aside.
The hair thing is another chapter. This time I'm pleased with the hair and I will practise a lot more doing it. Below is the first layer of paint done. I discovered a new way to use my water soluble crayons ( this whole painting is done using crayons.) I simply scribble on top of a clear stamp holder, you know the ones one can see through. Then I add water with my brush and mix it before painting on my drawing. That way I can mix a lot of colours and add little by little.
It might of course be that I'm the last one in the world knowing this, but now I know. Before painting I add a layer of matte medium on top of my drawing, which make it much easier to get an even result. Boy do I look forward to my new crayons. Now I have 30 different colours and the new set contains 126!! With my new way of doing it  that means thousands of shades.

Can you see I gave her some blood here? Isn't that just amazing to see in the process, how the drawing is coming " alive" It was much easier to give her a graded (?) skintone using the new way of doing it. Still not perfect, but I'm learning. Hopefully!

And now she got lively eyes too. Her hair is not bad, but I need to practise it more often. When it comes to her earrings I can't decide whether one should be lowered. She is tipping her head a tiny bit towards right so it isn't unnatural but it strikes my sight every time I see it. What do you think?

When I started this one I was determined to make the background first of all. As usual I forgot while in the process. All in all I'm pleased. In person she is not quite that pale as the photo trick you to think. Handyman asked me what I should do with all these faces. I don't know, but I have a suitable wall so perhaps I should make my own female portrait gallery.

Have a great day everyone!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Suddenly busy again.

The last couple of days have been sort of busy. I got the idea of making my own "canvases" from old book covers. They are approximately 14 by20 cms with a bit of variation. The covers are sturdy and have a good surface to work on. That again led me to an idea of what to create onto some of them. I haven't start that job yet, but I think I will today.

I did paint on one of the covers though and was smart enough to take some photos during the  process. I'm always so surprised of how it becomes in the end.  This girl was very close to another layer of gesso and the first photo shows you why. I couldn't see anything to do to fix her, lost all my joy of doing her and considered her as a failure. I don't know what I was thinking about when I gave her all that black hair.

But I really don't like to give up and I believe those situations are the ones that teach me the most. I did put her away and was looking for something else to do when I found some map scraps. I thought she was already ruined so I could try making hair of the map.
Some magic happened, I got hooked again, continued playing with colours and pens. The photo below was shot in bright daylight.

I added some more lines to her hair and inked the edges and voila............... she is done.  She is not the worlds best, but for me it's amazing what she had within her. She was a brushstroke away from excisting at all. It's also a great way of noticing my own feelings while doing her. I lost every bit of interest when I first saw the result, but then I got hooked again as said.
This photo was shot on my desk with a lightbulb (warm light) to lighten her up. In person the truth is somewhere between the two last photos.

I hope you all have fun days too!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Small things.

Just a little update. I have been busy crocheting but have also done some painting and preparings. The tablecloth is now finished. Right now it's in the washingmashine. I'll let it dry and of course iron it before I can photograph it.

I was making a couple of cards yesterday. The first one is a garden, Grandma's garden is what the text says. Way back I once saw this image (grandma) as a sign outside a garage. At first I thought it was a real human that was cleaning the flowerbeds, but with a closer look it turned out to be a homemade sign. Both handyman and I was laughing over this for long time and I have always been thinking of doing this.

The next one is a bird. A blue world bird. If I should do it over again I would do the surroundings differently. But the bird is nice and much better in person. 

Do you have any terms of birds, birds names used to describe something quite different? You know, jailbird is not excactly a bird. Would you like to share some with me?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A sketch.

I intend to do parts of this sketch on canvas.

When I first sat down to make this sketch I thought of doing some fun-birds. I'm pleased with the form of the birds and the tree branches, but it's not as fun as I wanted it to be. Parts of this is painted with twinks and the rest with crayons.
Well, talking of crayons a couple of days ago I ordered a brand new set of carand'ache crayons. One set for me containing 126 pieces and a set for Sandra with 30 pieces. Sandra dosen't know about it and I can't wait for them to arrive. Those crayons has been on her wishlist for a long time now so I know she will excited about having them.

My birds looks natural except from their feet and colours. I think perhaps I will try to make a series of them to practice making fun birds.


The other day when I picked up my mail from the mailbox I found not less than 5 postcards from all over the world. Wow, that made my day. Look at the fun Eastercard. All of them are special, I love getting cards in my mail!!

Quite another issue.

Have you ever been a "not that good friend"?
Friday I had a phonecall from my very good childhood friend and in between a lot of talking she asked me if I could remember a tablecloth I had promised to make for her. OH YEAH, I remember now!! This promise was made 15/20 years ago and all forgotten.  Do you still want it? I asked because the actual tablecloth is laced and I thought perhaps she wouldnt have that now. Yes please she answered, "I have never forgotten that piece so if you will consider making me one....................

Of course I will make her one, with such a good memory and huge love for that special piece I got started at once. I'll show you when it's finished. It's a mix between crochet and cotton damask fabric.

Have a good Sunday

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Canvas girl.

Thanks to Janet I made my first canvas girl.

Janet left me a comment on how she prefered to work on canvas and I tried it too. Yes yes yes- it's much easier to do it this way. It was so fun and not stressful at all. So, for now that's the way I'm going to do it.
Thanks alot Janet for sharing some of your magic!!
What I used this time was a canvas board, I covered it with old bookpages, torn into patches, and glued them onto the board.
Next thing I did was to draw my image and start painting. The hair is done by using an old napkin ( black, grey and white) and then colour it.
Anyone who remembers the hairstyle from the 60's??
I will put her aside for some time and take her back to change the background. I'm not pleased with how it turned out.
It seems to be impossible to make two similar eyes, each time I make a face I struggle with that. I don't have two similar eyes too so perhaps that's the way it shall be.
When it comes to photographing I normally just do it, and this time it led me to three different images. The one below is what I normally would use in my posts, but this time I wish to show you another two.

The photo below is not a "good" one, but look at how soft it all looks here

The last one is taken using a flash lamp. It's overexposed but look at her eyes! Almost a surprise they didn't turn red.

That's all I had to share today, I wish you all the best.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Her Royal Highness

The Queen of red dresses. I finished this one after Sandra left yesterday.
Today I tried to make another one but I messed it up. They have to be exaggerated, if not they just look stupid. The one I tried to make today was too normal and looked like.....I don't know but it wasn't good.

I have been trying to paint on canvas or a canvas board but I can't manage that. It all becomes too serious then, or something. Have you ever felt the pressure/stress of doing something "real"? In my journal it doesn't matter at all, so I'm relaxed working in it. But as soon as I am to work on canvas I'm not relaxed at all. Of course it sits somewhere between my ears so it should be possible to get rid of it.

Quinn Creative once wrote a post about inviting in the stress and  fear, sit down with them and ask them questions. Perhaps that's what I'll have to do. I recommend you to read her post, it's useful. She wrote it some weeks ago.
The Queen was fun to make and she is odd enough to catch my eyes. I can see that I still can improve on shading and I believe it''s all a matter of experience.
Eyes, mouths and noses, there's a lot of details to improve and one should know a bit about anatomy to be able to make an odd face still look familiar.
The body I created for the Queen made me smile, our former Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Bruntland, was always caricatured this way. Oversized upper body and far too tight skirt. She was never given a looong neck but I love long necks and they do contribute to the odd look.
In real life this kind of bodytype seldom has much of a neck, but that's what make it so fun to create. Beeing free to make whatever one want.

Well, I better go paint some more, I hope you are having fun too.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Busy, busy, busy.

Easter, lots of painting, biking with my friend, a birthday to celebrate and Sandras project.

This has been kind of busy. I have been painting a lot lately and it seems I've started my own version of facebook. (painting faces) It's so much fun and I've seen some youtube films and tried some new things too.
The weather has been excellent lately, frost at nights and bright sunny days.

Sandras project this weekend has been to make her personal project book in which she will describe how she is doing all her different projects. I had to help her of course, but the writing and decorating she is doing herself.

 At the front cover she has added the logo of the organisation she is a member of and which this whole project is organiced within. When the book was done she was very proud and wanted to start writing in it at once. As you probably remember her first try was to make a friendship bracelet. That whole process is now well documented and today she will write about making her book.
I showed her a tecnique to use in her art journal and she loved it, so she has been journaling too.

My journal holds two new faces too. The first one I made I tried to make a face with my own twist and I like it. These downpointing eyes suited me well and the rest was not planned at all. The next became an odd person too but I like her too. The text made me laugh, I didn't plan it but these two seem to be quite opposite of each other. I'm not frightend of hights. I guess it was the high house that made me choose that word. I used acrylics and soluble crayons. The other one is made with crayons only. I was thinking of a thin layer (with lots of water) on top of her to make it look more like a bubble, but I'm afraid of smearing it into a mess. Perhaps I'll try to spray it on.

A birthday to celebrate.
My youngest brother turned 50 this week and we had to pay him a visit. My siblings and I bought him a present and in addition to that I had to make him a bird.
My brother is a dedicated musician and he plays a cornet. Every May 17. he marches in front of the parades playing his cornet,
The bird I made for him of course had to be a cornet tail.

 I suggested to him to use the bird as a mascot hanging on his cornet which created a huge laughter from some of his musician friends.

I hope you have a lovely time as well.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Put a little effort in.

Art journaling.

I had forgotten how to use my journal and had problems with what to do. Right after the last mandala I continued to work in my journal and found my way back.
This face isn't the best I've done but luckily it doesn't matter. I'm not really an angel person but for some reason this one ended as an angel.

 I'm pleased with how the background came out, I really did alot to achive that result.
Isn't it a bit of a paradox that I'm using an old book, gessoing over the text and then glue in patches of texted paper. It wouldn't be the same though to use the existing text
I think I will use a little time figuring out different headlines to work after. It would be fun to try having a goal. As it is now what happens happen, and it feels a bit aimless.

Another thing I've been thinking of today is, what is it about faces? Why is it so fun to make them? Have you ever thought of that? I've not found the answer yet, but it has to be something that make me want to do that.
Do you know what makes you draw/paint faces?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Art journal page.

Another mandala.

This page was a thrill to make. The mandala is one thing but the surroundings was a long time meditating. Isn't that nice to just disappear into whatever one are doing and stay there for a long/longer time?

 Yesterday handyman and I finally had a good wash in our conservatory so now it's ready for use. Now that it's so clean and tidy I got inspired to make some decoration touches in there, but handyman claimed : " it's not a dollhouse" Well, he's right I have to think over again. But I'll come up with something that we both can agree on.
Handyman has started his Easter holiday and that's good. I think he has been far too busy the last 6 months. As usual we stay at home and enjoy some lazy days. The spring is here and several flowers are blooming in the garden. Always such a joy when that happens. This season I hope we can find the time to do some changes in our garden. There are far too much insight so I want to plant some bushes to "hide" behind. We have quite a big garden and it takes alot of work to keep it. Perhaps we should think about doing it simpler soon.

The mandala was painted using the twinks and the rest is done using markers. I tried to paint a face the other day but it landed in "the round archive." I havn't done that for a long time now and therefor I don't have it in my hands. Have to practice a bit I think.
I know an artist (70 yo +) who is a master of calligraphy and she has told me that her art demands daily practice even after a long life doing it. That's impressing to me, that anyone are so dedicated to their art. Perhaps that's the differens too. I spread alot more between different things while dedicated people consentrate on their "small" area.
How do you do it?
Happy Easter to all of you.