Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Art journaling

Today my fried and I had our first art journaling day together.

We had fun and she made her first page. Not at all happy with the result, which I very well can relate to, but the most important thing is that she's started. I had to get started yesterday just to warm up before we met, and I did a page which I thought of as finished when I left it.

But, of course, it wasn't finished. A lot more work to do here. This page was one I had left a long time ago, and finally wanted to do something about. I didn't have any plans except getting my fingers messed up with paint, and I sure did. Acrylic paint, some neocolors 2 and markers are what I used to make this one.

Yesterday I also had the great pleasure to order some new Twinks. 5x The Whole Enchilada and some for me as well. I'm so happy for that, 5 new people that will start painting with the Twinks, and I get to increase my collection as well. Not bad at all. I also finally ordered quite a few Zeta journals and some more watercolor paper. Boy do I have alot to wait for in the mail. It feels just like winning the lottery.

My journal spread is done, and I'm happy with the result. The colors are a bit more balanced in person, my photo shows it too blue.
We've had pure summer here for some days, and our appletrees are just about to blossom. I'm so looking forward to that, they're so beautiful when it happens.

Thanks for popping in, I hope you've enjoyed your visit.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friday Sketches

I have not been sketching much last week,

but I have been creating alot of art. I still feel it's scary to sketch using a black pen only. To know it's impossible to erase does in some ways scare me. But, to my surprise I actually did paint the trees without any sketch at all.

At some point it dawned on me that I have to know the "soul" of the things I paint. What differs them from others. A tree isn't just a tree, but I'll have to learn how to express the differences between them. This painting sketch is my first try to express diffrernt sorts of trees. If I'm going to learn the difference of each subject I make, I have plenty of work ahead.

My next sketch is an old tobacco box I was lucky enough to get from a good friend of mine. Her grand dad had the habit of collecting old things, and this one was given to me. I'm not sure, but I think it must be from the 1950's.

Here is the real one, I use it to hold some of my stamps. It's such a nice box, made out of cardstock and a paper band once glued around it to show it was unopened. It's one of those things that makes me happy, as a little everyday treasure. That's all I have to show this week.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you've enjoyed it.
I'll link this post to Friday Sketches.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Busy week

This has in fact been a busy week.

Along with daily artmaking I've had lots of stuff to take care of. And the most enjoyable thing I did this week was to help a friend start her own art journal. We're going to meet on a regular basis untill she feels comfortable on her own, and perhaps we'll continue meeting after that. It's lots of fun to share ones hobby with other people, and art dates are especially fun.

As you probably know by now, I'm addicted to make mandalas. This one was the last one I made, and I was in doubt it would result in anything good. But it proved me wrong. In my opinion this is one of the best I ever did. The depth and dimention in this one is almost unbelievable.

It is flat as a pancake, but it doesn't look like that at all. The fact that I was in doubt about this one, was because it doesn't look like what I normally do. The yellow background was a risk to take, but I think it works well.

The design and color choices were made as I worked my way through it. The shading were done using a charcoal pencil and blending stump. The mandala is made in Twinks and the background is acrylic paint with lots of water in it.

The canvas is one I made myself. I used the back of a paper pad, gessoed it and added a cotton fabric on top, very thin fabric. New layer of gesso and ready to paint on. Super easy and very good with twinks because I decide the amount of gesso used. As is now, it is quite absorbant, and that gives a very nice result using Twinks.

I have also recruited three new users for the Twinks this week, and I have hope for even two more. I've also thought of getting a local art/craft store to become retailers of the Twinks. That would make it much more easy for all of us.
Thanks for stopping by, and thank you all for your lovely comments. yhey're much appreciated.
I'm linking this post to PPF.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Back to normal

Easter is gone

and my life will enter a normal mode again. There is some catching up to do, but then it's normal. I've had time for some art journaling, and made a page quite similar to another one I made some time ago.

Today I had an appointment with the hair dresser, and that was about time. We've also had pure summer the last couple of days, and that means garden work. All the vegetable beds are now ready to be planted in, and some of the flower beds have been weeded, but lots remains.

I have a plant that will give some beautiful pink daisies, the color is extremely pink perhaps more like magenta. I have to watch well over this plant, or the slugs will eat every single sprout that shows up. Today I removed it from the flower bed into a pot situated in one of our decks. I hope to keep it alive this time. This is my third one, the slugs won twice, but not this time. I'll keep an eye to it every single moment.

This years crop will be, potatos, beets, peas, carrots, strawberries, onions and swedes. In addition we have some herbs and fruits. My rhubarbs are ready for cooking already, that's quite early but I love it. Isn't gardening fun and most times relaxing? Do you grow anything in your garden?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Making a difference.

I was so thrilled to get the message

that I am one of the winners in Dion's giveaway on Friday, that I sat down to play and this mandala happened.
My son had been giving me a new compass, one he not longer uses, and thought I would like to have it. This is a small compass, and while sitting there to play, I were fiddling with this compass, and before I knew, the outlines for this mandala were made.

I felt sure this one was meant for Dion, but something strange happened. Nothing seemed to suite as I would like it to be. This mandala took it's own ways. I had to leave it over night, because I couldn't make it work. I let it sit on my shelf to be able to watch it each time I passed it. That's how I do it, when things won't cooperate. Almost let them speak to me from the shelf. This was when still in drawing stage.

Saturday around noon, I sat down to continue my work on this one. I was listening to the radio, and they were talking of how to make a difference. That's how I come to realize that this mandala is meant for 

Luminarte, represented by Leslie Ohnstad.

One doesn't have to be a rocket cientist to understand that Leslie Ohnstad might have some hard times right now. To have a company split will always bring some sort of trouble.
I am worried for the future of the Twinks, and want to say to Leslie : Leslie, I count on you to continue the work with all these lovely colors, maybe even launch new sparkling ones. In your turn you can count on me to continue my use and love for your products. Personally I have promised myself to introduce the Twinks for at least two new persons coming month, and hope to place an order for these new people.

Fellow Twinks lovers, I won't ask you to do the same but think of it. What a huge difference that could make for Leslie and her company, and at the same time it would secure the future for the colors we love.

Lets make a difference and show Leslie that we really appreciate her work. I'm asking you, who love the Twinks, to leave a comment telling Leslie you're part of the security net that surrounds her and her work.

I'm going to share this post on our FB page, please, don't just hit the like button. Make the effort to write something of your own as a comment. It could be like : I'm part of the network too, or You can count on me too. It won't cost much for each one of us, just the time spent on writing the comment, but could mean a whole lot for her.
Please everyone, join me and help making a difference.

Leslie, this mandala is yours if you want to have it. E-mail me your mail addrss, and I'll mail it to you.

Thank you everyone for supporting this little effort to make a difference, your comments will ensure Leslie that it's worth fighting for.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Daily routines messed up.

It has been an odd week.

Handyman free from work and my days have not been as usual. Isn't it strange how one can't get the routine to work properly with another person around. It's not that I don't like to have him home, I just notice how things change.

Just a little sketch I did, the text says : They told me it's summer, but I don't know, it's cold and no nests here.
I have come to use my sketchbook alot more than I thought I would. I often use it for testing out things that I'm going to make larger pieces of. Next photo shows such a test.

I had made a piece with birds, but didn't like it much because the birds, kind of, just sat there. No life in the piece so to speak. Therefore I decide to make another one where the birds were "alive"  The finished piece below is called : The Angry The Brave and The Curious one. This is a much better one, and one can almost hear the noice from the birds.

I have been doing quite much arty stuff this week, even with handyman around. Much testing, failure, but new ways of using my result and so on. I'll have to show you some other time, today I finish off with a journal page done in acrylics and twinks.  It was quite a job to paint the fence, but I had to because of some very dark photos in the book.

Finally, let me tell you that I was one of the lucky winners of a free spot in Dion Dior's Watercolor Pencil class. Yayyyyy!! Starts in September, I think. She has lowered the price of this class till the end of May, so why don't you consider a spot for yourselves. Dion is a very skilled artist AND teacher. I so much look forward to this.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy Friday everyone!

I'll link this post to Friday Sketching and Paint Party Friday

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

From nothing to wall.

I have been working on black paper

and combinations with black paper lately. There is a lot to discover and I find it very interesting. I don't know why I have not thought of using my twinks on a real canvas, but I did that some days ago. The canvas was an old one that has been painted on several times, acrylic painting. So, I gessoed it black and wondered if that would give any results with the twinks.

As you see above, I drew a pretty simple subject since this was meant to be an experiment. I drew a sketch on paper and transfered it to my canvas using white pan pastels on the back of my sketch.

All the texture in the canvas were there from earlier use and I thought it may add to my painting. What I discovered was that my paint withdraw from certain areas, and instead of reworking I just let it be. Below is the final result.

I did use my beloved neocolors 2 on top of the twinks in the background. It can be too much shimmer, so I like to reduce it by using some matte mediums. That may be neocolors, colored pencils, regular watercolors or pan pastels. It worked out well, and the best part was that it didn't curl up as my black paper. All I did was to varnish it in the end.

Since I had a nail in my diningroom wall, I tried to hang it to look at it for awhile and it's not bad at all.
The cast shadow even made it look like the vase is sitting at a tiny table. Pure luck.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What a rainy morning can bring.

I couldn't quite like to paint on black paper in class,

while many of my fellow students were very excited. So the other day I found it was time to do another try. No expectations and no rules, my approach was to let loose and let the imagination and intuition take control.

What an adventure! I found myself both excited and thrilled. I used Clear Tar Gel from Golden to, quite
randomly, make the outlines of my rose. I wanted it to be a loose style rose and concidered it all to be a test. I let the gel dry well before getting on with paint. All my color choices were made by intuition. The reason all the lines are so black is the paper. The gel is clear but shiny, and makes it look like black paint. Have a look at the photo below, can you see it looks like fabric in the background?

With the paint dry, I added pan pastel to the background. One layer of Ultramarine Blue. I spent a long time concidering whether to stop at this stage, but my curiosity won and I added a final layer.

I used different colors of pastels and made lines. I think these lines add movement to my piece, but I'm not sure if this was the best piece to add them to. But, the flower stand out well because of it's shimmer. To use pastels together with Twinks is a fantastic combination. They both accentuate one another well, and it creates lots of  interest.

So far I've learnt many new things and I'm definitely going to do more of this. Suddenly black paper became an interesting substrate for me. Isn't it strang how little it takes to make a big difference?

By the way, can you see that the line work is a little inspired by Van Gogh.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you've enjoyed your visit.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Some old tools

For many many years

these were among my most used tools, together with a bunch of different sewing machines. I'm a trained tailor, and when in school, we were forced to use a thimble. It was a hard job to get used to it, and now I can't make a single stitch without it. No matter what I need to stitch, my thimble is a must.

That's the reason I have three, one quite small if my fingers are cold, one for warm hands and the fancy pink one were bought last summer in the US. I think that will be a good one, but I don't sew much these days.

My left hand pair of sissors is an important tool too, and as a tailor I do keep my fabric sissors away from all kinds of different use. I have one for paper use, one for kitchen, some fabric sissors and a couple of thread cutters. All for left hand use or universal.

This sketch were done with black pen only and watercolors.
Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful weekend!

I'm linking this post to Friday Sketching and Paint Party Friday.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Work in progress.

I'm working on a piece

that I have envisioned to be a great one. I'm sad to say that every piece I make never ends like I have envisioned.
I start by drawing my complete composition, and I have learnt that without a good drawing, my end result won't be good either. I'm not the kind of painter that can paint without any drawing. So, I put quite alot effort in to get it where I want it to be. In this particular piece, the birds are what matters for me, and I want each of them to have their own specific expression. Below is my drawing, this is how it looks when I'm ready to start painting.

Unlike what I have done in earlier works, I start with the birds this time. Normally, I paint the main subjects in the end of my work. But this time the other way around.

With all my practice lately, I've seen that the fear of getting started has disappeared. Any mistake is possible to fix, so it's just to get started. What I've also learnt is that to start with very light colors is smart, and that has now become a habit for me. Just to add more and stronger colors as work progress.

My birds turned out just as I wanted, and I'm very happy with them. It does remain to see how the background will affect them. Hopefully it will turn out well.
Thank you for visiting and leaving your comment, it's much appreciated!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Playing with ink

I was playing with ink the other day.

My sketch book has become a great place to play and test new things. Subjects I want to make a larger piece of are often first tried in my sketch book. This particular day, I was testing ink and how it would turn out if I let it bleed with spraying water onto the lines before painting anything.

As you see abowe, the ink spread out too much with spraying, so I changed my method by using a brush dipped in water instead. I liked that much better, since I had a bit more control with the bleeds. It was fun doing, and I will definitely do this more. The ink I used was water resistant,(?!) but that is when dry. I manipulated the ink when still wet.

I've learnt a whole lot about shading during the class I just finished, and I want to try more ways to use that knowledge. There is also a lot more I want to practice more, so my days will be filled to the brim of fun. My three roses in a vase are not excactly a masterpiece, but they served the purpos.

Because of the angles when photographing, the ink seems to be blue. It's black though. Do you have a sketch book? Why don't you join the Friday Sketching challenge Dion Dior hosts every Friday? It's much fun and one can link up the work every day during the week. There are no rules except your sketch has to be in a sketch book. Each Friday Dion announces a theme for coming weeks sketch, but we can do our own choices. It's easy to link up your work, just by copying your post address and add it in.

Give it a try, I'm sure you'll enjoy it too!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tiny garden house.

 HappyFriday Sketching.

This weeks theme isn't excactly my cup of tea. I find it so very hard to sketch houses, and houses were the first thing I thought of when reading the theme.
I tried several times to sketch our house, but I had to let it go. Instead I made this little sketch of our tiny garden house. It's wonky, but still, it's a sketch.

Handyman built this house for us some years ago, using some windows which once belonged to our house. Together we planned the shape of the house and he built it.
Normally these little houses are painted white, but I didn't want it to show off that much. With this green color it flows with the rest of the garden.

We have some outdoor furnitures in there, and this time of year it's lovely to be there having some coffee. One gets closer to the garden this way, and many times I can sit out there watching lots of different birds. I have a bird bath on the deck, and the birds love it.

Notice the little lace border hanging down from the roof, I spent quite some time to design it, and handyman spent equal time to make it. We've had lots of positive feedback from our neighbours regarding this little "garden palace" of ours. The door is from somwhere in between 1900 and 1910, and was given to us from a neighbour. He changed all the doors in his house, and this one were the only one original from back then. I'm glad I did this sketch, but I'm not sure I'll do it over again untill I'm better doing it.
Thanks for visiting and enjoy your weekend!

Friday, April 4, 2014

What to do with the water?

Happy PFF everyone!

Let me start todays post by saying thank you all for visiting and leaving me a comment. I'm so thrilled to read all that you have to say to me, and now that my class is over, I might be visiting you too. Thanks!

I were playing around with my brushes, trying to paint some realistic water, using acrylics. As kids we just paint something blue and called it water. Oh my, how easy most things were in childhood. My sister always jokes about her childhood, she's saying : Childhood was a gorgeous time...................... afterwards! Yes, we tend to forgrt the problems that might have been.

Well, my water, I mixed a color that looked like water and started turning my brush, oh my it actually looks like water. Ok, lets do the land and the sky while luck is still here. One could, possibly, point at the lack of white reflections on the water, but hey, look at that water! One can't expect everything in a first try, eh?

So, now I have this fabulous background, how should I use it? What about a dragonfly? Wouldn't that be pretty close to normal? I think so, lets draw a dragonfly. With pen, right on top of my teriffic water????? Well, actually I sketched the dragonfly on paper before I transfered it to my page. I use my pan pastels at the back of my sketch, easy way to transfere. Black pan pastel most times but white if I use black or tinted paper.

I picked the colors I wanted to use on my dragonfly, Twinks watercolors. Now, watercolors on top of acrylics isn't excactly a chess move, the acrylics behave like resist so I had to be patient and put on lots of paint. But, it ended well and later I've found some lousy acrylics that works super together with watercolors.

What did you say??    a bit too large compared to the pole.................... pffffft, can't you see it's a pretty close close up?! A pole in the middle of the ocean, you say. Oh my, it's a lake and it's close to the shore, THIS side!!
No matter what, I'm very happy with my result, and I found the image of the dragonflt on the net. This was made in my art journal which is an old book I'm altering.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you've enjoyed your visit.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Towards the ending of class.

I am about to end my class,

just a couple of exercises left. What I've been learning is unbelievable. A year ago I would never have thought I ever could do a piece like this. In fact I would've been willing to bet that it was never going to happen.
Dion Dior was my teacher, and what she knows and willingly are sharing in these classes is much more than one could expect after paying a low price for each of the two classes. The fact that she were present, guiding and sheering, during the whole periode is another strong and important element if you concider taking these classes.
My fellow students were teriffic too, we shared,  discussed, advised and commented on each others work. Many of the students were very skilled and willingly shared of their knowledge too.

I were completely unfamiliar with watecolor painting before I started these classes. I had used them as a child, and tried them a bit lately, but I didn't know anything of techniques and how to. Now, I do.
It's up to me now to keep practicing, to gain some experience and become more secure in my painting. I highly recommend Dions classes, she's really skilled and know how to teach.

When I did this piece I drew the lilies and covered them up with masking fluid before I started the background. The "yellow" leaves were drawn in before another layer of paint. I did this many times, a layer of paint, drew in new leaves.

In the end I painted the lilies.It's quite some work to do a piece like this one, I used at least two full days to paint it.

When everything was dry, I added some minor details using my watercolor pencils. Looking at it now, it's sitting on my shelf, I can't believe I did it.
It's beautiful, it looks like it's made of a professional artist and it has some kind of excitement to it. And I did it, Yay! I'm quite proud and I'll frame it.

Thanks for popping in, I hope you've enjoyed your visit.