Friday, April 8, 2016

A new bike, a package and lots of fitness.

You know, something just ends without me noticing

and something increases for no special reason. My health focus is one that increases. The other day I bought myself a new electric bike (elbike) and what a joy it is to ride it. The engine stops the minute I stop using the pedals, so I still need to use energy, but I won't be as outworn as with my ordinary bike and that leads me to use the bike much more often.

The seat is somewhat different from the one on my old bike, so I feel a bit sore " you know where". But I count on it to pass rather quickly. I'm really looking forward to spring and summer and many trips out on my bike.
Three times a week I'm also still walking the trails, so I've had quite a change in my days. Each Friday I have my sons company, and he pushes me more than anyone else. What started with 4 rounds has increased to 9 rounds now, thanks to my son and his pushing. Well, to quit smoking didn't exactly harm either.

Yesterday I received a package in my mail box, and the above charm and chain were in it. Thank you so much Kristin, I'll feel really special wearing it.

I've also made some more etegami, and I really love the simplicity of making them. Below is a card I made for my facebook friends for Easter, good wishes.

The next one contains a term we use to tell someone to shut up or behave. It says, Have a pear.

Above is a longing for spring, it says Everything is up for a new start. It's made on a dark substrate and I'm very happy for how it came out.
This last one was made after the bombs in Belgium and inspired by all the tomatoes I eat.

Thank you all for your lovely comments, it's really a joy to read each one of them.

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Etegami, new to me.

Some days ago I read this blog post and my curiosity were lit.

Have you ever heard of Etegami? I hadn't until I red Susan's post.  I had to google it and found quite a lot to read.  This blog is very helpful to understand the "rules", and Debbie makes pretty etegami as well.
I don't have all the right supplies but it's fun doing it and I can see it might turn out huge if I take interest in it and develop my own expression. Here are some of my tries so far.

Notice, I even made my own stamp (chop) containing my initials. That is a must have in etegami and it has to be stamped in this red color.  This particular postcard( above) is already mailed out to a friend. Every etegami should be mailed out due to tradition.

I can see that my cards are made of a newbie, they don't look as balanced as I wish but I think it's a matter of practice.

Etegami is meant to be clumsy, it should be made on a paper that is bleeding so that the lines will have blobs.
In this blog you can see lots of examples on different topics. They're fun doing and I'm sure I will do more of them, actually I'll try to make one each day. They're quick done, not more than half an hour.

I'm linking to Paint Party Friday, have a wonderful weekend everyone and thanks for all your lovely comments.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Closer to Spring

I think we have a build in sense for spring.

At least my whole body is shouting spring to me.  The frost is still here, but the light and length of the days has increased a lot. And the garden comes alive. The Eranthis flowers are nearly done with their job and now the Snowdrops are in bloom, all over the lawn.

What does spring do to you?
I can tell you what it does to me, I get "crazy" in  a good way and it get worse each year. So filled with energy and the need to get things done. Humm.... almost like a tulip bulb. Hence me washing the kitchen, and now it's an all over clean up of the house that's on my list.

It's such a joy to listen to the birds this time of year, they're busy too. I wake up to the lovely sound of birds singing in our garden. When it gets warmer, we have more of an out door life as well. Can't wait for it to happen.

 In general, I'm a sun person and love it when the temperatures rises. I'm quite sure I lived closer to equator in an earlier life, if there ever was such a thing.

Anyone who remember the film My Africa, at least I think that was what it was called. White people living in Africa back in the 1920/ 1930.
I have a silk dress from Africa and that period of time, and I came across it while I did some tidying. That actually inspired my next piece. Do you get the feel when looking at the photo below?

Crispy cooling fabrics, silks, linen and cotton. It doesn't take much for me to find inspiration when the spring is right around the corner.
Happy spring everyone!

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Still keeping it up.

I've kept my health decisions so far.

Finally I've stopped smoking and I also do my Monday workouts each week. Today I even went out for an extra workout. I really feel this will work well for me and I'm so happy for it. The only thing I need to watch out for, is to not gain extra weight during this process.
I know from earlier that stop smoking has a tendency to end in gaining weight.

I made this piece to illustrate the addiction. I was told that a center in our brains ( addiction center) has a spot that can be compared with a nest filled with nestlings constantly craving food. My piece is more or less illustrating my situation for the time being. I am stubborn though, and know I have to win over my own cravings and that gets easier for each day now.
So, my focus has changed to be aware of what I put in my mouth instead. I know I can do it and everything is pointing towards my victory. Yay for me!

This piece is made using the technique  I learned in Magazine to Masterpiece class, thought by Roberta Laliberte. I'm very happy with the result, and of course, it has a special meaning for me.
Coming Friday I'll show you another one I did, it seems now that you all are done with your face month, I've started mine.
Well, just wanted to make things official and let you know what I've been working to overcome.

Friday, March 4, 2016

An interesting week

This week I finally did something I have thought of doing for a long time.

I made myself a gelliplate. It was easy to make and it works fine.  In the photo it's covered in plastic wrap.

I have made some prints and now I just need to plan a bit before doing more of them. It's fun and very addictive. Well I guess you all know this, I'm just a bit late in trying it.

I also had a good helper, little Lucas was allowed to pick which colors to use, and he loved touching the plate, without the paint on it. It feels cold and sticky. He even wanted to stand on it to feel it's surface against his feet. Later on we had some tower building to do, as you see in the photo.

Lucas is such a good and fun boy. He has been sick this week, and he stops eating, so we had to come up with some interesting new ways to eat. He loves fruits, so I cut then in small pieces and let him have a stick (close to a toothpick) to eat with. That was what it took to make him eat, and he even asked for more.

Now, last week I had a giveaway here, and boy was I surprised to see how many people who actually had room for one more piece of art. Thank you all for participating in this fun event. I'm very happy to give these three pieces away, and I ask the winners to e-mail me or leave a comment with their mail addresses. The comment with the address  will of course not be published.

The winners are:
#1 cozydoodle and she chose  #1 - the stack of cups.

#2 Nicole Beadwright Campancella she went for #6 - sunflower and insect.

#3 EAGHL (granny annie) #9 - the face.

Now I'm off to do some washing in my kitchen, tedious work but it needs to be done. I'm linking to Paint Party Friday. Happy PPF to all of you.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday again and a giveaway.

I did not notice where this past week went.

Making art and looking after the youngest grandchild took my week.

Have you ever thought of how inspiring the world wide art community is? The internet has indeed made a huge change in our lives. I still find it incredible how I can write something on my computer and within a few minutes have answers from the other side of the globe. How many people we meet online and connect with, it's nothing but a miracle.

I so appreciate you all, the followers of this blog, you who regularly visit the blog and not least you who take the time to leave a comment. It's very nice to get some feedback and read your point of view. But, mostly I appreciate you for all your sharing as well. To see what you do and read about your process, learn from tips and tricks you share are all things to learn from and  every time I read a blog post I get inspired. I am truly thankful for all your sharing, and what a variety there is to choose from.  These are thoughts that have been on my mind lately, and a need to give something back has occurred. And that brings us to the giveaway part.

Click to enlarge 
 I have made these tiny pieces of art (10 by 10 cm only)  all displayed in the photo above. My hope is to give away three of them to three different persons as a tiny thank you for all the inspiration you provide me. I hope you have room for one more piece of art.
They are numbered 1 - 10 just to make it easy for you. All I need you to do, is to name which pieces are your first, second and third choice in a comment to this post. I'll draw the winners Thursday March 3rd. and publish the result next Friday, March 4th, here on my blog.
Anonymous comments will not participate.

Now, they're all mixed media techniques. The colors used are watercolors in some form, and they have all been coated with matte medium on top. The 10 x 10 cm piece of paper has been mounted onto a 10 x10 cm canvas.The edges are painted black/dark grey.

I hope many of you will find something you like and participate, and I'm very excited to see which pieces are your favorites.

Linking to Paint Party Friday, enjoy everyone!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Much going on.

I've been so busy making art the last few weeks

that I hardly noticing the time passing. Handyman baught me an online class (ehmm.... I told him to) for Christmas, and I haven't really had time to look into it properly until now. It's a fun class and a very good teacher. From magazine to masterpiece, is the class and the teacher is Roberta Laliberte. She has made me understand things that I somehow knew about but didn't really understand. Like the importance of contrast and lots of other stuff too.

This piece is made using her technique, and it was fun doing it. I did, of course, do some major mistakes mostly because I did it first and then re-watched her videos. Just the same as to read the instructions, first I do, then I read the instructions.
If you enlarge the photo, you'll see that what seems to be a window, in the background, actually are lots of faces.
Right now I'm working on a project that I enjoy so much. I'm making some tiny pieces of art, and they are looking so good if I may say so myself.
Sorry I can't show you any today, but be sure to pop in next Friday, then I'll make a post about them and have a tiny giveaway.

Linking to Paint Party Friday, enjoy your weekend everyone.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Something different.

Some time ago I felt the need to make something different.

What I wanted to do was to explore shape and dimension in a piece of work and at the same time try to achieve a texture which could remind of an oil or acrylic painting, by using watercolors/twinks.
I am happy with the result, but what you see here is not how it looks in person. The first photo is a scan of my piece, and the second one is a photograph. Neither of them are telling the truth. The darkest blue area ( where the red line ends) is darker in person, almost like deep purple. The brown areas are more correct in the lower one.

It's strange how some colors are impossible to get right. There is also a distinct aqua color above the lower ball, and that one color is nearly invisible in these to photos. 

Looking in the back mirror, I wish I had made a connection  between the upper ball and the white space, that would have been a better composition.

Just for fun I printed this piece and made some additional lines using Neocolors 2, but the result is no good. I have to practice a bit more on that. I'm sure it has potential though. Some of the line work  I did felt very good, but I over did it. Well, it's fun to make such experiments as this, and I'm sure it won't be my last one.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Busy week.

It's Friday again,

and this has been a busy week for me. Normally I don't have things I have to do, except housekeeping and such. So, when each day has something that I must do, it feels busy. I did find some time to play with colors though, and had much fun doing this page in my altered book.

 What I've used here is copies of some old work of mine, prints, rearranged them and add in some new. My old art turned new and the expression is completely changed. The background is in fact a sheet of paper I did for use in an earlier project, and before ripping it, I scanned it and now it came in handy. This is my week 5 piece in the challenge Color me Positive. The prompt was all about having big enough dreams. I changed it to one word, Dreaming.

At some point in my process I'm always photographing what I'm doing, to have a different look at it. And most times I then see things to change, so also with this one. The butterflies have too strong a color and the background need some more depth around the flowers.

 I also added the word, Dreaming in a lemon yellow color to give a bit more warmth to it. Notice how the small addition of the same color beneath the flowers makes a big difference. This is all made using water soluble medias except from white gesso. It was fun and fairly quick done, and you know, cutting and gluing just like in kinder garden. Fun!

Linking to Paint Party Friday, have fun everyone.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Just a little mandala.

Today I was out walking again,

and now my thighs and other sets of muscles are hurting. It's a really tough trail we're going and as many rounds as we can in 30 minutes. I had to stop after 6 rounds, the best ones make it 10.

I didn't mention that last Monday one of the participants fell and broke her femoral neck, ambulance,  hospital and surgery were the result. She is set back for at least 8 weeks. Not fun when such things happens.

I did this little mandala to get myself started to paint after a long break. It always help to make one of my mandalas, and often the result is that I make more than one. Nothing much to say about it, it is what it is, but I'm very happy with it.

Today I also got a package in my mailbox. Some days ago I ordered a few new paints, some pens and Sumi ink. First thing I had to do was to rearrange my paintbox and make a new color chart for it. I love doing these little color swatches, and each time I see this particular one I want to paint. It's watercolors by the way.

The Sumi ink is meant for my dip pens, and I was very curious on the bottle I'd ordered. Not at all sure it was the right thing. I had this little empty bottle ready for the new ink and filled it up. While pouring I thought , is it meant to be this thick? I tried my dip pen and it didn't work at all.

Only one thing to do, read on the bottle, oh I see, it's paste ??!  My 100 ml bottle Sumi ink might be mixed with water, even as much as 1/6 . I tried mixing a small amount and then it worked fine. Lesson should be learned a long time ago, but this is what I do all the time, do first then read. Not good, but you know...........!

Friday, January 29, 2016

How are your New year's resolutions going?

Still keeping them and doing fine?

For many years I had lots of plans on how to improve things in my life, and just as sure as January were gone, so were my resolutions. I guess, like most  people, I set unrealistic goals and always had big plans on things I really didn't want to do anything about. That's the nature of such goals, isn't it? To make the story short, I stopped making them.

I am not especially good at taking things slow, step by step. Normally I love to jump right in and just do. Life has learned me that most times I come out of things standing on my feet, and if I didn't, at least I made an attempt.  All of this has made me not being afraid of trying new things, which is a good thing, in my opinion.
This year I decided to have another go. I need to get out and improve my fitness. Our local authorities have created a group for people like me. We meet every Monday morning, follow a trail (mostly up hill) and walking as many rounds as we can in half an hour. After that we do some sort of workout. We have this beautiful city wood, and included is a very fun balance trail and a group of exercise machines. I am still doing it, and I'm sure I'll continue. Once a week is easy to overcome, and when spring arrives I might even use my bike in addition. So to conclude, I'm still keeping it up.

My art today is showing a painted sketch (upper one ) and the final piece. By painting the sketch I saw that my composition needed to be improved, so that's what I did. This was an exercise in using two sets of complementary colors.

I'm linking to Paint Party Friday, have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Just a little something

I keep forgetting to post on Mondays

as I intended to this year, so this post will go for my Monday posting this week. I made this little circle a week or so before Christmas, guess I wanted to have some snow for the holidays.

Right now I am so busy painting, and I love to try out my ideas in my journals. Backgrounds are what I'm testing, and it can be quite a challenge when watercolors are the medium.

I've also found a Norwegian online shop where I can buy my art supplies, and that's great. I just ordered Sumi ink and I really hope it will be just perfect for my dip pen.
I hope your week is just as good as mine.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Who are we trying to fool?

I have been thinking lately

what kind of signals we pass on to the world. How fantastic our lives are, what great successes we have, how up to date everything around us are, not to speak of our amazing homes, cars and the newest cell phones....... and on and on and on.

It's no wonder the youths get problems if no one tell them what life really is. That problems are a part of life and we have to deal with them, find reasonable solutions, give and take and put into action what we have agreed on. Act friendly and be polite.

I have a good life and it's the small things that make me happy. Everyday moments that I appreciate, and when looking in the back mirror, many of those moments have turned into small gems worth a lot. It can be as simple as the sun shining on some grass, or shining on a frozen landscape where trees and grass are white and glittery. Or it can be when I rise in the morning and handyman has lit the stove and it's already warm for me. Small things but making my life good, and by keeping my pleasures small I'm guaranteed plenty of them.

I'm taking part in a weekly art challenge called Color Me Positive, and the prompt for this last week was : Make today so awesome that yesterday will be jealous. I really don't like any form of jealousy and that was what made me think of all this. Let me add, it's a fun challenge and most times there are more than one option in prompts.

 My art here is what I made for this weeks prompt, and as you see I underlined the small things in life.

How would you describe your life?

I'm linking this to Paint Party Friday, so happy PPF everyone.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Redoing my classes

I've decide to redo several of my classes this spring.

Mastering Twinks 1 is the first one I'm doing. I watch the videos over again, take notes and also do some of the exercises over again. I've learnt a lot since then, so I think redoing them will make me understand even more now.

To get all the stuff gathered in a binder was the first thing I wanted to do. I had lots and lots of papers lying around so it turned out to become a real clean up as well.

One of the projects was to doodle a mandala. I'd done many of them earlier on so it seemed a bit familiar to do one for the class. Below is my class work.

 The next one I made the other day. They're very different ones, but the background shows a bit of my improvement I think.
Backgrounds are still hard for me to do, but I practice doing them every opportunity I get.

I love my Twinks and have new discoveries each time I use them.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Birds flying south

This little one were inspired by the birds leaving for winter.

It's made in my A5 Zeta journal using Twinks and regular watercolors. I didn't know exactly what to do, so I did just go with the flow.

I'm sorry for the bad lighting, it's hard to find good light around here these days. I wish you could see it in person, the Twinks really make a big difference.
I want to thank you all for your good wishes on my Birthday, I really appreciated it.

Friday, January 8, 2016

WIP, has to come to an end.

This piece has had a long life just put away.

I have decided to finish such old ones this year, and this is the first one. I have to say, I've learnt a lot since the beginning of this, and now I do see many things not as good as I first thought.

I have been reading much about composition since then, and I wish I'd done it a bit different.
Here is where it all started, 

I need to change almost everything in it, it all seem so flat. But building depth is possible, and I'll try to get it done. Below you see the one face done. I like it much better. This piece measures 70 by 70 cm, so there's a lot of work to do.

Now, this face need to be sculptured, can you see how flat it is?

Here they are, both faces done. To do this work, I'm using my inktense watercolor pencils. Working on top of fabric and wetting it, it's very risky so I have to be careful.

Below is a photo of it all. I've just started working on some of the houses. I am excited to see what can be done and if it's worth the effort. As for the composition, it's too symmetric and too centered. I do believe though, that by adding more contrasts it may look different.

I'll link this to Paint Party Friday, so happy PPF everyone.

Oh, and it's my 58 birthday today so I'm going to have a good day and finally start my new year as well.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fantasy birds, a successful artswap.

I was asked to do an art swap, which I love,

and agreed to that. My online friend and I came to terms on size and type, and I actually got so inspired that I felt it just flew out of me.
My friend asked for a specific motif, fantasy birds in some sort of woodland, based on something I had shown earlier. My substrate measures 28 by 35 cm, so it's quite large.

I did make a sketch to position my subjects and plan the background. The birds were a bit troublesome until I changed their eyes. Then it went smooth.
Below is my piece with some initial washes of watercolor.

It is made in mixed media, watercolors, Twinks, crayons/ watercolor pencils and ink. At this stage I always feel that the lights are being turned on. It's incredible to see the change the minute the twinks comes to use.

I felt a bit uncertain to which colors to choose for the birds, and actually they started out as pink ones. But, it was wrong and I felt it all the way to my fingertips. 

I turned them into purples instead and that made a huge difference. Below is the finished piece, and I assure you, it's much prettier in person. The birds might seem a bit sad, but they're discussing where to live now that their site in the rainforest is about to be cut down.

Teresa was kind enough to send me a photo of the framed piece, and I loved it the minute I saw it. And now I'm sure the birds have found a good site as well.
And, this is it. I so much love the way Teresa has chosen to frame it, the black color really makes the birds stand out. Thanks for allowing me to use your photo, Teresa. Isn't it gorgeous?

 And, here is what came in the mail for me.  Teresa calls these trees Fortune Trees, and mine is titled Green Meadow Tree and I love it. I do need to find the right spot for it to hang though. It's a 30 by 30 cm canvas, even the hanging gear is mounted at the back. It's even more beautiful in person, and it makes me happy just to look at it.

 My old house do not have many white walls, so I need to try the painting in different places but I know I'll find the right spot for it. Thank you once again Teresa for this successful swap.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday makings

Happy New Year everyone,

I hope you've had a wonderful season.

2016 is the year I will try to post a new little mandala, prismatic painting or other small stuff made in my Zeta journal, each Monday. At first I was thinking of doing mandalas only in that journal, on page two I made a prismatic painting. Lol.
I'm not very good at limiting myself to one thing only, that's why I'm going to call these posts Monday makings. Several of these are made in 2015, but not shown earlier. I have to have some in store so that I know I have something to share if the inspiration should leave for better weather.

My first is a mandala made using colors I do not choose very often. The background colors were chosen as complementary to the ones used in my subject, but all of a sudden I had changed some of the main colors. It ended up like a mess only. I signed it and thought, oh well one can't win them all.

But, next day I couldn't live with giving up so I sat down again, continued playing and the result is much better, in my opinion at least. 

So many times I forget to trust the process of creating, wait, put it aside and then see what happens. Most often I instantly know what to do after a break like that. What about you?

I've also decided to use this new year to finish up some old works. I've already started on a large piece that have been bothering me for a long time.