Thursday, November 20, 2014

What I'm wearing today

Boden jeans
Banana republic stripy top

Documented Life Project - Week 41

The challenge this week was polka dots.

I used my small round puncher for this, using a mediocre gelli print. When I was finished punching, I realised that I had printed on both sides of the paper. And both sides of my polka dots were equally lovely. If I glued one side onto my page, I would be losing the other side forever! Too much of a dilemma for my poor nerves. I don't have a laminator, so that wasn't an option. I tried to capture the dots between two layers of acrylic medium, but that didn't work.

In the end, I decided to glue the dots onto acetate transparency, using acrylic medium as my glue. The result is a little bit smudgy, and not exactly in military order, but it works. Not as a frameable work of art. But as a journal page challenge, it's actually quite pretty.

Here are all the dots thrown onto a page:

And the reverse side:

And a close-up of one of the dots (isn't it so pretty?):

And one of the verso:

And here is the finished page with the flap closed

This is the reverse of the flap

With the flap open

And this is a view through the flap.
It looks better in reality!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What I'm wearing today

Very dark out there today. A real November day.

Same Boden trousers as yesterday
Boden grey stripy top
Clarks black ankle boots

Birch trees

Am I moving on from my water obsession? Or just returning to my tree obsession?
And why do I keep working in watercolours when I feel that acrylics would be a much easier option?

Inspired by more art videos, I decided to paint a stand of three birch trees in Marlay Park. We took that photo years ago. I loved the colours. I wanted to try out masking and pouring. That part of it worked out all right. It's how I complete the painting that's got me stuck!

Birch tree leaves are so delicate.

I found a nice painting that looks good - but it's an acrylic. How do I achieve something semi-abstract  like that in watercolours? All the instructions I'm finding are showing how to paint bare birch trees. There's probably a good reason for that!

Here is where I got to so far:

First pour - still wet. The trunks are masked with Pebeo masking fluid.

My three colours: Winsor Red, Winsor Yellow, Ultramarine blue

First pour after it's dried

After my second pour. I flung more masking fluid onto the page before the second pour. I love the colours at this stage. And I'm completely stuck. I have no idea how to proceed. All I need is to add some leaf shapes in the upper part of the painting, but I really don't know how to do that without losing my beautiful colours!

Masking fluid video

Some excellent tips in this video. It's a little bit long, but worth the time I think.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Documented Life Project - Week 40

I won't be using the flap for journaling after all - I couldn't leave it blank. After many layers of awful brown gelli printing, I decided to glue 4 leaves on it. I had used these leaves as masks in my gelli prints, but somehow, the prints didn't work out. But the leaves had acquired some gorgeous highlights in the process!

Not much brown on my page in the end. Lesson learned from this challenge? There is a good reason I don't use brown!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Documented Life Project - Week 40 - work in progress

It's official, I will not be able to catch up on the DLP challenges before the end of the year. But never fear, the ladies of Art to the 5th will be presenting us with brand new challenges for 2015, so I can continue to lag behind!

Here is my take on the Week 40 Challenge - paint with three colours you don't normally use.

I went to an art opening on Sunday, at the Olivier Cornet Gallery, and I was wowed by Michelle Byrne's sculptures.

So I picked up my Schmincke masking fluid and I drew a little map of my own, heavily inspired by one of the ceramic pieces I saw at the exhibition.

I had initially set aside three browns as my three unloved colours - burnt umber, burnt sienna and raw sienna. But when it came to it, I used leftover watercolours - a mix of orangey-brown, and a bright green mix. You know me, I hate throwing away paint, so I collect leftovers in little ceramic bowls. They are great for trying new ideas or techniques out. I'll admit I love the bright green, so I'm cheating a bit. But I couldn't bear to use three browns!  But the orangey-brown was so unloved that it had a thick layer of dust over it, which I had to remove before adding water!

I found a lovely green page in my sketchbook - remnants of a gelli print. I will find it hard to cover these with anything, so I might use the flap for my journaling.

I cut this square from the invite to the exhibition. The actual ceramic is round.

Watercolour Pouring - the finished article

Well, I didn't quite ruin it, but yet, the finished article is not quite as exciting as the first couple of layers. I think next time, I'll make the small trees in the distance green-blue, and the ones in the front red, in order to push them into the background.

Still, it's quite luminous, so I can't complain!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Documented Life Project - Week 39

Here is the finished product:

It won't be easy to write on these pages. I'll have to do all my journaling on stickers or on pieces of paper I'll glue to these backgrounds. I have a similar issue with Week 34 - neither black pen nor white pen stands out over this busy background. So what I've done over the last two days is journal on small scraps of newsprint paper, and glue them onto the page. I'll see how it looks when the week is over. Alternatively, I could add a little envelope or a tag and journal there instead. We'll see how that works out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Documented Life Project - Week 39 - Work in Progress

Splatters and drips - what fun! For the Week 39 Challenge, Lorraine Bell's idea of splashing colours onto watercolour paper, and then to draw from it, was what got my creative juices flowing. Or maybe I just copied her idea... Anyways, it was fun. I'm still not sure which one I'm going to use in my journal, though!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Watercolour Pouring

Despite my doubts, I'm still exploring watercolour pouring techniques. I came across some very good videos on Cheap Joes that have inspired me to revisit a scene I had abandoned about a year ago.

Here is one of my earlier attempts: link here, and another later one: link here, which I don't think I ever finished. Or if I did, I ruined it and never showed you the result. Anyways, this is a good start I think. But I'm sure I'll find ways to ruin it!

I was waiting for a delivery of Pebeo masking fluid to finish this. It came before the weekend and I was a busy bee Saturday and Sunday. I'll show you the result in a few days' time.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

It's that time of the year!

The Documented Life Project - Week 38

Week 38 challenge was to draw a feather

Well, what a great opportunity to use my little feather stamp that I carved myself. So that was my first starting point.

My second starting point was another birthday card I got - much better than letting all these lovely cards linger in a drawer, unseen and unloved. Feather, Bird. Birds of a Feather.

I'm really starting to incorporate a lot of the techniques and ideas I've been playing with in these last 38 weeks of the Documented Life Project - Gelli-printed background, hand-carved stamp, white pen, punched circles, doodles.

And I love the colours on these pages. They are really happy. I would never have used bright colours like this before but I was channelling my inner Rae Missigman! I hope you like them too.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Invisalign Day 1

Day 1.
1st photo, with the Invisalign in. The other 2 without. Can you spot the difference?

Why Does a Dog Lick Its Nose?

Why Does a Dog Lick Its Nose? | The Ark In Space

I was wondering why Timber was licking his nose in the car on the way to the beach yesterday! According to this link, it's like a self-reassuring thing in situations of stress. Like "I'm a little bit worried, but everything is going to be all right"

More here on the subject:

Pouring and squirting watercolours

I did a good bit of work on other paintings in the same style of watercolour pouring last weekend, but I've got nothing to show for it - I'm looking at them, and I'm not seeing waves. So I'll have to think about them for a while before you can see them.

But I think I'm done with this one - not frameable quality in my opinion, but it looks three-dimensional at least.

My big problem with this technique is that you throw paint at the board, see what happens and then you paint from that. But I've always felt that my best work (listen to me!!) is based in reality - a real mountain, a real sky, so a real wave is what I need to aim for. I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board, I think!