Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Inishowen Peninsula

I wasn't expecting much, but the Inishowen Peninsula has a wild beauty that's hard to describe.

Can't believe it's nearly a year since we were there.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Documented Life Project - Week 3

I didn't think I'd manage to complete another one this weekend, but here I am, at Week 3 of my Documented Life Project - I am quite inspired.

Week 3 is "Add an envelope from your mailbox"

Lots of steps in this one, so I'm going go for a numbered list:

  1. Pick an envelope - that was easy: a friend of ours had given me this lovely envelope from Florence with opera tickets months ago. It was so pretty I kept it. I knew I would find a use for it some day
  2. Pick a background - a gelli print leftover in red and pink
  3. Glued the envelope to the page
  4. Decided to use one of my donut stencils. It was originally just a plain piece of paper, but numerous gelli prints made it into an ancient seal! 
  5. I wanted to use a similar donut shape around the page, so I cut my own stamp (I use plain old erasers that I carve with a little toolkit I got at Christmas)
  6. I drew little donuts in any space that I felt needed it
  7. When you have an envelope, you have to put a card in it, you can't leave it empty. So I cut a card from a donut gelli print that wasn't quite good enough to stand on its own
  8. I wrote Happy Easter 2014 at the back of the card. But that looked a bit silly.
  9. I drew lots and lots of little donuts on the back of the card
  10. I called it done!
And now, a few more pictures:

The Documented Life Project - Week 2

Well, this is Easter weekend after all and I have to make the most of all this free time - 3 hours until the dog needs to be walked again!

So, let's move to Week 2 - Incorporate a Selfie

I took a picture of myself and wasn't too happy with it, then I had a look through Picasa. Here is the result:

  • First I had a look through the People section in Picasa
  • Second I selected about twenty pictures of me that I liked
  • Third I picked Collage - but the Collage option didn't take my chosen photos - it incorporated all the pictures of me in People - and I loved the resulting texture
  • Fourth I glued it to a blank page 
  • Fifth I added little dots around it to frame it 
  • Sixth I drew lines and wrote words that describe me in one way or another
  • Seventh I scribbled over those words with Neocolor II water-soluble pencils and applied water to bring out the colours
  • Eighth  I applied some Reeves acrylic paint (gold) to brighten it and hide the words
  • Ninth I called it done

The Documented Life Project - Week 1

I recently discovered this art project called The Documented Life Project. And now I feel the need to abandon all other art projects I had in mind to pursue, and maybe some day catch up with, this group of artists.

The whole idea is to use a weekly planner and to incorporate art into it every week, with a theme chosen by the 5 ladies who set up this project.

Well this is April already, and I'm not going to go and buy a 2014 planner now, plus I don't think I'd find a shop that would sell me one. But that's not going to stop me from enjoying this. And I'm not good with weekly deadlines anymore - where is the project manager in me? Gone out the door the day we got a dog!

So here is my effort for Week 1 - to photograph, sketch, paint or incorporate your front door:

  • First I took a photo (obviously)
  • Second I decided to jazz up the colours in Picassa
  • Third I chose a pre-painted page in one of my journals - colours left over from one of my Gelli prints
  • Fourth I glued the photos on the facing pages
  • Fifth I wrote a few words
  • Sixth I applied my lovely alphabet stickers (from Art&Hobby shop), just in case you couldn't read my writing
  • Seventh I doodled a small little bit
  • Eighth I stamped little hearts with my own stamp
  • Nineth I called it done

Running out of time

I got a delivery from Boden a few days ago, and my parcel was wrapped in their signature polka-dot tissue paper. I knew then I had found what I needed to complete this page! It's still busy, but I think it's done now.

And the facing page - the columns on the sides are wide sellotape applied to a dry Gelli plate to lift the remaining paint (check out the technique here):

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Running out of time

Work in progress - gelli print scraps printed on tissue paper and glued to journal page (prepped with brayer cleaning); silhouette from a magazine printed with gelli plate; sticker alphabet from Art&Hobby shop, clock stamps from Urban Stamps.

I think I might add an acrylic glaze to unify the lot - it's a bit bitty right now, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Voodoo at Baros, Maldives

Very small video, I know, but given this was filmed on an iPhone and I wasn't right by the stage, that's not too bad. And it's the sound that matters. These guys are so good - Voodoo - once a week at Baros, Maldives

Monday, April 14, 2014

Travel Sketches - 9

Palm trees are very sketchable

and watercolourable 

Walking Donuts and A Chain of Donuts

Gelli printing is completely addictive! (PS - gold acrylic paint doesn't show on these scans, unfortunately)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Travel Sketches - 8

At this stage, I'd say you're getting the idea - beach, sea, palm trees, ...

The band whose name I wrote down there, Voodoo, is a Maldivian band that played on Baros once a week. They played a lot of Pink Floyd, and also some reggae. I've never been a Pink Floyd fan, unlike my other half, but these guys were very good. We even asked them to play "Girl you'll be a woman soon", a Neil Diamond classic, and their bass player knew it and sang it alone with a  guitar - the other band members were probably horrified!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Donuts x4

This is a great design for greeting cards! The bronze colour is Reeves' Acrylic Fine Artist Quality from the Art&Hobby shop


Mine was a lime juice - a cup of green tea is not quite the same!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

This might not be quite finished, but I was so pleased with it I wanted to share it with you. I was inspired by a Facebook post by a lady called Jenny MacRunnel. She had cut out little dress patterns out of gelli prints. It was so pretty I had to try it too.

So I found a pretty paper doll dress on www.sweetlyscrappedart.blogspot.com,  cut it out and traced it  on a gelli print that "hadn't quite worked out". It was so much fun, I had to cut a few. The shape of the dresses reminded me of the Sound of Music (in case you were wondering about the title of this post).

I then glued them to a journal page, prepped with acrylic paint rolled with my brayer (that's how I clean my brayer after applying paint to my gelli plate - I hate wasting paint, and it's so much easier to start a journal page when you already have a colourful background to inspire you)

A few dots and details applied with a Letraset metallic marker and a white pen (my favourite is the Uni-Ball Signo). And a bit of shadowing with a Faber-Castell PITT artist pen (cold grey)

I might stamp a few words - my handwriting is so appalling apparently!

Saturday, April 05, 2014


I was on a roll - I've decided to call them donuts - (a few more to come):

And here is the polaroid view from Picasa, which I'm always quite fond of:

Spring colours

A really simple Gelli print: turquoise blue background, with an imprint from an Ikea drawer liner. Then a fairly transparent yellow-orange layer, with areas masked by hand-cut wobbly circles (I used a gyro-cut tool to cut plain paper. I find that after a few applications of acrylic, the paper is strong enough to withstand repeated prints). The paint I chose is Reeves' Acrylic Fine Artist Quality from the Art&Hobby shops. They have some really bright and happy colours in the range - I do like their gold and silver paints a lot.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Travel Sketches - 7

I told you I was trying to sketch more!

I also use my little black moleskin book to take notes of anything that catches my attention or that I want to remember, since my grey cells are not what they used to be. So, in case you're wondering, Huvafenfushi is the name of another island in the Maldives. I had difficulty remembering its name so I wrote it down! It used to be called Nakatchafushi and it was really laid back. Now it's all posh and expensive and it had to have a matching name. But do have a look at their website - it's wow. Even an underwater spa! That said, my memory is that the reef in Nakatchafushi wasn't as good as Baros.  Well, maybe that's changed too.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Travel Sketches - 5

Another beach view

And a little fun with Picasa

Black-tip reef shark, Baros, Maldives

We love the sharks. So hard to photograph them, though. And they look bigger in the water. These guys are no more than a meter long. We must look really big to them.