Sunday, 30 March 2008

Easter Post

Hi everyone. Hope you had a great Easter. Sorry this Easter themed post is a bit late - I've been too busy eating chocolate!
I had a nice Easter and was feeling quite creative. I painted a Crucifixion painting (above). Not really my usual sort of thing but it came out really all on its own so for that reason I like it. I love those moments when a painting just comes together fairly effortlessly and you really feel satisfied that you get across the emotion on the page.
A special arrival for us was out new kitten Harry. As you can see he is beautiful. He is now nine weeks old and is being very playful and naughty. I named him after Prince Harry who I also love but in a quite different way! :-p

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Painting the Negative

White Plum Tree

White Plum Tree is a painting I did based on "Flowering Plum Tree" (left) by Van Gogh, which was in turn after Hiroshige. Little bit of art re-cycling there!

I've used it as inspiration for an exercise in the "Celebrate Your Creative Self" book by Mary Todd Beam. It is called painting around the white. You paint in the negative background shapes leaving the the subject of the painting white. I also flipped this plum tree one round just because it looked more interesting that way once it was finished.

Here is another painting I did using the same negative painting style.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Loose Loose Landscape

This is a painting I just finished. I am getting a bit uptight with my sketching. I think its my new portrait class (very stressful). So I just wanted to get it out of my system and do something free and more expressive. Plus a landscape too which I never do.
It is painted in acrylic with a little bit of ink and soft pastels.

I like it and I feel so much better now.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

IMT - Kitchen

I'm obsessed with Cluedo this week. We had a Cluedo Saturday at my house last weekend and I won the sum total of five pounds. :-)

So when I saw the theme at IMT was kitchen I looked to my favourite (if slightly macabre) board game for inspiration.
So here it is ... murder in the kitchen!

Friday, 7 March 2008

I should be..

You Should Be an Artist

You are incredibly creative, spontaneous, and unique.

No one can guess what you're going to do next, but it's usually something amazing.

You can't deal with routine, rules, or structure. You're easily bored.

As long as you are able to innovate and break the rules, you are extremely successful.

You do best when you:

- Can work by yourself

- Can express your personality in your work

You would also be a good journalist or actor.


Lots of rules

I've had my eyes opened a bit this week at my new portrait class.

When I'd run out of time at the end of the session the man next to me looked at mine and said "Hmm has anyone actually ever taught you the rules of proportion?" Ouch (I didnt think it was that bad!)

Of course nobody had. I've studied art for years and nobody has ever actually taught me how to draw or paint in a technical sense. It just never happened so I've always made it up as I went along.

I did see them this week in the class holding up pencils and rulers and doing a lot of squinting. To be honest I didn't know what this is supposed to achieve but thanks to my friend next to me I am enlightened!

So I've got a book out from the library and can now learn the eyes are supposed to be exactly in the centre or the head (I always put them about two thirds up?!), three eyes across, four noses across, nose and ears same size etc etc.

Does anyone else actually do all this?

It might be a bit hap-hazard but I like the style Ive developed. Its mine and I developed it (blagged it) as I went along. When people "teach" you how to draw and paint aren't they just teaching you to draw like them? Its something I've been pondering.

Anyhow it can't do any harm to read up about all these rules so I've got homework to do now before my next class on Wednesday.

IMT - Leap

For Inspire Me Thursday "Leap"... Wait let me explain ...

I feel I've made a big leap forward this week. I've been feeling sorry for myself and not doing much (see last post). But I made myself go out on Wednesday and do something. Painting makes me happy so I decided to join a new art class. I've been wanting to for ages and was finally brave enough.

So this is the very unfinished painting I did there. Its a lady called Anne who was our model. Not great but its a move in the right direction.

Glad to be getting back on my creative feet (if you see what I mean)!

Fed Up but Finally Finished

I've been having a bit of a miserable patch the last couple of weeks. Haven't done very much of anything. I'm finally snapping out of it and getting things done.

So here are a couple of self-portraits I've finally finished. Thanks to Pattie, M. Heart and Laurel for your kind words of encouragement when I got stuck Before with the first one.
As ever once I can actually drag myself out of bed and sit at my desk to paint it becomes easier. By painting about what is troubling me it helps me move forward and let the (in this case) grief and anger go. Phew ..

So here is a self-portrait of me grieving after the loss of someone very very dear to me.

This one is about reaching out for help when I felt I was drowning.

I want to mention Pattie's post Focus which helped me out when I was feeling down. Thank you.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Stages of Grief (!)

Here is a little post about how I made the portrait "Grief". I took pictures of it as I was making it so I thought - why not put them on here? You can see how it progressed (very stop-startish over about a month).

I dont't know why I take pictures as I go along. Its like when typing a word document and you save as you go along. I think the habit has transferred to my paintings. If only you could return to a saved point when it all goes wrong!

First I made a sketch onto the paper from the photograph I took. I painted in the head and arm with acrylic. Then the background in plain acrylic.

I didn't know what I was going to do after this. Only that I wanted to somehow suggest some inner-chaos or upset. But I didn't know how..

I decided upon collage and tore up bits of newspaper. I glued them down and painted on some layers of Gesso ready for it all to be painted over.

Sunday, 2 March 2008


Here is an interesting piece of art I saw at the Tate Liverpool. A really eye-striking collage by Damien Hirst which looks like a stained glass window. It caught my eye from right across the other side of the gallery and I was thinking how beautiful it was. So I went over to have a closer look... .. Then ugh!!

Made from real butterflies. Loads of them stuck down on the canvas. Amazing - totally and equally beautiful and repulsive at the same time.

I'd told my mum about it and described it to her. She got me this scarf as a gift because she thought it sounded just like the picture.

Here my cat Mora got herself wrapped up in it for a snooze. So from repulsive and beautiful to just beautiful and cute. I don't think Damien Hirst would be v. amused!

A Page of Moras

I was watching TV with my cat Mora asleep beside me. She looked so cute I had to sketch her and ended up with a whole page of Moras!