Monday, 30 June 2008

holiday zentangle sketch

Had a short break over the past few days and don't have very much art work to blog about. I did find myself at a loose end after dinner one night and opened a notepad and started doodling. This is the result:-

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I did not have any particular thing in mind and as I filled in the outer shape I found myself thinking of a photograph I had recently seen in all the newspapers of a migration of ray fish. The idea wouldn't go away but I did not doodle to achieve a recognisable object. I did however use the image in deciding on a name, "Night Ray". Daft name, perhaps you can think of another? But if you want to see a photo of such a migration check out these images. I couldn't find the original on a quick search.
I have also put together a set of four faux postage stamps using the basic image offered by Lisa Vollrath, if this aspect of art/craft interests you a useful article can be found on Lisa's Squidoo Lens on the subject of artistamps. Anyway here is my set, made for the make it monday challenge this week.

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Not quite sure I have been "creative" in making these but the subject is not something that I have really had much to do with so far. But I have used the challenge to have another go with my digital painting software (this time photoplus) and try to keep my hand in before I forget everything I have learnt about using it to date.

I may seem to have been posting lots of links to Lisa Vollrath's sites recently as I have gotten involved in the Make it Mondays challenges. I can assure everyone that there is no connection (as-if LOL) but it has given me a great deal of inspiration thro' what has been a difficult time for me creatively after the death of my cousin, Kathleen. I know I promised in a recent post to list some of the challenges around the web, and I will be sorting this out soon. But for now, I have to report that one of my colleagues in a Yahoo art group has started a challenge blog, which I hope will be great fun. Check out Margaret Fields (aka mop head) new challenge

Monday, 23 June 2008

themed ATC's, TIME a Make It Mondays Challenge

Just a quick post to put up two more ATC's from the Make it Mondays challenge. I am really enjoying this, It seems to give me something to work for. Too often I find myself browsing blogs and group forums and I find myself wondering wether it is a form of procrastination. trying to be different with each card is not easy, but the challenges certainly help. I have been determined to catch up on past themes so I have not taken several other challenges but one of these days I will post a list of challenges for every day of the week. Of course, I don't gurantee to meet them all, a guy has to have a real life (or so my wife keeps telling me ).

The first is called, "Lost Time Is........."

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They are both very simple collages. Start with a thick card base, choose a backing paper ( I think these are both courtesy of Dover Publications), select a couple of complementary images and a quote based on the theme of "time passing". A couple of strokes with the glue stick and bob's your uncle, as we say in the UK. Of course there was actually a lot of positioning and repositioning before the application of the adhesive. It often takes me considerable time to lay out the images before the final step is taken. have I got enough or do I need some more? Will it be too busy? I actually like my ATC's to be unbusy, if that's an english word.

The second ATC is called, "To Choose Time.........."

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OK that's me done for today, I can go and surf the net having done my quota and without feeling guilty.

churning out atc's now

Right this weekend I have been churning them out, just didn't feeel like doing much after my cousins funeral on Thursday and so have been doing a couple every night to pass the time.

This first atc was for a challenge based on song titles with MOON in the title. The fish appeared because I had to incorporate a product from a particular supplier....
I enjoyed doing this and may make some landscapes in the near future in the same style.

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I had been wondering what to do with this little noticeboard in the next card for some time. May not be great art but I think it's sort of whimsical in a humerous way.To be fair it's based on a father's day card my son bought me.What's that, Looks like it ???? LOL

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Another of those, "what shall I do with...."; cards. I was given this buckle and I thought well I am just gonna have to use it. Of course that meant the ribbon..... the backing was chosen to complement the ribbon..... the music to offer some contrast and the text because it seemed to fit the card and make a nice detail.I added a little colour pencil to the face.

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I had some tablet containers (the foil type) and had been meaning to use them for ages. Given that, this card sort of fell together. The mesh was an afterthought to hold the two silver stars in place which were hung loosely on the wires. These though did not come out well in the photo.

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well there you have it, lots of bits and pieces used up, there were a couple more cards but I think that's probably enough for now; and they weren't very successful anyway. Can't win 'em all!

Saturday, 21 June 2008

More challenge ATC's - MEN

Can't keep away from them - ATC's , that is.

I am posting here three on the theme of men (loosely???). this challenge was anther from the Make It Mondays challenge on GMS. The first is called, "Thou shall not pass". I had been playing about with some mesh bags ......bought holding fruit....... and had adhered some to a card with an embossing paste (Black, Dreamweaver) which I had bought rashly I think and never used much of. I rather liked the effect and layered a square of this onto the backing. This particular gentleman looked quite stern and the phrase simply jumped out at me as I moved the elements aroud the backing. I added the key (lock, keep out??) afterwards and thought the top needed a little detail. I took a long time to decide that the "jewel" was the edetail I was looking for.

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The second was quite deliberately tied in with an african theme although in the end I didn't use half the stuff I was intending to. Sometimes enough is enough, and I felt that this was all it needed to complete the card. Called, "Dear, I'm Home" (think about it LOL) the ide for the piece began with a substantially textured paper. But when I trie to stamp the larger face on to the backing it was a disaster. I finally stamped onto a white card and cut this out and adhered to the card. The traveller (?) seemed to be introducing himself and the original mix of bits and pieces contained the beads and the smaller mask.

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The last is a my attempt at a little humour; called, "Ladies let me introduce the twins". A simple collage on home made backing paper painted with acrylics.

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All the male images are available free to use here. Thanks to Elizabeth

Friday, 20 June 2008

watercolour aceo's

Hi, pleased to report that I managed to sell the watercolour aceo, "Still waters" which I posted on here not long ago. this is the first one I have put up for sale on Ebay in several months and it has spurred me on to do another. This is also taken from a photograph of somewhere in Norfolk, UK .

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Again it was the colour of the sky which attracted me to this particular image and I hope I have captured the glow behind the trees. Not too sure about the reflections but at the moment I am just pleased to be using my watercolours again.

I did this whilst at the Tuesday evening meeting of my art group and finished with just a short time to spare and a pool of colours in my palette. Not being one to throw away the paint, I did the only thing possible and painted a very quick abstract. Again this was aceo size - I did say a few minutes.

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I washed the whole paper with a weak wash of ultramarine to provide a wet background and then simply drew lines with the primary colours and allowed them to run. The last touch was the use of a stronger red (alizarin crimson) to add focal points. I did not like the dots as they were put down so ran a toothpick through them to join up the lines. ( I always keep a supply of picks in my tote box for scratching into wet areas!). I decided to call this one "ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT" as the lines reminded me of bars at a window.

trees sketch using splattered watercolour

Right this one is a quickie as I wanted to post this little watercolour sketch. I used a splattering technique to create the foliage in the tree.

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I like the colours, here and am very pleased with the experiment. Will definitely use this technique to produce more work soon.

Actually, in an old blog, I posted several simple sketches of trees done in different media. You may like to have a quick look. But you will have to scroll down just a little.

(I gave up with this old blog because there was no way of accessing individual posts).

Monday, 16 June 2008

more Make It Mondays ATCs

Well , I reckon these two bring me up to date (except for today's new challenge of course) with the Make It Mondays series. I will be keeping up to date from now on.

Here is the first - the theme is flowers. This means gardens to me, being unromantic, and at the moment I am fighting a losing battle with hordes of the neighbours cats. It seems that I am the only idiot in the neighbourhood who actually turns the earth over in the garden! Of course the cats congregate overnight and do their little bit of digging to help. So my card shows a cat (never knew what to do with this moulding) amongst the flowers. 'Course I love the little b******s really.

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The second is also a little off the theme of "where I live" .

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I interpreted this as where I came from. As this is mainly a US based group (????) I included a map of the UK (well two really, for balance) ; no need for more detail.... the London bus ticket and the advert for Tetley tea say a whole lot more, I think. I happened to have a couple of spare photos around in my pile of junk (stash?) and used these to make a more personal statement. The first (B&W) photo is of my parents and I soon after I was born, just a few years ago now. The other two small portraits show dad who always had a smile on his face and never let things get to him.
Got a couple of paintigs to post as well but am going to make those a separate posting - back soon.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Make it mondays challenge - women

Trying to catch up with a long "to-do" list. Here is an ATC on the theme of Women as posted in Make it Mondays. only a couple of weeks to catch up with now, LOL

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A touch of the Maurice Chevalier, never one of my favourite singers (give me Karl Denver anyday) but such a well worn song. And it sprang to mind as I was adding the last element of this collage.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Make it mondays challenge - Blue

Hi, managed to do this earlier in the week before hearing of the death of a very close cousin. Having a few spare minutes sat down at the PC and thought I would take the opportunity to post this challenge ATC. See more on Lisa Vollrath's web site, Go Make Something

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The crown was a last minute addition I made in order to add a focus in what I thought was a very busy atc. I used a little pva glue to adhere some embossing powder ( haven't done this before) and whilst heating the powder the glue bubbled up, can't really see it here but must remember not to do this again.

Monday, 9 June 2008

fun with abstract watercolours

Ok, having got my watercolours out, I decided to keep going. It is my first love (as far as art is concerned) so opened my sketch book and I idly found something to paint. The trouble with painting at home is finding inspiration, at least for me. This is a copy of a painting in a leisure magazine. Not too good but it was a first quick sketch. A few minutes only whereas Quiet Water was done at my art group and took me the best part of two hours.

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- perhaps the open door should have been coloured in. The photo suffers from a low resolution scan image, always a problem with water colours. I took to photographing my paintings but didn't feel it was worth the effort here.

The next sketch was a freehand landscape out of my head ( I really like this sort of painting, and used to do them all the time. The more you do the more realistic and the more detailed they tend to become). This one needed a few birds to bring it to life.

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I liked the colours in this one, I would rather be a little free with colours in a landscape than stick to too many greens. Not that there is anything wrong with green.... you understand. Again the sky shows the problem with low resolution scanning. It cannot cope with the subtlety of watercolours merging. I was fairly happy with this one, and I do like leafless trees/bushes. they don't hide the background.

The next picture was moving even further toward an abstract, something I have actually come to like since having to readup and learn about modern painting for a talk/workshop I gave to my art group . (More later)

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Don't ask me about this one, I had lots of blue left - I had used a very strong blue and mixed a large puddle, one of the problems of not having had the paints out for some time I guess. So I laid in a wash and made a few exploratory marks. And you know , I liked it. I think of it as reflections of poplar trees in a lake. You can make of it whatever you will.
But the talk I gave to my group....... A couple of years ago, we decided to try and inject a little something extra into our weekly meetings and to try to develop ourselves as artists (without being pretentious) we couldn't afford professional tutors/demonstrators so it was decided to hold quarterly workshops to be run by one of the group. I was chosen to do the first.... and because I was the only one who had done anything remotely abstract.... that was to be my subject.

I asked around the group what people expected and they said to me that they would like to go away from the workshop having painted an abstract painting. We are a very practical group, after all; and that seemed like a useful target.

I researched work by the masters from the impressionists to the american expressionists and decided that no matter what the painting, if it was any good (personal choice?) it had to follow the rules of composition. the biggest problem for most of the members was that of knowing where to start. So I devised a simple set of instructions, a bit like a recipe card. BUT the starting point was to be a small set of shapes/lines that they had chosen before putting pen/pencil/brush to paper. For example:- two squares, a circle and two lines. They were then to sketch in these shapes (thumbnail size - this was before I discovered aceo/atc) and colour them in.

Sounds simple - sounds childish? Don't believe it. For people who had only painted from pictures it was a major issue. Unfortunately none of them were inspired to do abstracts but I have cmpletely changed my own way of working and now do far more abstract work than figurative or realistic work.
Here are two examples from the list given above as an example, ie two square, two lines and a circle. It is interesting how such simple instructions can lead to such a variety of images. Why not try it for yourselves?

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I actually love developing these little paintings and one can actually lose the shapes if the idea is taken one step further. But that will have to wait for another time, I have other things to do now. Thanks for your attention and your time, see you next time.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

A new watercolour painting at last

I bought myself a new rubber stamp this week and tried it out with this new ATC, called Diamond Lil (not a very original name I know) but I had these large glass gems and didn't know what to do with them so............ I quite liked this to start with but think I should have added more detail but for the life of me I didn't know where to put it. Still it has been posted off to a new owner so it's too late now.

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The amazing thing is that I have at last got my watyercolours out again, first time in ages and managed to complete a painting (2.5 x 3.5) but I can't call it an atc because I have put it up for sale on on Ebay. I have opened a shop again as my son has asked me to seel some more of his CD collection so I have decided to post a few paintings and see what happens. I also registered on Etsy a little while ago but have still not put up anything for sale on that site yet.
Anyway the painting is presented here, entitled, "Quiet Water". Hopefully the first of many more now that I have an Ebay shop to pay for.

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Sunday, 1 June 2008

simple ATC's and digital collages

New art has been a little slow coming this week. But I have managed a couple of challenge atc's. The first is based on a theme of eyes from the Make It Mondays challenge on Lisa Vollrath's Go Make Something site. A very simple ATC.... layers of coloured paper, a few circular stampings and an image of eyes.

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The second is one in which I have put to use the bottle images whch I started to use previously but never quite got around to completing. This was for a lottery challenge on the Yahoo group Blindswaps.

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Apart from these my crafting time has been spent on making artwork for kids with very serious illnesses who are featured on a site called Make A Child Smile. This is also thro' a project/challenge on the same Blindswaps group. From the MACS site three kids are featured every month and members make a piece of art for these and send them as RAK's.

As I used proprietary images ( a WWF wrestling star and carebears) for ttwo of the cards, I am not posting them on this site but I did get to do some digital collaging for the third and here are some images from this.

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a little larger than intended but never mind just this once..... It was certainly a fun project and got to learn a little about the subjects of the artworks, yes including the Care bears... I did Funshine, Bedtime Bear and Oopsy Bear. LOL

Now to get on with some serious crafting .......