Saturday, 25 July 2009

watercolour, soft and hard

This week at my art group I painted a number of aceo paintings where I set out to play a hard line image against a soft background.


This one, "moon thru trees" is very similar to the sunset series that I have been doing over the past couple of weeks. Not a lot to say really but I am quite satisfied with the recession of the foliaged trees.


"Distant Henge" Another based on Stonehenge, my son ( a bit of a new age freak) has bagged this for his bedroom wall. I have to say that I am very pleased with this one. As it is aceo/atc size it was quite difficult to paint the stones. But I do like the colour and the way it blends in the foreground.


"Lonely Tree" Back to trees - but I am really pleased with this one, it does seem to have a 3-dimensional appearance which I am pleased with.


"Yellow Sunset" As it turned out I rather liked the hard and soft edges that developed here - giving a sort of misty appearance, so I decided not to proceed with any further image and let it stand on its own.

Secondly for today, I am posting a digitally altered image which I have used for a "story" which I am writing for a challenge on PDA . Not sure if you can read it as a non-member ( although registration is free) but I have been quite carried away with this challenge and am surging ahead of the official time plan (?). I might even publish the travelogue/journal I am producing as a blog in its own right. I will have to see how long I can keep up the interest. But the story certainly offers scope for many images of life in a made-up land I have called Tristolaria. the characters and history arae giving me a lot of cause for thought. Anyway, here is the national hero, Anktu Robircha.... A water-damaged photo which had originally been used as the central image on the countries highest denomination currency note.


See you all again soon.

Monday, 20 July 2009

atc's using the serendipity squares technique

I was reminded of this technique with this weeks challenge on Make It Mondays, it is a great way of using up some of the piles of scrap and off-cuts that all paper crafters collect in copious quantities. So without further ado, let me show you some atc's I created using backgrounds made using this technique.





The titles are contained in the text on the cards. They are all mostly quite simple compositions, looking a little more complex because of the nature of the background. I used all sorts of bits and pieces; scraps, off-cuts, test stampings, bits of watercolours, glossy papers and text. When the collage ( actually 10 X 10 inch) was dry I stamped a musical stave across it several times to unify the overall look. I then turned it over and cut out a number of atc sized cards from it almost at random. This gave me 7 backgrounds and a few odd bits to cut up as embellishments. See my Flickr photostream for photos of the backgrounds before any further work.
Whilst on I was on the trail of scraps I of course found several images that I had put to one side to use "in the future". I decided that the future had arrived and the next two atc's are the result. A bit of a mixture but I hope that the themes come across. The first is entitled, "A Paris" and the second is entitled, "Couples".



Hope that these work for you, I rather like them both. See you next time....

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Two new series of lenses on squidoo

I have been neglecting this blog just when I said that I had gotten over my problems with IE8 and was raring to go, to get back to normal.

I was Squidoo, what's a squidoo? - check it out .

I have been working on two new series of Squidoo Lenses ( lens = single page web-site), I sometimes come over all peculiar like this and find something to busy myself with. The first is to be a series of watercolour sketching, why should we sketch, what will it do for us as an artist, pointers on how to go about it. All serious painters will sketch copiously, it provides a pictorial grammar and vocabulary which develops skills and thought processes. Also it allows the artist to work out the potential problems and compositional issues before starting the main work. He/she will know what they are going to be doing. A major plus when painting in watercolour.

here are a couple of sketches on cartridge paper which I call my Turnerisms ( after the style of some of Turner's Colour Beginnings)



The second series will feature articles aimed at artists / crafters new to ATC's. I offer a view on how I create a collaged ATC. And I offer the quote by Leonardo Da Vinci, " Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" as a guiding principle, for the beginner. Here are two recent ATC's which loook more complicated than they actually are.

If Music be the food of love...

This consists of a printed fabric background, layered to a double layer of card for robustness. I always turn the edges around now to ensure a neat finish, see tutorial by Kim. The Mona Lisa image is bonded to the fabric and the text / quotation from Shakespeare is handwritten on a distressed paper and bonded diagonally. If anything this is too central but had to be there to get it all in one line.
I just can't keep from liking you...

Several music image fragments were collaged to form a background. The couple and text came from the same image. I tore them and repositioned to give a pleasing composition. Simples!
Mmmmm, now I have this blog, my gallery, Squidoo, PDA and Flickr not to mention other groups and community sites. Am I spreading myself too far? Is my wife right, am I getting addicted to this damn PC? And that does not cover time spent painting and crafting, I need to find another day in the week. The Beatles had it right, "8 days a week" - just what I need!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

New watercolour aceo's (june)

This is the third of my catch-up posts, actually things have been so hectic at home that I have not had a great deal of time for art/craft and so it is good to have these in hand. My MIL has is beginning to settle into her residential home and we have been very busy trying to get her settled in, also lots of finance and admin tasks to sort out her own house have kept us busy. We have attended several functions at the home with MIL to get her acclimatised.

We have just seen my youngest son turning 30, of course my wife turned this into a special event. Again lots of things to do, etc. And last but by no means least we have beem planning for our 40th anniversary later in the year. Lots of decisions and sorting out of itineries and all the little things that go with this sort of project.

This does not of course mean that household / domestic chores could be put on hold - oh no, my crafting has had to take a back seat. So here are a few watercolours to bring you up-todate.

The first three are from a series of paintings I started based on photographs of sunsets in Africa. I have considered doing a tutorial on how I did these, as some people seem to think that they are difficult to do. They are actually quite easy and I think I could show this in a very simple tutorial.



The last is also from a photograph, of Glastonbury Tor seen from the Avalon Marshes. It is now framed and belongs to my son who requested it on his birthday. He is into New Age stuff in a big way. How could I refuse?


OK folks that's it for now - see you soon, hopefully with more new art work.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

New collage / atc's

OK this is the second of my catch-up posts (will be one more for paintings), this time I am posting a number of atc collages. Beside the point but I have just looked out of my window - it is p***ing down. After a few days of incredibly hot sun, the weather has turned, with a vengeance. But that shouldn't affect my typing so here goes.....

Title: A trouble shared

Created for the MAMMA swap on Flickr, the theme was to use the distressed gesso technique as demonstrated by Berni Berlin in her atc workshop book. I gessoed over the backgroun and then added a little oriental text, which was also slightly gessoed. The main image was printed onto acetate.

Title: Music soothes the savage breast

A fairly simple atc. I used a polyester material for the background, sealed it with an acrylic sealant and then layered the main image onto the card. The musical staves were stamped with a white ink.
Title : Really


Title; Salome

Both of the above cards were created from ephemera sent by kind friends with traded cards and also ephemera won in competitions on PDA/Kim Newberg's Ning network

Title: Me and my shadow

me and my shadow
Stamped and cut-out images on multi layered background, again using bits of ephemera referred to above; gold circles stamped with wine cork - which just happened to be available, honest..... LOL
Just realised that I may need another post to bring myself right up to date with collaged atc's, lots to show which I have been creating whilst being blocked from my blog with this damned IE8 issue. Again I have to admit that putting the follower gadget towards the bottom of the page seems to have done the trick but It does feel as if it is the wrong place.
See you soon....

Sunday, 5 July 2009

new digital art work

Well moving the follower gadget seems to have done the job - I can at least get into blogger! However I seem to have lost the habit of posting here.

Just as a catch-up I will post a few recent art pieces over the next few posts to try and get back into that habit. In this post it is the turn of digital collages. I sem to have been on the computer again just recently, not least because my art room is in the roof space of our house and in the spell of hot weather it has been impossible to use it for any length of time. My PC is in a much cooler and more comfortable area.

Anyway here are a couple of digital collages for you (well three to be precise):

Title: Honor, fate, forever love

A digital collage made using Photoplus ( version 8 is free). Images from a number of sources. The background from a collage sheet, I bought (LOL) from etsy. The warriors and the LH lady are from Dover, the RH lady may have been from art-e-zine. Oriental alphabet characters from Flickr courtesy of (artsyfartsyqueen on Flickr ). The diagonal edging (?) is also from Dover. Various swirls and shapes created by me as brushes in Photoplus. ..... Busy, but I like it!

Title: Lucy in the sky with diamonds

A fun collage created for a themed challenge on PDA .

Title: My Lady, I feel a presence

A digital collage; most of the images are from the free Dover sampler, the gypsy (RHS) is from Suzee Que and the background from PDA

BTW if you can't see it the title refers to the image of a face in the top LH corner, LOL
More to come in the next few posts, when I can hopefully get back to normal with my use of Blogger for recording my successes and failures with art.

A quick addition to the post: I did this from a collection of images which I selected for a collage sheet on PDA, I called it an "autumn collage", after the colours which were the theme of the sheet.

autumn collage
Well that's it. Up to date with my digital work. And this time I am sure. See you next time.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

(Almost) a new venture.

I have just started a new series of Squidoo "Lenses" based on some of my very old blog postings. The idea of these posts was to show some of my sketches and discuss why and how these came about. And further how they led ( where relevant) to finished paintings.

I have been trying to get back into painting recently, not because I want to stop collaging but rather that I want to do both. Over the past couple of years I have been neglecting my roots as an artist and I want to re-establish them. I was browsing some of my old work, and decided that I would re-visit the blog posts where I had showed these and decided that I could add more - hence the "Lenses".

For those new to Squidoo, a lens is simply a single page web-site.

The original aim of this blog was to write (and show) how I was progressing in my chosen hobby, and to include failures as well as successes ( hence the title! ), it has become more of a way of simply showing off new work and is really complementary to my Flickr photostream. So I hope that you will be able to visit the new Lenses as they are written, and the first draft of the new introductory lens is available for comment. ( I must be a fool??)