Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tiny treasures.

This vase was my mother's and it's one that I have always loved.  So, here it is as an altered photo using gesso over the background.  I've painted the pages with watercolours, painted the flowers onto tissue paper and then applied them with matte medium (I love this technique!!!), I've used oil pastels and the letters are from various magazines.  The flower design is taken from the vase itself.  I tried a rubbing but the curved surface of the vase wasn't terribly cooperative.  I used some Raw Sienna with Naples Yellow for the background of the vase.  Such yummy colours!!   I'll try Quinacridone Gold next's too lovely!  I am having a lot of fun with the watercolours...I find that even doing colour wheels is so informative.  I've been looking a lot at work by David Bellamy, Shirley Travena, Karlyn Holman and Charles Reid.  And Paul Klee.  Oh wow!  There is so much to learn.
And now I'm going to be super busy again....two on-line classes with Jane Davies that start next week...check them out at It's not too late to join!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A stitched piece, again

Here are two pieces I stitched a while ago now.  I dyed and painted the backgrounds, collaged and stitched bits, added yarns, roving, cheesecloth, leftover bits, thread ends and what have you.  The pear from the picture on the left was prepared separately on the embellisher.  I don't normally 'name' my pieces, but the one on the right I call Coming Home.  One of the things I find quite fascinating is when someone else looks at a more abstract piece I have worked on and turns it around to find, what is for them, the 'right way up.'  I suppose it's what we do with the various pieces of our lives.  And then we add our own bits.  Life, gotta love it!   

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Watercolours, again

Here is today's offering.  I'm going to have to take a break today, from the fun stuff.  I need groceries, the cat's gone AWOL and the dust bunnies look like they need to be fed.  And someone said something about a holiday coming up??!!  But I'm still working on some other watercolour bits, so maybe just a bit of time spent on that today...shouldn't take too long.....maybe... 

Monday, December 19, 2011

More watercolours, again

One of the good things about having a bit of time alone is that I can make a, let me say that again, I can make A MESS.  And I do.  But as long as the cat can find her food dish, and I can find the cat, I figure it's all right.  So I spent all day yesterday working on my most recent it is...

I think I prefer these colours to the colours in the previous post. These are Naples Yellow, Raw Sienna, Phthalo Turquoise and French Ultramarine.  I've used gesso, gel medium oil pastels, Derwent Inktense pencils and tissue paper.  I think I'm prepared to call this one done!  I'm working on another one, so I'll have to deal with the mess tomorrow, maybe.  Now, where's the cat?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bits and pieces.

Still experimenting with the watercolours.  Tried watercolour on top of gesso and quite like the effects.  Not sure if this one is quite finished yet, but getting there.  I've collaged a photo and some paintings on canvas paper, but that means using gel medium on top of the gesso.
I'll try putting more gesso on top of the gel medium and see how that turns out.  And maybe more collaging, and stamping, and stencilling, and perhaps some oil pastels.  Here we go again!!! lots to do.....see you soon!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Good grief! It's Sunday again!

I can't believe it's been a week since I posted anything.  But a busy week.  My guy left for south-east Asia for three months and before that we did two holiday dinners and I've been babysitting in the meantime.  There, I feel better now!!! Not quite so slothful!  And so a couple of offerings:
Two colour wheels (sorry, I don't know how to edit scanned pictures that are smaller than the scanner bed....something I'll have to learn),  anyway, two colour wheels using Winsor and Newton watercolours.  I'm trying to find greens and violets I like.  The first triad is cadmium yellow pale, french ultramarine and alizarin crimson.  I like these violets and I also like the greens...I may play around a bit with this palette.  The second triad is cadmium yellow pale, winsor blue (red shade) and cadmium red.  I love the neutrals produced by the red and blue of this triad but that is basically all they are...neutrals (well, to my inexperienced eye they are anyway!).  I based this particular layout on a similar one done by David Bellamy in his (very delightful) book Complete Guide to Watercolour Painting put out by Search Press.  A great book, by the way, I really recommend it. 
I painted the leftover watercolour paints into my sketchbook as a base for future work.  Then yesterday morning I made some stamps based on some photos I had taken last week.  The one in the middle is made from the Miracle Sponge (from Dharma Trading) that looks like cardboard (and therefore cuts easily) and then, when you put it into water it turns into a stamp!! That's fun!  I'm going to develop these images further and I'll keep you posted, if  you'll pardon the pun!!   So that's it for now.  Back soon.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A little fabric again!

This is a piece I made last year at a class with Lesley Turner  It was a great class on hand stitching offered at the Victoria College of Art and when we started the class we dyed our own fabrics and threads.  I mixed  fuchsia and turquoise together plus some golden yellow a la Ann Johnston in her book Colour by Accident.  I dyed the various threads and ribbons as well, including silks and various cotton blends with some silk and bamboo blends as well.  So beautiful and such fun.  The background fabric is burlap and it too dyes up beautifully.  All of this work was dyed with procion MX dyes.   
I'm still busy with my watercolours but I thought you might like a change from all that paper!!  Back soon.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

More watercolours, and trying to just 'play'!

Two more pieces of watercolour playing.  The first one is another colour wheel (I've used these colours already: cerulean blue, alizarin crimson and quinacridone gold) and then some flowers (tulips, did you guess?) on that same page, using the colours from the colour wheel plus some payne's grey. The next one revisits my little pepper mill.  I did another blind contour drawing and then painted into that.  I am experimenting with dropping water into the paint on the page and getting deliberate backruns.  I really like the loose watercolour look and it is pushing my 'play' button.  OK, I didn't think I was that controlling, but...maybe!  Anyway, at least I have been doing something!!  I'm playing now with oil pastel resists and colouring over top of that.  More later!