Add to your toolbox

Every week I do a couple of challenges. This week’s was to use watercolours and dashes, in combination with a Mother Theresa quote. As I usually do, I showed Tony the finished page and asked what he thought. “Hmm, it’s not really you.” 

Yes! The challenge was a success because it got me using a medium I don’t normally – watercolor – and some mark making that felt unfamiliar. I have a set of marks that are “mine” and dashes are not part of my normal repertoire.

I like see the hand of the artist in my work, and have my own style even when influenced by amazing artists such as Tim Holtz and Dyan Reaveley. But that doesn’t mean I can’t learn new skills, try new things, and add to my toolbox.  I’m grateful to artists like Theresa Miers who give their time and talent to inspire and encourage other artists.

 This week I used Pebeo watercolours, Dylusions black paint, Nuvo Mousse in copper, Tim Holtz dashes stencil, Dylusions heart mask and Distress ink to edge the quote.

 

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cjs18 day 24 Gina Lee Kim

Today’s artist, Gina Lee Kim, had a fun recipe for us, with multiple steps. Some of my forward planning wasn’t so good, so my glasses are sitting in front of the shelf suppoprts – but I had a great time anyway!

Day 24 Gina Lee Kim

cjs18 day 9 Andrea Gomoll

Today’s artist is Andrea Gomoll who does the most glorious mixed media; her recipe was largely about how to make gorgeous backgrounds. My first attempt didn’t work because I used too much water and ended up with muddy colours; I’ll work over the top of it and it’ll be fine eventually. I’m so pleased with the second attempt, which is on Tim Holtz Distress Watercolour Cardstock.

Day 9 Andrea Gomoll

cjs18 day 8 Diana Trout

Today’s artist was Diana Trout; the technique involved an initial medium on the paper, drawing into it and watercolours. The medium I chose didn’t cope with all the water I used, so I ended up with some odd patches but that’s ok. Although not a good painting by any stretch of the imagination, I had fun with this and will try the technique again. Incidentally, the painting is based on a photo I took of relics in the grounds of Monte Cassino Abbey in Italy in 2010 when I was part of the Legato exhibition.

day 8 diana trout

CJS17 with Diana Trout

I’d seen Diana Trout’s work before so was thrilled to see her name pop up yesterday. This is gesso including through stencils, then watercolour followed by copper paint (which has not scanned well and looks sort of brown). In real life, it has metallic glow.

I forgot to use watercolour paper and just worked in my journal, so it’s quite buckled. I’ve cut it out and will spritz the back to flatten then glue back into my journal.

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Preparing to paint

I’m sending work to the Legato exhibition in Cassino, Italy, in 2014. I’ve been playing with ideas for a while, but nothing has worked as I wanted it to. The problem has been my head-space rather than my actual art practice. Last night I think I finally got into the right place mentally to get on with it. Fingers crossed.

Legato is now an established part of the annual WW2 Battles of Cassino commemorations held in Cassino, Italy in May each year. The 70th commemorations will be a special time with surviving veterans, international dignitaries and families of veterans participating as well as the local Italian people who are committed to remembering and honouring the people who were there during WW2.

I have some full size sheets of watercolour, a bucket of water, a couple of photos, my memories of Italy, some stencils, inks, fluid acrylics, brushes and a new roll of handytowels. Oh, and my camera. Here’s a few visuals of what’s involved.

2012 as a blogger

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views. In 2012, there were 57 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 559 posts. There were 129 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 190 MB. That’s about 2 pictures per week. The busiest day of the year was June 10th with 177 views. The most popular post that day was New home office / art room.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2012.

Visitors came from 98 countries in all! Most visitors came from The United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom were not far behind.

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Making signatures

I’ve starting making trial signatures for a swap I’m involved in. We each make 11 sets of signatures, and send off by the 20th Sept, and signatures back from a variety of amazing artists. You can see more about it here.

I have been playing with some quite heavy watercolour paper, and have decided it is a bit *too* heavy. The other day I ordered some lovely paper from Gordon Harris, and I’m going to have a play with those tomorrow. I’ve got some mixed media paper, rice paper, watercolour paper and one other – escapes me for the moment just what it was. So far I have stuck with black, white and red, and have been using foam stamps, old credit cards, a spray bottle, stencils and marker pens. The mark making is too dark for the look I want; tomorrow’s lot will be a bit less obvious. Here’s what I have been doing so far: