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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Mermaids and book talk

Hi Everyone
Weather report is again a bit disappointing - its showers and wet ! Where has the sun gone ?
Lots of stuff to do today. I've got loads of house cleaning - I've been putting this off for too long. We have a scout camp to prepare for tomorrow and to my surprise the kids have a day off school tomorrow - I had thought half term 'hols' started tomorrow evening ! But no - its this evening.
Also having my Dad and friend for coffee in the morning - again, my planning has gone out the window and my thoughts of a civilised affair on the patio is unlikely - the weather and the kids are conspiring to stop this before it starts !! Such as life !
However, art will be 'my salvation' or will it ? When can I fit in my hopes for Nigella. I tinkered a little yesterday, but I'm not sure anyone else would recognise my progress. I will achieve something !

A few things to share :

Suzi Mermaid
This is a Suzi Blu stamp - coloured and decorating a little moleskin. Suzi is my hero - I'm sharing this because I want to do a new painting using this stamp and adding a mermaid of my own (inspired by this very stamp).

My Mermaid
Here she is. I will redraw and add lots of little embellishments.

mermaid picture embellishments
I hope to use these sketches and will develop some more. I want the mermaid painting to be a larger piece - perhaps A3 size ? Not sure. Need to source the wood.

Love this picture of Sarah Strackan's beautiful dolls - in an iron bed. Absolutely wonderful. She has lots of examples collections - go take a look and be inspired. The dolls make me smile everytime I look at them. I would like to make one of my character dolls into such a doll. Maybe one day.
Sarah Starckans Dolls

I also am going to read this book next - we have a holiday next week and am hopeful of a little reading time ! Not sure if I wil get it.
I plan to include some 'book talk' in my blog - not sure what format this will take but I like to idea of discussing books. Many of my paintings have book stories or links.
Will announce my plan when it comes to me.

Thats it for today.


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Pretty Gardens

Hi Everyone
Weather not too good today - drizzle !! No more to be said on that.

Art wise things are moving on:

Nigella in her garden
Nigella is a little more developed. I don't like the orange wall so will change that. All the flower elements need to be worked on so that they blend into their space. Generally, I quite like the look . I want to bring in some birds and butterflies into the scene too. Hope to develop a little more today.

Love this image - Caroline Rose has an Etsy shop take a look at her work. The pictures are all bright and uplifting. This caravan is my favourite.

Great chairs !

coloured sketches
Also love this image - its a brooch. Its from Etsy again. Will find out the name of the maker.

These chairs have been recycled - another brilliant shop on Etsy.

I shared some sketches a few days ago and have managed to give them a bit of colour - my plan is to use them as embellishments for a couple of pictures. I have a range of these things - mainly sketched from something I see in a magazine or when out and about. Love to remember the link when they are finally in a painting.
Must do a bit of family shopping today, so am stretched for time. May get some art in during the evening. Hope so.

Bye for now.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Frames Talk

Hi Everyone
Weather has 'turned' - slightly !!! Such a disappointment. Not quite so hot and feels like it might rain.
It has !!The bright side is - my work pattern will be more productive.When it's sunny and hot, it's too tempting to play outside. The result is then loads of house jobs piling up and work get squeezed. I think I could make adjustments if we could have more reliable sun ! But it's too changeable for planning !!!

However, here is my progress with Nigella.

I have also done a month end review of my work journal. Generally,
I've done ok this month. My slight 'dip' is to do with completing paintings rather than under performing. Will try and work on this in June.
I mentioned yesterday that I am trying to update all my painting pictures (digital versions) ready for a print run. My list (painting titles) is quite long - possibly 25 titles (finished).

Another exciting idea - is looking for interesting and different framing options (for paintings). I have thought that many of the paintings are designed to not have a frame but increasingly, I'm looking for unusual ideas for framing. I've found three great box frames which I intend to customise and use as a trio print. I've also seen a great photo in Red Magazine which uses lots of hooks on distressed wood - this has given me an idea to hang some mini wood prints on the hooks and present a 'one piece'. I think it would work with rope hanging too. I also like the 'multi mirror' arrangement. I would like to do this with some frames. Perhaps, with a similar/same frames. I can also see various shaped boards with hooks for holding several smaller paintings or prints. Will keep working on this idea.

I think that's it for now.
Musr go for a run.


Monday, 28 May 2012

Garden inspiration !

Hi Everyone
Yet again, another lovely day today - weather been fantastic all weekend.We (Richard and I) spent most of the weekend in the garden - trying to make-over the front area. The boys played with friends and avoided gardening at all costs. Hard going - as its been ignored for most of last year. Feels great now. I made a little 'beech-like' border with alpines and grasses - replanted from the back garden. A little more to go but worth the effort. Here are a few photos

Today, I'm concentrating on taking photos of my paintings ready for a big move on prints. I have a friend who does this professionally and I've finally managed to make contact and do something about it. I want a batch of stuff and am going to spend all week concentrating on this job. I hope to have a complete new print run by this time next week.
Last weeks work was very poor on quantity . The bit I did worked well but life got in the way. Hopefully, progress this week.

Saw a lovely picture in Red Mag which I will take inspiration from (along with the results of my 'beach' garden). Love these ladies in their dresses and hats.

Inspiration dresses and poses
The dressess and shoes have great shapes and the models brilliant poses. Will definitely use this idea.

Thats it for today.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Old Paper Town Revitalised

Hi Everyone
weather is fantastic again. Lovely sunshine and bright blue sky's - long may it last. Life seems so much more enjoyable when the weather is warm and sunny.
Work has suffered ! I did a little of what I'd planned yesterday and I will continue with completing it today. I've also had another idea for some fabric - amazing as the painting caused me so many issues. However, I'm so pleased to turn this around. Perhaps it's a lesson in keeping faith with my own instincts - especially where my art is concerned. I've taken elements of the Old Town painting and repeated in lines. Here are the initial images of the elements - I'm not sure about which ones to go with but here are the photos of my starting point. If you read this blog regularly you will recognise the images. Look back for more on this one.

These dolls look great together - I will get the final fabric to be images sometime next week. My idea is to blend these dolls with their backgrounds to form a block look. I'm excited to see how it turns out.

Meanwhile, my main focus is on completing 'live' paintings and getting them to a point where I can produce prints. My shops need stuff !!!!!

I'm off for my run . Bye for today .

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Beach Cottage etc.

Hi Everyone
Weather report is good - not quite hot yet !!!! but it's going to warm up again.Great.
Poor work progress ( for a few days now). Too much home/family stuff going on.

However, I have plans for today - little bit of Nigella and some more stuff on the beach cottage ( not sure if I've mentioned this ?ie the name Beach Cottage ?) I want to add a message coming from the chimney and perhaps some more layers of sea and sky.
I also sketched this little boat - you may notice I lost half of the original boat - the sails are just hovering !.
I will add this too. I like this little painting and when finished I will get the design onto fabric. I may add the beech huts image too - not completed yet (inspiration huts appeared a few days ago - take a look). I want to decorate one of our bathrooms at home and these colours will be great. I think the original will be destined for there.

Beach Cottage

New boat sketch
Big treat - I have the new Oh Comely mag (No. 10) - love it - all the photography and artwork is so inspiring. Certainly worth a look - heres the cover in the image below (for reference). All these other images are from this edition. My favourite has to be the bird scissors - my Granny used to have a pair and I used them as a child - will look out for some - they bring back memories of sewing buttons onto bits of fabric and using the bird scissors to snip the threads. The round 'button - like' things are ceramic pieces, I especially like the insect images - I have a great fly stamp - its reminded me to use it.
The magazine also has lots of 'listen to music' prompts - I have spent ages looking up these new bands on U Tube - didnt find anything especially me - but great ideas from the videos.

Bird Scissors

ceramic pieces

Great movement in these simple images

Edition 10
Thats it for today.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Fantastic Weather - at last !

Hi Everyone
Weather today is fantastic. I'm sitting on the deck in glorious sunshine - amazing ! There's a touch of a breeze - very welcome too.

Managed to not achieve too much today or yesterday. Nigela's house has a development to the roof - 'decorative eaves'. More to do with it but Ilike the look. I also need to do something with her dress so will concentrate on that for the rest of the day.

Nigella's house
Also saw this lovely sketch of a mountain range - simple but would fit a few of my ideas for paintings. I especially like the patterns ,I can see them in some well chosen colours.

great mountains
My running is going well - its about 10 days 'in' from my rehabilitation. I am quite keen to develop a painting to focus on running. I'm rellay interested on the mental changes which occur through running. I'd like to explore that in my painting. This photo (mentioned last week on this blog) will inspire me. It's an idea for a new character in my work - I think ?

My plan is to use the action of the girl in the picture.

Not much else to report - bye for today.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Apple Rules

Hi Everyone
Weather today is glorious - what a change in temperature in the space of a day . I'm in the throws of sorting our house - its going to take months rather than days but the first improvements are evident and very satisfying. I often look at photos of desirable homes - full of taseful and quirky stuff but most of all tidy and ordered and cosy ! I live in a dream world but 'dream on' ! The boys rooms are almost pleasant !! Will need to allocate an hour or so each day to keep on track - as the organisation improves - the whole ambience 'flows' and I work so much better. Can't wait.

I missed working yesterday - so need to pick up my schedule. I use a work journal to plan my work - thought I would share it - this one was started in 2011. I scribble and stick things in it and its a bit like a diary. I date each new entry and make a cloud shape around it ? who knows why ?I try and keep art stuff the focal point but other things creep in. The book is a bit scruffy but I do like the actual process of wrting down ideas.

my current Work Journal

scribbled notes and scraps attached

little sketch of some things for one of the paintings

some pretty fabric - love the beech huts

bracelet bits

 I did manage a few sketches (yesterday) and the ideas for begining a painting.
This sketch (the boat,the floor and the flower vase) will feature with some beech huts in a new painting. Not sure which one - I think Steve Miller (at the moment)
I saw this fabric of the beech huts and thought they would be great in the painting. Not sure how I will use them - perhaps just the basic shape and possibly the colours ? I like the idea of building some huts from thick card - just as a real hut would be constructed.

One very exciting bit of news : This explains why this photos is here : I made a bracelet with these bits last year and tended to wear it almost all the time - then, one day last week, it broke - I've been meaning to repair it but its gone to the bottom of the jobs pile. Thought I would change the style and make it special ? - not sure how but will share when I do. I took this picture because I was trying out yet another new devise - my own i pod. I have an i pad (not had it long) - love it and its revolutionised how I work but needed something to carry around and take photos - must admit this photo is not brilliant but I did take it in the dark (last night). Its fab ie the ipod - I love it. The only thing I need now is a little cover and wallet. I have found the very items  - this will make the ipod truly mine and have its own personality. I can't seem to own anything without the need to decorate it !! Here are my new (to be) cases. Can't wait for them to arrive.

Must get on. Bye for now.
new wallet - love the colour
pretty cover

Monday, 21 May 2012

Even more houses !

Hi Everyone
Weather poor - looks like a downpour any second ! No problem ie the rain - not sure why today ? but my feeling is : Ive lots to do and will just soldier on !
Been out on a run - slow progress but progress all the same.
I wrote this on Friday !! life has passed me by and I didnt get this uploaded over the weekend. Mainly busy with organising our home or to be more precise - chucking rubbish from the bedroom of our boys. Richard and I took a room each (in theory the boys helped too) and spent all day Sunday sorting. Saturday was a bit lazy - catching up on washing and a little shopping. However, here we are on Mon - weather much the same - still a bit cool for May.

 Here are a few photos of progress with the Nigella painting - Steves house is on the wood. Tugger (Nigellas dog) is sketched or is he ? he may not survive - I'm doing a few more options today. Not sure if he will feature in this painting  ?I thought he would - as its in the garden (this would be a place for him to be). Also put Nigellas house on the board - its very dark at the moment and will blend in much more but I'm OK with the initial idea. She is an artist, so I wanted something a bit different. I think Nigella needs to go on next - that will happen today and then I can start merging all the elements.

Steves House
Tugger in sketch - may or may not survive ?

Steves place - outlined

Have included this poster of the town because its how I wanted the town (Old Paper) to look - without the tower blocks and a little more of the feel of a seaside town. I like the busy feel and the 'mix match' of buildings. Will keep going with the town pieces and one day I will get there. The poster is advertising an event - they have a web site full of interesting stuuf and ideas. Worth a look. here
Nigella painting - background

great town look

Thats it for now.


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Houses and more houses !

Hi Everyone
Weather average today lots of heavy cloud and feels coldish and breezy - will have a better idea when I get out on my run.
On the run front, I felt ok for about 5 mins of the run yesterday - managed my usual long stride which makes me feel great (like a runner). This is a unique feeling of euphoria for me and my aim is to strive for the whole run to be like this. I know it can be so as I have achieved this prior to my illness. 'No gain without pain' comes to mind ! Will report on my experience tomorrow.

Art talk - have done a little more to Nigella's painting. The photo (1) is poor but you can just see I have an island behind the garden wall with a bit of sea and some steps going down from the house (shape). Hopefully the house will move on today. I've also decided Steve (Miller) will live on the island and have already sketched a house for him. Also have Tugger in sketch. Feel like I've made progress. I've placed the items on the background here (2) - again not brilliant to see all the elements. I think they will stand out more when Nigella is stuck down. Hopefully that will happen today - I've delayed this layer ie the sticking down of the doll a little, to make sure there is enough going on in the background to pick out in subsequent layers. I often find myself hiding good elements without thinking through the final look and regretting it ! I did expect to keep with this cream/neutral feel but am gravitating already to bright colours ! Not sure if this is good or bad or just poor self discipline !


On another matter, I've seen this lovely pink thing for my i pad - love it. Not sure that I need it but its in the post ! Just thought I would share this exciting news.

lovely !

inspiration for Steves house

Also seen this great picture of houses - a bit like the village houses. I've been inspired to make Steves house from the one on the far left. Its a Pininterest repin (see the name of the person in the photo for reference). Love the striped roof and the collage fabric effect. I've drawn the house but am tempted to collage the bits with patterened paper ? Not sure. I love the stitched writing on some of the houses. Will use this idea in my work somewhere.

The photo (3) is just showing how I have planned Nigellas house. This will be my initial plan - who knows what will happen. Will share tomorrow

Bye for now

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Nigella has a house.

Hi Everyone
Weather today looks great - blue sky and fresh ! Someone, yesterday, asked me why I add a mini weather report each day ? The answer is : readers from Europe asked me to do this a while ago plus I do think the weather check adds a certain mood and gives me 'a frame of mind' each day. Looking back at my posts - this is reflected !! Scary !! Also, I did'nt add the report a few times and was asked why don't you add the weather ? Its now a habit.

Lots of things on my 'to do' list (as usual ) - top of the list is Nigella Mitchell and her new painting. I've made some progress but still lots to do.

The photos give an idea of sequence (the numbers show stages to date) and development - eventually I will sort and compile for another book but until then, I will continue to log here.
the board 'prepped' and ready (1)

added a space for her house plus
some depth for the sky/background (4)

a sketch which I made into a house template
(from a bit of junk mail - love
this idea ie using junk !) (3)

Nigella and lots of flowers pre background (2)
All the photos are working progress and may not stay in the format as seen.Ive added the bits I have to date but may change with each layer of the painting. Am not sure if Nigellas dog (Tugger) will be in this work - will aim to draw him today.

Steve Miller

Edward Lear - love his hair
I've also done a very quick sketch of Steve (Miller) - not sure if he will stay like this and can't decide who he is or where he fits in ? How exciting ! - ) only for me, of course ) I do need to get out more. I will work on his character. I think he needs a 'love' interest with one of the girls.

I've included the sketch of Edward Lear because I like his hair and was hoping to use this style. He reminds me a little of  Elsie Larsons husband (Jeremy) too - I like his style - so may combine the two. This photo is very formal - its their wedding. Happy Anniversary too - they celebrate one year. But lots of pictures of him are casual and quirky. I need to do some research. He's a musician too - I like that idea for Steve - perhaps he could be in a 'cool' band ?
Elsie's husband - Jeremy

Thats about it for now.