Monday, October 25, 2010

Margaret River Independent School Open Day

This is the painting and pasting that has been keeping me busy for the last 2 weeks. Our school has just had it's annual open day where we share the children's work and throw open the classroom doors for the community to have a peek at our very special school. I was on dragon and flag duty.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stretch to sketch challenge week 6

To help force me to practice my drawing I am going to try to keep up with Kelly Berkey's weekly sketch challenge. Each week participants will send an effort and Kelly posts them to share on her blog. I had about 1/2 an hour and Fleur's little watercolour set to hand and off I went. Fun! 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Book review of "Drawing Lab for mixed media artists"

"We all long to have a style that is fully our own. We want to find our voice and develop a hallmark look that is unique. But how do we get there?" (Carla Sonheim, 2010).

The "Drawing lab for mixed media artists " by Carla Sonheim presents lots of exercises to help you explore a multitude of styles and techniques. The exercises use easy to follow instructions that rely on the fact you are going to give it a go and play. You're not out for awards here. Fun and experimentation are the theme in this book.

If you find yourself staring at the blank page and not sure where to start, doing just 1 exercise will relieve the pressure of what to draw and get you over the hump. I found it motivating to just draw for the fun of it, oh yes - it IS still fun and surprised myself. No perfection or idea of end results, just freeing up my mind to draw.

You can use whatever materials appeal to you for the exercises and styles covered include: eye dropper faces; wrong-handed portraits; Modigliani style portraits; scribble drawings; plein-air and the list just goes on. Featured artists are interviews and share their own personal styles, which are all different.

I like the layout of the Lab series of books by Quarry. They aren't fussy or overly wordy but they are obviously choosing authors of quality who are passionate about teaching.

I originally got a copy on loan from our public library in Margaret River but if you choose to buy a copy like I did, I do appreciate your using my Book Depository link on the right banner. Thank you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Margaret River Stompers

This is an online advertisement I am making for my sister's website which will be featured on Kelly Rae's blog in November/December. It was fiddlier than I thought but a real pleasure to help her creative business to soar.

Hi, I'm Deb, the face behind Margaret River Stompers. I have always loved bright colors and am happiest when creating colorful combinations for baby shoes. My baby shoes and boots are lovingly handmade to order from my home-based studio and shipped within 2-3 days. Come and check out the full range of funky shoes on my website.
With the help of my daughter and sister I also provide children's T-shirts and kids room art which are all unique items and not mass produced.

**International online sales are welcome**. SHIPPING is AUD $15 for unlimited items purchased for the months of November and December. I would encourage you to get together with friends to share the shipping costs.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Review of "Flying Lessons: tips + tricks to help your creative biz sour" e-book by Kelly Rae Roberts

I think this e-book helps to answer questions for artists and craft people who are ready to take the next step in their creative business. Some may be established already and happy with sales but ready to move into teaching their special techniques. Some may be ready to create prints out of that special original that deserves to be sold to many. Some may be thinking to start creating at home while working part-time & hitting the market scene with their art. You will know if you are ready for this book.

The book starts by introducing you to your fears of taking that next step, then you are off. Each section offers up information that is sure to give you direction, confidence and motivation.

It answers questions like "How does Kelly Rae Roberts make her prints from originals and what paper and matts does she use?"
"How do I get a company to licence my product and get it into big department stores?"
"Why do I need an online presence in the form of blog, facebook, website etc?"
"How do I manage to market myself and work full-time surrounded by family life?"
This e-book is a comprehensive guide to marketing yourself and your product and having fun along the way. I loved it.

E-books allow you to move through like a traditional book or click links to move forwards/backwards like a website. It has links out to online resources that help support her content. It's all indexed so you can just go to the relevant chapter, or read through from beginning to end as I did. I found it all fascinating.

Kelly Rae tells it in her own style and if you aren't familiar with her work check out her blog. I love that she has created success for herself and stayed true to her own values and style. Her personality shines through in her writing and she's a pleasure to read.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The art of swapping

I am now doing a swap of collage and mixed media materials with artists I met doing Flying Lessons. While getting the pile ready I got really inspired with some of the colours and textures and couldn't resist having a play. The Flying Wardrobe in Witchie has a great stash of old music scores, patterns and booklets just dying to be torn up and painted on and this is one of my efforts. I textured up the background with modelling paste & this is beautifully absorbent for both watercolour paints & chalk. The chalk can be blended with your finger for really nice effects.

MY TIP: draw those flowers on your table, even a quickie of just one flower. You can use it in another piece later & you will feel you've done something for yourself today.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The art of procrastination

I've recently finished reading this wonderful book and haven't accomplished much else. "Pretty little things: collage jewelry, trinkets, keepsakes by Sally Jean Alexander.
Sally Jean's website
If you've still got bits and bobs left over from your other crafts or have a penchant for collecting found objects this book of projects is for you. Especially if you also like working with metal. It offers an enlightening glimpse into the artists world. This book has a beautifully balanced color scheme and wonderful page presentation in photography. You'll be tempted to get messy for sure. The book cover and link to more details are at the bottom of her website.

Collage with embellishments

This was a tearing frenzy of tissue paper and Indian-made silver flecked papers. It was a good way to clear out some anger and frustration. A few days later I revisited this piece and the random tears were taking the shape of a posy of flowers so I continued on with children's metallic glitter glue and pale pink bling and it has turned out quite soft and feminine.

For the 1/2 dozen sparkles I used here I was required to share just as many (and the rest) with Fleur on her artwork. It can be frustrating to part with these little treasures but I try not to be too precious and say "sure you can have some" hoping the novelty will wear off.

When a parcel arrived for her from overseas and out tumbled an array of unusual bling I immediately wanted some for the wands on my fairy cards. Her response to my request was of course "sure mum, you can share some of my bling". Lucky I shared mine in the first place!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cards NEW!

I have made some of my little fairy paintings into cards and am in the process of setting up an Etsy shop to sell them online. I have had a wonderful response from the locals (that's you library ladies) and from my family so I'm pretty sure they will create a special occasion for many more people.
They are available in packs of 3. All one design or one of each. All packs purchased will come with a handmade "Mystery Card" of my choosing that I know you will love.
If you are desperate and they aren't online yet, send me an email & I will get some to you.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Painting over collaged papers

With the success of the last painting reverberating through me I glued up another smaller canvas with pretty papers and a fairy in mind. I had done a follow your heart fairy for my niece, Daly, a couple of years ago and dredged up the sketch again. This one is much different but the intention of this fairy is the same, to remind you to "Follow your heart".
The fiddly body bits and gold-leaf I saved for a day when Fleur was back at school & am satisfied with this effort. I asked my father for his opinion to which he replied "what's she for", so this lead me to write the words of intent at the top so there's no confusion.

MY TIP: If you glue papers on with gel medium, return as it dries because thin paper will leave air pockets. Be patient and keep easing the air out from underneath. Some papers do tear if you bother it too much but I like the distressed look anyway!

Happy painting.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Painting with children around

Hi! Welcome to my blog where I plan to talk about my art and show off my latest creative efforts and how they came about.
I welcome your comments and feedback.

I did a drawing session near the start of the year and ended up with a very quick sketch of a friend, Cushla, reclining on the couch. During the last school holidays I came across a canvas whose size immediately made me think of Cushla. My 5 year old daughter joined me in preparing the canvas and helped me glue on the papers. When dry, she doodled chalk drawings in the background while I painted in the body in 'maybe' colours. These have evolved and I like the colours Fleur used and ended up using that mustard colour in the background as a result.

On the more detailed painting session I set Fleur up with a decent size canvas and she chose her palette and we painted together in concentration for quite some time. The final tweaking of lips (3 times), hand (twice), hair and top of couch I did over a few evenings while cooking tea and Glenn played with Fleur. The varnishing was done after tea on the final night. Yes the house was a bit of a shambles that week but I was very happy to have a finished piece. Cushla looks self-satisfied and relaxed on the couch. It's not perfect and it's not technically correct and I LOVE it!

The Margaret River Bookshop has agreed to hang it above their counter for the month of July. I really want people to see it. This is new for me. Usually I'm not sure.

When I saw what Fleur had done on her canvas that day we painted together I was amazed. She stood back and said 'I'm done', then ran off to play with something else and left me to it for awhile.

A very satisfying painting experience. MY TIP
Try not to be too "precious" about your painting with a child around. Get messy, have fun and don't think about the end result too much. If the picture or materials are precious, save it for another time.