Saturday, January 31, 2015

Learn the rules so you can break them.

My art space is scattered with all kinds of paints, pens, brushes and my hands are constantly splattered with paint.  Bernie lets me know when I have some paint on my face or like yesterday on my neck, how that got there I have no idea, but I just smile and tell him how those are badges of a happy and creative person. 

Not much good about this one!
Since I finished Journal Soup 1 and 2, both on-line mixed media classes by Kate Crane , I have watched a dozen or more you tube videos and read as many blogs about the topic.  I really want to get a handle on this and honestly it's been a lot tougher than you would think.

This page was a ugly mess and there is not much nice I can find in it.  Except maybe how I layered the feather stamps and ended up with those black and blue feathers. 

It's about learning, right.  Trying new things and not worrying what anyone else thinks.  That's what's great about working in a journal or on recycled cardboard.

At first my pieces all looked dull and flat but then I remembered that like any other piece of art, the artist must always remember the rules. 

Things like value, color, texture, composition and shape all have to be considered no matter what kind of creative adventure you are on.

I was having trouble with colour at first.  The back grounds all looked dull and muddy.

Turquois, yellow, green and pink sound like a great combination and they are but don't mix them all together at once.  Three of those would work but when you I added the pink when the other colours were still wet they blended into a brown mud pile.  That is because I was using warm and cool colours at the same time.  I started layering them instead.  Starting with a cool layer and once it was dry adding a warm layer and repeating that until I was happy with the effect.  Much cleaner, much more pleasing.

So even though the rules tell you not to mix your warms and your cools it never hurts to find a way around it.   You have to know the rules but then don't be afraid to break a few of them. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ted Harrison's influence

Ted Harrison passed away this month.  I bet you will remember his art work when you see it.  He lived and worked in the Yukon and the people, landscape and culture of that part of the world is so prevalent in his painting. 

Ted was born in 1928 in England but immigrated to Canada.  Ted's biography says that he had his first art show at the Public Library in Whitehorse in 1969 and his career as an artist took off from there. He was living in Vancouver, BC when he passed away.

In addition to his work as a painter, Ted has written several children’s books and illustrated both “The Cremation of Sam McGee” and “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” by Robert Service.
He designed of Yukon Pavilion for Vancouver Expo’ 86 and the design of a Canada Post Christmas Stamp in 1996.

His paintings can be found in private and public collections throughout Canada, and in New Zealand, Japan, Germany and the United States. In 1987 he received the Order of Canada for his contribution to Canadian culture.

I love the way he painted and have been influenced by Mr. Harrison.  I dug out these old paintings I did a long time ago, when I heard the sad news of his passing. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jumping on the Diva's Band Wagon

This pattern is called Braidle
It's been a long time since I did any Zentangle tiles but I wanted to support The Diva as she tries to reach 200 posts to her blog on it's 200th zentangle challenge.

I wasn't satisfied with just one tile though, they were so much fun to do, that I did 4.  The guidelines for this challenge was that it was supposed to be a monotangle, one pattern, and fill up the whole page right to the edges.  Also we had to put the number 200 in there somewhere.  Can you find my 200's?


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Taking classes on-line.

Art is not a thing, it's a way.

One of my favorite things to do during the long winter, especially since our weather isn't that great and I don't feel guilty for staying inside out of the cold, is take a couple on-line art classes.

There are hundreds of options for classes so I first have to find an artist who's work appeals to me.  Then I see if I can afford it, some classes are really high, to me that is anything over $50.00 and some are as low as $5-7, there are even free classes. 

I sighed up for Kate Crane's Journal Soup classes 1 and 2.  Here is a link so you can check it out if you like.  Kate is from the UK.  Once converted to Canadian funds, I ended up paying just over $18.00 for the Journal Soup 1 and under $35.00 for the bigger Journal Soup 2 class.

What I love most about my home is who I share it with.

Kate has mastered the art of Mixed Media but I have a long way to go to feel comfortable with all those layers of gesso, paint, stamps and pens.  It's very easy to end up with a page of MUD.

 Even with the mud pages though nothing is wasted.  A little more gesso and you start again.  How forgiving is that!


It's not enough to have the feather, you must dare to fly.
I had a wonderful, messy brushes, stuff spread out all over my work space, dirty finger week while I worked my way through Journal soup.  I loved every minute of it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Catching up on my blog posting

I posted a couple of blogs that have been sitting in my drafts file for a very long time and am feeling a little guilty that I have not posted anything current.  Time, how does it get away on me so easily.  I guess it's just life and mine swings from being extremely busy with house building and gardening in the summer to a wonderful relaxed winter, full of lots of time to paint and visit with friends.  I guess it's like being retired part time. 

The house building went great this past summer and we made enough progress to actually move into the place.  Yahoo!  Running water instead of running for the water.  We take our comforts for granted and living without them for even a short time really makes you appreciate them.  A stove, hot water, a flush toilet and a washer and dryer actually in the same building as your dirty cloths are all things you can do without but boy is it nicer to live in a house that has them.

I learned how to bake fruit cobbler in the BBQ.

We will be back to work on the rest of our house in the spring, the bottom level is still unfinished and we will have to decide on some type of flooring even if Bernie thinks that plywood floors are wood floors and will be just fine.

The bottom level is where my studio is going to be and I am very excited to put that space together. I have all kinds of ideas floating around in my head and my pinterest board is filling up with lots of pictures of other people's studios.  It's going to be a great big space with room for classes, workshops and art retreats. 

Here are a few pictures from the past summer. 

We built a green/hot house and some raised garden beds.

I had a booth at the Cathedral Village Art show and at the Tobin Lake Art Show.
Went for a couple of hikes in the forest around our place and found this little Earth Star.

Tiling the kitchen island was one of my jobs.
I did a little doodling on the top of a lidded box that sits beside my chair and holds a bunch of my art supplies.
I tried paddle boarding.
Our hops survived and thrived and we picked our first crop.
Cut firewood in the fall.
Enjoyed the wonderful view from the deck of our new home.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Pines to palms and back again

My internet connection was very limited last spring and I never got a chance to post this blog.  This blog post and the previous one as well have been stuck in my Draft for quite some time but I can post it now.

If you have followed my blogs for any length of time then you know that we split our year between two homes, one in Saskatchewan and one in Texas.  We are back in Saskathewan now and the transition from one place to the other was a little tougher on me than I remember.
ln Saskatchewan we are building a new home.  While the house is being built we live in "the shack" and though very comfy it lacks a few comforts like a bathroom and stove. We make do and its usually not that hard but its been a very cold spring, we woke up to minus temperatures this morning and it's May 7th.  So running out to the biffy and cooking outside is just no fun when you need to dress up in winter coats and mittens.  We have lots of firewood so aren't cold but have no motivation to go out into the chilly weather.

  I've been stuck inside and could easily be really bored and lonely but instead it has been a great time to get some painting done.

I can warm up the shack with the wood stove, spread my pens and paints over the kitchen table, make a pot of coffee and just disappear for hours at a time in my colours.

When I need some inspiration I often go to my tablet, browse through pinterest, etsy or the blogs that I follow.  I will end up seeing something that sparks my interest, maybe make a quick sketch of it, maybe even try painting it and this process more often than not, leads me into creating something new.

This is exactly what happened this past week.  I saw this amazing picture on facebook.

Then I made this drawing.

Then I put all those away and sat and thought about the colours and how fun they were.  I wanted to make something with lots of sunshine and the feeling of a warm summer day while I was stuck inside.

And so far I have painted 8 of these sunny farms.

I love teaching.

Watching the marker react to the alcohol.

During the winter months when I live in Brownsville I happily teach an Arty-Crafty class every Wednesday morning in our community hall.  I love sharing my ideas with the residents and am always looking for new and interesting ideas for the classes. 

Sharpie marker silk scarf painting class in Brownsville.

One of the students favorites has been learning Zen doodling.  Teaching one class usually leads to more and I have to convince the ladies that we should try something else once in awhile. 

When I moved here to Nipawin, I made some inquires about the local Art Club and talked to some members about joining.  Building a house and being too pooped to get off the couch in the evenings kept me from going to any meetings though, Im afraid, so I had not met any of the local artists.

Imagine my surprise when I got a phone call from the Nipawin Art Club asking if I would come and teach a Zen doodle drawing class.  I jumped at the chance.  I love teaching!  How did they know I have taught Zen Doodling??

It seems that one of the ladies that I showed Zen doodling to in Brownsville, Texas was sitting at her cabin at Lower Fishing Lake in Northern Saskatchewan drawing when a member of the Nipawin Art Club noticed and inquired what she was doing.  My name was mentioned and I was called.  Now is ours a Small World or what?? 

On Saturday I had a class of 15, women, men and a teenager!  I gave them the best instructions that I could, loaded their brains with Zentangle history, philosophy and patterns.  They did amazing and I hope that at least some of them continue to find tangle drawings an enjoyable endeavor. 

I met some amazing people and got to spend the afternoon doing something I Love.  Teaching.