Saturday, April 27

Spring!


There are bulbs sprouting up all over the place outside on our property from previous owners, and I have been watching them every day waiting (impatiently) to see what lovely surprise they will bloom. And they're not only daffodils, they are double daffodils!! Eeeee! So pretty!!


These are the first little trio to bloom, I'm sure the rest are not that far behind now


Friday, April 26

Smile!


Just a selfie that I took this past weekend before my girls night out! I love this sequin zebra top I got a couple years ago, and definitely do not wear it enough!

Thursday, April 25

Sassy Happy Birthday

 
Hee is a card that I created this past week for a close friend for her birthday. I stamped some of the April SMAK stamps with a pale grey in the background to add some texture and interest. 

 
I "popped-up" the sentiments and lace pattern in the front.

 
I've been creating a lot of cards so that they open 'up' lately. I just really like how they sit when open.

 
And for the girl, I embossed her on with white. I love how she turned out, and it looks very "chalkboard" like :D

New Fishes


I added some new fish to my tank this past weekend. Of course, since they are small little ones, they are darting all over the place and impossible to catch on camera!


They are called "Silvertip Tetra's" They have a very neat white tip to their fins that you see when viewed at certain angles (or under an aquarium light). I got four of them for my tank, and they are fitting in wonderfully. And Gary, the snail, is making an appearance in the bottom corner of the pictures :)


Vesuvius and Charlie do not mind them at all - they all sort of just keep to themselves, until feeding time - and then it's fishes darting everywhere for the food - but luckily not at each other :) I don't have a name for the four of them yet, I will have to think on it some more. It is likely that they won't get a name, since they're so hard to distinguish from each other. 


Wednesday, April 24

Life Book: Week 16


I just finished Week 16 of Life Book this past weekend. I loved the technique I was introduced to, as it gave such vivid and lively colours! I finished off my piece with a border of varying washi tapes, as my creation was slightly smaller than the watercolour paper I collaged it onto, and so I wanted it to look more coherent.


The little cat poking his head would be my favourite art of the whole piece I'd say! :)

The theme I chose for my Week 16 creation


I am still loving this online course, and learning so much from the wonderful instructors! :)

Tuesday, April 23

Star Gazing

The view straight up from the hammocks :)

Hello lovelies! I hope everyone had wonderful weekends - I did not work this weekend (finally, hehe...and had a midweek-weekend) so I spent it celebrating a friends birthday, watching a cool blues / indie band, working in the art studio, giving the house a nice clean, cuddling up with "our" regular tv shows (Doctor Who and Game of Thrones - yes, we're geeky nerds), and ended it all with star-gazing in the hammocks in our backyard.

Our hammocks. They don't look like much, but they are
super comfy! And they were here when we moved it.
Can't get better than that! :D
 It was chilly star-gazing, so it didn't last very long. There was a meteor shower last night - the Lyrid meteor shower. It was a nice and clear night, but living in town - and the bright, bright moon from last night - it was hard to see anything from this typically faint meteor shower. We did manage to see one huge streak across the night sky - and it was a big one! But, I was hoping to take in what was described by space.com as a "celestial fireworks display". Oh well, after reading accounts of it from other people, it was a harder one to see. It was nice lying on the hammocks, despite the cold - they're situated in the "forest" part of our backyard, and so if you just look straight up it feels like you are far away from the city - just stars and tree tops. I do love having a backyard again, and even moreso having a wooded backyard. I'm hoping to lie out there again when things get warmer and take in some of the summer meteor showers, or maybe have some campfires. 

Monday, April 22

Painting Progress


I've kept good so far on my goal of working on already started paintings. I've picked up my oil paints again to  work on this landscape above. There is still lots to do, but it's really starting to come along. It's inspired by the work of Canadian artists, The Group of Seven. More specifically, those completed by Tom Thompson and J.E.H. MacDonald. Here is how to last saw it, with my underpainting starting to establish values...in it's "ugly-phase". There I was trying to establish values, composition and form for when I started to add colour - as I am starting to do above. 


And here is where my painting of the red-haired girl stands. I've begun to develop the shadow and definition in her face. I know it seems overly dark, but I will be adding highlights above all this once I am happy with the underlying shadows. I might take a break from her face for awhile though, and work on her hair a little bit. I have some ideas on how to approach it in a stylized manner...now just to decide on one of them :)


Here is where she was when I left her with you all. She has come a long, long way - not only in her face, but with a build up in texture...but still has quite the way to go :)


Thursday, April 18

New Watercolor Paintings

"Serenity" - 9x12" watercolor painting
I have some new watercolour paintings that I have added to my online store. I completed these while I was up North visiting my parents.  I some more paintings, but I decided to break up the update into two :)

"Bumble Bees" - 9x12" watercolor painting
I feel that Spring just gives an entirely new fresh perspective on creating artwork. It's a time of change and renewal - and watching all the bland snow melt away to revel colour is amazingly inspiring :)

"Winter Robins" - 9x12" watercolor painting
For the last two paintings, I had colour schemes in mind before I had the painting in mind. I've always loved blues / teals with reds, and purple and golden yellows is another winning combination. We have a lot of trees in our backyard - okay, we have a forest for a backyard ;) and I have been starting to pay more attention to the striations and variations of line in their bark and trunks. I really have been enjoying applying this in different ways to create my watercolour trees and forests.

All of the original paintings are available in my online store.

Tuesday, April 16

Spring Cleaning and Summer Goal Setting


This weekend, I did a major clean and organize of my art studio. I will be clear first, that this was not a spring cleaning "purge" like the rest of the house will be getting. (In response to when James said, "well it's still full of stuff") Hehehe. :) The goal was to organize and move things around so that my studio was easier to work in, tidier and easier to keep tidy. I realized that a major 'kink' in my creative process is when I have everything overflowing everywhere and then my creative thoughts get clouded. This all 'dawned' on me when I was visiting my parents, and was able to create and think creatively with my watercolours so much more than I have in months.

So hopefully, this reorganization of my art space is going to pay off creatively. I also like moving things around every now and then, keeps the space fresh looking and exciting. It's amazing what moving a desk over one foot and changing the angle can do!

The 'jungle' painting in this picture is one we purchased when we
went away on a trip. I'm just adding a clear UV protetctive
coat onto it before we hang it up again.
I felt that with the huge clean, I have a fresh start for the season, and some goal setting for the spring and summer is in need!

Goal 1: Finish the numerous projects that I have started!!
While cleaning, I found (many) art projects that have been started and just never finished - and then they just sit. And sit....and sit some more. Not to mention, clutter and take up valuable space!! I want to try to finish as many projects as I can now that I have started to clear things out. I have many, many canvases and art boards that are just sitting there begging to be completed - and some that just need to bite the bullet, and get gesso-ed over because they're not going anywhere and not doing anything but getting dusty.

Here are just some of the unfinished goodness lurking around my studio:









Goal 2: Go through my current inventory watercolor paintings
I also know, that I have many watercolour paintings that were completed and never listed in my online store. I need to go through everything and filter out what was intended for the shop and what was an experiment with paint and place them in according files (and dispose of random snippits of ruined papers). Those intended for my shop need to be photographed, scanned, photo-edited, made print-ready and then listed.

Goal 3: Create a large-scale pastel painting
I haven't dabbled in my pastels much lately. I think it was a winter thing - they're good to work with when I can open a window and get ventilation going - Pastels are beautiful and colourful, but boy can they be dusty!! I want to create a couple pastel paintings, but in the end I hope to be able to challenge myself with a larger piece. It's not going to be crazy large by any means, but 2 - 3x the size of the typical 8x10" - 9x12" pieces that I had been creating. To create this large piece though, I need to get back into my pastels in general. I've been browsing the internet and getting myself all hyped up again - it doesn't help that my two favourite companies have released beautiful new colours!

To get myself back into my pastels, I decided I wanted a new home for them - a box that wasn't so "tight", and this box that held a rotor for my car was perfect!


Look at them all happy in there! And the colours!! Let it be said: pastels have such beautiful colours! I know it might not look like it either - but there are over 100 colours in this box! These are just my Mount Vision pastels, and a few randoms. My unisons I have been keeping by themselves for now. And this little reorganization completely made me want to get back into them :) 


I thought about 'decorating' the box too, to make it nice...but the main reason I even had the box was to keep for the warranty of the rotors :"must return in box" - how silly. I do not suspect at all I will have to return them, but just in case, I will keep the box in a condition that they can be returned in.

As a smaller, "side-goal" I want to try and create a stylized, or abstracted, landscape and / or floral piece. Just my typical size, but just to push myself a little further and explore the medium a little more. Looking more for shapes and form, and bringing more colour out, and putting more emotion into it. It is still fairly new to me, and I know I have lots to learn.

Goal 4: Create a large-scale abstract painting
Now, this one is going to be huge! I think  I want to take my art easel outside, and a create a super large, and super messy abstract painting - for me - not to sell. I have a backyard to play in now, and I want to use it! :) I've always kept my processes 'relatively' clean, out of respect for the walls and flooring (I am still renting our house - so I have to be considerate)...but outside, I can splatter and pour any which way I want! I think it would be a good exercise to 'let loose' a little. Get out of my size constraints and my 'studio constraints' - Just go free with my favourite supplies!

Goal 5: Get some more Project Life done!
I have put my Project Life to the side for quite some time, and therefore have been falling behind. Again, I think this was a "my-studio-is-a-cluttered-mess" problem again. Hopefully, now I can get some of this done.

and the last one...

Goal 6: Create a larger, realistic watercolour painting.
This is again, something I've been wanting to do. I even have a reference photo that I picked out ages ago, and a mostly planned approach to it. I just have to actually sit down and get to it.

So these are all the 'artistic' things that I hope to accomplish this summer. I know there will be more paintings and creations that will pop up here and there as inspiration strikes...but these are what I really want to get done....or need to get done (quite honestly, those half-done paintings that have been sitting for 1-2 years need to be finished, or get gone lol).

Are you starting to think of summer goals? Or just starting to settle into the spring cleaning?

Monday, April 15

Tulips Are Spring Art Journaling Video



Another art journalling video. Yipppiieee!! I really like how this one turned out. Spring is almost here, if only it would stop with the freak half-winter / half-spring storms! I used a little window embellishment for this piece - I have a whole package of them, and so they might be showing up more and more in my pieces; as well as a package full of chipboard doors. I love these little pieces so much! They are just so cute!! Anyways, I hope you enjoy the video :) I have another video in the works - not sure about the page...not really feeling it, but that is the whole point of an art journal yes? no? ... To experiment and make all the mistakes in there :)





Saturday, April 13

It's An Instagram Life

Oreo being a complete suck - but how can you not love it?!
This week I was a little vacant from my blog, as I was up visiting my parents in the country for the first half of the week :) I did lots of watercolour painting while I was up there - 5 new paintings! And I'll be sharing those with all you lovelies this upcoming week. They just need to be photographed, scanned, edited and then listed. 

Smoothie for "breakfast" when I got up for night shift Friday afternoon


I got my April SMAK kit from Unity Stamp Co! Love the texture
stamps in this month's kit! I also love so much that I'm able
to use these goodies in cards and my mixed media. I think I might try to
incorporate the lace stamp into the portrait painting I'm doing

A sneaky peak at one of the painting I did at my parents. 
I know I hadn't been doing many paintings in watercolour lately - mostly just commissions. I think it is since I have dived further into the mixed media arts, that I have been surrounded by so many other art supplies. When I went up to my parents, I only brought up the watercolours, and so that was all I had to create - and then I painted up five pieces! There was just so much inspiration that I had gathered up for these lovely tree paintings, and I just needed to separate myself from my supply-clustered studio into a much more serene, and clear environment. It made complete sense to me after - the style of these paintings are so calming, I needed a calming environment to create them.

Now that I know this, I might have to rework how my loft studio is - maybe new storage solutions. Or, maybe come summer (or at least dryer weather than this wet spring) I can bring my painting into my new backyard? I'm sure to find inspiration being surrounded by all the birds and trees from the escarpment. :)

Friday, April 12

All Smiles


I got my April SMAK kit this week from Unity Stamp Co - so I went right to work to create this simple, cute everyday card. I also used the 'All Smiles' stamp set. I love that lace texture stamp that I stamped in green - it's so pretty and adds a vintage and classy feel to the card. I stamped the butterfly on patterned paper and collaged it onto the card, and I also 'popped up' the title banner :)


For this birthday card, I used the 'Written in the Clouds' background stamp, the 'Cuppy Cakes' stamp set and a sentiment from the 'Sassy Pants' kit. I coloured in the cupcake with Aquamarkers and added some rounded pieces of patterned paper and yellow ribbon to bring it all together. I ended up using white embossing on the sentiment to help it stand out.


I 'popped up' the cupcake to bring it more into focus. Now that I've actually got 'pop-up' foam adhesive pieces, and I'm no longer fighting witha  glue gun, things are so much easier, and look so much more finished :)


Saturday, April 6

Painting in Progress: Flowers In Her Hair

 
I started a new mixed media painting the other night, sort of on a whim. I was listening to a song by the Lumineers called, 'Flowers in Your Hair', and just wanted to paint a girl with flowers in her hair. I started off with the standard collaging of papers. I tried to keep majority of the more vivid colours up towards the top and the paler / more neutral colours at the bottom - which bits of each all over to add some harmony. I left the middle blank, as that is where I want her face, and I didn't want to have to be fighting over the textured paper for this one - I want to get her face on the more realistic side than illustrated. This way, there is also a difference in texture in her face to the surrounding, to add interest to the piece and help pull the face from the background.

 
I started drawing out a rough outline of her face with the faber-castell artist pens. I like the india ink, and how it I don't like something, I can quickly wipe it off. I can also 'layer' my drawing - start with a lighter pen, and then go to a darker pen for more definite lines. This face is being drawn just from my imagination. I will be using reference photos to get an idea of where I would want accurate shadow placement, but more now it's a lot of just 'going with the flow'. I also painted the sides (a lovely green) and brought some of that over onto the painting, so when I start working on the background, things will blend and 'melt' into eachother more, and there will not be such a harsh line around the edges. I know a lot of people extend their paintings onto the edges - but I have never been one of those. And, I don't think I ever will be.  I may paint the sides a solid colour, and add texture with washi or stamping, but I will not extend the front picture over the sides. It's just not my method :D

 
I started colouring in her skin tone - starting with just a overall solid midtone. I will be adding shadows and highlights to bring definition to her face. I kept the outlines I wanted for now, but those will mostly be gone by the end of the painting. I also started to colour in her red hair. I choose red, because quite frankly I am obsessed with red hair, hehe! I think dying my own that shade just made me want to use it all the time - it's so fun and vivid. the red hair is why I choose a green shade for the background. They compliment eachother wonderfully.

 
I also added embossing to my painting - yup that's right! My newer love of stamping has snuck it's way into my painting :) I am going to add more of this on my painting, but I think I want it as more of a finishing touch, so this is all I'm putting on for now.