Monthly Archives: May 2015

Art du Jour 62

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A map of Edmonton is under all of this, for those of you who like to get to the bottom of things.

After that there was tissue and texture and spritzes of colour.

I just keep going until I like what I see.

 

“I tell of hearts and souls and dances…

Butterflies and second chances;

Desperate ones and dreamers bound,

Seeking life from barren ground….”

― Karen Kingsbury, Oceans Apart

 

Have a fabulous Friday.

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Art du Jour 61

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What started out as a serious exploration of watercolour blending quickly turned silly. The left hand side you see here was originally the top, until I held the paper up to let gravity work its magic on the paint flow and this funny sad face appeared. And I found myself enhancing it with a few details.

So if you stand back, it’s just splashes of lovely bright colours. Up close it becomes something which might frighten a small child.

In the many artistic endeavours I’ve come across in the blog world there are some things I really like and some I don’t, and some that don’t particularly move me one way or the other although I can always appreciate the creative process.  Art is a very subjective thing.  And artists are sometimes their own worst critics and very hard on themselves.  Writers are like this too, humbled by what they feel is better work than their own, when it might simply be different – not more or less, not better or worse.

A little humility is a good thing, and working to be better is admirable.  But we should also strive for self-confidence and feeling good about who we are and what we do.  Drawing the line at turning into raving egotistical nut jobs of course.  It’s a fine balance.

All that was a long convoluted way to get to the part where I say positive things about my art. Even when it’s not likely to end up in the Louvre.  Yes, I did just roll my eyes.

I absolutely love these colours, and the hinted at flowers and the splatters of ink.  I love that I’ve learned how too much blending turns into a muddy brown and how I will learn to avoid that in the future.  And I love that I can see faces where they weren’t necessarily meant to be.

Happy Thursday!  I love that I always appear to know what day of the week it is too.  Yay me.

Art du Jour 60

For the big six-O I am calling this Adventures in Watercolour.  Whether I will ever revisit this place is up in the air for now. image This is what I accomplished by paying attention to a little watercolour tutorial and using the wet on wet technique. Up to a point, of course and then did too many embellishments, but over all I think it’s not bad. The crooked border was an impulsive afterthought. image And this one I’m happy with simply because it is recognizable as an elephant. So, Happy Middle of the Week Wednesday! I’m drinking that midnight eclipse coffee again and planning on getting many, many things done. Just have to decide what. Perhaps some pseudo LSD hallucination-like wet on wet abstract watercolour blended creations. Whoa. Brace yourself.

Art du Jour 59

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This one is made up of random google images I randomly printed and even more randomly pasted to a canvas over a background of orange and yellow tissue paper.

I’m not sold on all that orange, but I thought too much sepia and brown would just be dull. And I went a little nuts with the stamping, but this time I used archival waterproof ink. What a difference, not having to worry about drying time and messy smearing by totally impatient me.

I love this idea, and now feel a little more confident about photocopying old photos of people I can actually identify and immortalizing their images in a less random fashion.

After I finish one of these there is always soft gel dried on my hands and fingertips and removing it is like pealing off layers of dead skin. Very freaky. And all my clothes are turning in to paint clothes with various splotches here and there of things that can’t be washed out.

So have I figured out that I should have a special few things to wear strictly for art? Nope. But I’ve thought about it, so that’s a start.

It’s another beautiful hot and sunny day here! If this keeps up we will be in for one hell of a thunderstorm soon. Enjoy your Monday.

Just Another Great Canadian Sunday

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It’s not every day I take a picture of my shampoo, so you know there’s got to be some kind of weird story behind it, right?

There’s a really good reason for me staying at home while W does most of the shopping. He is able to pick up all the items on a list, no more and no less. I admire that about him. Well, about anyone, really. The lists I take with me become vague guidelines once I enter a store. My cart fills up, and when the cashier wants to know if I found everything I was looking for I just smile and nod. Because explaining that I made six substitutions and changed my mind ten times and probably forgot at least three essentials but now couldn’t be bothered looking for them because I’m exhausted and don’t want to retrace my steps and just would like to be done with shopping and go home…..I don’t think she really wants to hear all that.

Anyway, back to the shampoo. I find it very hard to resist a good deal, even though I also firmly believe you get what you pay for. So I am one of those annoying shoppers with way too much time on my hands who will block an aisle while I check out ingredients and best buys and packaging and brands and on and on so you can see why the process is exhausting. And yes, the shampoo, I’m getting to that, I swear.  Although you can’t see it clearly in my photo, right at the top it says Proudly Canadian and underneath that, Fiers d’être Canadiens which roughly translated means proud to be (a French-speaking) Canadian.

And this bottle of shampoo cost One Canadian Dollar. OMG.

What in the world makes a shampoo uniquely Canadian? Being manufactured in Toronto? And why is it so CHEAP?? Is it complete Canadian/Canadien crap? Is this one of those instances where the store made a crazy deal and is passing the savings along to consumers? If I use this stuff will my hair turn to dandelion fluff and blow away in a high wind? Do I have any Advil at home for this headache? Better pick some up.

Anyway, long story short, although it’s too late for that, I have used this shampoo twice now and am happy to report no disasters so far. My hair is clean and shiny and still attached to my scalp.  If the Daily Basics people would like to pay me for endorsing their product I would be perfectly fine with that.  Although perhaps with that retail price they don’t have much of an advertising budget.

So that was a rather successful impulse purchase, which I believe offsets this next one.

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When W is away I drink Tassimo coffee, because I can’t figure out how to get the other coffee maker to brew half a pot that tastes right, and although the Tassimo coffee is more expensive, it likely all evens out because I’m not dumping half a pot of coffee down the sink every day. By now, if you are still reading this I’m sure you are wondering where all this information is coming from, but, more importantly WHY I’m telling you all this shit in the first place. I wish I knew. Or maybe neither of us cares but there appears to be nothing much else going on for us at the moment, so what the hell.

What I wanted to buy was a double sized Tassimo coffee in a breakfast blend. There was none to be found on the shelves, and this was the only double sized there, and the midnight eclipse thing was very appealing to me. Midnight eclipse for breakfast. Why not? BOLD is not an exaggeration I’m here to tell you. This stuff will knock your socks off. Thank God I never wear any.

Okay, I’m going to paint something now to forget the trauma of shopping. After that coffee I will probably be awake for three days. With great Canadian hair.

Have a scintillating Sunday. If it’s not too late for that.

Sharing My World 29

imageDeja Vu. By some happy fluke this picture looks great on one of my yellow walls and goes well with an arrangement my sister did for me eons ago because I don’t have any talent for that kind of thing, but you can’t be good at everything, right?

What an awkward picture of mostly wall.  This is why I admire good photographers.

Share Your World 2015 Week 20

What is the most important thing that you ever learned? (I bet it’s not something you learned in school)

Nope, but I wish I could have studied all things Eckhart Tolle in school.  Then I would have known how to live in the moment without worrying about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow.  How to be fully present and love exactly what I’m doing, right here and right now.  Acceptance of what is, without futile resistance.  Knowing the calm and joyful beautiful me, and the life underneath the life situation.

What feeds your enthusiasm for life?

My family, near and far.  My writing, good and bad.  My art, wonderful or weird.  Reading.  Coffee.  Netflix.  (Well, I did leave that one for last.)

What’s your most memorable (good or bad) airplane commercial or private flight?

I wonder if I have some kind of strange comprehension problem, because when I first read that question I thought I was supposed to come up with my favourite airplane commercial.  But, it’s okay, I get it now.  There have been many memorable flights in my life so I’m going to give you a little list.

1.  My very first flight was in 1975 from Toronto to Winnipeg with my one year old daughter.  So it was her first flight too.  Kind of amazing that I had never been on an airplane before that.

2.  Our first flight into the Arctic (Cambridge Bay) where we landed in the middle of frozen white nowhere. Brrrr.

3.  Flying into Pangnirtung where the approach is between two cliffs and I swear the wing tips almost scrape them both.  Just Google images for “landing in Pangnirtung” if you think I’m kidding.

4.  Flying into Rankin Inlet in some tiny little plane in a crazy howling wind and skidding sideways on the tarmac.  Turbulence on the ground was worse than in the air.  Okay, I had a lot of Gravol before that flight, so my recollection may be a little hazy.

5.  The flight from Edmonton to Toronto (en route to Scotland) when the engines stopped making noise on our approach.  No one else in the plane appeared to be concerned about this.  So I assumed I had gone deaf.  Turned out it was plugged ears from a wicked head cold.  But it didn’t clear up until we were headed home, so I shouted at my sister for the entire two weeks.

If you were a great explorer, what would you explore?

Parallel universes in a time machine. With a couple of adventurous spirit guides. Then I would write about my most memorable experiences.  And maybe draw you some pictures.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Its been a nice quiet uneventful lazy week with some creative spurts thrown in, and I am looking forward to more of the same.  Is that boring?  Do I look bored to you?  It was the photo of the wall that gave it away, wasn’t it.

 

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Art du Jour 58

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Just before I went to bed last night I took a little stretched canvas and a couple of hard plastic stencils and some gesso and a pallet knife and mucked about applying texture with raised bits randomly placed.

If that was the beginning of a novel I believe it might be a contender for worst first sentence ever. But if you’ve ever worked with the above mentioned stuff I expect it made some sense.

The method to my madness was knowing that thick gesso would take a long time to dry, and sleeping through that process seemed like a great plan. In the morning, on all the dry bumpy areas I rubbed distress ink with an upside down raised stamp pad.

I am so happy with how this turned out! The predominant colour is rook red, and you can still see the canvas texture in a lot of places. I resisted the (always strong) urge to stamp bugs and butterflies everywhere.  I spray clear acrylic sealer on these things outside and let them dry out there, running the risk of real bugs getting stuck on them. That spray is probably lethal so who knows what I’m killing in the name of art. Hopefully not myself.

There is something very warm and relaxing about these colours, with all the brown, moss green and gold.

Anyway!  I’m done and calling it a success.  Happy mellow Tuesday.

Art du Jour 57

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Today I experimented with distress ink on paper, and then pasted the results on to a canvas on which I had previously experimented with something else. I can’t remember what. Or why. Like a mad scientist. Although they probably keep better notes.

So, distress ink is not at all distressing unless you expect it to dry on a surface where it can’t sink in.  It’s great to splat on and blow around with a hair dryer.  Don’t worry, I saw that on YouTube so it’s not a new kind of crazy.  And I was originally going for subtle, but maybe it’s just not in my nature.

It’s a beautiful holiday Monday here, sunny and warm and breezy.  I am loving my quiet house and my artistic messes.  Some days it takes me longer to clean up after making something than it does to put it together in the first place.  This will be one of those days where I put off the inevitable until later, because sunshine.  Yay!

I have a sudden urge to fill the bird feeder.

Art du Jour 56

 

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Test results for a quiz I took on Facebook this morning told me I’m flexibly focused.

I complete these things because I like to answer questions and make choices as if the outcome might be illuminating.  I mean who would not want to know what Greek God they are, or which type of pie they most resemble, right?  Most of the time I don’t share the final analysis because it’s pretty stupid.  But this one sounds interesting.

“Structured free time is your favorite. You enjoy having freedom in your life, but can appreciate the stability a good routine provides.”

Of course I can appreciate routine , but that doesn’t mean I have one.

This little piece of art took me five days to finish.  It started off looking like this.

imageA few days later it had morphed into this.
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Finally this morning I coloured in the mushrooms and messed about with the rest of the picture until there was no canvas left to mess about with.  And that’s it for my flexible mushroom focus.  I don’t even like mushrooms.

Other things I have been focused on this first week of the summer living on my own include watching the final season of Fringe and the first season of Schitt’s Creek.  They are both strange television shows, but at opposite ends of the bizarre spectrum.

I have been staying up too late and getting up too early and forgetting to finish things, like laundry and dishes.  And paintings.  A structured routine would be helpful, but I’m so adverse to rules that I don’t even follow my own.  Assuming of course I happen to make any.

I did learn a few things this week though.  Gelatos are wonderful to work with, but next time I will buy a few non-metallic non-shiny ones.  When I look at this picture from the side it is almost glittery.  The best time to buy stretched canvas is when it’s 40% off and you also have a coupon for 20% off your entire purchase including sale items.  WOOT!!  It always rains on the May long weekend.  (I already knew this, but campers always forget).  Good weather for growing mushrooms.  If you leave your paint brush in dirty paint water for two days it kind of ruins it.  Yeah, I knew that too, but gave it another test just to be sure.

Here’s to magic mushrooms and rainy days and bad TV!  And having a flexibly focused weekend without any rules.