For something that started out looking very much like a baby quilt, this turned out okay in the end.
First there was the design and drawing. Look at me being all precise and disciplined and using a ruler.
All those little squares were boring so I changed a few of them, added random colours from my box of acrylic tubes, realized my sail boat is impressionistic rather than realistic, and then sat back and looked at this for a long time.
Then it was cut and paste time, with this result.
This morning I finally finished it, adding layers and some shading and bits of chaos here and there lest anyone think this might be meant to depict smooth sailing. It was much too clean and organized. There will be none of that in this house.
It’s a lovely sunny warm Monday here. It’s also my daughter’s birthday which means another July is winding down. Hope your day is beautiful.
Monthly Archives: July 2015
Just a Line
How to get rid of back pain, joints and legs in 7 days.
Please note: I did not actually read the article with this title on Facebook, so I am unable to enlighten you on what horrors the seven days have in store for you, should you decide that being joint-less and leg-less is for you.
The title was enough. There are some things I don’t have to know.
Art du Jour 76
Since a lot of my pictures don’t have any real focal point, I tried to create one here. It’s a bridge over a muddy stream in case you missed it.
My home decor has about ten thousand focal points in every room too. I have inner calm amidst outer chaos.
Although I did get annoyed with the ink in this one, because even though I sprayed it with fixative it continued to seep up to the top of whatever I layered over it. Bad ink. Doing what ink does.
Here’s another thing I learned. A really expensive facial cleanser I don’t like works well to remove dried on gel medium from my hands. Now I don’t have to throw it out and feel all guilty about it. Or scrub my hands like I’m trying to remove my fingerprints.
This was a three-day long labour intensive project because I had a vision and a goal. Sometimes I think things turn out better when I don’t have either one of those things.
Art du Jour 75
Among the many reasons why I don’t like to draw the faces of men, these two are the biggest. Their ears are so visible and over all they are generally so incredibly hairy.
So,try to ignore the ears which I couldn’t be bothered finishing, and the inaccurate directions in which the stubble appears to be headed. Other than that, I am calling it okay. Not just another pretty face, and more challenging than anything on a Friday really needs to be.
Today the weather is cool with gusty winds and welcome rain. Perfect for staying inside and messing about with charcoal. I’ve lost track of how many coffees I’ve consumed.
I should tell you that this drawing was inspired by a photo of Hugh Laurie. Now you don’t have to wonder who it vaguely reminds you of any longer. This information might even give you something totally different to wonder about.
And on that note, in this world full of wonder, have a wonderful weekend!
Art du Jour 74
I watched a YouTube video yesterday and it inspired me to create this. The artist used acrylic paints, brushing various colours on to the canvas, letting some dry, and spraying others while still wet with water. She then used a paper towel to blot some of the water and colour up, letting the base colour show through and dabbing the excess on to other colours here and there on the canvas.
Well. Doesn’t that sound easy? I think my paper towel must be better quality than hers, because it lifted everything up and refused to let it go. So I was barely started and already breaking the rules. This is why I don’t take art classes and prefer to just wing it and see what happens. A couple of sea sponges worked way better than the paper.
I took a picture of the background I was finally happy with, just in case it all went downhill from there. Although I don’t know what difference that was supposed to make. It was really bright so I toned it down and blended it all with some watered down gesso.
Then obviously as you can see I don’t know which way is up, and flipped the canvas so the flowers would fit. I sketched them in pencil, went over them with gesso, painted them with acrylics and did some shading with gelatos. The lady I watched did a lot of ink outlines everywhere but I tried to keep the ink to a minimum. I added some texture and stamps instead. Because that’s what I do.
Finally, as instructed (what? really??) I added white splatter, let it dry, and then added some black. This is supposed to keep the splattered dots from mixing and turning grey. And it worked. Whaddaya know.
I really admire the artists who make these videos because of their ability to stay serious and not swear. Someone should do a tutorial on that. Sorry, it won’t be me.
And that’s how I spent my Wednesday. How was yours? If you were serious and didn’t swear, never mind.
Art du Jour 73
It’s been a long time since I’ve done a black and white charcoal face on brown paper, so I’m very happy with this result. Especially the hair. And the lopsided smile. And the fact that the eyes are not too big. I like doing eyes, so I tend to exaggerate them too much sometimes.
Practice, practice, practice. And then practice some more.
Originally I intended to incorporate this in to a collage, but I think she’s fine on her own.
And look at me, all organized and industrious and posting in the morning! It’s a beautiful one too, sunny and breezy and not yet hot. Perfect for whatever comes next.
Sharing My World 32
Share Your World – 2015 Week #28
But first….(because I have also sadly neglected to share my world for several weeks…)
Questions from week 26
In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?
The only car accident I ever was in happened when someone else was driving, so I don’t like the feeling of having no control in a vehicle. But when I’m driving I also don’t like to have my attention divided by conversation and radio noise and signs and scenery, especially if I’m not familiar with my route. Although in that case I suppose the signs might be useful. Lately I seem to never know exactly where I’m going. My plans could change en route. There’s a reason why old people should just bow out gracefully and let someone else take the wheel. As long as it’s not by someone else who is just as old and confused. And before you leave it might be a good idea to write down where you’re headed just in case.
If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?
I would go! I’ve never been to a live opera performance. I think it would be amazing.
Describe your own outlook on life in seven words or less. (NOTE: does not necessarily have to be a sentence.)
We make our own heaven or hell. I would also like to add “right here on earth” but that’s too many words. So just think it in your head.
Which would you prefer: a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?
No wild swinging turbulence for me thanks. My heart can’t take it. I would opt for contented and secure. Yes, I am exactly that boring.
Questions from week 27
What is your favorite month of the year?
There are things I like and dislike about all of them. The dislike mostly has to do with taxes and insurance premiums coming due and nasty bad weather. The good things are birthdays and anniversaries and holidays and pleasantly good weather. January is generally a pain in the ass. I can’t think of anything bad to say about September.
Do you drink coffee at all?
Yes I do. Every day. This summer I am probably going to single-handedly wear out my Tasimo coffee maker. In which case I will invest in a Keurig. I hear they’re better.
What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?
I worked as a waitress at a beach café. Everyone should work as wait staff at least once in their lives. This would make for more polite patrons and much more generous tipping.
List: If you play video/computer games list 5 games you like.
Hay Day, Candy Crush, Words With Friends, Unblock Me and Spider Solitaire. Wow. Clearly I have no life.
Questions from week 28
What is your favorite comfort snack food?
This is probably where you’re supposed to say chocolate and not something weird like dill pickles. Yesterday I ate tuna salad with tortilla chips. I really don’t have a favorite. It depends on the month and the weather. This month there’s a lot less frozen fudge bars in the universe thanks to me.
If you had to spend one weekend alone in a single store but could remove nothing, which store would you pick? (except food or beverage)
Good gawd, an entire weekend? My first thought was to pick a furniture store with beds in it. However, I reconsidered and came up with Michael’s where I would create many works of art and leave them lying around with price tags on them.
What was the largest city you have been to? What is the one thing you remember most?
After googling a list of the worlds largest cities I decided to choose London mostly because I have never been anywhere else on the list. I thought Athens was really big, but apparently geography is not one of my life skills. What I remember most about London is travelling around on the top deck of a tourist-y red bus snapping photos like a mad woman. I saw it all through a camera lens! The Tower of London, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge, Big Ben – how in the world do you pick just one out of all those amazing things? I remember being there with my sister. That was the best part.
Finish this sentence: It has recently come to my attention that ….
…..there are already almost 800 words in this post. It’s time to do something else. But before I shut up, I would like to tell you how wonderful the weather is today! It is cloudy and overcast and the hot blazing sun is nowhere to be seen. This is such a relief after the crazy heat wave and smoky air from all the wildfires in our province. There was a lovely thunder-storm last night complete with pouring rain. So it’s official, July 13th is my favourite weather day of the year so far. My grass still looks dead, but now at least it is dead and wet and not looking so much like it might suddenly burst into flames.
Hope you’re having an amazing start to an unbelievable week in this incredibly marvelous month!
Whew. Might also be time to cut back on the coffee and sugary snacks for a bit.
Art du Jour 72
Previously I mentioned somewhere that it was too hot to breathe. I like breathing and don’t want to stop anytime soon, so I’m thinking a fierce and crazy thunderstorm might help to disperse some of this heat which appears to be happily settled in for the duration.
“For the duration” is an expression my mom used a lot about many things. It’s a good one and I like it. It means for the whole time that something continues; for the entire period of time required for something to be completed; for as long as something takes.
This 16 x 20 inch (40.6 x 50.8 cm.) work of art on canvas took me about three days to complete. Here is a breakdown of actual time spent on it.
1. Ripping up paper and map pieces – 20 minutes.
2. Pasting stuff everywhere, including on canvas, desk and fingertips – 30 minutes.
3. Spritzing on ink and colour and water and letting it meander – 10 minutes
4. Staring at unfinished piece during drying time while thoughtfully contemplating next step – 2.5 days.
5. Adding final touches and sealer – most of this morning in fits and starts while doing many other things.
I don’t know how to speed up the staring time. There is a lovely ghost-like dementor shape floating across the canvas and I didn’t want to obliterate it. But it did fade into the background. Perhaps I’m the only one who will ever notice that. Excessive staring has its perks.
My plan for the duration of this heat wave is to keep the ice-cube trays full and the fans on high. And listen for the distant rumble of thunder bringing cooling summer rain.
Art du Jour 71
Can you make something beautiful out of useless advertising? Yes you can. Depending on your definitions of “useless” and “beautiful”.
Many trees died so that I could create something weird and interesting for you to look at. Even though we have put a vacation stop on our newspaper, those flyers just keep on coming. I’ve always thought it would be a great idea to put a blue box at the front door with a sign on it requesting that all junk mail be deposited in it. This would save me a lot of time and angst and energy. And all those colourful glossy Christmas ads could be used to wrap presents.
Although I have never done either of those things, now I can say I have recycled some of that great mountain of advertising into my art.
Will I be doing this with actual garbage next? Well, probably not. I did discover that grocery flyers are made of extremely cheap paper and ink not meant to last. I guess that’s a good thing.
Considering my materials, I am very pleased with this end result and might even hang it up somewhere.
Before and After
A few hot days ago I took pictures in my backyard of bushes sadly in need of a trim. I’m here to tell you my crazy slash-and-burn mad trimmer-from-hell of a husband would be very proud of me for making this valiant attempt at tree taming if he were here. Although of course if he were here this would have been done a month ago and the trees would still be trying to recover. He once trimmed a tree at our front door into oblivion. All that remains is a decorative stump.
But enough yard history. Today the heat is pleasant and bearable, so I ventured out amongst the squabbling magpies and got it done.
Note the top of the fence for reference.
Note the bottom of the kitchen window. Please do not note the dead grass. I’m not watering it, it’s only grass and it’s in the backyard and the magpies don’t care and neither do I.
I was hoping these picture would be more indicative of what a difference all my hard work filling TWO green bins with branches made. I guess you will just have to take my word for it because I’m not sharing pics of my scratched up arms. Now I will be spending the rest of the day brushing imaginary twigs and bugs off my body.
Happy 4th of July to all my American friends! I imagine your day has been slightly more interesting than mine because fireworks. Yea! Don’t set the grass on fire.
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