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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Sharing My World 28

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This used to be my world. A basement apartment in the early seventies complete with wood panelling and posters. And bare feet. And long hair. And strange things dangling from the green tulip pole lamp.

 

Share Your World 2015 Weeks 17, 18 and 19

Lately, for whatever reasons, I have seriously neglected to share my world.  So today I will share the heck out of it by answering a whopping lucky thirteen questions.  I will try to be brief, but when has that ever happened.

What type of pets do you have or want? Or do you not want pets?

We always had dogs and cats when I was growing up on the farm but I preferred the company of cats. They slobbered less.  The dogs loved my sister, not me.  My husband had a black lab, and then we had two cats for close to 20 years.  After that I killed a Japanese Fighting fish.  It was no match for me.  I like other people’s dogs and cats, but I’m not a great animal care giver, so I don’t think we will have any more pets in our lives.  It’s a big enough challenge looking after each other.

What was or is your favorite cartoon?

I really kind of hate the cartoons we used to watch on tv.  Although maybe hate is too strong a word.  But they always did stress me right out.  Walking off cliffs, getting blown up, having things happen to you that should result in fatal head injuries.  People and animals being insanely rude to each other.  How is any of that funny?

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

Bare feet are the happiest feet.  Except when you get dry, rough, cracked heels.  Or drop heavy pieces of furniture on them.  I still think the risks are worth it.

Are you a traveler or a homebody?

I am the biggest homebody that ever lived.  And yet I have gone places.  The things we do to ourselves.

What is your most favorite smell/scent?

Coffee brewing while bacon sizzles in the pan.  Tomato plants.  Clean laundry fresh off the clothes line.  The sweet smell of new-mown grass.  Whatever that smell is after it rains.  That one is hard to beat.

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?

My mom gave me dutch boy haircuts until I begged her to let me grow my hair long enough for a pony tail.  Then I chopped it all off super short, but grew it back long and straight in time for fitting in to the long-haired hippy sixties.  W said when he met me my hair was down around the hem of my mini skirt.  That’s an exaggeration.  Although those skirts were pretty damned short.   I loved my long hair, but there comes a point in your life when all it does is drag your face down with it.  So now it’s short again, and likely to remain that way as long as there are scissors in my bathroom.

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)

I go along with whatever someone else has planned.  That way I can blame other people when I don’t have any fun.

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Seriously?  Sitting in a lawn chair with my sunglasses on and my eyes closed.

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

Multiple levels are ideal when you’re young enough to run up and down all the stair cases without collapsing in a wheezing heap of broken bones.  When we moved in to this house, W took the hand railing off the basement stairs to make it easier to move furniture down there.  He never got around to putting it back, although I have nagged him about it on and off for years.  Late this fall he is going to have hip replacement surgery, and his beloved tv is down those basement stairs.  Stay tuned for further developments.

If you have a TV, would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?

Well, speak of the devil.  I like it downstairs where I can’t see or hear it.  Especially when W has the remote control.  But I spend a ridiculous amount of time watching Netflix and other stuff on my I-Pad.  The difference is not having to wear my glasses to read the subtitles, and not having to listen to commercials.  Plus watching any stupid thing I please.

When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time? Explain your answer.

This is turning into a ‘complain about W’ post and he’s not even here to defend himself.  I turn lights on and he turns them off, so I have to turn them on again.  I especially like to leave the lights on at the back door where the railing-less steps go down to the basement.  If I’m going to fall down there and kill myself I’d like someone to be able to see the results.  But he’s away now, so lights are on in all the normally low-light places.  They will remain on until he comes home.  Or the bulbs burn out, whichever comes first.

What’s your favorite room in your home?

I like all the rooms in my house, but spend most of my time in or around the part of the living/dining room that’s been morphed into a little art studio.  I used to spend a lot of time in the bedroom at my computer, but found myself struggling to do things in the living room on my I-Pad instead, even though it took twice as long.  Then I turned my computer desk away from the wall so that it faces the window.  Now I like it here again.  But not as much as where the art is.

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

I’m grateful that W finally got everything packed up and ready to go and should be reaching his destination in North Western Ontario sometime today.  I am grateful that I can leave all the lights on now, day and night, and cook things for myself that would cause him great anxiety if he thought I wanted him to eat them.  I’m only looking forward to doing my own shopping because I can now buy turnips without being harassed.

Well!  That’s over a thousand sharing words.  What’s new in your world?  Are you wearing shoes?  Be careful on those stairs.

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