Monday, January 25, 2021

Wanderlust : Make a wish

Wanderlust Week 4 with Shay Michelle. As well as making wishes for the year ahead, our teacher encouraged us to play with many different textures. The watercolour and salt backgrounds along with modeling paste through a stencil are fun techniques which I was happy to revisit
I decided that texture for me always means adding fibre and stitch. I had already started this tag and it worked well with my colours this week
Fun to work on separate pages and after adding extra glitter and stitch, I was able to glue them into my journal.
My word of the year is SHINE - the glitter and star symbolise that for me without the need for extra words.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Wanderlust : Celebrate your reflection

Wanderlust Week 3 with Kasia Avery. Two lessons from Kasia this month. This one was about creating 
a half-realistic self-portrait in a painterly style and focusing on the process rather than the end result. This turned out to be a lesson and a half! 
I love painting faces, but the idea of doing a realistic self-portrait is very intimidating. I was grateful that I did this lesson after my latest journal jam face which loosened me up for using a more painterly style. I have learned to love the Stabilo All pencil to sketch faces and then blend with water so I used that this time.
Then I added my paints. Although I didn't follow Kasia's instructions to use lots of paint layers on my face, I felt fairly happy that it looked like a combination of her inspiration and my own artistic voice. It doesn't look at all like me but I loved the process and it had personal meaning...
And then I looked at it the next day and I kept thinking she looked like an old lady and a complete stranger. I wasn't happy with the proportions of the eyes or the mouth and I decided to change them. Luckily having not sealed the Stabilo originally I was able to use a baby wipe to remove a lot!
The minute I did that I had second thoughts and I had to do a LOT of reworking of the entire face. I lost all joy in the process and was wishing I hadn't touched it. But I persisted, and as I kept working, and reworking, and then went back to using the techniques I love, eventually a face emerged that was better than the last.
This still doesn't look like me, but it feels more youthful, softer and kinder. I could re-work it again - the eyes aren't perfect - but see that word Release? I think I've got as much out of this lesson as is possible before it tips from learning and self-kindness into frustration. Hopefully when I look at her tomorrow I'll still like her. I'm putting her out into the world now.
I am so glad that I am doing these weekly lessons in a journal devoted to this year-long class : it's a smaller size than my main journal so I feel like I will be able to manage to complete each lesson on time and because it's just for these lessons I feel more willing to take risks because I'm just trying out techniques. And now I'm ready to turn the page and eagerly await next week's lesson. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Journal Jam

Another Journal Jam that I could do live :-) I love arting alongside Effy Wild in Canada. Her 2pm afternoon is my 8am the next day. Watch the unedited replay HERE.
Add some tape I have some old rolls of tape which is cream and I've been using as a good layer in a background. I use gel medium to make sure it sticks properly.
Mix your own colour Effy chose to use Iridescent Fine Gold Bright with Carbon Black to create an antique gold colour and I decided to follow that since I love metallics and have never tried that colour. Brayered on and I filled in round the outer edges with my brush
Draw a face Yay! She will hopefully sit nicely next to my last journal girl.
Scribble Scribbly writing with a pitt pen
Glaze I used Golden brand transparent high flow acrylics for my glazes. No idea why she has blue hair!
Love Hearts My own hand carved stamp on some collage paper I made almost a year ago - I love using little pieces of it in my art.
Least favourite colour I needed to add some colour to my background so decided to add another glaze. I don't use red very often and usually it's blue toned if I do use it. When I reached for my transparent napthol red light it wasn't even opened so clearly a least favourite colour! I like the effect - perhaps I'll use red more often...
White pen This  became Effy's last prompt and led into the tending/finishing stage for her, but I obviously had more to do. When I added her skin tones I took the opportunity to move her eyes further apart, and did some other coloured pencil detailing on her face.
I wasn't able to keep up to art along in real time all the way through this week, but I loved her so much I finished her later in the day ♥ Has also loosened me up for doing this week's self-portrait Wanderlust lesson so that's a bonus.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

52 Tags : Week 3

I'm participating in Anne Brooke's weekly challenge on Youtube #52tagshannemade. Week 3 : Scrappy.
I immediately knew I would be using scraps of sari ribbon for my tag. Started by pulling out a lovely piece of green and that set the colour scheme. I decided to use a dictionary definition of scrap for the top of the tag
Layered the ribbons and some bits of scrim by hand stitching onto a base fabric. Didn't quite follow Anne's plan but happy with the result. I decided to machine stitch a spare piece of scrappy sari ribbon on the back 
and then I glued my stitched piece to the front with Aleene's super thick tacky glue. It just needed a brad and some ribbon at the top of the tag to finish 💜 
I am loving this challenge with the guidance of the weekly lessons but the freedom to make them my own. Scroll through all of my 52 tags HERE.

Friday, January 15, 2021

A Year of Mary : A new voice

This week I was very surprised to discover that I haven't created a face in either of my art journals for a couple of months! I adore faces in my art journals. Effy Wild is doing "A Year of Mary" exclusively on her Patreon at the $5 (
speed painting) or $10 (full length tutorial and PDF) per month levels. This year-long offering will feature twelve paintings using her ‘lip up’ face technique inspired by the poetry of Mary Oliver. It starts January 15th (so this Saturday NZ time) and I've been waiting excitedly and then remembered that she'd already shared a lesson in December on this technique... I started my face and good to have done this lesson as a test to start cos I need to do her larger next time. I tried to wipe off my Stabilo All pencil lines with a baby wipe but it didn't work, so I just waited for it to dry, drew over my lines again so I could shade them, and making it work on a single page this week. You must spray over the Stabilo with workable fixative when dry if you don't want it to move again for a less grungy look.
Colours that feel good to start - photographed in the sun so you can see the gorgeous glow of the Pebeo Iridescents (green and orange). The purple is a liquitex heavy body muted violet which was part of a special collection. Partly chosen because I know I will be adding metallic paint through a stencil over this
Painted her skin with acrylic and then a layer of clear gesso so I can use and blend my gorgeous pencils for shading
Mary Oliver's poem The Journey was the inspiration for this lesson. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Wanderlust : Garden of wishes

Wanderlust Week 2 with Laly Mille. I love her work. Go HERE for a peek at this project on her blog. Very happy to use found words in this project and 
I love how Laly uses white but I felt much happier once I added my iridescent blue around the sky. 
Had to include butterflies - these are paper serviettes. I am seeing so many monarchs flying around our garden at present.
Fabulous project and I'm enjoying my smaller page size (Small Dylusions journal purchased from Warehouse Stationery : this spread measures 20.5 x 25 cm). I can have a good try at each weekly project without feeling overwhelmed.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

52 tags : Week 2

I'm participating in Anne Brooke's weekly challenge on Youtube #52tagshannemade. Week 2 : A Heart. No set colour this week.
Anne's style (above) is totally different from mine but it's cool to see her stitching ideas and I love how she let her lace fall over the edge of her tag. I decided to use some of my favourite colours. Went to stay overnight with my mum so took a tin of gatherings
I hand stitched the fabric and bead layers while I was away. The heart effect is made by ironing painted fusible to some batik fabric.
Once home I wanted to add some colour to the tag background before adding the stitched layers and my sari ribbon to finish
So glad I decided to join this challenge. Find my first post HERE.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Journal 52 : Calm

Effy Wild is sharing her Journal 52 prompts again in her Wilderhood FB group and on Patreon. Last year these prompts inspired my year-long project on jumbo playing cards
This year I'm thinking that some of the art is so gorgeous that it's going to lead to more play in my art journal. Sometimes I'll just be inspired, but because I've been a fan for a long time, sometimes I'll actually have the original lessons! This one is from Mixed Tape Volume III.
I did roses since that's what's in my garden, and I applied what I learned in a Life Book lesson with her back in 2015. 
First a layer of watercolour (I used Twinkling H2Os). I blocked in the colours before I looked back at the above lesson!
Pens and brayer
Found words
This was a great page to comfort and distract and be grateful for the beauty that is in my Summer holidays. I am watching the news of all that is happening overseas with Covid-19 and the USA situation with sadness and anxiety. I hope you are managing to find some moments of calm in this very unsettled start to 2021. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Journal Jam : Believe

Journal Jam - first one for 2021 and I'm on holiday so could do it live :-) Effy Wild is in Canada - her 2pm afternoon is my 8am the next day. Watch the replay HERE.
Add squares of colour - rolled for colour - blue Effy used watercolour. I used Phtalo blue transparent paint for similar watercolour effect. You can see that somehow the flower stabilo outline from last journal jam is showing in the background. This will get covered. No other problems with quality of this watercolour journal so far.
Use a colour you love and Effy decided to use a stencil with that She's seeing sky with stars, I'm seeing sea...I used one of my fav iridescent paints with swirly stencil and then finished off the paint through a circle stencil
Brayer I'm going gold....
Scrapey tooly thingy! - rolled for colour - purple Yay! Using a credit card. 
Metallic Yay again. Keep adding subtle - this time the Lumier Halo Violet gold (also from last journal jam). More stencil for me
Add a glaze To unite the spread. I used Transparent Dioxazine Purple and blended it with a wet wipe to make sure it wasn't too much. The metallics glow through
Quick! draw a flower I don't want a flower again and Effy goes into finishing off from here so I let mine dry and then came back in the afternoon knowing I needed a bold move. 
I really love using butterflies in my work. Lay down a mask and sponged around the edge with matte black, and then followed that by sponging around the rest of the outside with Pebeo Iridescent Blue Black
Just needed some gold pen work and words to complete this one.
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