Monday, 25 April 2011

The life of Art

Hmm, I'm pleased with this part!
Isn’t it funny how many aspects of painting reflect issues in life? I’ve been working on a painting for a while now, it’s a family portrait. Unfortunately the photograph I’m working from is not high resolution, and taken with an everyday camera and flash. They are all wearing white. The reflection of the flash off the white clothing causes loss of detail and not much shading.

As an artist you try your best to make the painting look good, you try to enhance the lighting and the details so that the painting will be so much better than the photograph. Sometimes this is very frustrating and the effort can be quite exhausting.

So you tackle one section or problem at a time. When it works out, you are pleased with the result. I’m at that point now. There are parts of the painting that I am pleased with, it’s nice to work on those sections, I want to stay there, not move on. But, you can’t stay there, they are done, complete, finished, and it’s time to move on to the next challenging section. I know that as I tackle each section and solve its problems, I will feel good, and I will be one step close to completion.

Isn’t that JUST like life in general? It is so nice to do the easy things and not nice to tackle the tough things. Just like when as children, my sister and I had to wash dishes, and one of us quickly blurted out “I’ll wash the plates and cups, you can wash the pots!” No one likes doing the tough jobs.

So now it’s time for me to make the bed, load the washing machine, make breakfast and finish this painting.

Take care!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

An 'Old Girl' learns some new tricks at Craft Warehouse

It is always good to learn something new and I have never done decoupage or used podge, so attending a mixed media class was something new and interresting for me.

The technique involved glueing fabric, paper, string, beads and anything else I could think of to the board using podge.

This was so much fun and just what I needed today.

Let's start at the beginning.  The workshop is one of many different workshops being given by Craft Warehouse on 9th Avenue, Walmer, in Port Elizabeth.

Charlene of Craft Warehouse making it look so easy.
The workshop was presented by Charlene. She makes it all seem so easy. Scrunching tissue paper and glueing beads, I think I ended up with more Modge on my fingers than on the board.

You start off by drawing anything you like on the board, dividing it into different sections for the different textures.

Now I have all my sections covered with a variety of textures and items.  It doesn't look like much yet.

With a fairly big brush the base colour is now painted over the whole piece.  I used black as my base colour.

We used a hair dryer to speed up the drying process of the Modge and the paint.

All covered in black paint.
Now that the piece is uniform in colour, it looks completely different and one could really do anything with it.  I decided to keep it all in similar tones.

I think it could also have been nice if the base colour was purple, then you could dry brush a pastel shades of purple and pink over the textures.  You could really do it in any colour to suit your room's colour scheme.

Using a dry brush technique I applied red, orange and yellow.  To add an interesting look to the piece I also used silver and gold.
Now I just need to figure out the best place to display it.  I also can't wait to try out some of the techniques in my paintings.

Thank you to Charlene for teaching this 'old girl' some new tricks.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Okay, I'm lost!

I felt like painting the other day but could not think of anything to paint.  With my father being in hospital, I was not able to focus on much at all.  I am happy that he is now back at home and will continue resting until he is fully recovered.

I started this little painting with no idea where it was going.  Using some bright colours and texture paste I just applied the paint to the canvas.  From the shading and colours that found their way onto the canvas this idea evolved.  So now I have a girl in a hat walking on the grass.  But is the blue part sky, or water?  I have no idea what I want it to be.  So now the painting sits there mocking me.  Laughing at my inability to complete a simple little art piece.

So I have to admit, yes, I am lost.

I am hoping that as I run my errands today, my currently unimaginative brain will come up with a solution so that when I return home, I am able to complete it.  Somehow, even in its incomplete state, I find this little painting quite likeable.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Farewell Golden Bow

Over the last few days I've not been able to concentrate on painting at all.  I've tried to paint, but nothing works out the way I want.  But then that is what happens when we are worrying about someone we love.

My father was admitted to hospital on Tuesday with heart failure, his heart beat is irregular and jumps between 70 bpm and 134 bpm and all this makes him very tired and weak.  The doctors are running several tests and he is receiving treatment. He should be able to come home in a few days time.  We don't always realise just how much our parents really mean to us until something happens to them.  We go through each day just knowing that they are there, we can call them or go see them anytime.  But do we?

That brings me to the painting I want to share with you.  I was commissioned to paint it towards the end of 2010.  The man who commissioned it, wanted to give it to his mother for Christmas. He told me about a racehorse he had bought a few years ago, this wonderful horse had an incredible spirit and did very well in her races.  After an unfortunate incident in which his mother was attacked by burglars in their home, Golden Bow's interaction with his mother helped her recover from this terrible ordeal.  They had a very strong bond.

Unfortunately Golden Bow started developing health problems, I'm not sure exactly what they were, but she was sent from Port Elizabeth, up to Gauteng, where she would be treated.  The painting is of the moment when this lovely lady went to say farewell to her companion, Golden Bow.

What a lovely way for a son to show his mother just how much she is appreciated.

.. ~ * ~ ..

So if you are still lucky enough to have your parents around, give them a call or pay them a visit.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Portrait of Jennifer Lopez

My commissioned portrait is complete and has been delivered to it's owner, but I still cannot share until it's unveiling.  So once again I will share some of my previous work.

I find that working in coloured pencils is quite relaxing.  I love the sound of the pencil as it scratches along the paper, leaving behind it colourful trail.  It's somehow theraputic.

This is a little A4 portrait I did of Jennifer Lopez a few years ago.  It was from a photograph we found in a magazine, so I guess it had already been airbrushed to look it's best.

Jennifer Lopez Portrait in Coloured Pencil

Jennifer Lopez Portrait - Stages of drawing

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Magnum P.I.

Way back in the days when I was a young Art Student, we used to love watching Magnum P.I.  It was always on TV on a Saturday night, just before the main movie, (we only had one TV channel back then).

We did not have a TV in our College Hostel, so on a Saturday night a black and white portable TV would be carted downstairs to the communal lounge and we would all get to watch our hero.  Tom Selleck was gorgeous back then and still is today.  

I'm getting distracted...oh yes, I remember spending a day or two in bed with the flu, and during that time, I grabbed my pencil crayons and drew this portrait of Tom Selleck from a magazine cover.  Hmm...maybe it's time for an updated portrait.

Tom Selleck as Magnum P.I.  (1983)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Little Distractions

I cannot share my current portrait painting, it is a commission and can only be shown once it has had it's 'unveiling'.  It is the only painting that has had my attention in the last while, and because I hurt my back earlier in the week, I've been taking it very easy.  But creative hands cannot be still. 

One of the blogs I follow is by Geninne Zlatkis, I love her paintings, drawings and photographs.  I am always inspired by her blog.  I also was fascinated by one of her photographs of crochet covered stones.  I searched the web and found a pattern for these stone covers by Margaret Oomen and this is what I kept my hands busy with while relaxing in front of the TV last night.  You can get the pattern here

The crochet hook size they give in the pattern is size 9.  It is 1.4mm, I am using a 1.25mm hook and it works just fine.

This is a basic pattern and if you love crocheting, you can develop your own pattern and the possibilities are endless. Do an image search on google and you will be amazed at the variety of designs.


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