... exploring in my creativity further in 2017

29 April 2011

Paint Party Friday - Week 7 - Not Mine, but...

I haven't been around much this week. Last weekend I was on Vancouver Island for my Dad's 90th Birthday Party (and Family Reunion). Most of this week, I have been on a business trip to Texas returning late Friday, so I haven't painted all week. (Pout.)

But I love PPF and wanted to participate in the party, so I thought I would (cheat and) show you what my youngest daughter did for her grandfather for his birthday. (Proud Mom.) A portrait of him as a young man. 

Grandpa by Ruth

And here he is, after blowing out 90 candles! (Proud daughter.)

Many of you wished him Happy Birthday last week and he passes on his thanks for your best wishes. 

Birthday cake anyone?

22 April 2011

Paint Party Friday - Week 6 - Something New

Happy Easter and Paint Party Friday everyone! I am in B.C., on Vancouver Island, for Easter weekend for my Dad's 90th birthday, a family reunion and to bring my daughter home from her first year at University of Victoria. Busy! I can't promise I will visit you in a timely fashion but visit you, I eventually will!

Last week's poll on inspiration oddly inspired me and I have started a new piece because of it. Potentially a new series, if it works out. You'll see more what I am talking about when it's done but for now I am just hinting at what it will be (if my execution comes anywhere close to my vision, that is).

(WIP - except for a few brush slips, I actually think it looks pretty like this even though this is far from finished!))

(WIP - stage 1 Pencil Outline)

 (WIP - stage 2 adding texture)

Since I have "advance knowledge" of this week's PPF poll and questions, I wanted to mention two recent posts which I found to be very helpful for my own largely self-taught learning. The first is a video by Alisa Burke about her sketchbook. I have often admired her sketchbook when she shows glimpses of it but until I watched this video tutorial, I had everything backwards! I figured one did the ink outline first and then added watercolour  - not vice versa! Her explanation has made a real difference to my Mexican Sketchbook which I started shortly after viewing that post.

(Ink and watercolour influenced by Alisa)

Earlier this week I was trying to figure out the blue in my painting and knew I didn't really have a good handle on the shades in my paint kit so I created this "legend" to see which was the  just right shade of blue. 

(I ended up mixing it myself as no blue was close to what I had in mind.)

Then yesterday I saw this idea at Elvie Studio (someone else whose journaling I love). Fun and practical! I will at some point try that for both my acrylics and watercolours.

So much to learn and so many incredible ideas out there in the blogosphere!

Help yourself to an Easter egg while you're here and have a super long weekend!


16 April 2011

Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook

For the next year and a bit, I am participating in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook. It is a sketchbook round robin - our books travel monthly to the next participant and then we get our original book back at the end. Each month the "theme" is that month so it will be easy to remember! But the first spread is about one's self and a colour that has meaning at the moment. 

I thought I would show you my page spread and my sign-in page for this week's Sunday Sketches with Blue Chair Diary before it leaves for Australia to meet Nicola!

Sign in page (inspired by my favourite book!)

My colour page spread - purple inspired

Close-up views:

Page 2 (hat related to Word of the Year)

 Page 3 - A quote I love and favourite friend

Looking forward to seeing everyone's efforts for Sunday Sketches!

14 April 2011

Paint Party Friday - Week 5 LIVE at Diana's

Late last Friday (and continuing Saturday morning), a few girlfriends and I held a LIVE paint party! We all headed up to Diana's house after work and stayed overnight. She lives on a beautiful stretch of beach on the river and has a huge dining room table with an incredible view. The snow is almost gone though we discovered there is still a bit left when we went for a walk along the beach. All my friends hadn't painted in years but were ready, willing and able to try! I brought a great sampler set of paints and both Diana and I bought canvas boards and canvases. It was an excellent time!

My favourite of my two little paintings is this simple one:

We played with paints at her dining room window with an incredible view:

Spread out and painting away

The view post-winter

The beach and river inspired several efforts:

Teresa playing with watercolours

My riverscape

Loraine's beach morphed into one much further south!

Deborah focused in much closer:

Her spring-like version

Her model

Abstracts were also part of the party:

Diana's dots

Diana has the blues

Teresa geometrically and vibrantly inspired

We had a wonderful time. It reminded me very much of doing jigsaw puzzles with my girlfriends. There was something incredibly calm and relaxing as we worked away on our own little projects yet worked together. Sharing the comradery and the experience. I loved it! (As did they!) Great creativity and conversation.  Aren't girlfriends wonderful!

The rest of the week hasn't been terribly productive for art and it took me until Wednesday to visit all the PPF players. (Sorry about that.) The next two Fridays, I will be out of town so I'm unsure what my ability to visit or participate will be like, but I will try to get around to seeing everyone's efforts when I can. I so LOVE seeing your work!!

08 April 2011

Paint Party Friday - Week 4 - Coffee Painting #3

Slow progress this week, but progress! I started the week off well - painting a self-portrait on a new Sketchbook cover and sketching out an idea for the third of my "coffee" paintings. I started the painting, doing the background. And there it sat. I wasn't sure I'd get much further but knowing it was almost time for Paint Party Friday check-in spurred me on! (Yay - it's working!) Here is my new little painting:

Espresso for Two
(6x6 Acrylics)

I had a hard time with this - especially with the shadows and outline definition. Not sure if it is done or if I will try to improve it.

So please have a cup of espresso while you're here during the party!

I have a question - what do you do with excess paint? I hesitate to always throw it out or wash it away. So this is what I've been doing lately (still a WIP).

I'm looking forward to visiting you all! And tonight, some of my girlfriends and I are going to get out the paints, canvases, brushes (and the wine!) and take Paint Party Friday LIVE!!

03 April 2011

Sunday Sketches - more Mexican Sketchbook

I have been sketching a fair bit this week  - preliminary sketches/ideas for paintings, self portraits for an art journal cover and sketchbook pages - but for Sunday Sketches with Blue Chair Diary I thought I'd show a page from my Mexican Sketchbook that I am happy with. (Well I am actually loving the whole thing but I won't show it all today.)

This bird was fascinating to watch. I took several photos as I was watching him and was very impressed when he caught two fish at the same time!

Here are a couple more - the view from our balcony (sans basketball court)... not the greatest sketch but you see how pretty the resort was.

And the beach in late afternoon:

There are still some more to show you and about 8-10 more pages in one state or another of progress.  I wasn't sure if bringing art supplies with me on vacation was a good idea or not, but I am so happy I did!

I'm looking forward to seeing what you did for Sunday Sketches!

02 April 2011

Self Portrait on New April Art Journal

I am starting a new art journal for April. (For at least April - it only has 30 pages but it might take me longer to fill depending on my time available, inspiration and whether I use both sides of the pages!) I looked at it and decided I wanted to paint the cover (or most of it) immediately. Maybe I should try to incorporate Inspiration Avenue's weekly challenge of "Self Portrait"

It does look like a slimmer, younger version of me out walking in my golf shirt and skort! I have been thinking about restarting Julia Cameron's book Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity and wanting to walk more, now that the weather is more conducive - thus the my journal's title. I am really liking these Strathmore books and am keeping the picture as it reflects my "Word of the Year" so well!

(Original Cover)

There are several other challenges that I am loosely participating in with this journal that maybe you haven't seen and might be interested in? Julie Balzer at Balzer Design has an Art Journal Every Day "challenge" running on Flickr. Kristin Donovan of Journaling Saves is doing a "creative expedition" based on the Julia Cameron book - which is what gave me this idea. Also there is the ongoing Sketchbook Challenge. Check them out if you like to journal!

01 April 2011

Paint Party Friday - Week 3: Kitchen/Coffee Paintings

Two paintings finished!!! I even managed to sign them (something I find to be a major challenge). These are 6x6 and were done with a kitchen in mind.
(Mark to right of cup is on my scanner, I discovered. Fixed but not rescanned.)

Coffee Beans

I am thrilled that the Paint Party Friday check-ins have helped me make such progress in my painting goals! I did work a bit on my poppy painting, trying green for the stamen but again they got lost in the already dark center. Hopefully by next week I will have figured it out. Maybe yellow...

This is a page for my art journal. After I finished painting it (watercolours), I thought it looked rather nice and worth sharing. A classic old school. Now to write all over it!

Looking forward to seeing you at the party!