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Close your Eyes, Clear your Heart

Oh, how I fiddled and faffed around with this one!  I couldn’t make any wording fit and I was having a bit of a hissy fit.  I put it aside and left it alone for a while.  I stencilled the “bricks” on to the patterned paper as an afterthought, and I quite like the effect.  The wings are a bit wonky, but that’s ok.

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But the words!  Ugh!  I could not make anything work.  All I knew was that I didn’t want to stamp them directly to the background because I was sure to mess them up, and it would be really noticeable due to the straighter edges of the brick pattern.  So the words had to be stuck on, either stamped onto paper and then cut out, or using existing text.

So, in the end I found a quote on a sheet of scrapbooking paper that seemed to fit well with this image (actually, the original quote said “Let Go” at the end, but I changed it to “Dream” – it just seemed more appropriate) and quickly glued it on before I changed my mind.  I think it works ok…..

I need to add some detailing, paint the edges of the canvas and varnish it, etc, but it can wait until I am doing a few others at the same time.  I get to the end of a project and I just want to move on to the next.  By the time I’ve been fiddle-faffing around for hours on one thing, I get a bit sick at the sight of it and want to start something new.  Are you the same?  Do you like the entire process of creating something?  Or do you get fed up half way through and just want it done?

I probably need to close my eyes and clear my heart and just let the art happen.  But I’m not that trusting yet.  So things can take longer than they should.  But then I suppose there really isn’t a “should” when it comes to art and creativity.  It’s supposed to be intuitive and free, not structured and following some sort of plan or timeline.  I should try to please myself more, not keep trying to make something that will appeal to others.  But I need to learn to do that with myself too, and not try and be what I think other people want me to be.  Which is tricky, right?

Hope you are happy being YOU today – keep dreaming 🙂

x

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Serenity Now

Some more weekend crafting…

I must admit, I played around with the background on this for ages, splodging paint on and swiping it, dotting it, mixing different colours etc.  Then I got fed up with my efforts and covered the whole thing in dress pattern paper.  When in doubt, stick some paper over it.  The fine tissue paper of the patterns covers nicely and gives that crinkly, textured look.  I rubbed a bit of white paint over the top to tone it all down to make the text and lines a bit “gentler”.  Then I discovered that I had put the paper on THE WRONG WAY UP, so the hanger at the back of the canvas was on the bottom, instead of at the top.  D’oh!  I haven’t done that sort of silly stuff up for ages.  Oh, well, I will sort it out later 🙂

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Next, I sketched in a head shape.  I was actually really pleased with this one.  I wanted to stop right there, before I spoilt it…

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Then, I added the basic colours to the head, hair and body.  My Mum gave me a pile of paints on the weekend, so I had some extra colours to play with…

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After, drawing and re-drawing the face about a million times, I settled on this one.  It is by no means perfect, and I am still frustrated that I have such trouble with facial features, but it will do.  I have to keep practicing and hopefully improving with each piece!  The only way is up, right?

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I added stamped words and some wings and a crown.  At least I am getting better at putting wings on straight now 🙂

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I wasn’t totally happy with the bigger letters, so I added some swirly details to them to balance it all a bit more and not make the lettering seem so harsh.  I did some outlining, and added a stamped border (kinda wish I hadn’t used black as it is also a bit harsh, but I’m not changing it now – will use a different colour next time that is softer and more in keeping with the rest of the piece).

The “Serenity Now” makes me laugh a bit because of its Seinfeld references, but I still think it is appropriate.  She looks fairly serene, and with the week I’ve had, I could do with some serenity, to be honest.

Overall, I was quite happy with her.  I just really need to work on those faces!

Hope you are having a calm, peaceful day, and if not, hope you can find some space to have a little bit of serenity now x

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Dream Queen

I managed to do a few paintings / collages on the weekend, after my crafting ban of the prior two weeks.  It was actually good to have a break from it, to clear up a bit (a bit…) and also refresh my brain and start on something different.  I am trying desperately to get better at painting – my Mum and brother are brilliant but I, sadly, am not – and find a style that sits comfortably with me and my abilities (or lack thereof).  I’m also trying to just DO, rather than over-thinking things.

So, I started this painting, which turned out to be a mixed-media piece in the end with the addition of some collaged “extras” and, although she’s not perfect, I’m fairly pleased with her.  I’m trying so hard to not judge my work too harshly, because it hinders the process and makes me have unnecessary tantrums.

This lady got a nice lace collar….

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…and a bit of a rotund face.  A bit too round for my liking….

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…so I trimmed it down a bit, so she’s got a more angular look…and she got a crown too, and some wings (naturally)…

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…I added a stamped border and stamped “dream” letters, anddid a bit of outlining to highlight some details.

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…and she’s done 🙂

I’m still not very good at faces (and I kinda wish I hadn’t made her face less round now), but I am hoping the more I do, the better I will hopefully get!  My other plan was to give up entirely and just paint/draw all my people facing away from me, thus negating the need for faces at all!  Hooray!  But that’s cheating, right?

Thank you for dropping by and having a look at my funny, imperfect art 🙂

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Love the Moment

Hello everyone 🙂  I have been on leave for a couple of weeks and placed myself under a strict no crafting ban.  I knew if I got stuck into making things (and, therefore, making a mess) I would never get tidy and organised.  So I had two weeks of sorting and culling and making my home fit for human habitation.  My craft room was going to be last on the list as it is an area I close off anyway and doesn’t get seen unless I want it to!  Needless to say, it is still in a mess.  I just didn’t time to complete the tidy up in its entirety.  But the rest of the house looks good now.  I even had some visitors during my leave and I wasn’t embarrassed to have them in my space.

On my final two days, I let myself do some crafting.  I figured it was my reward for doing adult stuff like dusting and ironing (ugh!).  I started with this canvas – a freehand painting with acrylic paints.  I drew a design straight on to the canvas, which is something I don’t normally do and did not incorporate any paper or mixed media elements.  I decided to just go with the flow and not think about any of it too much.  The worst thing to do is start comparing your work to someone else, so I tried really hard to just enjoy the process, regardless of whether the finished piece was good or not.

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I was pleased with the final outcome.  I don’t mind that she’s got a big head and ridiculously long neck, or that her hair resembles a teddy bear hat.  I am just glad to have had a go and not fussed over it all too much.  I’m not normally brave enough to put a design straight on to the canvas, so this was new for me.  Normally I draw it out first and often draw and paint the person on a piece of paper, before cutting them out and gluing them to the canvas, after I’ve worked out the background.

I had some issues with the wording – it took me forever to decide on the words and I just couldn’t make anything work.  I had this “Loving the Moment” stamp that I had picked up in an op-shop, and it seemed to fit the space perfectly.  The design itself didn’t stamp out very well, due to the non-flat nature of the canvas, so I had to fill it in afterwards, but it looks ok.  I’m not sure exactly what “moment” she is loving (best not to ask a lady these things!) but I’m going to say it’s representational of me just enjoying some peaceful, creative crafting time, all to myself.

So, I am pleased with this one.  It isn’t perfect, but that’s ok.  I’m going to keep practicing and trying to find my own style.  It’s the only way to get better.  And, in the meantime, I am enjoying the process and the moment 🙂

Thanks for stopping by x

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Bloom Collage

Hello everyone!  How was your weekend?  Did you get up to something nice, or did it fly by before you had time to even wind down from the week’s efforts, and before you knew it, it was Monday again?  It sometimes seems like it is always Monday, doesn’t it?

I had a mixed-bag weekend.  It started off with a migraine, then there was a funeral (not related to my migraine!) and an MRI (very much related to my migraine), a lovely craft show, some op-shopping, and ended with a relaxing afternoon at home painting and collaging.  My Mum stayed with me (the funeral of a long-time friend had been upsetting and she didn’t really want to be on her own) and we talked about lots of things, drank far too much tea, and tried to stay warm (it was freezing this weekend!).

I managed to complete a couple of little canvases, that I am fairly pleased with.  This first one has been a while in the making, as I painted the lady some time ago but couldn’t figure out how I wanted to use her.  She was a bit darker than some of my other ladies, and none of the backgrounds I tried worked with her.

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Until I found this charcoal-coloured, wallpaper-like paper.  She seemed right at home there so I stuck her down before I changed my mind, gave her a crown, added some paper flowers and a bit of detailing, and finished it off with some bunting.  A tiny bit of text and she was all done.

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So nice to get something completed.  I haven’t been doing much due to my headaches and general feeling of blah.  Must try harder.  The craft show we attended on the weekend gave us lots of inspiration and ideas and we stocked up on supplies and arty goodies, so I have no excuse for not getting stuck in.  Watch this space!

Hope we all manage to bloom just a little bit this week 🙂

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Good Thoughts

Confession : this collage did not have me thinking good thoughts at all.  It had me swearing a lot and throwing things around.  I must have repainted it a dozen times, recovered it in different papers, repainted it again, added washi tape, and generally worked on it for much longer than was necessary.  I started off bravely, using bright colours and tones I would not normally go for.  It messed with my head and I didn’t like the result at all.  Hence all the repainting.  Consequently, it is all a bit lumpy and out of whack.  But it’s finished, at least.  The lady on it looks like she is wishing it would all be over soon (as I was), her head is a weird shape, and she is still a little bit bright and stark for my liking.  Not my best work at all!

But my aim, these days, is to get over things and move on.  Onwards and upwards!
I was glad to get this piece finished and off my desk.

Hope your mind is filled with good thoughts today 🙂

x

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Quiet and Content

Hello everyone!  I have been a little bit absent lately due to *cough, cough* a lurgy that left me feeling feeble and pathetic.  I also hurt my back with all the coughing and so am walking around like a pale, decrepit, phlegmy old thing.  I had time off work – my boss made me – and moped about the house, sleeping and complaining about life.  My Mum has also been unwell (and also has some worrying back problems) and so I’ve been worrying about her as well.  Lots happening – family dramas, work issues, health concerns – and all of it inevitably provokes the anxiety monster that resides in me.  I want to poke it with a stick and make it go away but it laughs in my face and makes its presence known with various aches, pains and physical ailments.  I even got pimples!  I don’t get pimples!!!  I am forty three years old, for crying out loud – I didn’t even have pimples when I was a teenager.

Anyway,  what I am trying to say is that I haven’t had much time (or energy) to do any crafting.  I’ve attempted a few things but mostly just moved stuff around, squinted a lot and sighed heavily at my lack of artistic ability.  My craft room looks worse than normal – I have had to make a little path from the doorway to the desk so I don’t trip and break my neck, falling over the various boxes of papers and supplies.  I could tidy up, yes, but that would take up precious squinting and sighing time.

In the midst of all this creative slumpery, I did manage to complete one little collage-canvas and it is OK.  I will settle for ok at the moment.  I don’t want to throw it out the window or set it on fire, so that’s a good sign.  The little lady on it did give me some stress – I stupidly painted her with gouache paint, not realising you couldn’t put gel medium over that (without it smearing and making an unholy mess) – but I repainted her with the usual acrylics and, in the end, I quite like her and her simplicity.  I tried not to muck about too much.  I am still not very good at faces, but am trying to just DO them and not get bent out of shape if they are not perfect.  Her lips are well wonky.  Don’t look at them.

So, in essence, I tried to zen out and be “quiet and content” with this piece.  The background actually looks like a single piece of text paper, but I actually collaged lots of torn pieces from different pages and then distressed / painted over it.  That was the easy bit that required no swearing or nervous breakdowns (gouache – I am talking to you!).

Hope you are all well right now and having a happy week.  Where is the year going?

Thank you for dropping by 🙂

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Quiet and Content by Violet Annie