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Quote for the Day : Art

“…Art enables us to find ourselves
and lose ourselves at the same time…”

— Thomas Merton

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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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Nourish (Because Sometimes Doorknobs Just Fall Off)

It’s late at night.  You’re hungry.  You know you shouldn’t raid the pantry but to hell with diets and the whole “don’t eat after 8pm at night” nonsense (what am I, a gremlin?).  Time to check out what snacks are available to us.  

Enter kitchen.  Attempt to open pantry door.  Door knob falls off in hand – DISASTER! 

What can you do?  a.) Forget about the whole thing and go to bed, sad and unsatisfied?  b.) Try the fridge instead?  c.) Rummage through your handbag to see if there’s a long-forgotten mint or something?  d.) Wrench the pantry door open with a knife and vow to put a new door knob on tomorrow?  If you answered “all of the above except A”, you’d be correct.  Let’s face it, A was never an option. 

My house has many features that are, through age or just crappy design, falling off/breaking down/not performing so well.  Doorknobs are one example.  I’ve replaced several now in different rooms but, for the kitchen, decided to go with something a bit more jazzy.  I probably shouldn’t draw attention to my pantry (it’s not like I’m not VERY FAMILIAR with it already!) but I wanted to do this little project and not have to open the door with a knife 🙂

These little wooden doorknobs are currently available at Kmart, in Australia, for $1.00 each.  One dollar!  I do not want to know where the materials were sourced from at such a price – it would probably hurt my brain.  They had different shaped ones too, but I bought the regular round one.  I collaged on various scraps of patterned papers and washi tape, then (using a stencil I had made) draw on a heart shape.  I then painted the doorknob all over in blue, leaving out the heart-shaped area.  Details were added with permanent black pencil, a white paint pen and a bit of stamped text.  The whole thing was sealed and varnished and voila!  It was done.  (It looks a bit “cloudy” in places because I had literally just finished sealing it so nothing had dried before I took the photo).  I sanded back the edges slightly too, just to give a bit of extra detail.

So, an easy, inexpensive little decorator project that could be applied to lots of furniture and household items.  I’m still thinking I should have stamped “DO NOT ENTER” instead of “NOURISH” on my doorknob, but I will try and have some willpower of my own, instead of expecting inanimate objects to guide me and tell me what to do (or, in this case, what NOT to do) when I get the midnight munchies.

🙂

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Cultivate Your Dreams

Hello everyone.  (Does anyone else have trouble knowing how to start their blog posts? Sometimes I get completely stumped after “Hello Everyone”.) 

This little mixed-media piece was worked on over the course of several weeks. I had some issues with it and it has been changed quite a few times.  I’m still not quite sure if I like it, but I have to say “enough is enough” eventually, otherwise I waste time on this one piece when I could be starting new ones.

The little “fence” posts at the bottom of the canvas are actually canvas keys  – they’re those wooden bits you get that are supposed to stretch the canvas to make it more taut and prevent future sagging.  But, because I am lazy, I used them here as part of my picture, instead of actually bothering to stretch my canvas 🙂

As for “Cultivating your Dreams”…. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was a simple as popping a couple of dream seedlings into a pot and watching them grow?  Feeding and watering them, gathering any fruit or blooms they produced?  I suppose, in theory, it is that simple, but you have to put in the hard work to prepare the soil and make sure the conditions are right.  If you neglect your dream seedling, it will shrivel up and die.

Wow, that was a bit deep…

I hope your dreams are alive and well, and ready to blossom at any moment.  May they bear lots of fruit and keep you nourished in hard times.

🙂

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You are You (Collage)

Dr Seuss has the best quotes.  In all the silliness of his stories, there is endless wisdom and truth, much of which makes far more sense than anything else going on in our world right now.  Sometimes we need reminding that we are all unique and different – and that that is a GOOD thing – not something to be hidden away or changed.  Who wants to be like everyone else?  Not me!  Although a little bit of “normal” would be nice from time to time.  Just so I can interact with people on a regular basis and not have them wondering what planet I’m from, ha ha.

I created this collage for a special family member who celebrated a birthday last week.  I worked on it for a few weeks, in between doing other things, and got it finished just in time.  I hope she liked it.  And can ignore the dots I smudged after the last word 🙂

Hope you are all having a good day – thank you for stopping in x

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