Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!





Friday, 19 December 2014

Some of the Things I Love About Christmas

  1. The music -- from the cheesy songs to the beautiful and everything in between.  My favorite song as a kid was "Silver Bells".  I can't tell you now what my favorite song is - there are so many great  ones.
  2. The smell of a real Christmas tree.
  3. The mix of nuts in their shells that we only see in the stores at this time of year - walnuts, hazel nuts, almonds and the dark shelled one with a meaty nut (I forget its name).  Cracking them is   almost better than eating them.  I'm always trying to get two perfect halves of the walnut shell.
  4. Christmas movies!  I have been watching them since November 1st.  Thank goodness for a PVR!
  5. Walking around town at night looking at all the light decorations and how they chase away the darkness of winter.
  6. My mother-in-law's dainties.
  7. The light string on my tree.  This small light string has 14 different settings.  I love the blinky   one. 
  8. My reindeer decoration that we've had for years.  His nose is still glowing strong!


Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Photo Sketched Out

I love getting Christmas photos. I even have an album dedicated just for them.  It's fun to see the changes in people from year to year.  That being said, I am totally not good at sending out either Christmas cards or Christmas photos.  Sorry family and friends! Maybe one year I will get it in gear. In the meantime, I was inspired by a Christmas photo I received from my good friend Suzanne a couple of years back.  I love the photo.  For some reason it made me smile whenever I looked at it, so I left it on my fridge for months and months and months until I decided to use it as a model for my next art project.

I used a uniball pen to draw the family on watercolor paper even though I decided not to add any color.  There's a bit of a 3-D effect going on as Mom, Dad and the girls are done on three separate pieces, cut out with an x-acto knife and layered together with a matte medium. The background is a photo I took near my home, copied onto cream colored cardstock.

This is by no means a photograph copy of the photograph.  My lines are wonky in places, waggly in others and I took artistic license with a few of the shapes.  What I hope it shows is the love and happiness threading through the circle of this family.

Next time, maybe I will try color!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Color Your Heart Beautiful

I promised to share with you what I made from the muslin I painted.  
Ta-da!  Hanging hearts. 
This was a fun project from start to end.  You can see the fabric painting posts here and here

From my heart to yours!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Stream Drawing

Have you ever tried stream of conscious writing?  That's when you sit down and write, write, write anything that comes to your mind.  You don't stop to think a thought through. You don't stop to edit any of your words. You don't stop to correct grammer. You just keep writing.  Set your timer for ten minutes, thiry minutes or one hour.  The choice is yours.  When you are done, you look back to see what came out.

This is what I call stream of conscious drawing.  It's not a pure stream drawing since I was watching t.v. while doing it.  I had no timer going.  This came out over the course of an hour and a half.  The next morning I added the blue for some color pop.  My favorite bits are all the little people.  For some reason I love drawing little people!  Could it be because some of my favorite childhood books were titles like The Borrowers and Stuart Little?

This is such fun to do anywhere, anytime.  I've done this in airports, restaurants, bus trips, car trips, at my art table, visiting family, while talking on the phone, sitting at meetings doodling all over the agenda paper!  They are not always full pictures like the one above.  If I really like the pictures I've drawn on small pieces of paper, I save them to paste in my sketchbook.  Sometimes when I look back at the stream drawings, it inspires me for something new.

Give stream drawing a try.  You never know what might pop out!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Getting Messy With Paint Part 2

A few weeks ago I was inspired by Alisa Burke to paint on muslin and I posted the results here.  It was so fun I did it again on a larger piece of fabric and I love the the way it turned out. 


I think I was channelling Jackson Pollock a bit while I was working!

This past week I have been turing my painted fabric into something new. I'm not quite ready to show you yet so I will post photos once I get it all done!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

My Dad the Author!

This is my dad's latest book.  He is amazing!  He spent the last three years documenting the demolition of the Pine Falls Paper Mill with his camera and then made a book with them.

You can read more about Takedown and the other books he has written here, and you can read more about him here.

Congratulations to my dad who, by the way, will be turning 87 years old this month!
Way to go Dad!


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

First Day

In one of my Sketchbook Skool klasses we were given the prompt "first day of school".  I tried drawing in the style of the instructor Mattias Adolfsson who, by the way, is quite an incredible artist. 

The first day I went to school started in kindergarten when I was 5 years old.  It's incredible how fresh the memories are for a day I haven't thought about in years!

Here are the logistics of the classroom placement in the school 'cause it had such an impact on my first day:

The kindergarten entrance was at the back of the school while all the other children from grade one to grade eight went through doors at the front. I assume it was a method to not overwhelm the youngest scholars in their first year. There were three wings to the school, one each to the right and left, and a third poking out the back.  My classroom was at the end of the back wing right beside the back entrance door.  Two other classes lived in this wing - the grade seven and the grade eight classrooms. The result?  The oldest and youngest students were grouped in the same hallway.

I remember:

  • walking through the back door into a long, long hallway filled at the far end with the "big kids"; they were loud, noisy and very,very big!
  • stepping through the doorway of the kindergarten class into another world - a world I had never imagined.
  • big, tall, brown shelves, reaching to the ceiling, filled with all sorts of toys and books, like a toy store!
  • encountering a pile of craziness in the form of lots and lots of children - there were 20 in the class and I still know all their names.
  • my heart pounding with excitement and fear until I saw this beautiful lady with black hair and a blue dress smiling directly at me, then only the excitement remained.

Her name, I found out, was Miss La Blue. I loved her immediately and wanted with all my heart to make her happy.

                                                                        Can you spot me? 

It's funny though, I can't remember who brought me to school that day.  I know there was a comforting, familiar body behind me but the face  - I just can't picture it.  Maybe it was my mom or one of my big sisters. I don't know.  Perhaps this is because I was facing the future, taking the first big step towards the rest of my life, and I wasn't looking back.  Or maybe my memory is not quite what it used to be and I just forget!

Oh yes --  I am in the second row wearing a white turtleneck with flowers on it.


Monday, 1 December 2014

Big Head

She started out as a scribble in my sketchbook.  I am not entirely certain what creating a giant head means but I bet it could be fun poking around the psychological aspect of it!