Friday, 11 September 2009

Journaling buddies...

There are many things I love about Journaling, but one the most unexpected pleasures has been the wonderful online communities that I have connected with.

One journal keeper I connected with was Liz (Flickr name Borromini Bear) who generously contributed some of her work to my Travel Journal booklet.

A few weeks ago I was looking through her Flickr pages, and spotted a drawing of Vanburgh, the architect of Castle Howard in Yorkshire. She mentioned in her post that she was planning to visit the UK from Australia. I commented on her photo, asking if she was planning to visit Bath. Well, it transpired that she was indeed passing nearby, and had decided to stop off for tea at the world famous Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford-on-Avon in the morning en-route to Wales. As I do the school run to Bradford-on-Avon every morning this turned out to be perfect.

So, this morning I had the pleasure to meet up with Liz, and Borromini Bear himself, we sketched in the tea rooms and swapped journaling experiences. Here is Liz in action (with Borromini in the foreground) -

So, if you have been hesitating to start that journal, JUST DO IT, you never know what may happen.

To see some of Liz's wonderful journal pages, and read a little about her journaling experience take a look at this wonderful book she had printed

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Alphabet Frieze

Here is another of the projects that kept me busy over the summer. It is a gift for my granddaughter Amelia. The pictures are in strips that can be joined up as a wall frieze. Katie, her mum has also scanned them and is laminating them individually so they can be used as teaching cards.

They are painted with acrylic craft paints on watercolour paper

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Now much art around here lately...

Well, I seem to have been engrossed in IT matters lately, so not much Art has been done. So I thought I would post one of my favourite videos. I just love the dancing on this, the movements are so fluid. I remember going to flamenco classes at The Dance Centre in London many years ago, it is deceptively complicated. The arm movements seem very straight forward until you combine them with what your feet are meant to be doing...

Anyway, enjoy, and let me know if you like it too.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Pembrokeshire Travel Journal

Had a wonderful week in Pembrokeshire - the first time I have taken a vacation in Wales and it hasn't rained all the time. We only had one really wet day, so were able to take advantage of the wonderful beaches in this part of the world. A couple of good surfing beaches too, so we had lots of fun body boarding.

Still working on my travel journal, but here are a few pages...

These were mainly done with Pitt Artist Pen, Watercolour pencils and a waterbrush, but some were watercolour paint.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Decorated Page Workshop - Lesson 3

I have got very behind on working on my challenges - but have finally posted my lesson 3 for the study of Gwen Diehn's "The Decorated Page" workshop.
The image transfer method can be found here

The girl that silenced the world for 6 minutes

A friend recently reminded me about this YouTube video. I first saw it about a year ago, but it still astounds me every time I see it. It was made in 1992, and sadly, very little has changed since then...

I wonder what she is doing now?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Lot's of reading, not much art...

Well, I seem to have had my nose buried in a book this last week, so two new entries for my reading journal.

The Cellist of Sarajevo - by Steven Galloway

I loved the lyricism of Stephen Galloway's writing, but found his characters hard to warm to, even though they were in the trying circumstances of a city under siege.

My second book this week - A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khalid Hossini - also had war as a theme. I found this book utterly heartbreaking, and totally gripping...

Note: If you haven't read either book, then be warned that the text in my journal page will contain some spoilers...

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Birthday Gift

Well, I have been busy these last few weeks making gifts for friends, some I can't yet show as they haven't been handed to the recipient yet, but this one is now in the hands of it's new owner... My friend celebrated her 50th birthday this week and I made this little book for her, inspired by Martha Lever. I have always loved collecting quotes, so I picked some of my favourites to share.

The images were painted in watercolour on watercolour paper, some have the addition of PanPastel in the background, and a little stencilling added, others also have some rubber stamping. I then made a little booklet out of dark green paper, and stitched it together, then pasted the watercolour paper on each page. Finally I made two covers using fine brass mesh, which were attached with thread sewn through the eyelets and attached to the sewn binding of the book, and then added some fibres as a finishing touch.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Workshop at Stourhead

Peter, Alex and I attended a fun event at the National Trust gardens at Stourhead today. They were running a painting workshop called "In the style of...", where we were invited to paint a view of the gardens in the style of one of the well known painters who had visited and painted the park in the past. The idea had been to paint en plein air, but unfortunately it was raining, so we worked in the education room.

Peter chose to paint in the style of Turner, I chose John Piper, and Alex was perhaps the bravest of us all, because he invented his own landscape (rather than copying a painting) in the style of Cezanne.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Sing for Water West - Bristol

Here is another video of us singing at Bristol Harbourside on 2nd July. The song is a beautiful arrangement of John Lennon's Imagine, by Ali Orbaum, who is an accomplished Community Choir leader in Bristol, and one of the major organisers of the event.

The latest news is that we have raised in excess of £20,000 for Water Aid, with money still coming in - so we are well on the way to reaching our target.

Update: We raised a grand total of £37,000! A big thank you to all who contributed.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Support democracy in Iran

If like me you have been following the brave demonstrations for true democracy in Iran - head on over to this site and 'light a candle' to show your support

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Water, water, everywhere...

My F page is finally finished for my Alphabet Discovery Journal - the theme for this page was foam, and I wanted to try out a technique I had read about in a stamping technique book. First of all the background was painted with a wash of acrylic in pale green, I then stamped the word Foam with white gesso, applied a collage of newspaper (the financial pages of course) at the top half of the page, and wrinkled the paper to give the effect of water. Then more acrylic paint was used in shades of blue and green for the water, and brown and yellow for the sand. The paint was wiped off where the letters had been stamped - the gesso acting as a resist.

I then applied a little more gesso to the tops of the 'waves' and the shoreline. The foam at the water's edge was created by sticking some fusible fibre (the no-sew hemming tape), heating it gently with a heat gun, then while it is still warm sprinkling on some white embossing powder and heating it again. It gives quite a good effect, although it is difficult to see in the photo. The finishing touch was to add some fibres to represent seaweed.

Sing for Water West - The Big Sing. 600 singers raising money for Water Aid
Still on the subject of water - today was the 'Big Sing' at Bristol harbour side - 600 singers from various community choirs around the West of England raising sponsorship for Water Aid.

All the singers have been learning the same 7 songs for the past few weeks, and came together to sing them this afternoon, with only one joint rehearsal in the morning (which I was unable to get to!) Fortunately, the forecast thunderstorms did not materialise, and we were, if anything, too hot. I can be seen in the photo above 2nd from the left in the back row - singing along with the Tenors. Click on the video below for an extract of our first song Iqude - a traditional Zulu song (filming courtesy of my son, age 11).

Did you know that -

  • At least 4,000 children die every day as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation.

  • 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world's population.

  • 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation, this is almost two fifths of the world's population.

  • WaterAid projects providing safe water, sanitation and hygiene education cost just £15 per head.
Our aim is to raise a total of £24,000 from The Big Sing - I will keep you posted when the total comes in. Click here to read more about the wonderful work that Water Aid do, and if you would like to make a donation to this great cause you can do so here

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Alphabet Journal - Z

The latest letter for our Alphabet Discovery Journal is Z - so what else than Zebra's, Zentangles and Zetti?

Haven't yet decided if I want to add some colour to this page

Drawn with Pitt Pen on multi-medium paper

Sunday, 21 June 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Inspired by Eliece's blog By My Hand I decided to start a reading journal to keep a record of some of the books I have read. I have decided not to keep it chronologically, but paint pages in advance and find a page that suits the mood of the book (as does Eliece). That will also give me some flexibility in going back to cover books that I have read in the past.

Having said that I started with a book that I have just finished reading - the wonderfully named "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows. This is a very easy book to read as it's epistolary style makes it easy to pick up and put down, but I whizzed through this charming story in a couple of days.

For this journal spread I chose some pages that I had previously painted with shades of blue acrylic, then as the book is partially set in Guernsey, I printed out a map of the island and cut it out to use as a mask. I also used images from the book cover, both collaged and painted on.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Another challenge...

Well, I've signed up for yet another workshop... I have just discovered the Artists of The Round Table yahoo group (A.R.T. for short) - they have study groups, where you can sign up to work on exercises based on published books. I have always liked Gwen Diehn's books on journaling, so I was delighted to see that they were just starting a study group on her book 'The Decorated Page'. Again, it's free to sign up, so this is my favourite kind of group :)

Week 1's assignment was to alter some pages in your journal. I purchased a really cheap (but functional) Seawhite journal - just 20 A4 pages, which will be just right as I will be treating this as a 'technique' journal. Here is a compilation of my altered pages (click the image for a larger view) -

If you want to join in, here is a link to Workshop joining instructions

Friday, 12 June 2009

Alphabet Workshop -T

My T page. This hasn't been one of Trish's prompts yet, but as I will be sticking this page to the back of the S page I decided to finish it now. I cut out the 'see-through' star from the previous page which on this page represents 'transparent' :) and hung a star shaped tag below it. I also added a few more tags on the page, one of them is tucked into a pocket with a stamp of a Tower on it. There are representations of trees, travel, truth and time, and there is some Turkish text mounted on some tissue.

The background is painted with Teal and Turquoise acrylic paint.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Alphabet Workshop - S-Stars

My S page for the Alphabet Discovery Workshop. The background was dark blue acrylic craft paint - great for journaling as it is matte and doesn't stick to the opposite page when the book is closed.

I cut out the star shapes, then used the smallest cut out as a negative stencil to create the shaded stars. The cut outs have different surfaces behind them. The top one has acetate (see through), the large star has Sheer Heaven behind it - painted with watercolour washes then with rubbing alcohol dropped on the surface to create the white areas (this was supposed to be a sky effect, but didn't quite work!). The smallest star has aluminium duct tape behind it to create a shiny effect. The last star is awaiting some sandpaper which will be pained black then silver. Eventually this will all be sandwiched together with sticky tape :)

The word South is from a clothing label. The page is finished off with silver swirls, stamping and silver embossing.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Alphabet Workshop - N-NegativeNumbers

Trish Bee has started a new Yahoo Group - Alphabet Discovery Workshop, it's FREE and you can start at any time, so you can't get much better than that!

Trish is selecting letters in a random order, so it doesn't matter if you are late starting - head on over to the Yahoo Group and join the fun

This is my spread for the first letter - N - done simply with black acrylic, white gesso, and black and white Staz-On ink.

I am using a multi-purpose paper (for acrylics and watercolour) and will be binding the pages into a book later.

Monday, 25 May 2009

If today was your last day...

A great video from Nickleback, makes us think about our preconceptions...

So, what would you do?

Monday, 27 April 2009

Laugh, Live, Smile, Love

I found this wonderful picture of a brides henna'd hands and thought it was perfect for a collage, and that it would go well with the quote - "Laugh, Live, Smile and Love - for what you get out of life comes from what you put in"

Background created with Ranger Adirondack Dye inkpad in Cranberry (direct to paper technique), collage, Pitt Artist Pen and Posca White Paint marker

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Shades Of Grey - 3

Week 3 of Pam Carriker's Shades of Grey workshop

Moleskine sketchbook, Shades of Grey Pitt Artist Pens

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Shades Of Grey - 2

Week 2 of Pam Carriker's Shades of Grey workshop

Moleskine sketchbook, Collage, Shades of Grey Pitt Artist Pens

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Shades Of Grey -1

First pages for Pam Carriker's 'Shades of Grey' workshop. Using various shades of grey Pitt Artist brush pens, in Moleskine sketchbook

Pam's online workshop can be found at the Creative Workshops site - you can sign up for it at any time

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Cliff Hollow Cornwall

Had a great girlie weekend away in Cornwall at a holiday home of a friend. The colour of the landscape was perfect for my new graphitint pencils.
My scanner does not render green well, so the colour is not too accurate on this scan.

Graphitint pencils

Having fun with my new graphitint pencils.

The photo of the Folio is printed on Safmat (from Letraset), a transparent adhesive film - great for sticking photos to your journal without adding too much bulk.
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